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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308454  
Subject: Re: Debt Reduction - Wildcat Date: 3/20/2005 5:47 PM
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I am trying to stay calm, but I am also trying to do something about my situation. Nothing will happen if I don't take positive, pro-active steps in the right direction.

Greetings, Wildcat, and congrats on your definite proactive, positive steps! They will get you to a more comfortable financial place than you have been.

What I hear posters here saying is along the lines of:
put thought and reflection into WHY you ended up financially where you did and WHY did it shock you and cause you to enter a state of nearly explosive activity. Granted, the steps you are taking will definitely put you on the right path. BUT how did you get on the WRONG one in the first place?

This is an answer you need to arrive at - not necessarily announce to those of us on the board. But until you understand why you gave in to all of the "I want this and I want it now" behavior, I sense that the posters here fear that you will repeat it.

What comes through in your posts is that you want to fix things and fix them fast - but what DOESN'T come through is what efforts you are putting towards UNDERSTANDING your prior behavior (you may indeed be giving this thought but that is not how your posts are coming across).

What advice would you wish to give another poster who appeared to have a burst of (good) financial strategizing but who did not appear to be comprehending from the core what caused the problems from the outset? Would you recommend to that poster to slow down and give thought as to WHY? I believe that's what posters here are trying to make sure you are doing for yourself. What's that old saw about the past? "Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it." Many of us who have been posting on these boards for years have seen time and time again when someone feels the pain of the debt pinch and tries to take rapid steps to come up with solutions, yet several months later ends up again at a similar degree of indebtedness due to incomplete comprehension of what the actual cause was for the "spending on steroids" behavior. The posters here are hoping that you will become one of the board success stories rather than the opposite!

So indeed, you are doing a wonderful job on stanching the blood flow. But do not overlook reflecting on how you let yourself get cut so deeply in the first place. Only then will you feel safe that you understand the movement of money into and out of your life, and feel like you have a good grip on your financial activities. REAL calm comes from trusting yourself to walk down a different path from the one that you are now retreating from - and among the positive, pro-active steps that would be worth taking would perhaps indeed decide on a time-out to digest what you've learned so far.

Contrary to how you may be interpreting what you are hearing, you are MOST WELCOME to keep on posting! But focusing on the latest "solution" will not take you nearly as far as your own internal focus on what motivates you to manage money as you have done and what dawning needs to take root to put you into a more serene, secure state regarding what of your take-home is truly your own. The better you understand what happened to cause your unbridled spending, the less at risk you are for repeating this activity. AND the calmer you feel about finances all around, the more receptive you will be to understanding whether your current financial directions are giving you your hoped-for results over time.

I echo other posters who say that sometimes the ultimate best action to take is to HALT all further irrevocable action until you understand your own situation better. That's why it's been suggested to you to refrain from taking hasty action on selling your house or your car - in that for every financial act, there is a potential recoil: a cost for selling, for instance, that you may not have been aware of and would not have been prepared to incur. The first rule I learned when being taught how to run a code (when somebody's heart or breathing stopped and it was up to me to try to get it started again) is FIRST, TO TAKE MY OWN PULSE. Now, doesn't that sound stupid - I'm not the one who is dying here! But on further reflection, it makes complete sense: if I approach the dying patient in a helter-skelter, scattershot, frantic manner, I will not have rationality working in my (and the patient's) favor and I am a LOT more likely to have an overall successful outcome if I have allowed myself to cool down enough to THINK. The steps you've taken are great ones, yet they are diving right in, and the next round of activity may best come AFTER you have allowed yourself enough breathing space to really take your financial temperature and understand what drives your financial activity. Nobody wants you to become a financial CODE BLUE - everybody here wants to cheer you on, and hopes that the overtone of freneticism will give way to a sense of collectedness about how to lead yourself out, step by step, of a financial hole.

xraymd
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