Financial benediction (the end of escapism)

For the past thirty days, I’ve been writing about financial failure and how to overcome it by shifting my beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of money.

Have I overcome financial failure? Good question. I have no idea.

There may be a moment someday, when I realize that my life of financial debauchery is in the past. If that moment arrives, I’ll write about it. If not, I will keep writing about this tightrope act anyway, ever striving to keep from falling into that ever beckoning lava pit of mediocrity.

It would be funny and terrible, if I master the game of money and make millions of dollars just in time for the global economy to completely tank. I would laugh, and it wouldn’t surprise me that much. Good, old fashioned cosmic poetry.

2016 was one of the worst years of my life. As I write this, the date is December 26, 2016. The past year or so has turned me inside out. I was afraid I was going to die. I was even more afraid of living.

The most important lesson I learned during that hell, was that none of the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs I hold onto really matter if they keep me in hell.

For most of my life, I have bucked the system. Why? For what? What has my resentment for society done for me? What has my disrespect for money earned me?

Alienation. Anxiety. Torment. Depression. Self-hatred. These things are the way of the dark side.

In my mind, I have seen a vision for the future. This beautiful, perfect vision. Hippie-vision. My need for the world to conform to that vision, that utopia, is what has turned my mind into a dystopic nightmare.

That vision is a part of me, and hopefully it always will be. It’s my favorite part of being alive.

But my obsession with it… my attachment to it. I gripped on to it so tightly that it lacerated my hands and rendered them useless.

I do not know what’s next. I do not try to see the future anymore. The best I can do, is get through the day and build some momentum towards tomorrow.

2016 has been such an ordeal. But seeds were planted. I do not yet know the ways in which the future will be affected by my strivings.

I published my first book, The Art of Being Human: What It Means to Be. I was desperately depressed through most of the process.

I am not sure how many times I wanted to give up because I thought the whole thing was pointless, but it was a lot. That noise in my head has traditionally led to me abandoning my course. Somehow, I got through it this time.

If 2016 had been a cakewalk, maybe I would not see now how great of an accomplishment that was.

I did not plan on publishing another book until late 2017, but then I took on this thirty day challenge. To write about something I know about. Financial failure. Post every day for thirty days, and self-publish at the end.

When I started, part of me was pretty sure I’d fail.

Now here I am, on day thirty. In the past thirty days, there were at least four days that I nearly quit. I figured no one would notice or care, and people just expect me to fail anyway.

But for once, I kept going. Even if no one else would notice or care (which is not true, by the way; just more noise in my head).

I worked through my doubt, laziness, and self-criticism. Some days I felt certain there was not a single word I could possibly write. I gladly proved myself wrong.

I kept going, just for myself. For my own self-respect, to build my own integrity with myself. So I can learn to trust myself, rely on myself. Build self-efficacy. I showed up every day for thirty days, for my own sake.

I am glad I did it. There is something epic, about climbing up out of the mire of one of the worst years of my life, and ending on a positive note.

Being able to say, “Yeah, I was pretty much toast in 2016, but I published my first book, and then wrote another.”

After everything, I am still alive. And there’s still hope.

I am teaching myself, to show up even when I just want to go back to bed. To follow through. To do what I say I am going to do.

To be present, and to give the best of myself to each moment.

“If you do a half-assed job, you’ll get half-assed results,” I can still hear the assistant manager saying, at my first job. Tim, I think.

Well, I am going in all-assed from now on, as much as possible. Going full-ass. I’m doing it for Tim. Way more than that, I am doing it for myself.

And all the people who benefit or suffer from their interactions with me. Let’s go with less suffering. More benefits.

So anyway, here are my three primary financial goals for 2017.

You can check my progress at andreweffinghicks.com or on Medium, where I’ll publish follow-up posts to this book.

  • 300 dollars has been given to me for a year’s worth of monthly payments for a gym membership. My first goal is to make sure that the money only gets used for the gym.
  • In January 2017, I will listen to the Tony Robbins audiobook Money: Master the Game, and apply at least one new principle I learn from it throughout 2017.
  • At the end of 2017, I will have a minimum of $100 in my checking account and $100 in my savings account.

I will do my best to stomp those goals, so I can look back and wonder why I aimed so low.

I have some other ideas in mind, for financial aspirations to implement in 2017 and beyond. I will share more about that as time goes on.

On a final note, I realized today, that I have not ever written much about money until now. I have avoided it like the plague. I’ve run a few different self-help blogs before, and can’t think of a single post that focused on money.

Writing this book has shown me why.

Writing about money is being present to it.

Instead of hiding from the frightening, unpleasant, and uncomfortable truth; confronting my insecurities, admitting my mistakes, letting go of my cozy but destructive and limiting beliefs.

I have hidden from the awkward and unknown, and adhered to the familiar brokenness that has shrouded my financial life up to this point.

Hiding. Avoiding. Shrouding. Ignoring.

Just like I do emotionally, when I binge eat or pay dues to whatever other vice will numb me to internal enmity.

Yes, my main ordeal in life is hardcore escapism.

So now, I declare faceism.

Nah. Sounds too much like fascism. Or a Facebook cult.

My point is, now I am facing myself and reality. Head on. As vigorously as I can. About money, emotions, and everything else.

I will find a way. I am on my way. It’s happening, right now, in real-time.

Thank you, so much, for being a part of my journey. You reading these words means the world to me.

I do not know if this book will connect with anyone but me. I hope it will. But ultimately, these words exist because I needed to read them myself. Needed to write them. Needed this process of self-discovery, so that I can move on from and let go of the past and blaze my way forth to a future most resplendent.

If I remind you of yourself, and you feel lost or hopeless with money, feel free to reach out. I will do my best to support you in your journey.

A few years ago, I had no idea how easy it can be to self-publish on Amazon and in ebook formats. I found out by reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher, but it still took me a few years to put on my game face and get it done.

Now that I’ve done that, a new world is opening up before me. New possibilities. I now have neural pathways formed for self-publishing. That means it is not unknown to me anymore; I now know the path.

Walking the path takes a lot less effort for me than it did when the road was still veiled in mystery and uncertainty.

Trust me. If you’re an unpublished writer and have no idea how to get your work out there, there has never been a better time to be in your position. There are a lot of people who will gladly help show you the way. I am one of them.

If I remind you of how you used to be at some earlier point in your journey, and you’re now financially liberated and have this whole crazy life thing figured out in some way, please reach out and tell me a secret or two.

Just don’t expect me to keep the secrets. I am horrible at keeping secrets, especially when they can change the world.

Here’s to a future where everyone wins.

Pre-order the Overcoming Financial Failure: A Peace Treaty with the System ebook, available January 3, 2017. Pay any price you like. Even $.04.

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  • earthloveland

    For thirty consecutive days, you showed up and faced things that have long made you uncomfortable.
    For thirty consecutive days, you showed up and made an effort to turn the discomfort into self-discovery and self-empowerment.
    For thirty consecutive days, you showed up and wrote about money, and you spent time being present to it.
    For thirty consecutive days, you showed up.

    You showed up.

    “Thank you for showing up, Andrew, even when you didn’t want to,” said your mind.
    “I realize now that I showed up because even though sometimes I didn’t want to, what I actually wanted even more was to show up,” said your heart.
    “Thank you,” said your mind and heart.
    “Thank you,” repeated your mind and heart.