Using self-discipline to change your money habits will not work as well as another approach.
There is growing evidence that playing to our strengths leads to greater success and happiness than trying to compensate for our weaknesses.
You may recall that last weekend’s post underscored the need for the rational part of our brain and our instinctual side to work well together, if we want to achieve long term success in changing our money habits. Another way of saying it is: don’t over-rely on your rational side (“I can’t afford this”) to constantly whip your instinctual side (“but I want it”) into submission. Why? Because sooner or later your instinctual side will rebel and your rational side will fatigue and out will come your credit card.
The strategy of using will power is also weakness-based. It focusses attention on the undesirable behaviour. An unintended consequence can also be a hit on our self esteem: I’m someone who can’t resist a sale or I am someone who can’t say no to anyone.
Are you ready to get hardcore with me?
Here’s an alternative approach. Clearly define your strengths (with the help of others – more on that shortly), root yourself deeply into a composite of your strengths, and bring them to play vis a vis your money habits.
On Saturday, I’ll provide an exercise to help you do just that.