What The American Dream Is Costing You


Transcript

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- Well, hey, you guys!

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It is a crazy world that
we are living in right now.

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The coronavirus is on everyone's minds

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and everyone's conversations.

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It is everywhere.

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And so, today's episode is
all about the American dream.

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Now, we shot this before
the coronavirus news

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and everything was
happening, the pandemic.

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And you'll see, also, that I was pregnant

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while we were filming this episode.

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But I still wanna share
this episode with you

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because not matter what,

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I still believe the
American dream is true.

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I still believe that it is alive,

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and I still believe that it can happen.

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So, no matter what is happening

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in the news and in our world,

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I know, number one, we're
gonna get through this,

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and number two, you can
still win with your money.

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So I hope you enjoy today's episode.

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It's a great one. So here it is.

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American promises us life, liberty,

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and the pursuit of happiness,

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but have you ever stopped to think

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about what that pursuit of happiness

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is actually costing you?

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(upbeat music)

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All right, society tells you
what the American dream is,

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but today we're going to
redefine what that looks like

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for you and your family.

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I'll talk to a couple who thought

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that they had to buy a bunch of stuff

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to make them happy, but
they kept coming up short.

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And they'll show the steps of what they took

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to make their dream a reality.

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And I'm also gonna talk to
author and pastor, Max Lucado,

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about finding lasting
happiness, and he's fantastic.

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But first, let's talk about
how the American dream

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has changed over the years.

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I mean, you guys, what
we consider necessities today,

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our parents considered
luxuries in their day,

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or it may never have even existed.

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So, let's take a look at
a few different things

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that are a reality now for
us versus 30 years ago.

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In the 80's, the average size

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of a new house was 1,600 square feet.

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Today, it's 2,600 square feet.

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In the early 90's, 99% of households

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didn't even have internet,

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but now we feel like we
can't go anywhere without it,

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or our smartphones, and
all this other technology

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we can't live without.

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But it didn't used to be a necessity.

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We even think that we have to have a car

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that has a sunroof, automatic
windows, heated seats,

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Bluetooth, parking itself, all the things,

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but those are all luxuries.

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But, unfortunately, we've
turned them into necessities,

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and people keep going into more

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and more debt for these things.

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For example, in the last 15 years,

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consumer debt has almost doubled.

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And people are taking out
40% more on their homes.

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Because we are just trying to keep up

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with what society tells
us that we deserve,

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like, the standard of living
that we should all have.

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But we already have more
than what we think we have.

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I want you guys to check
out this conversation I had

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with my dad, Dave Ramsey,

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on his show about this exact topic.

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- There's nothing wrong
with having a nicer house.

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There's nothing wrong
with having a nicer car.

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There's nothing wrong with
going on a nicer vacation,

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having a nicer phone, or a nicer boat,

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or all those things I listed off.

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There's nothing wrong with them.

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I'm not shaming anyone for having those.

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I am shaming a political agenda

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or an economic discussion on the macro

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that says you have a
right to those things,

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and the current economic system

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has robbed you of your right

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to have these things that are middle class

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when they're legitimately
not middle class.

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- Right, right.

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- The middle class has doubled,
tripled and quadrupled,

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while the income has stayed,

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in terms of its
consumption of these items,

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and while their income has
stayed relatively stagnant,

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instead of living within their means.

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- Yup, that's right. So, yeah—

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- Those that live within their means

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are no longer in the middle class.

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- Because they're getting ahead.

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- Yeah. 93% of the millionaires

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that we found were first-generation rich.

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Did not become millionaires
because of an inheritance—

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became millionaires because
of their consumption patterns

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were within their means,
allowing them to invest.

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- Which takes, to piggyback off of that,

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a really mature person to sit
there in the moment and say,

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gosh, we wanna be able to
go on the nice vacation.

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We want that. We want this.

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You know what I mean?

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Like, we expect this. And to
be able to say no to yourself,

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like I was going back to,

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it doesn't feel right. It feels wrong

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because it's like it's not
supposed to be like this.

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I'm supposed to be looking
like everyone else,

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and when you don't—

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- I'm supposed to hit a button

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and the door opens on the side of my van.

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Instead of, God forbid, we reach up

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and grabbing the thing and opening it.

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(laughing)
I mean . . .

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Or wave your foot under the bumper

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so that the back hatch comes up.

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Your sister's car, right?
- Yes.

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- Oh my God!
- I don't have that.

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I open my own car doors.
- God forbid we have to

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reach over and touch the automobile.

