Yes, dear reader, you read that correctly. I hope YOU go broke!
Yes, this is a terrible experience to wish upon anyone, but in my opinion, it’s a ‘be cruel to be kind’ life experience that I believe everyone should have to go through.
Allow me to explain.
How broke? – Not a pot to piss in
I’m not talking ‘rein-in-your-expenses’ broke, I’m talking ‘one-wrong-turn-to-bankruptcy’ broke!
I hope you have to choose between being able to afford heating or being able to afford food.
A lot of people wander around claiming that they’re broke. They’re not. They can’t afford to buy the luxuries they want or have the standard of living that they desire, but they’re not broke.
But you, my friend, I hope you experience what it’s like to be well and truly brassic broke.
Your individual worldview
Throughout our lives, we all have different life experiences, and it’s these experiences that shape our opinions, behaviors, and outlook on life.
We all live on the same planet, but each of us sees it differently, as though we have our own pair of glasses which have a unique prescription.
Going broke will allow you to experience the world and see it from a whole new angle. An angle that, unless you’ve been that far down on your luck, you’ll otherwise never get to see.
Of course, people who have never been broke will think that they know this view. Trust me when I say that they haven’t got a clue.
Once you fall from grace, you’ll not only lose your money, but also your friends, romantic partners, and to some extent, family.
I can hear you screaming at the screen now, “No, they’re not bothered about my money!” and you’re right. The majority are not interested in your physical money, but they are interested in how your lack of finances impacts their own life.
Your friends will fizzle away when you can no longer attend parties, get-togethers, or chip in for a friend’s birthday. They will feel uncomfortable talking about their holidays, their job promotion, or their new car when they know that you can’t even afford a bicycle.
Regardless of how many times your partner tells you that “you are both in it together” and they’re prepared to ride out the storm with you, very few of them have the strength or finances to do so. You also have to face the fact that you are less attractive without money (sorry, but it’s true). Relationships are hard when you struggle to pay the rent together and, for them, the grass is definitely a lot greener elsewhere. Your broke arse is nothing but a drain on their finances.
And now family…
Blood is thicker than water, right? Not so fast. Every parent loves to brag about their successful offspring, but they’re not so keep to talk about the homeless one.
Essentially, this all comes down to how your status affects their status. Rich people hang around with other rich people. Middle-class people hang around with other middle-class people. Poor people hang around with other poor people.
Once you go broke, your status changes.
And this change doesn’t just happen with those that are close to you. Your change in status will also be reflective of how other people (strangers) treat you on a daily basis.
You can only learn this lesson if you become broke because people who have never been broke don’t believe it.
(Our quest for status drives almost every decision that we make. It really is a fascinating subject which I’ll cover in more detail in a future post, so make sure you’re subscribed.)
Wants versus needs
There are a lot of things you think you need, when in actual fact, you don’t need them at all, you merely want them.
And the reason you want them is due to the paragraph above; status!
You may need to buy a car in order to get to work, but do you need to buy a sports BMW? Won’t a small hatchback get you to work all the same? The answer is of course the hatchback will get you to work but it won’t maintain your status.
“But I like to have nice things.” This is the rebuttal I hear all the time. It’s as though people are programmed to give this response when justifying their purchases.
The only reason an item is “nice” is if it maintains or escalates your personal status. What you classify as “nice” is completely different from what someone else of a different status classifies as “nice”.
For example, a middle-class person may classify a BMW 1 Series as a nice car and be happy to own and drive one. However, a rich person may not agree, because, in order to maintain their status, they need to be driving an Aston Martin or a top-of-the-line Range Rover.
So, you wanting to own “nice things” is relative to your perceived level of status.
Again, this is one of those lessons that you can’t truly learn unless you’re broke. Only when your purse strings are truly tied can you differentiate between want and need.
One foot in front of the other
Let me make something clear…
…Yes, I want you to go broke, but I don’t want you to stay broke forever, and I only want to you go broke once.
As well as hoping that you go broke, I’m also hoping that you have the strength and determination to claw yourself back up onto your feet.
I can tell you from experience that it’s not an easy climb to make. You’ll get one foot up and then something will come along and put you right back on your knees again. And this will happen several times!
Whilst you’re feeling down and out, you will consider giving up altogether.
I’m hoping you don’t….because once you start climbing, something extraordinary happens…
…the higher you climb, the easier it gets!
Getting off the ground is the hardest part. Once you’ve done that, you realize that it’s just a case of putting one foot in front of the other.
First, you’re walking, then you’re jogging, next, you’re running, and finally, you’re sprinting.
You build momentum (called ‘The Snowball Effect’) and realize that you can climb higher than you ever thought you could.
You’ll also build confidence knowing that should you ever go broke again, you are able to single-handedly get yourself back on your feet.
Coming out the other end
You will come out of the other side with more control over your finances and your eyes will be opened to human behavior and the battle for status.
People who previously left you will casually try to make their way back into your life. (The ball is in your court now and you can decide who you want to let back in.)
There are so many lessons to learn from being broke (gratefulness, appreciation, decisiveness, compassion, amongst others), I could keep writing, but in order to learn those lessons, you need to experience what it’s like to be flat broke and out on your arse.
So, for your sake, I hope you go broke.
P.S. You need to go broke for a minimum period of around 18-months for the lessons to sink in. Being broke for 1-month simply won’t cut it.
P.P.S. This post is the result of me having too much time to think!
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