Never is such a polarizing word.
Why do we say we'll never do something?
“I'll never wear short socks.”
“I'll never wear looser fitting clothing.”
“I'll never eat eggplant.”
I've said each of those things in the past. The funny thing is, I've done each of those things and actually enjoy them more than the alternatives. Ok, maybe not about the eggplant but at least I tried it.
Never is such a divisive word.
What most people mean to say when they say never is “I don't like ____/I find ____ offensive”. When I said I'll never wear short socks, what I meant was I don't currently like short socks and I don't see the point of them. Time and experience has a funny way of changing people's outlooks and opinions. In the case of the Great Sock Debate, I discovered I didn't like how calf-high socks kept losing their elasticity so quickly and never stayed up. Having to pull them up all the time and dealing with saggy socks made me irritated. I tried short socks and found out all of those problems disappeared. Sure, occasionally my shoe rubbed my ankle, but I fixed that by finding a different brand that came up a bit higher.
Never is a very close minded way of looking at things.
You're saying, I know everything there is to know about the subject, I am SO RIGHT I will always know best, nothing you can say to me will change my mind and anyone who thinks different is WRONG.
I've found that people who use the word never are correct. Their use of never becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“I'll never be able to afford college/a house/have kids.”
“I'll never pay off this debt.”
“I'll never be able to retire.”
A better way to think about things is to only say never for things you don't want to happen, and phrase your nevers in a different way.
“I never want to be on food stamps again.”
“I never want to have consumer debt again.”
“Housing in my area is really expensive. I need to cut expenses/save rigorously/move cities if I want to buy a house.”
“I have $40k in student loans. If I get a second job, I can pay them off in 30 months!”
“Retirement is a long way away, but I'm going to start saving $100 a month and gradually increase that over the years.”
I've long been a fan of the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I first heard about it early in college from a friend of mine in my Guard unit. At first….. I totally thought he was full of crap. But I promised him I would read it, so I did and found my view shifting. I'm not saying it's why I've been so successful at all the things I've tried for in life, but it's full of good exercises to do to change the way you think about things in life. I was reminded of it recently when I found the video below on Facebook. I recommend watching it! The clip from Jim Carrey is especially good.
In my (probably too long) search for the exact video I watched on FB, I ran across one with LMFAO where they described how they made such a splash in the music industry with Shots. Apparently, they're also big fans of The Secret. It sounds ridiculous, but it's a way of thinking I've integrated into my life now.
I've been working towards financial independence for going on 4 years now. There are still people who tell me I'll never be able to retire early, and to them… they're right. But only because they say it's never going to happen.
Yes, some people will genuinely struggle to retire early due to a low income. Make some sacrifices, take some risks, and they could work their way up the income ladder too. Yes it might require a lot of hard work (going to school after work, not having much of a social life for a while, moving across the country for a better job) but the beauty of this time is anyone can change their fortune. Now that kind of thing takes a lot of courage. I am not sure I have that kind of courage. I don't necessarily need that kind of courage right now, since I am comfortable in my job, location, and life in general.
That being said, I am A LOT closer to financial independence than I was 3 or 4 years ago due to all the hard work I've put into it. If you told 18-year-old me I'd be doing so well at age 26, I would've laughed in your face. To me at that point in my life, it was never going to happen. (Then again the thought of me eating AND liking asparagus was also a completely foreign idea soooo….)
But I opened my mind, changed the way I think, focused on what I wanted, and worked hard to direct my life into something I wanted. Now I am financially secure, and well on my way to being financially independent. So just like Henry Ford said way back when, “Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right”. Preach it, Henry!
What do you want from the world? Have you noticed anything different about your life after changing your thinking? Do you say you'll never be able to do something? Sound off in the comments!
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