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Unbelievable, you know?

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And all of that's okay.

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Your sister can afford that car.

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It's not a problem.

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But this thing, like you say,

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it becomes normalized to where

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if I can't eat out every
night at a restaurant,

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then it's unfair to me.
- Right.

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- I'm entitled to do that.
- Yup.

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- And then the economic play

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or the political play on this.

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People fall into this discussion

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without critical thinking
skills, and they start saying,

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well, all of this debt
comes from the fact

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that wages are stagnant.

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No, it doesn't.

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It comes from the fact that consumption

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is on a exponential
curve when you graph it.

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- And so, I think too, realizing,

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if you're one of these
people, to ask your,

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or anyone really, to ask yourself though,

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okay, this is the expectation

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that the culture has
set. But then the why.

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Like, what's the motivation

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behind getting all of these things?

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And then it falls into the trap

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of contentment, of thinking,

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well, all this stuff
is gonna make me happy.

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Because then, you know,
if I have the nice car,

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if I have this or that, my
life's just gonna be better.

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And the thing is, is
when you can't afford it,

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you create more pain on the back end,

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not just financially, but emotionally.

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And we see those families
that come in, and it's like,

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man, the mess that they
created to keep up,

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that as not been worth it.

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You look three years later . . .
- The vacation, the car—

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- It doesn't fulfill you. It's not . . .
- the phone, the clothes,

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the purse, the shoes, the house that were gonna make me happy.

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- And that's been told—
- The paradox is over

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and over and over again,
and has made you miserable.

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It's stressed you out.

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It's put strain on your marriage.

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It's stolen your future.
And the actual opposite

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of what you thought was
gonna happen has happened.

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- Exactly.
- That's really good insight.

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- Exactly.
- That's a good point.

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That's powerful, and
it does . . . The comparison

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is not just, we're such children

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that we have to keep up with the Joneses.

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But the comparison just normalizes it

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to where you say, gosh, I'm entitled.

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- That's it. This is
the standard of living

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I should have because of my age,

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my season of life, where we're at.

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This is what it should be.

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And so, whatever I have
to do to get there.

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And so, that's why, even just
talking about the credit card,

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we did a two series episode
part on credit cards,

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specifically, just the
credit card debt in America.

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And then this past episode
is all about getting out.

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But it's so much, even just
looking at the percentage

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of store credit cards
that people sign up for

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because, again, in the vein of being normal

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and just thinking, oh sure, why not?

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- A store credit card.

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The items that you can purchase
with a store credit card,

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0% fall into the heading of necessity.

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100% fall into the heading of luxury.

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Like you need another pair of shoes.

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I mean, how many pair . . . Shoes!

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I'm a guy that doesn't even like shoes,

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and I've got shoes coming out my ears.

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- I know, I was like,
you're speaking about shoes.

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(laughing)
- I know,

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but I've got shoes coming out my ears.

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And I don't even . . . That
don't even make sense.

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I don't even like shoes!

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And I've got to where, okay,
I'll get another pair of shoes,

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that means I've gotta throw two pair away.

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I'm just not gonna have a
whole pile. And all this

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is just consumption.
- It's just stuff.

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It's just stuff.
- It wasn't like I had holes

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in my shoes.
- Right, right.

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- You know, I didn't.

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It's just consumption.

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It's just straight up, if I get that,

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I'm gonna be happy then.

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- Oh, and that is the lie.

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That's the deep why behind it.

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- That's a spiritual problem—
- Yes,

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and an emotional problem.
- that America has.

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- And it's not fulfilled with the stuff,

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and that's the hard lesson

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that a lot of people have to learn.

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- Thanks for stopping in and joining in

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on the discussion.
- Yes, thanks for having me.

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Rachel Cruze, number
one bestselling author,

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Ramsey Personality, and
happens to be my daughter.

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Proud of you.
- Thank you.

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- Thanks for coming by.
- Thanks for having me on.

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(upbeat music)

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Like I said, the one
thing that has changed

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is our expectations.

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(uplifting piano music)

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I was talking to a friend recently,

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and her and her husband are
following the Baby Steps.

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And they're doing it
all. They're out of debt.

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And they have their
fully-funded emergency fund.

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And they're actually to the point

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that they're funding 15% of their income

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to retirement, and saving
up for kid's college,

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and paying down their mortgage.

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But she was telling me like, she was like,

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man, I kinda feel a little defeated

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because I still feel like

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we just don't have a ton of money.

