You will never get out of debt until the knowledge in your heart backs up the knowledge in your head.
When I designed my coaching website, I needed to come up with a tagline. A type of one line description of what the site is about. I wanted to summarize how I felt about the process of getting out of debt and why so many people start but give up quickly.
Science was my first love as a career. I spent my first ten years of working life in the world of biotechnology. So the idea of a mathematical equation crossed my mind.
There are thousands of websites and probably millions of blogs and articles on how to get out of debt. “Seven Methods to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt.” “Five tips to reduce your vacation expenses”. Tons and tons of information out there.
So why do less than half of Americans pay off our credit card balances each month? Why do 35% of us have collection accounts?
I reflected on my two journeys through debt. The first one ended up in credit counseling and bankruptcy. The second ended with everything paid off, including the mortgage on our house. What was the difference?
I “knew” that we were in debt on both occasions. In my head.
The difference was recognizing my debt in my heart; my gut. The first time I didn’t do this. My “plan” to get out of debt was that my business would finally start making real money. My heart said that everything would be fine. The knowledge of my heart never supported the knowledge of my head. And I failed.
“Knowing the Debt” was achieved but nothing more.
In the second plan I got angry (as did my wife). We connect to this anger and other emotions. We have our hearts involved. We “KNEW” our debt. 17 months later we had paid off our credit card, car loan, department store card, and orthodontist. And then 30 months later, we pay off the mortgage on our house.
“KNOW Debt” was added to “KNOW Debt”. They joined “NO DEBT”.
My math equation catchphrase crystallized. He explained why we want to get out of debt and have the best intentions to get out of debt. But we rarely get there.
We generally recognize that we have debts on our minds. We know we have three credit cards with balances on them. We know we have one car loan paying off in 2018. We know we have five student loans. And we could know the total debt we owe. We have the knowledge of the head.
So we read posts, articles, and forum tips that make logical sense about how to pay off our debts. Eliminate all expenses that we can. No cable tv, no going out to a movie, etc. Live a spartan lifestyle.
And work three jobs.
Our heads can do this for 2-3 weeks. Maybe a month or two. But if our hearts do not support this lifestyle and behavior, something will make us abandon this plan. Once the fun of the adventure dies down, the idea of living on dog food and replacing electricity with candles becomes so unappealing that we give up.
Once our hearts are out of the equation, our plans to get out of debt are dead in the water. Because there are no dusty easy plans to get out of debt. Focus is needed. It takes work. It may take some sacrifice. But your plan must be realistic; a plan you can live with. Of course it may take longer. But emotionally you will remain firm until the end and you will reach NO DEBTS.
Take what you know in your head and put it in your heart. Then you will get out of debt.
“Know Debt + KNOW Debt = NO DEBT”