Personal development is typically thought of in terms of books, goal setting and self-care in some way. While those are all great things, it’s my belief that they are really secondary solutions of larger problems.
Here’s a few statistics that should shock you and then I’ll give a single word we need to act on to begin to address the problem.
(By the way, I originally posted this article on Medium)
40% of Americans can’t handle a $400 emergency with cash
While this doesn’t surprise me, it does pain me. I was there though and it’s a really sad place to be. I wonder what the percentage is that can’t handle a $1000 emergency? Probably much higher.
Money fights and money problems are the #2 cause of divorce
Even though this is in the #2 spot, it doesn’t mean it’s not a contributor to #1, which is infidelity. Regardless, money is a major stress-causer for most people, myself included. I hate that it’s got such a hold on us, but that’s the reality.
85% of the world’s workers are not engaged at work
This is a worldwide stat but America isn’t really doing much better. We come in around 70% not engaged which tells me there are a lot of companies that could use employee training and development programs. I also believe that personal issues and debt is a major cause of this statistic. That’s one area I can help with.
80% of Americans have debt of some kind
Of course this is a really high stat because it includes mortgages. Most people think real estate debt is good or okay. I don’t personally like any of it but I understand that debt isn’t a completely black and white topic. For the record, I don’t completely agree with the source article, it just had statistics I found interesting.
I would venture an educated guess from my years studying these things that at least half of Americans have debt excluding mortgages.
The average American household carries nearly $100,000 in debt outside of mortgages
This actually backs up my previous statement. And what a bad state we are in when the average family carries this much weight around with them everywhere. It’s no wonder people are stressed to the max.
American consumer debt will top $4 trillion in 2018, excluding mortgages
Let’s write that out with zeros. 4,000,000,000,000.
16 zeros. This is just not okay. It’s unfortunate that we are in this situation, but we as a nation need to begin to take steps to dig out…and quick!
What this means
This is what people are dealing with on a personal level and the reason they aren’t performing at their highest level at home or in the workplace. We are being drained from the inside out because of the power debt has to take over our thoughts and minds.
It means, quite simply, that we are in a major need of an overhaul in our lives, particularly in the debt area.
In one word: Consistency.
That’s right. We need to learn to be more consistent in everything we do to develop ourselves on a personal level. I know because I am notorious for being inconsistent in my life. But the times when I have dedicated myself to something and stuck with it are the times I’ve seen the biggest life changes.
When my wife and I were digging out of debt, we did it through consistent budgeting and sticking to our plan. And we did it way faster than anticipated because of it. And, of course, we did it because we were on God’s plan for our life and He brought the resources we needed.
When we wanted to get into shape (as we are currently doing), we didn’t just workout for a few days here and there. We decided to dedicate ourselves to an 80 day workout program.
Lastly, when we parent our children, we have set boundaries for things they can and can’t do. The times when we are consistent with directing them or giving consequences are the times when we see the most change in their behaviors. It’s never perfect, but progress is the goal.
My solution for America’s debt problem is dedication to taking control of your life! Our lives changed dramatically when we took Financial Peace University and I recommend you start there. I get absolutely no kickback for promoting this program but I do so because I whole-heartedly believe in it.
I hope this is wake-up call you can get behind whether you are looking for a life change yourself or wanting to help someone else. This is a worldwide problem, but change starts with you.
One last thing
My saying is “Know better. Live better.” Feel free to subscribe to get my free email course on how to get started living more of the life you want.