Depending on your age, you may have noticed that our society has evolved significanly over the past 50 years. If you are fewer than 35 years old you may have to compare your lifestyle to the way your grandparents lived and if over 35 to your parents as they were raising you.
I am pretty much an advocate for change, somewhat of an “early adopter” in the change management lingo. However, I am disturbed by the trend in society’s lack of self reliance. By this I mean the need to think it is normal to hire and then manage other people to do the things we could easily do for ourselves, leading to a significant amount of expenditures for these services. We seem to have lost our focus on how much money we could save, how much we could learn, to be prepared for emergencies and for retirement. We have more focus on all of the ways to find other people to do the simple work we could do for ourselves.
My biggest concern in this list of undesirable effects is on how much more we could learn followed by a waste in the use of one’s money. Each time we do something we learn, we build our experiences and we become more capable. Knowledge is a leverageable asset, it is one of the primary contributors to success. The more you have the higher your success will be both personally and financially. If for no other reason, take adavantage of doing things by yourself.
You may have noticed, especially in larger cities, that any small interruption in electricity, transportation, food supply, water, garbage pickup up, medical or social services immediately turns into a crisis/disaster. This is just another form of reliance on others to achieve our desired lifestyles. Then there is a long list of other things that many people pay others to do for them that with a little effort they could easily do for themselves and save a lot of money. (Note: This is only a partial list and if you have more to offer please add more to the comments section).
- Cook our meals or at least a good deal of them (Everywhere you look there are restaurants and fast food chains)
- Clean our clothes (Have you ever added up your dry cleaning bill?)
- Mow our lawns
- Clean our homes
- Cut our hair
- Wash our cars
- Repair our cars
- Paint the house
- Service our appliances
- Manicure our hands
- Pedicure our feet
- Massage our bodies
- Polish our shoes
- Grow and package our produce
- Teach our kids to play a musical instrument, dance, sing, or play a sport
- Wash our windows
- Wash our cars
- Mend our clothes
- Wash and groom our pets
- Walk our pets
- Shop, bag and deliver our groceries (a growing trend in larger metropolitan areas)
We are an intellectual species, we are very competent, but then again we have a tendency to be lazy. There is not one thing listed above that a typical person cannot do. In case you haven’t noticed we’re going through a major financial turnaround in this country. There are a number of reasons why this happened including having to much debt. But another reason is we lost our self reliance. We chose to pay out so much of our money for services we could have and should have been doing ourselves. Simply stated as a country we overdosed on living beyond our means.
So, how should you react? We are in a new era of financial success. Do you plan to go back to the old era … spending all you have, not preparing for the future, hiring so many
people to do so many things for you that you end up becoming virtually incompetent and with less money? Do you really think you’ll get different results by doing the same thing, that magically everything will just turn around, that the money will just be there for you? That’s a “silly” way to think, bordering on insanity.
You are the one person you can count on and I know that you are a lot more capable than you think you are. Now is the time to reassess what and how you do things. Those that do we be more successful than those that don’t. Start making different choices that will build
wealth instead of thinking of all the ways you could get others to do stuff for you.
Don Redinius, Author – The New Era of Financial Success