Thursday, March 15, 2012

Discovering What (or Who) is holdinq you back

A variety of personal and emotional hurdles can get in the way of making the best financial moves. As I discuss earlier in this blog, a lack of financial knowledge (which stems from a lack of personal financial education) can stand in the way of making good decisions.

But I've seen some people caught in the psychological trap of blaming something else for their financial problems. For example, some people believe that all adults' problems can be traced back to childhood and how they were raised. Behaviors ranging from substance abuse and credit card addiction to sexual infidelity are supposedly caused by their roots.

I don't want to disregard the negative impact particular backgrounds can have on some people's tendency to make the wrong choices during their lives. Exploring your personal history can certainly yield clues to what makes you tick. That said, adults make choices and engage in behaviors that affect themselves as well as others. They shouldn't blame their parents for their own inability to plan for their financial futures, live within their means, and make sound investments.

Some people also tend to blame their financial shortcomings on not earning more income. Such people believe that if only they earned more, their financial (and personal) problems would melt away.

My experience working and speaking with people from diverse economic backgrounds has taught me that achieving financial success - and more importantly, personal happiness - has virtually nothing to do with how much income a person makes but rather with what she makes of what she has. I know financially wealthy people who are emotionally poor even though they have all the material goods they want. Likewise. I know people who are quite happy, content, and emotionally wealthy even though they're struggling financially.

Americans - even those who have not had an "easy" life - should be able to come up with numerous things to be happy about and grateful for: a family who loves them; friends who laugh at their stupid jokes; the freedom to catch a movie or play or to read a good book; a great singing voice, sense of humor, or a full head of hair.


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