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I just feel like we
did all this sacrifice,

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but yet, all this other stuff
we're doing with our money,

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we're not able to go and
take this huge, nice vacation,

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or we're not able to do the things

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I really thought we were able to do

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because there just doesn't
seem to be a lot of opportunity

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because our money is going to
all these different places.

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And so, I thought it was a
really interesting perspective

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because, as I was talking to her,

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I was telling her,

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you know, you realize that
you are making decisions today

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in your life, with your money,

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that are setting you
up for the long term.

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But yeah, in the present,
you may not have that 15%

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in your pocket. It's going to retirement.

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But that means that
you're gonna have choices.

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Like, the 55-, 60-year-old version of you

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is going to love the
30-year-old version of you

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because you're making wise choices now.

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But what's so hard is, society tells us

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no, you should be able
to do whatever you want

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whenever you want and just, it doesn't matter.

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It doesn't matter if you have the money.

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And it's so hard to break
that cycle, you guys.

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It's so hard to say, you know what?

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I'm going to live a, quote, unquote,

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more responsible way with my money,

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and I'm gonna do things

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to set myself up well for the future.

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So, when you get to that
point, don't be discouraged.

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The American dream, it is alive
and well, I'm telling you.

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It may not feel like that all the time,

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but you are setting
yourself up for success.

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Now, obviously, comparison living,

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it is a struggle. It really is.

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You're seeing what everyone else has,

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but you have to realize
the road to comparison

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will always dead-end with debt.

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And debt makes people
look a whole lot better

0:10:14.610,0:10:15.460
than they actually are.

0:10:15.460,0:10:17.940
So you may look around and
feel like other people are winning,

0:10:17.940,0:10:20.700
and you're not winning
as much as they are,

0:10:20.700,0:10:23.480
but in reality, when
you look at the stats,

0:10:23.480,0:10:25.860
yeah, you are winning a
whole lot more than they are.

0:10:25.860,0:10:27.600
You're just not seeing their bank account.

0:10:27.600,0:10:31.150
And so, one thing that has
helped me with comparison living

0:10:31.150,0:10:32.510
is just learning contentment,

0:10:32.510,0:10:35.610
looking at my own life and
starting with gratitude.

0:10:35.610,0:10:36.960
I mean, I started a gratitude list.

0:10:36.960,0:10:38.500
I turned it into a journal.

0:10:38.500,0:10:40.630
And this has been my lifeline.

0:10:40.630,0:10:44.070
And so, I actually made it all
into this beautiful journal,

0:10:44.070,0:10:45.300
called The Contentment Journal,

0:10:45.300,0:10:49.040
because it is such a big deal
spending 30 days in gratitude,

0:10:49.040,0:10:51.630
30 days in humility, and
30 days in contentment.

0:10:51.630,0:10:55.190
This really is the thing
that sets your heart up

0:10:55.190,0:10:56.840
for this journey, and to say, okay,

0:10:56.840,0:11:00.520
I'm gonna lay this foundation
emotionally where I am

0:11:00.520,0:11:02.900
so that way I can make
the sacrifices I need to,

0:11:02.900,0:11:06.730
again, to win for the
55-year-old version of yourself.

0:11:06.730,0:11:08.450
You guys can do this. You can.

0:11:08.450,0:11:09.520
So, for more information,

0:11:09.520,0:11:10.760
click the link in the show notes

0:11:10.760,0:11:12.550
to start reading for free.

0:11:12.550,0:11:15.020
All right, coming up
next is Jeremy and Julie.

0:11:15.020,0:11:18.020
And they are debt-free completely,

0:11:18.020,0:11:19.580
but there was a time in their life

0:11:19.580,0:11:22.340
and they kept buying stuff to fill a void.

0:11:22.340,0:11:23.761
So, check out their story.

0:11:23.761,0:11:27.150
(upbeat music)

0:11:27.150,0:11:30.300
- I constantly felt
stressed and overwhelmed

0:11:30.300,0:11:32.640
with my finances, pretty
much holding my breath

0:11:32.640,0:11:34.670
that my account wouldn't overdraft.

0:11:34.670,0:11:37.980
- Living paycheck to
paycheck was the norm.

0:11:37.980,0:11:39.860
I was one catastrophe away

0:11:39.860,0:11:41.963
from not being able to pay for something.

0:11:43.940,0:11:47.810
- Before we met, we both
were previously married,

0:11:47.810,0:11:49.240
and we had a lot of debt.

