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Do you know the reason why you do the things you do?

Monday, March 25, 2024

do you do the same things as your parents?

Have you ever wondered to yourself why you make the decisions you make, or why you eat the food you eat, or why you speak the same language as everyone in your family.  It's rather simple, which is the main reason most people don't think about it.  At some point, long ago,  someone in your family tree needed to make a decision that was good for them or their situation, without a thought of having many generations after them be affected both for good and bad. 

And this doesn't just stop at a few things, your financial decisions, your thoughts, your relationships, your interests, your livelihood, your career, your emotions, your outlook on life, etc, etc, all can be traced back to a person, place or time in your family tree.  The question now becomes, was that the right decision for your life today.  Times and circumstances change.  The decisions made 100s of years ago do not necessarily reflect your own personal viewpoints today.  Let me give you an example using a short story: 

Zig Ziglar used to tell a story about a young bride hosting New Year's dinner for the first time for her family, and the husband comes into the kitchen and sees her cutting off the ends of the ham and throwing them in the trash and then putting the ham in the pan.

And he goes, "What are you doing?" And she says, "You have to do this. This is the way mom always did it." He said, "But it makes no sense. There's nothing wrong with that ham." So he calls mom and says, "Susie's cutting off the ends of the ham." And she says, "This is the way you always did it. Why did you always do it?" She said, "Well, that's the way you cook ham. My mom always did it that way."

Boom, on the phone to grandma. "What the hell is this about?" And grandma says, "Well, they're all crazy. I don't know why they're doing it. I did it because it was a depression. I only owned one pan, and the ham wouldn't fit in the pan, so I had no other choice.  I couldn't just run down to the grocery store to buy a smaller ham or the department store to buy a bigger pan." So here are two generations of following this rule, because nobody ever questioned it. So that's another clue to look for in the rule. When was the last time this rule was tested?

With this great story, you can see how there are two generations following a "rule" that has no practical reasoning in today's world, yet to challenge them on this idea of cutting the ham smaller would be treason, and maybe even a declaration of war over the dinner table.  The only reason that decision is being made about cutting the ham is simply because nobody ever questioned the reasoning behind it, they just take it as fact. 

So the question begs to be asked, what are you doing in your life today that is a direct reflection of a time in the past that is no longer practical to today's standards.  What money decisions are you making based on something that happened in the past that isn't relevant today?  What real estate decisions are you making today?

This is a two edged sword, there are probably excellent decisions you are making today because someone in your family tree was brave enough to ask the question "WHY?" a long time ago.  Keep doing the good and pass long the good information to the next generation, but the real trick is figuring out the bad decisions, and why you are continually making decisions of years past that detrimentally affect you today for no reason other than you not questioning what is the root cause.

It's Time To Elevate

~Stephen Young 


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