Debt Mentality

Debt Mentality

I remember being in junior high school hearing my father say something to the effect of “you only have as much money as you have credit.” Now whether that was what he said exactly or not, doesn’t matter because it stuck in my head that unless you had massive debt, you couldn’t have massive prosperity. Now, some 40 years down the road, I realize how flawed that reasoning was and my responsibility for allowing it in my own life.

I suspect I am not alone in those feelings. Others may get to this mentality by different life events, but it is incredible how common the debt stories are. We all get here by different routes, but FEEL the same about the result. My personal view is the way debt makes you FEEL is the whole purpose of getting in debt in the first place. If you are in debt and have bill collectors calling, and getting the envelopes that you can read PAST DUE through, and getting the ugly phone calls, you understand what I’m talking about.

One way to describe it is to use the principle of slavery, or being in prison. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman acted out this concept in a powerful movie titled “The Shawshank Redemption” (get it and watch it closely). Even though he was in prison, Tim Robbins character was never a “prisoner”, and even when Morgan Freemans’ character was released from prison, he was still a prisoner. How one led the other to that awareness is the point of the movie, and a powerful life lesson.

One more point. There are those who have access to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and are broke because of a debt mentality. They suffer the same feelings of someone who only has a few thousand dollars of debt, and as near as I can tell, IT IS THE SAME FEELING. I saw a coyote put in a cage one time. Completely wild animal, never caged. The panic that creature experienced caused it to die over time. A debt mentality is similar. We may not panic and die all at once, but we will do it a little at a time, and the result will be the same. No enjoyment of life, no hope beyond working to pay past due bills. And this mentality fits how someone chooses to see life. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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