Why I MISS MY DEBT! Darn that Dave Ramsey!

I have a very low threshold of tolerance for doing things that I don’t want to do.

Really.

I just never have connected with that idea that sometimes, ‘ya just gotta do, what ya gotta do, whether you like it or not.’ Sorry, I guess that makes me a bad person, or a spoiled kid, or might make you mad… Okay 🙂 I always kind of had this idea that if we really didn’t want to do something, there would be a way around it. It may take some different thinking, or different type of lifestyle, but there could always be a way to be free, to do what we DO want to do.

(psssst, it is true you know)

I’ve found out over the last few years, that being free (including Debt Free) isn’t always the easiest thing to be. Freedom and absolute wide openness, having little to no restrictions on your life or finances, doesn’t always produce the most action and most results. Especially, from me.

Here are some truths for you.

  • My income over the last 3 years has been laughably low. Tiny. Not Mucho. Small.
  • I probably have a household income in a different bracket, than anyone else you associate with. A fraction of what it was, in 2010.
  • It was over 3 years ago that I paid off my last debt owed, my home, and I have since never stepped foot into a bank to ask, or swiped a single card, based on borrowing or using a single dollar belonging to someone else.
  • I have, with my beautiful wife, worked to delete the last of a student loan, that we now have together. (it’s almost gone 🙂 )
  • In our house we tithe.
  • In our house we have an emergency fund.
  • In our house we save money each month.

BUT!! there is something truly helpful that I MISS about My DEBT!

It made me do things that I didn’t want to do! 

And that was a good thing! See my life now is blue open sky. All the freedom in the world. I can sit here and just ponder all day if I wish. But Debt, wow, in the days of debt, I had a wonderful structure and machine of accountability to MAKE me get up and make me produce and make me bring home the bacon each week!

I am into the world of Coaching, right? One benefit of a Coach is they can create a game that makes you step into new action and gets you out of your comfort zone, so you can grow and become something more than you were before… Debt can do that too! Oh yeah!

Debt is the life coach that most of America hires to make them stay in action!

When Bills show up all through the month, that I have to pay, there is this awesomeness about that scenario. The companies that we borrow from, have this wonderful setup of accountability and disciplinary steps. They use them to make us feel like rotten little bad children if we make a late payment. Oh no! They call us on our phones! They ask us when we can pay the bill, and why we didn’t get it paid on time! This experience can be so painful and emotional that we learn to never pay late again!

We hate letting people down. We want to be the teacher’s pet. We are sad when someone is disappointed in us. So we believe this whole made up story of ‘CREDIT’ and how we need it to survive, like air to breathe. We would be bad people, if we had ‘BAD CREDIT’, OMG!! We can learn the best ways to get our CREDIT score up, and keep it there. We need to borrow the right amounts, and pay back at the right times, and keep on, keeping on, into oblivion, to keep my CREDIT score up.

This is a GREAT system. I am proof. With debt in my life, I made more money. Without it, I haven’t.

Confused yet?

Debt was a big, bad, furrowed-brow-parent in my life. It made me show up to work every day in a job that I didn’t love. It shook it’s finger at me, and made me feel like I was supposed to do this, and supposed to do that. It was a structure that I could follow, and see my progress on. It was full of ‘shoulds’ and a mysterious perfect life, that I could figure out how to acquire, if I just borrowed to buy all the right things.

That was one way, that I did produce more money in my life, than without it. That’s true.

Others may tell you that they have an internal discipline system that they use to create their schedule, and get things done, and always move forward into the work they love.

Good for them. That’s not me. I am more like the kid, who can totally kick ass and produce wonderful results… If I have to. And if I don’t, well I probably won’t. So then what? Is this life of mine, with complete freedom, a big waste of time. Should I lock myself back into the old ways, so I make myself and my family more money? Should I suck it up, and find something that is just a j-o-b, so other people can approve of me more? I would like to avoid those weird conversations about, ‘where do you work?’ and ‘what do you do?’. They are pretty awkward for me 🙂

Hmm… My mentor Steve Chandler talks about willpower and discipline, just in the same context as arm power. It can be built. It is always created through exercise. It is not just a natural trait, that you either have, or don’t have. Anyone can improve their willpower and discipline and create a new picture of the life they want, at any time, starting right now.

