Why there’s no F in change

And why a bit of discomfort will get us a long way

Leaping for change

If you really WANT to make a change – to achieve more for yourself or your loved ones – here’s a good way to start that journey.

Why is there . . . no F in changeClick To Tweet

Mel Robbins is a famous American TV host and motivational speaker. She’s a bright lady, with a law degree, and has a neat idea about our biggest challenge in life when it comes to change.

Her hard hitting approach to this question is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but I like it and so, it seems, do a lot of others.

Her TED talk ‘How to stop screwing yourself over’ is massively popular (c. 12.5 million hits) and very entertaining.

Our big problem, says Mel, is our use of a four letter word beginning with ‘F’.

No, not that ‘F’ word . . . the word she’s talking about is ‘fine’.

And I think she’s absolutely right.

We all do it . . . we say ‘fine’ all the time when telling others how we are – even if it bears no relation to how we’re really feeling.

Why do we do that?

Well, perhaps we don’t want to trouble our loved ones with the truth when things are not going so well.

Or, on the flipside,  maybe we don’t like to say that we feel amazing – even when we do – for fear of making others feel terrible by comparison.

And that really is a British thing? πŸ˜‰

Regardless of what we tell others, we need to tell ourselves the truth about how we’re feeling or we’re going to miss out (big time) on life.

If we suppress our emotions we’ll simply miss out on some wonderful natural highs.

And here’s the thing . . . 

If we try to restrict ourselves to having only positive emotions (which is the advice you’ll get from a lot of nonsense happiness blogs) . . .

. . . and we deny our ‘less than fine’ emotions . . . well, we’re also going to deny ourselves the opportunity to work on our situation too.

So we’ll just drift sideways at best – or more likely our situation will get worse πŸ™

Is it time to cut out the 'F' word?Click To Tweet

If you boil it down – we do need to bit of unhappiness with our current situation – a bit of tension as Dr Sarah Mckay would say – if we’re to find the motivation to change . . .

We all know the saying, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it . . . 

. . . but the world around us is constantly shifting and becoming more competitive, so I think the better saying,

‘if it ain’t broke – there’s still time to fix it’ πŸ˜‰

Happiness = reality minus expectation

We know that this is essentially the equation of happiness.

It’s that gap that occasionally opens up to give you more than you were expecting.

Read about the 10 years of research that went into proving this

By an engineer and decision theorist, Manel Baucells and Rakesh Sarin)

Their book Engineering happiness’ – is available to pick up here.

So, to put that another way, if you need a little unhappiness – some discomfort – to drive your achievement – then you need to set your aim a bit above your current reality.

Not on all aspects of your life of course – that would make you very unhappy πŸ™  – but on those areas where you’re striving to achieve more.

Or to put that in the traditional way – get out of the comfort zone.

And what has this to do with your financial situation?

Well, this is just one of many challenges in life where a true assessment of our current situation is the best starting place for achieving more.

That said, when it comes to our long term finances, we need to recognise that our challenge is typically bigger.


Well, because many of us have no idea about the issues we’re dealing with.

Here are just two scary examples to show this is true:

A 2015 UK survey (by Ipsos Mori) asked the following questions:

1. What’s the average cost of raising a child in Britain from birth until they reach the age of 21?

2. What pension fund would you need to provide a retirement income (including your state pension) of c. £25,000 a year ?

Now, before you look at the answers – write down what you think they are.

Okay. So, on the cost of raising a child: 

Over 60% of people thought it would be less than £100,000.

And more than 25% thought it would cost less than £30,000 !

The actual estimated cost?

Around £230,000!

(which includes includes university support but not private school fees. Source: LV insurance)

And here’s the shocker – on the pension question.

Over 50% of people believe that the target pension of £25,000 could be delivered with a fund of less than £150,000.

Indeed, 30% thought that a fund of £50,000 would be enough.

But 12% (more than 1 in 10 people) thought that a fund of £15,000 would do the job!

For goodness sake . . . that’s less than the targeted ANNUAL income!

Okay, so what fund would you actually need?

Well, about £300,000

Or more if you wanted an inflation linked income.

But here’s the really interesting thing . . .

It doesn’t need to cost the earth to build those sorts of funds – provided that you start early enough.

And you can read my cappuccino savings plan idea for more on that.

Cappuccino pension

What matters is to get the truth about the cost of your own (personal) financial life plan.

And that really is – a LOT easier – than you think.

If you need a hand with this – give me a shout.

Help with money

Of course, the word ‘fine’ is just one of many that can get us into trouble.

There’s one other word which, if you change it, could also change your life . . .

But don’t take my word for that.

This idea is supported by the world’s most highly acclaimed mind and motivation experts.

These include:

Dr Steve Peters – Psychiatrist, author of ‘Chimp Paradox’ and ‘mind coach’ to the multi-gold medal award winning British Olympic Cycling team

And Dr David Burns – Psychiatrist and author of the book ‘Feeling Good’ – which has sold millions of copies, is acclaimed by health professionals, and has improved the lives of many thousands of people, mine included πŸ™‚

To learn more about that – head over here

This word can change your life

And take good care out there


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