Napoleon Hill writes in his book, The Law of Success: “Debt is a merciless master, a fatal enemy of the savings habit. Poverty, alone, is sufficient to kill off ambition, destroy self-confidence and destroy hope, but add to it the burden of debt and all who are victims of these two cruel taskmasters are practically doomed to failure”.
Sort of depressing yes? So many people around the world struggle with poverty and debt. But there are two kinds of these people. There are the ones that just live in the wrong country at the wrong time and they suffer from corrupt governments and having not much more available in the way of work other than sweat shops. This is heartbreaking because they don’t have much choice or control. At least not yet, however, even other countries and villages are starting to do things differently all over the Planet and they are finding hope.
Here in America, we have resources and aid for people in poverty. No matter how shitty we think things are with the system, go to parts of India and Asia where the government really doesn’t give a you know what. We have some sort of support and assistance and if you work it smartly, you can get up out of poverty and debt no matter what your story is.
When Napoleon Hill wrote this it was the early 1900’s before Roosevelt introduced social aid. So, if your farm went belly up because of a drought or you couldn’t work at the factory because of an injury, you were really in trouble. There was no workman’s compensation, no welfare if you got pregnant “by accident” (I love this one, we all know how to make a baby…or prevent one right? Let’s be honest), no food stamps or section 8, HUD, or BOG fee waivers, and financial aid. We have it pretty good these days compared to how it used to be and how it is in 3rd world countries.
Now, there are all kinds of poor and all kinds of reasons a person or family is poor. Some rich people are very poor because of overwhelming debt, they look rich and are living a high standard of living, but they are waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and terror of how to keep all the plates spinning, wondering when it will all come crashing down violently upon them.
Then there are those that are poor because of a series of bad choices. Getting credit cards and maxing them out, buying a house that they can’t afford, a new car that has a huge payment that burdens them, school loans added to that list (not that school is a bad choice, our college tuitions are awful and criminal). Living beyond your means will always bite you in the ass, it’s just a matter of when. We’ve all heard that most Americans are just one paycheck away from homeless. Scary shit, especially when you have babies to take care of.
There are two other classes of poor and they are sort of combined. They are the ones that lack self-love, self-respect, and are full to the brim with either self-loathing or just a very poor mindset. These are usually people with addictions or pretty hard set habits that cost money, energy, and slowly kill the spirit and soul of a person. These people are either so wounded from life, childhood, a bad marriage, or other abuse or they believe that they are owed something from others or this life and they are pissed off.
Fear, anger, and addictions are the enemies to success in life. Debt keeps us enslaved. Poverty is a soul sucker. Anger and Fear keep us stuck. There is a solution to each and every one of these big problems. But does the person want to overcome the obstacles? Do they want to live a better life? Do they have what it takes to empower themselves to kick that addiction? Do they want to find out just how good happy and peace of mind feels? Do they want to get their ass up out of the gutter and start living?
Some people won’t say it, but they would rather rant and complain, then turn around and use those extra dollars for cigarettes and a Mickeys 40 ouncer. People want to kill the pain fast. But all they are doing is getting a high that makes them feel heaven for 20- 30 minutes and then what? Lethargy, a coma like state, or a bad drunk after an hour or so of working on the bottle. What they get is marinated in a full-time life of hell. And they stay in the shit hole forever. If there were a Satan, drugs and booze would be his weapon to weaken and destroy us all. There is no power, strength, wealth, or success to be found in pills, booze, or other drugs. Even being a chronic use of pot is a dead end street. Drug addicts and alcoholics have nothing to give to society, or their community, nothing to their family, and zero to give to themselves. It is a form of severe self abuse and insanity.
So, after all this super depressing talk, let’s take it up to hope and healing, then faith, and victory!!
To get out of gloom and doom one must first overcome the addictions or embedded habits. Even smoking cigarettes is a money and energy waster. Then we look at the person’s state of mind, why are they in this situation, debt, addiction, living the life they are currently living? We must take all steps to heal, recover, rebuild the mind, the man (and woman of course). We must remove the band-aid (addiction) to let the light into the wound. Only then does a healing process begin. While an addiction is still being practiced, there is no hope. All the great minds and teachers, Buddha, Jesus, and down to Napoleon Hill and Tony Robbins, will say the same thing. A person cannot reach their full potential if under the control of a nasty habit. Drugs and alcohol will be a person’s demise.
Then we look at immediate ways to improve the life and fix debt or get out of poverty, improve the home, get better or different work. We look at every way to cut cost, to learn how to live better on less, to be healthier, smarter about living and running a home, family, or just their life. Even on the lowest level, there are ways to cut cost, but if you have a LOT, then there are many, many ways to cut cost. The next step would be start looking at one’s job, career or lack of. Perhaps going back to school, getting a GED, going to a community college, school online, apprenticeship, work training, a trade school for a quick change.
We also look at relationships. Do we have a partner that keeps us under or in debt? Are we in a bad situation and we drink or shop to escape the pain and frustration? We remove all the people and things that keep us stuck. We pull out the weeds from the roots. We remove whole trees if they are just dead wood blocking the sun. We find people and places that are safe, warm, and dry from the storm. We start over if we have to. Even from the bottom up. One day we can look back and see those beginnings that seemed so hard and we will know that they were the best times because it was the time we started our lives anew.
There are programs and fellowships to help. I have found that for people to succeed at overcoming obstacles such as addiction and debt, it is necessary to have a community, a faith, and a program or steps to follow to get out of the routine that has created that life for them in the first place. We need new friends to support us, new ways to live this new life, new habits to replace the nonconducive ones, and we need a faith that it’s all going to work out for our best.
Any day we can wake up and decide that we want to have a new life. Really, that is all it takes to start this train ride. The rest is definitely a journey, but it can be the most exciting and empowering experience. There is SO MUCH help out there it’s crazy, you just have to look for it and then swallow your pride to accept it. And truly accept it, all of it. The more help you get the better your life will get and the faster.
Some great blogs out there connecting sober people and exploring sobriety:
Get your coffee it’s time to learn some new tricks!