My debt held me back for over a decade. It held me back, because I believed it was holding me back. I truly believed that my debt was keeping me from living a meaningful life. It was an obstacle I kept failing to overcome.
My belief that debt was holding me back from living a meaningful life was true, because I believed it was true. I also didn’t have a clear picture of what I meant by “meaningful life.” I just knew that the debt was keeping me from it.
In truth, paying off the debt became meaningful. Talking to people about mindset and money became meaningful.
But before that, defining “meaningful life” for myself was essential. In order to live a meaningful life, I’d have to know what that looked like.
I defined my dream. It was truly step one in paying off my $48,000 of student loan debt.
It wasn’t easy. There are so many paths in the world. There are so many stories that sound good. There are so many ways to stay comfortable.
It is hard not to judge it. You may want a 9 to 5 job and a house. You may think that sounds boring, even if you want it. But we want what we want. If we can feel it, we cannot dismiss it.
I wanted a feeling of freedom. I wanted a home base and the freedom to travel. I wanted work that made an impact. I wanted the space to create the important work of my life.
Debt was holding me back because I believed it was. That belief made me WANT to get out of debt.
You start by wanting something. Kurt Vonnegut used to start his writing classes by telling students, “Make your characters WANT something.” He asked them to have characters want something right away. In the first paragraph. Because characters need motivation.
You are a character and you need motivation.
What do you want?
Once you know, you can see clearly how the debt in your life affects your ability to have what you want.
What is debt keeping you from?
How bad do you want that thing?
Want it. Pay off the debt.
Then get busy living the most meaningful life you can live for yourself.