>> 29 September 2010
We were not poor mind you.
We went on holiday, had decent clothes and enough toys to make us happy.
We just never seemed to have enough money for extras, nice things you want to have when you're a kid.
My dad was born during the second World War into a family of 10 boys and 4 girls. So no nice things for him except maybe a luxury orange at Christmas.
For me, as a kid, these nice things represented books. My parents are no avid readers and could not understand how I could read several books per week.
Living in a small town, there was no library. Luckily we had a library on wheels which would come every month or so and I always went home with my arms full of books.
But buying them, to keep them, read them again, was a luxury I was denied.
The result being that I now buy books every chance I get :-)
To me, this is a need or behavior, which was clearly born from a LACK of the past.
And I had quite a few of these...
I took me a while to realize that these behaviors were holding me back.
They were actually very frustrating and guilt ridden.
Whenever I bought something, I had second thoughts.
Did I really need this?
Could I get this somewhere else cheaper?
Could someone fix the old one for me?
Could I haggle to get a better deal?
Until I realized that this behavior kept me stuck.
It burned up my energy.
I was not growing.
I was not enjoying things.
I was not investing - in anything.
I was sitting on the proverbial stack of money under my mattress. Sure, nobody was taking it, but I wasn't gaining anything from it either.
- Do you turn every penny around twice before buying even the smallest thing?
- Do you surf the web for hours, days, even weeks, to find the best holiday deal? (I admit I still do this... :-)
- Do your turn around the parking lot for a few minutes because you want that spot up front?
- Do you hate getting monthly bills (even though you know they come and you spent that money)?
- Do you try to keep EVERYONE happy?
- Do you try to be the perfect anything (host, secretary, partner, organiser etc)?
- Do you find it difficult to say no?
- Do you insist on doing everything yourself (including the tasks you hate or are not good at)?
- Do you usually put other people first?
- Do you have trouble making a choice because 'something better might come along'?
Action gets you focused. You think of something. You create something. You decide something.
This doesn't have to be big. Actually it shouldn't be big.
- Set some time aside for yourself
Allow some time for laziness, boredom, play, creative thinking,...
- List the things that bring you real joy (writing, a massage, gardening, giving advice...)
Then try to add more of those into your daily life.
- List the things or people that stress you out, tend to take control of you.
Then try to find small ways of reducing those.
- List the actions that eat up your energy and waste your time (this includes things you hate doing).
The try to find ways to get ride of one or two.
Don't set your goals too high. Take baby steps. You'll be amazed where they will lead you.