In his great book titled Change or Die, the author, Alan Deutschman makes the point, backed up by a lot of research that people really would rather die than change their habits or routines.
Here is one example: Consider those patients with heart disease. Most with heart disease find themselves needing medical help because of poor lifestyle choices. However, if you look at patients with heart bypass surgery two years later only one in ten changed their ways and took a healthier lifestyle that reversed the progression of the disease.
1 out of 10 will actually change the conditions that got them to the bypass surgery. Is this not unbelievable?
You might be saying, well I am different? Are you really though?
You don’t want to do this because you don’t want the accountability, but right now you and I both are doing things that are going to greatly hinder our future either with our health or our finances.
Here is the problem though. Most of our bad decisions we make today don’t affect us today. Nope, the cheeseburger today doesn’t put us on the surgery floor at the hospital about to be cut open. If it did we would most likely make a different choice.
Instead it is the cheeseburger three times a week for the next ten years that will put us on the surgery floor eventually. But because the consequences aren’t immediate, our desires to change our bad habits are not prioritized.
Another fact from the book.
This one fact may not apply to you, but again it speaks to human behaviors.
Convict recidivism rates (return rates for prison) are around 30% in the first six months and 67.5% in the first three years. So only one in three convicts will change their habits after having been incarcerated.
To wrap up what the book says. It says that between 1/3 and 1/10 of us would actually be able to change when faced with the option of changing or dieing. I highly encourage you to pick up the book.
Since my goal is to talk mainly about money and investing on my relaunched blog. Let’s connect this change or die thesis to money, finances and investing.
We aren’t trying to become millionaires overnight. If you are reading this, you most likely have some runway between now and your retirement. So I want to challenge you with doing one of these three things starting today.
1.Start a savings account with an automatic withdrawal every month for at least $100 dollars to go directly in this savings account. I know you might be thinking I can’t afford to do this. Well, let me tell you, you can’t afford not do it.
You might also be saying, my budget is too tight to begin with. I can’t find an extra hundred dollars. That’s the point as well. I want you to have to figure it out. I want you to have to finagle your spending each month to force yourself to start saving at least the $100 dollars. Until you are forced to figure it out. You won’t do it. So force yourself to make it happen.
2. Enroll in your companies 401K plan. Look, if you have been reading my work for very long you know that I am not a big stock market guy. I much rather invest money in real estate. However, I know the many benefits of a 401K plan. And I know that if you start making a monthly contribution to that plan, you will be better off than not doing it. Again, if you think you don’t have the money to do it. This is the exact reason you should do it. You need to force yourself to make changes in your budget or figure out ways to increase your income so you can afford it.
3. What is one bill you need to cut out of your life. Again, if you have been reading me for very long you know that I am not a big cut your way to wealth guy. You can only cut so much and I am more abundance minded than scarcity minded. However, when I made the decision to get my finances in order years ago. One of the cuts I made was cutting cable television out.
Two reasons for this: The money and the mindset. I needed to cut this bill out of my life so I could do something else with the money. And I needed to cut this out of my life, because I watched too much television in the evening when I should have been asleep planning to get up early the next day to work on increasing my income.
Change is hard. But what is even harder is continuing to do the things that you have always done that aren’t helping you get to where you want to go.
Pick up the book and I want to encourage you to do one of the three things I have suggested here. You aren’t going to get to a new destination over night, but you can change the direction at any time you choose.
To your success and your future.
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