“What you don’t know can’t hurt you” may be one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard. What you don’t know can hurt you. It can kill you. If nothing else, it can keep you from your best.
When this statement is applied to money, it can result in a terrible financial mess. At a minimum, you end up getting by but never really succeeding. At worst, you end up bankrupt, foreclosed on, repossessed and desperate. A common phrase you’ll hear if ever in a class I teach, a talk I give or a session I coach is this: “Let’s establish reality. Then we can face whatever it is – good or bad.”
I know it is impossible to know everything and there are plenty of things in the world that I have no desire to know. However, I want to be firmly planted in reality, and I wish the same for you. It amazes me when I meet with someone in a deep financial mess and they bring me a huge stack of unopened bills. They aren’t emotionally able to tear the seal and see what’s inside. Other times, I talk with a husband and wife who do everything separate with their finances (another topic for another day) and are on the verge of divorce because he won’t talk to her about money and vice versa. I wish I were kidding.
The Solution: An Analogy
My Dad was a police officer and lots of my family members were hunters, so I was always around guns. I learned to shoot at an early age, but from the very beginning I understood the point – establish your target, then aim for and try to hit your target. Think about how simple that is, but how profound it is if applied to other areas of your life. Look at your finances: what is the goal for your paycheck when it arrives? What’s your target? What is it you don’t know that you should? What weakness is keeping you from living a better life? That’s your target – aim for it and start trying to hit it!
If you take away one thing from my somewhat random post today it is this: Ignorance is costly. Don’t hide behind silly phrases or the equally silly mindset that avoiding something will make it go away. Instead, realize that facing reality, no matter how scary it may be, is the path to improvement.