What Are You Waiting For?

Action is more effective than magical thinking

While I like to joke about waiting for things to magically fix themselves, the truth is that it’s a rare problem that does solve itself — at least in any positive way.

In fact the opposite is usually true: that which we ignore gets worse.

So why is it that so many of us use the following “plan” when confronted with a financial issue?

Not a real plan…

First, we refuse to admit the problem exists. We hope it will either go away or won’t really impact us all that much. Later, we reluctantly admit there is a problem, but turn to hoping it will magically fix itself. When that doesn’t work, we look for the quick fix.

It’s only after the quick fix fails that we actively work on putting forth the effort needed to get to the root of the problem and solve it.

Now I don’t believe this pattern is the result of laziness. (Although of course it’s natural to want to relax after a day of work instead of putting forth still more effort.)

Instead, I think the issue is often a lack of confidence in our ability to solve the problem — or a belief that the problem is bigger than it really is.

An example

Let me give you a non-money related example. A door inside our house kept shutting itself. (Really.)

At first, I ignored the problem and just kept re-opening the door. Gradually, it became more and more annoying. It often shut itself while we were in the room. (Trust me, it really IS possible to hit your face on a door that quietly shut behind you the moment you went through it.) Also, the dog did not enjoy being trapped in the room.

So after first ignoring the problem, and then trying the quick fix of a doorstop (which also annoyed me because I did not want the left door open all the time either) I finally looked up how to fix the problem on Google. It took me 30 seconds with a hammer to bend one of the pins and fix the door.

Simple solutions

Most of our money-related issues are like this too. The solutions themselves are relatively simple — which is not necessarily the same thing as easy or quick — but we have to quit putting things off and DO them if we want to get anywhere.

So, if you have a money-related issue, what are you waiting for?

Take action, and get going in the right direction today. It’s a whole lot more effective than hoping things will magically fix themselves.

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2 comments

  • Yep – that was me not so long ago. And while I still tend to put off DIY jobs far longer than I should (it took me over 2 weeks to stop my toilet making a terrible racket when flushing recently!) I’ve certainly applied this principle to my finances.

    For too long I kept putting off paying off debt, opening up bills, responding to “concerned” phone messages from my bank.

    Eventually I decided enough was enough and actually started to take action. And you know what? It really wasn’t a unpleasant as I expected – and I managed to get my finances in order pretty quickly once I finally took action.

  • Nice kick in the butt! We were getting overwhelmed with how many travel expenses we’re planning over the next few months, so we are digging in with our daily spending and will probably be able to cover everything by just sacrificing the little stuff that doesn’t matter much at all. :-)