What does a passionate business owner, a devoted home owner and a drug addict have in common?
I will admit, this is the start of a very bad attempt at a joke, and the punch line is, well, anything but punchy. The answer is, they are unwilling to let go of an addiction for their higher good. What brings this up you ask? Or maybe you didn’t, but I bet you are wondering, “what in the world is this girl talking about?”…
Wikipedia describes addiction as follows: Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences
Addicts continue to do something, against their better judgement, to enjoy the ‘high’. Whether we are talking about drugs, alcohol or gambling (the main three) or shopping, spending money, going into debt (these often don’t thought of as addictions, in fact, Wikipedia doesn’t mention them at all).
We can relate the later examples to life choices: continuing to work at a business that is failing, trying to stay in a home that is unaffordable. The results are the same – An imminent crash.
Every day I meet with individuals who are unwilling to let go of something in their life that is taking them down. Here are some examples (unfortunately there are many more):
- Let’s consider the Fishing Industry in Southern Nova Scotia (given that this is where we are located and have many of our clients). Once a lucrative business, it often fails these days to provide a basic standard of living for a working man (or woman) and his or her family. Yet, many stick it out, for lots of reasons, even though it is not meeting their basic financial needs.
- Individuals and couples who stay in their homes when the cost exceeds reasonable housing costs for their level of income. Effectively they are “house poor” .
- Continuing to put money in a business even though year after year there’s a loss. It has been said that being self-employed gives the worst boss possible – yourself, and sometimes a lower pay then you would receive anywhere else.
- Someone who continues to spend above their means and then cries poor saying they do not have enough money. Lifestyle choices that appear to bring your joy can cause more headaches and heartaches than a simpler way of living.
- Combine all of these with “using credit to create income” and you have a recipe for disaster, brewing and ready to explode.
Letting go is sometimes the step that opens the door to possibilities. I invite you to look at your life. Is there anything that you are hanging onto that is causing you more stress than joy. It’s often a painful step to let go but a decision that can bring much joy and light on the other side. I have often heard it said that the greatest joy can come from the greatest sacrifice.
It’s always wonderful feedback to hear from a client who shed their past and, as a result, the future opened up in ways they never imagined. A lesson for us all.