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How Not to End Up Penniless and Alone


One of the problems we humans have is the tendency to think too much. Don’t get me wrong, not all thinking is problematic: planning, preparing and finding solutions are some examples of commendable uses of our high-powered brains.  The kind of thinking that bums me out is worrying.

Here are some examples of things I have heard people worry about out loud (and the end result they inevitably fear):

If I don’t make X amount of cash soon, I’ll end up penniless and alone

If I don’t get into better shape, I’ll end up penniless and alone

If I blow this opportunity, I’ll end up penniless and alone

If I don’t clear up this ginormous zit by this weekend, I’ll end up penniless and alone

We humans mostly fear being penniless and alone.  You’d think we would mostly be afraid of death, but, no, some people actually choose death as a way to not face the possibility of ending up penniless and alone (think of the stories of people who end their own lives because they think their reputations will be ruined or their fortunes will be wiped out . . .). I bet you have a fear that if you follow it all the way to it’s most negative conclusion, you find that you also end up some version of penniless and alone. It’s not a very fun game to play.   The good news is that when you see it written out, it looks a little silly, doesn’t it? It’s all so serious when it’s floating around in your noggin, but put it on paper and it starts to lose its hold on you.

It gets better . . .when you actually challenge these scary thoughts you start to find that they aren’t absolute or even based in reality.  Most of us aren’t where we want to be in some area of our life, I suspect if we were, it would be game over—which is probably why it takes most of us a lifetime of learning, growing, trying and failing to get to where we are going.   Very few of us take the opportunity, however, to just acknowledge where we are. If you happen to be penniless and alone right now, take a look around and notice that you are still here and I presume out of immediate life threatening danger.  That’s good.  Many more of you have shelter, food in your belly and at least one person in your life you call a friend.  That’s even better!  If you can add more to that list of stuff you’ve got going for you, you are doing quite well.  If you still want more that’s fine, too! Only now instead of worrying about what you don’t have use that powerful brain of yours to plan, prepare and find solutions. There’s no reason to end up penniless and alone, just a slight shift in your thinking can help you start getting what you want.


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