I was introduced to Rhonda this week. She’s a nice lady who unfortunately lost her husband last April. She was being smart and working hard at putting her life back together. Maybe a little too hard. She was spending enormous amounts of time on her finances. Her stress level was at an all-time high.
Maybe she was subconsciously obsessed with her finances in order to keep from feeling the pain and loss of losing her husband.
In any event, I suggested that she simplify her life by getting rid of all but one of her checking accounts and credit cards and putting most of her bills on auto pay. I tried to explain how these simple maneuvers could really save her a ton of time and streamline her life.
Unfortunately Rhonda came up with every excuse under the sun for keeping her accounts, credit cards and bills exactly as they were. I tried to clarify why I thought those steps would help but she wasn’t buying it. Was she really needed was a way to change the way she was thinking.
It was a frustrating experience. In the end, I had to let Rhonda decide when she wanted to get rid of her stress. I couldn’t make the decision for her.
But the interaction helped me a lot. It made me think of all the things I hold on to for no good reason. I made a list of how I waste my time. I also identified those things I do that take me away from the kind of life I really want. That includes how I eat and sleep, how much I work and when, and how much fun I treat myself too. Hey Pilgrim….that was a long list.
Even though it was hard to see that list of flaws, I was glad I did it. Now I have an agenda to work on with my accountability partner.
The funny thing is that I never would have done this had it not been for Rhonda. I was lucky. During our meeting, a thunderbolt hit me. I tried to learn from Rhonda rather than judge her.
I wish I did this more often but I was glad I did it then. How about you? When you meet with someone who frustrates you, do you shut down or try to learn from them? I would love to hear your stories.
Ben Cope says
Thanks for the reminder Neal!