Have you ever noticed that we take money way too seriously?
Do you ever feel negative emotions when you think about your money situation, or the lack thereof?
As I was going through my roughest times financially 5 years ago, I remember I had mornings where I would wake up and have no clue how I was going to dig myself out of my financial hole that I dug for myself.
Some days led to arguments with my wife, me getting angry with my kids, and sometimes just sobbing uncontrollably.
But like any hard life lesson, as I realized that I was bigger than my problems, and that this was happening to me for a very specific reason, that's when I started to cheer up.
Here are some ways I took really sour lemons to make lemonade, and make my money problems fun:
1. I watched the movie "Kung Fu Panda" - Something about this movie just makes me smile. It may be the fact that I feel like a fat panda sometimes, or because of the wisdom Master Oogway gives in the movie. One of my favorite lines is when Master Shifu exclaims, "But that was an accident!
Master Oogway calmly replies, "There are no accidents."
Reluctantly, Master Shifu replies, "I know. You've said that...twice."
Oogway chuckles and retorts, "That was no accident either."
Shifu - "Thrice."
Every challenge has an equal or greater reward at the end of it. Every story's hero, whether based on a true story or fiction, has a situation where they are about to give up, but they push through it anyway. As a result, the big picture comes into play and they get a greater reward.
In my story, I was able to gradually dig myself out of my hole, and so far, show over 500 people how to free up $30 Million over the last 3 1/2 years. How amazing is that?!
2. Look at negative things in a positive light - Have you ever had collection calls where you knew exactly who was calling because you've seen their phone number so often? So did I. To not feel discouraged, I stopped calling them collector calls, and started calling them "I Love You" calls. I would tell myself, "Chris, they love you so much, they're just calling to check in on you and see how you're doing." Ironically, it made speaking with them more fun and they were often very compassionate about my situation.
Many of my clients will tell me, "Chris, I know our situation looks horrible. We should be doing better."
I always reply, "Oh no! Remember, you're talking to a guy who was short by $15,000 each month. Your situation is much easier than mine was. There's hope!"
There's always a solution!
3. Make a game out of your goals - One of my clients actually made a paper peach tree that they pinned up on their cork board with a bunch of little baskets underneath. On the tree, they pinned up peaches that had goals on it. Some were as simple as depositing $50 into their savings account. Others were purchasing a wedding dress for their engaged daughter. Whenever they would accomplish it, they would take the peach and put it in the basket to show what they had accomplished. I LOVED that idea!
Mine was more nerdy because I would track the progress of my numbers. I would celebrate putting $5 in savings because I saw my situation improving, even if slowly moving in the right direction.
These are just a few ideas that helped me through some rough times. Just remember - It's not as bad as you think and there's ALWAYS an answer.