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Answer: Fortunately, you can solve your financial security issues by observing your emotions and worry.
I know, I know, this answer sounds flippant! I’m certainly not belittling the financial struggles and hardships people now face for all of the above reasons, but before you stop reading this article, please consider this about the activity of worrying: Worrying means you are not living in a fantasy of projected wealth promises that things will be fine “just around the corner.”
Worry, in controlled doses, is a factual sign that you are facing whatever music is playing loud and clear in your life, and you are sincerely concerned about what to do next.
When someone is worried or stressed about a situation, it means they are on high alert, physically, emotionally and intellectually. The body is ready for fight or flight, the emotions are highly charged to actually do something with all that energy and the brain is supercharged to think fast and show amazing practical and smart survival reasoning.
Transform your feelings of worry (awareness and motivation) into problem solving (planning) and taking action (behavior).
The trick to dealing with worry and stress is to not allow it to go on too long before actually doing something about the cause of it. Worry becomes your ally, and stress becomes your backup generator as you make the next best move to return to the normal, neutral gear of everyday feelings and activity. But if you let worry take control and put you out of balance, you will have consumed your energy and will remain simply stuck in the realm of worry.
Another principle that goes hand in hand with worries about money, about stressing out about being “short of cash” – or whatever lack you feel - is to realize that having money, in itself, doesn’t guarantee financial security. No doubt, adding cash to the short supply can temporarily relieve money worries, as in obtaining a “payday” loan or funding expenses by adding them to credit card debt, but in a matter of time, this economic plan will come full circle to eventually swing to the other end of financial security -- financial insolvency.
What then is real financial security?
Here’s the short answer without doubt or hesitation: living below your means. This definition applies to the millionaire or to the minimum wage earner. It is evidenced by the bankruptcies of lottery winners, celebrities and investors who didn’t hedge their investments with actual savings to cover losses.
Anyone can live according to their means, but when these temporary financial means change, they can plunge into financial chaos. With a sudden loss of job, health, or business return on investment, the whole picture of one’s financial security changes.
Unless . . . unless prior money worry has challenged you to create a plan B, C, D for your finances.
Back to the start of creating financial security: having a plan for changes and knowing in advance how to deal with money worries and stress.
The key to handling money worries is balance: being aware of money worries and having a plan for what to do about it.
Nobody wants to worry, but we have to face the fact that worry is a built-in factor of life. When it comes to worry about our present and future finances, we all tend to go off into fantasy land by believing that if we just had “enough” money, all our financial worries would be over.
If that was true it would make life so much simpler. All we would have to do is focus on acquiring more money consistently and with energetic determination, and all our money problems would eventually be over. But, true financial security doesn’t happen through accumulation of wealth any more than a completely stress-free life is a practical solution to perfecting health and happiness.
Welcome stress but kick out the intruder, fear.
There’s a difference between worry and fear, just as there’s a way to use stress to overcome problems that are stressing you out. The solution to overcoming worry and stress lies in balancing the feeling of worry with the actions you take to do something about it.
It is not possible to create a stress-free life by achieving financial security, but you can create a lifestyle where money is not a constant nagging concern, because you have balanced these two things: financial worry and what you do about it.
Balance is the key to financial health and security. How you create balance depends on how you choose to deal with the financial problems that worry you, cause stress and need solutions in order to move out of a state of being stuck.
Contact us at email@example.com with your legal questions concerning bankruptcy or immigration for next week’s column.
Kaushik Ranchod practices bankruptcy law and immigration law in Sacramento and San Francisco. To learn more visit our websites at wwwhttp://www.california-bankruptcyattorney.com or www.ranchodlaw.com.