Granted, what this man endured had nothing to do with personal finance, but it had everything to do with amazing self-sacrifice, determination, courage and hope.
These are all things that are needed when trying to defy overwhelming odds in order to make big changes in your life.
On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most inspirational speeches ever, about a dream and a vision he had for America. That dream was inspired by something inside him that believed it was possible to change something very wrong with his country. His dream was brought on by some truly sad times of racism that I couldn’t possibly begin to understand.
What I do understand, however, is that he never gave up, even though his opposition must have been overwhelming.
As he found himself jailed for his activism, he very easily could have given up, but at what cost to his dream? He could have just let his surroundings and his situation deter him from what he knew to be right. Instead of giving up though, when times were difficult, he marched on, thinking not of himself, but of those he was trying to help. He sacrificed so much for what he believed in, which in the end, cost him his life.
Martin Luther King Jr. may not have lived to see the result and impact of what he did so many years ago, but I have to believe that if he had to do it all over again—he would.
Perhaps some will say that my using Martin Luther King, Jr’s story to inspire financial freedom is quite a stretch. Maybe in content, but not in character, principle, or in action.
What I see, and how I relate the two, is very simple.
What you are experiencing today financially, may seem so overwhelming that you just can’t comprehend being able to overcome it. My assumption is that there were likely times when MLK must have thought he was fighting a losing battle, yet I have read nothing to imply that he ever thought of giving up.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Change comes with lots of hard work and sacrifice. It is not something that just happens because you want it to. Change is not easy, but one thing is for sure, if you keep doing the same things with your money, you will keep getting the same results. You may struggle along your path to financial freedom, but that is precisely what will teach you the most, as well as strengthen you for what is to come. Be strong—do not let your struggles and perceived failures be the reason for your financial demise. We all have struggles, even those of us who have managed to turn our finances around. Financial success isn’t reliant upon the absence of problems, it is reliant upon how you handle the problems you face.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Your solution, or the solution that society seems to look to first, are not necessarily your best options. It may seem as though they are at first glance, but using a debt consolidation company to manage and pay off your debt, teaches you nothing. It can also cost you more than just the fees they charge for the opportunity to do so. Most people end up right back where they started, because they didn’t learn what needed to be learned to keep from returning to the debt they eliminated. The easiest way is typically not the best way.
Bankruptcy seems like the right thing, because after all, you pretty much get to start all over. Just like with debt consolidation companies, you didn’t really solve the problem that caused the financial mess in the first place. You technically just avoided the problem all together and treated the symptom instead of the cause, which happens to be your behavior.
Think about what is at stake before you make each financial decision.
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” Martin Luther King, Jr
Martin Luther King, Jr might have been fighting for the rights of blacks in America, but you should be using the same principles to free yourself from the bondage that enslaves you.
- You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel at first, but know that it is there!
- It may be difficult, and at times feel impossible, but know you can do it!
- It may be hard to believe in your ability to turn things around, but keep this in mind—you are your best solution!
You are the one that must step up to the plate. You are the one that must be strong and courageous! It is YOU that will make the difference!
I hope you’re able to take from this story the message of hope and hard work, determination and courage, and above all, the belief in your ability to make great things happen.
You don’t have to be in debt. You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. The choice is yours, and your dream is what you make it. If you follow your dream the way he followed his, chances are, your dream will become a reality.
What is your financial dream, and what are you willing to sacrifice to accomplish it? Are you willing to pay the price and sacrifice to become financially independent? If you’re not, what cost are you willing to pay to do nothing?