Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wishful thinking..

I hate to break it to you, but wishing for something doesn't make it so.  Sorry!

Reading some of the queries that send people to this blog is interesting.  It seems that a lot of people out there don't "get it" and never will.  They have little or no clue how money works - or how anything works.  They live like savages in a cargo cult, outside of society, yet a large part of it, scratching their heads at technology and finance, and wondering why they continually get hurt by these things.

The basic problem, if I could sum it up, is that people seem to think you can get something-for-nothing.  The first and second laws of thermodynamics don't apply to them.  You can create wealth from a vacuum, you can generate more energy than you consume.

The idea that if you spend a dollar of money, you'd better at least earn a dollar, is alien to them.  Somehow, they think that you can earn a dollar, and spend a dollar and ten cents, and that will never catch up with you.

And unfortunately, this form of weak thinking pervades our society.  And anyone who doesn't want to go along with it is "mean".  Like those nasty old insurance companies!  All they care about is profit!  Why can't I get $100,000 in medical services and pay only $10?  Seems reasonable to me!  Or maybe the "Government" should pay for it.  After all, they have a lot of money (and any amount of money over $1000 is basically an endless amount, right?).

And for some folks, wishful thinking is real.  No, seriously, they really think that if you "wish" for something hard enough, it will come true.  There are even religions based on this - so-called "Prosperity Theology" - that if you pray hard enough, God will make you rich.

Don't get me wrong, visualization is a powerful thing.  But merely visualizing (fantasizing) about something isn't going to make it true - it will merely make you more miserable when you fail.  You cannot lose weight by "thinking thin" - you actually have to monitor your calorie intake.

In a similar way, with regard to finances, visualization alone is not enough.  You actually have to do something - and by that, I mean something constructive, not destructive, like spending.  Unfortunately, most people, it seems, chose instead to believe in a fantasy world, and then live in abject misery and confusion, when their fantasy clashes with cold hard reality.

And one real danger of Wishful Thinking is that if you wish hard enough, what you want may seem to appear before your eyes!  But what you may be looking for is not wish-fulfillment, but rather a deceitful Genie, who till take your money and crush your dreams.

Wishful thinking takes a number of forms.  And you may have heard these in your life, or worse yet, said them....
  • We can repeal the law of gravity. 
  • Memorizing Pi is too hard.  Let's round it off to 3. 
  • Let's pass a law making everyone a millionaire, so there would be no more poor people! 
  • Let's abolish all taxes! 
  • You can make money by gambling. 
  • Pyramid schemes will work, if you just give them a chance! 
  • Insurance companies are so mean to people. 
  • The Government should pay for everything we can't afford. 
  • If I give a lot of money to my church, God will send me to heaven. 
  • The political party I support is good.  The other one is bad. 
  • Perpetual motion machines work, but the oil companies are suppressing them. 
  • If only I could afford $49.95 to buy "The Wealth System" I could be rich! 
  • I deserve a new car! 
  • Leasing makes sense!  I only pay for the part of the car I want! 
  • If you wish for something hard enough, it will come true! 
  • You can lose weight by taking a pill while eating all you want!
etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam...