Living under a cloud of debt is bad enough, but having it in your mind that it could go on for the rest of your life can almost make you lose hope. It is because of this sense of futility that many people try to get out of debt in one big leap, perhaps by putting everything on a credit card or taking out an ill-advised loan. It's easy to see why. An all-or-nothing attitude can take hold, and the thought of adding another five grand to a twenty grand debt does not seem all that serious.
Humans do not tend to be very good at long-term thinking. Maybe it comes from our prehistoric past, when every day was a case of foraging and avoiding big cats. But at some point in time, we started to see the sense in planting crops, or building a house in the summer that would shelter us from the snow in winter. The success of this mindset can be seen where civilization has trodden. Yet still, when faced with trying to solve a problem in the here and now, we all too often go for a solution that will make matters worse in the future.
So why is this article called "A Race to Debt-free Finances"? Well, we need to recognize that there are different kinds of race. There are sprints and there are marathons. Sprints involve vast amounts of power being forced into seconds of all-out release. Marathons involve pacing yourself, conserving energy and keeping your nerve for long periods. If you could think like a marathon runner while you're trying to sort out your debts, you'll be much more successful. You're traveling more slowly and for a much longer time, but you're keeping something back that will help you in the future and not blowing everything in one go.
Applying this mindset to your financial life almost always proves successful. Watching your debts slowly shrink away can be like growing a flower. You do not see much happening on a day-to-day basis, but one day you see a beautiful bloom and you can say to yourself, "That was a bulb a few months ago." Keep looking forward to that day when you can see your finances break through zero and then start growing ever higher into the black. It may be a long wait, but it will happen if you stay disciplined.