Tangible items – things you can see and feel and touch – hold our attention much better than intangibles.
For instance, let’s say that you have a mortgage, car loan, or a student loan that needs to be paid off. Essentially, every dollar that you spend on something frivolous could have been applied toward that loan that’s eating you alive. You know that, but Taco Bell and Burger King often issue their alluring siren calls….and you’ve worked hard all week.
If you totaled up everything you spent on fast food for a year, and then looked at the interest on your loan, I bet you’d really wonder whether the fast food was worth all that ‘saved time’.
[Incidentally, where does saved time go? In a universal piggy bank jar? Does anyone get to take out interest-free time loans from that bank, and apply it to slow down a fast-moving day? If you find out that wormhole of the universe, be sure to let me know.]
A loan or mortgage is long-term debt. It definitely exercises that part of us that understands the real difference between the visible material world and the invisible (but much more powerful) world that moves around materials like pawns on a chess board. (If you are at all spiritually inclined, this illustration should make a lot of sense.) A bill is a short-term debt with a definite deadline, so it’s easier to scheme to pay it off than a $700 mortgage payment that comes once every month for 20 years.
Why is it so hard to pay long-term debt? No tangible reward.
You get a rush of uplift from paying off a small debt that doesn’t come back. You heave a sigh of relief and move on….and then buy something else that requires a payment, and so on. This is why Internet shopping can be so addictive.
Time is actually very similar. In my next blogpost, I’ll discuss the reason why we often don’t see our exhaustion or lack of ability to push through an energy wall, because we’ve taken out too many second mortgages on our ‘time loan’, and there are only so many candle ends that can keep burning simultaneously!