I often ask myself: for a country that prides itself on its technological and educational advancements, why are so many people in such personal and financial turmoil?
I have to imagine that if you are a young adult between the ages of 16 and 25, life must seem a little uncertain and scary to you right now. Just think, you are the first generation to grow up in the 21st century – the advent of a new technological era that actually allows you to carry out the majority of your consumer-related transactions from your SmartPhone, computer or tablet device from virtually anywhere in the world.
Yet, despite all of the major advancements and perceived conveniences created by these new technologies, many of your generation have either personally experienced or know someone close to you whose parents have either lost their jobs (due to downsizing or outsourcing), could not afford to send you or your friends to college due to unforeseen financial hardship, or, even worse, had to lose their homes or apartments due to unprecedented bank foreclosures.
I believe the underlying reason why so many adults between the ages of 40 and 60 are in such economic chaos is because they suffer from what I call financial obesity: one’s obsessive and self-sabotaging need to constantly overspend and remain financially unhealthy. Like over-eaters, the financially obese allow fear to prevent them from achieving their personal and financial success they desire. They simply cannot get out of their own way. They are not broke; they are broken!
One of my favorite quotes is by motivational speaker, Les Brown, who says, “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
If you are someone who feels broken, you are not alone. Most well-established men and women by their own desire and determination have managed to overcome their own prior childhood struggles and self-defeating fears because they chose to shift their unhealthy attitudes and learned perspectives as they manifested their desired outcomes.
As I discuss in my new book, Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School, the first thing I would suggest is that you honestly acknowledge the poor or unfounded information that you received from your parents, teachers, friends, and others in your past. They probably meant well, but they were most likely either projecting or inadvertently passing forward generational misinformation that they received at an early age as well.
Secondly, you need to self-reflect and assess how your parents, teachers, friends and most importantly, your own early life experiences have impacted your own “learned” negative fears and emotions. Unless you learn to how manage these challenges early on, they will become even more habit-forming as you get older.
The good news is the effects of your early programming are reversible if you choose to remove those negative obstacles by managing your fears and taking the necessary action steps to accomplish your goals and fix your long-term outlook for success.
Motivational speaker and salesman Zig Ziglar was absolutely correct when he said, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”