YEAH, that sounds better!

Instead of needing the whole world of ‘stuff I can’t afford’, meaning, ‘stuff I borrowed money to have’, creating the reason for my action and work. Maybe, I could design a roadmap for myself that I would really love to travel upon. Maybe, I could just choose, and decide something that I would like to have happen in my near future (or far future), then ask myself, ‘what would be the best, fastest, most fun way to make that happen?’ That would not be spending my day today, working to create money, to pay for something I bought years ago. I could spend my day in earnest anticipation of serving and helping someone create an awesome new life for themselves, and in the process, I will receive their investment, as a proof of their commitment, and faith in their own.

I could then track and play along this gameboard of life, that I made up for myself. I’d choose to roll my dice and move ahead sometimes, or I can take a break, to redesign it as I go. That is a discipline and willpower exercise that sounds FUN to Me!

But how can I replicate that awesome power of Debt, to make me stay on track, at all times. Man, that was really helpful for a snotty brat like me. I needed that kick in the pants… I’ve been quite immature, for my whole life. I cry when I don’t get my way. I do things, because I want to, not because you tell me to… hmm…

Maybe I don’t. Maybe I flip the whole thing upside down. How about I grow up. How about I use maturity, from my insides, instead of an outside force, to make me do things. Dang! Saying that we ‘have to do, what we have to do’ isn’t grown up anymore, it’s a cop-out. We have a whole world of possibility at our fingertips, and if we’re not tapping into that, it’s our own fault. We can be or do or become anything we COMMIT to.

Alright, let’s try this from a new level. I do things that I am so deeply passionate about, that I don’t need to be motivated to do them. I’m dying to do them. I want them so badly for myself, for others, that I am literally thinking about this work and this play at all times. My life is delicious to me, because I have spent the time to ask myself some powerful questions. I have faced myself in truth. I know that if I am not using all of my resources and energy, action and devotion, building and creating something awesome, than it’s not aligned with my purpose. It’s not what I am here on this planet to do.

If it’s not a Hell Yeah! Than it’s okay to drop it off my list. If I’m not 110% excited about it, than I am going to always come up short, on my commitment to it. If I am looking forward to the weekend, or the escape of alcohol, or even taking a sick day, to do what I really want to do, than I am out of alignment and not inspired with my work, or my life.

One of the reasons that I hired life-coach Megan Sillito, is this: On our first conversation together, she told me that she had recently been to Hawaii, to skydive with a client of hers. WOW!! This woman found a profession, that allowed her to facilitate someone’s tropical dreams coming true, and they brought her along with them, to make it happen. WOW!!

I want that too! How freakin’ cool is that! Would she, or I, or you, need willpower and discipline to show up for that kind of work? No Way!!

Ahh, these posts  really give me the chance to see and type through my thoughts on my life. I am glad you’re here to ride along. Now is the time to go into questioning myself. Now is the time to practice getting clear, on what I really, really, really, absolutely, really want. What is it that I want so bad, that I don’t need the structure of monthly bills to make me show up for it? What is it that I want so bad, that no one can stop me from accomplishing, because I will do anything to achieve it? What is my Heaven Yeah!

That is a question worth finding the answer to, my friends! And Thank You Dave Ramsey, for giving me the opportunity to fail in the face of my financial freedom, it’s given me lots of space to find myself. I needed that too 🙂

Sincerely,

Aaron Nichols

Got Guts enough to join me on a discussion, about How I Miss My Debt! (Not Really?)

You’re invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in our online workshop – you’ll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to work with us, at 5:30 CST. You need a device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it’s actually really easy  ) Then email me at aaron@truenorthffc.com – before Tuesday – I’ll send you the hangout invite through Google+ when we start.

Check out all of my video workshop Hangouts here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!

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