In my house, we have very clear division of labour – I earn the money and my wife spends it. And that suits me just fine.
You see, I don’t enjoy shopping, and there isn’t really anything I’m interested in buying. last year, I found myself in Selfridges surrounded by just about everything you could wish to buy. I’m in the fortunate position of being able to comfortably afford anything in the shop (yes, even the £20,000 bottle of brandy…who the heck buys those?) but I had no interest in buying any of it. Nothing.
In fact if you’d told me I could take most of it away for free, I really couldn’t have been bothered to carry it to the car.
And yet, before I had money, I had all sorts of plans for what I’d buy “when I got rich.” Now that I am ‘rich’, or at least relatively so, I realise that I don’t really want all that stuff after all. Whilst the barrier of not being able to afford it was in place, I fooled myself into thinking that I wanted to own all sorts of junk. But now that barrier has been removed, and my bluff has been called, I recognise the truth – I just don’t want it.
Before I had money, I had other plans too. Just as soon as I could afford it, I was going to learn to fly a helicopter. Only the money was stopping me. But I still haven’t done it, so it couldn’t have been the lack of funds that was holding me back. My stated reasons for not doing it today are safety (every time I think about doing it, some high profile person crashes and dies) and the amount of work involved (there are lots of exams to sit.)
So which is it? I’m not really sure, and I’d only know for certain if one of those problems was magically removed. I’ve learned that it’s very easy to fool yourself as to the real reason why you’re not taking a particular course of action.
And I see exactly the same process at work with people who want to break free and start a business of their own – but never get around to it. They blame a lack of capital for example, or the restricting influence of an over-cautious spouse, and genuinely believe this to be true.
It’s only when they have some good fortune and come into money, or separate from their spouse, that the real truth becomes apparent. Whatever the real reason for their failure to get something going, that wasn’t it. Because they still do nothing.
Maybe it was fear of failure, maybe it was fear of success ~ maybe even fear of hard work ~ but the stated reasons were merely an unconscious smokescreen to hide behind.
If there are things you’d like to do, but haven’t done yet, I’d urge you to try to get right behind your own internal smokescreen, and root out the real reasons. You may discover that you don’t really want to do these things at all. You might discover that what’s holding you back is not what you thought…
But at the very least it will stop you from wasting time removing imaginary barriers, or wasting emotional energy, resenting people and situations you mistakenly feel are standing in your way.
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