Before I was a published author, before I was married, before my book tours, I took a fantastic trip to New Mexico to a writer’s conference. There I formed my first valuable connections in the publishing industry, which eventually led to my books getting published. If there is one thing I would change regarding my early 20’s it would be to not get into debt!
Debt is easy to take on. As soon as you start building credit the world seems to open up for you. “Wow! I can get this amount with a low monthly payment!” Little by little the debt grows until suddenly its chains totally stifle your ambitions and dreams and your effectiveness. Each debt adds a string. One pulls your hand, one pulls your arm, another pulls your mouth, until one is even attached to your heart. Debt can ruin your effectiveness.
To make the trip for my first book tour I took on a small bank loan. At the time it did not seem like a big deal. Looking back, though, it was the first puppet string I allowed to be attached. Debt made the first few years of my marriage more difficult and pushed back the timeframe when I could reasonably achieve the professional and personal goals I set for myself. The puppet had a master and that master was money.
Last year I finally eliminated the vast majority of my debt. I started by getting rid of the brand new car (which I loved) and paying cash for a minivan instead. That was just one step that has now put me back in a position to say, “Now I can make a timeline to achieve my dreams, get back to doing what I love, and be more effective spiritually.”
If I can give one piece of advice to younger folks, it is that they stay out of debt. Debt does three things that hurt your chances of success:
- Makes you a ‘servant to the lender’
- Puts your dreams on hold
- Builds stress in your life
A debt-free person can be:
- Free to pursue their dreams
- Emotionally empowered
- Governed by wisdom in their actions
What we are able to achieve is only limited by the emotional strings we are able to cut.
Question: Have you considered how debt limits your dreams?
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