Why Slaying This Monster Will Help You Get Ahead

by Jason on September 10, 2009

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There he is! You’ve spotted him again rearing his ugly head.  His sharp claws ready to sink deeply into you — he waits with a calculating smile.

You can’t outrun him for he always seems to find you.

You can’t ignore him because he will constantly haunt you.

There’s only one way to deal with him.  You have to face him head on and well, slay him.  Gruesome isn’t it?

Photo by: Rapidflop

It’s difficult to do, I know, but if you want to start making BIG strides with your finances, you have to fight against the monster of generality!

Who Is He?

Generality is defined by Merriam Webster as a “vague or inadequate statement“.

When it comes to your finances, the Monster of Generality will tell you things like this:

I should start saving more money for retirement.

I should give more.

I should get my spending under control.

These are all good things right?  What could possibly be wrong with statements like this?

Why He’s Dangerous

He doesn’t sound that scary, but that’s one of his tricks.  He subtly whispers things to you to make you think you’re OK – but he’s got you exactly where he wants you.

The reason he’s so dangerous is because you actually think you’re changing your bad money habits and improving yourself, but there really is no change.

The Problem

Until you get specific with your financial goals, mere generalities will kill your progress.  This monster will always keep you on the surface of your financial goals and prevent you from ever reaching them.

That’s because you can’t define these statements, they’re just too general.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I know I need to save more money, but it just seems like every month I don’t have enough left over.”

I know I have.  I often find that monster creeping back into my life again and again.  The answer is always to slay him.

The Resolution

Simply put, slaying the monster of generality means you need to turn your “I should’s” into “I will’s”.

Let’s take our statements from above and see how we could turn these around:

Instead of “I should save more money”, the answer is:

I will save $___ per month into a Roth IRA

Instead of I need to give more, try:

The first check I write will be to my church and it will be ___% of my paycheck.  I will live on the rest.

Instead of I need to get my spending under control, get more specific:

I will do a diary of expenses for 30 days and find out exactly where my money is going.  I will identify expenses that simply do not need to be there and will cut them out.

If you haven’t seen much progress with your financial goals lately, consider whether generalities have crept back into your life.

Kill this monster and you will start seeing results again.

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