0:11:49.240,0:11:52.110
Lawyers, fees, credit
cards, things like that,

0:11:52.110,0:11:54.180
leftover from our previous marriages

0:11:54.180,0:11:55.610
that were still lingering,

0:11:55.610,0:11:59.200
and we knew that we needed
to make changes in our future

0:12:00.520,0:12:03.540
so that we wouldn't have the
same circumstance happen again.

0:12:03.540,0:12:06.180
So, we wanted to kind of have a clean slate

0:12:06.180,0:12:09.030
and wipe all that previous debt away

0:12:09.030,0:12:12.410
so that we could come together
and start building our future

0:12:12.410,0:12:14.980
as opposed to paying
for things in our past.

0:12:14.980,0:12:17.483
After Financial Peace University,

0:12:18.454,0:12:20.280
it was the first time
I really had a concept

0:12:20.280,0:12:22.480
of how much debt I had.

0:12:22.480,0:12:27.480
- It was eye-opening to see
how badly we were spending

0:12:27.750,0:12:30.240
and going into debt, because
we thought we were happy.

0:12:30.240,0:12:32.800
To me, it was like we
were self-medicating.

0:12:32.800,0:12:35.610
Like, I need this to feel
good right now in the moment,

0:12:35.610,0:12:37.010
and now my closet is full of items

0:12:37.010,0:12:38.610
I don't necessarily need or use.

0:12:38.610,0:12:41.280
- I've spent thousands
of dollars on clothes

0:12:41.280,0:12:43.610
and hair products and makeup,

0:12:43.610,0:12:46.557
and I'm like, I don't
use any of those things,

0:12:46.557,0:12:49.210
and all that is just wasted money.

0:12:49.210,0:12:50.670
- After we paid off our debt

0:12:50.670,0:12:52.780
and we began working baby step three,

0:12:52.780,0:12:55.010
we just felt more secure as a couple,

0:12:55.010,0:12:58.300
more trust, our bond was stronger.

0:12:58.300,0:13:01.710
- Freedom is the easiest
word to explain it.

0:13:01.710,0:13:03.820
We feel like we're
working toward something

0:13:03.820,0:13:08.063
that is going to build our
future. It's indescribable.

0:13:10.750,0:13:12.360
- All right, Julie and Jeremy, you guys,

0:13:12.360,0:13:13.880
thank you so much for being here!

0:13:13.880,0:13:15.130
- Thank you for having us.
- Thanks for having us.

0:13:15.130,0:13:17.630
- So fun, so you're in Nashville
for something really fun.

0:13:17.630,0:13:20.520
You just did your debt-free
scream. So how was that?

0:13:20.520,0:13:22.790
- Amazing.
- Surreal. Liberating.

0:13:22.790,0:13:26.570
- So great, so you guys paid off $60,000

0:13:26.570,0:13:28.690
in, what was it, like
right over a year, right?

0:13:28.690,0:13:29.695
- 13 months, yeah.
- 13 months.

0:13:29.695,0:13:31.370
- (exhales) Oh my gosh, so awesome.

0:13:31.370,0:13:34.290
Okay, so take me back before
you started this journey,

0:13:34.290,0:13:36.490
when you guys were living
paycheck to paycheck,

0:13:36.490,0:13:39.450
you were in debt, before
Financial Peace University,

0:13:39.450,0:13:42.070
before The Total Money
Makeover book, all of that.

0:13:42.070,0:13:43.630
What was life like?

0:13:43.630,0:13:46.060
- I had zero financial awareness.

0:13:46.060,0:13:49.500
I had no concept of how much I made

0:13:49.500,0:13:51.280
and how much debt I had,

0:13:51.280,0:13:55.780
and I was just completely
oblivious to those things.

0:13:55.780,0:13:58.180
And it always would cause stress

0:13:58.180,0:14:01.820
because I had all my debt on autopay,

0:14:01.820,0:14:03.810
and I would just like
hope and pray every time,

0:14:03.810,0:14:06.430
like, I got a paycheck,
it wouldn't overdraft.

0:14:06.430,0:14:08.420
That was my way of going through life.

0:14:08.420,0:14:09.910
- Yes, what about you Jeremy?

0:14:09.910,0:14:11.530
What was it like for you?

0:14:11.530,0:14:13.940
- I was in a rebellious stage

0:14:13.940,0:14:16.680
because I felt I want to
do what I wanted to do

0:14:16.680,0:14:18.040
and spend how I wanted to spend.

0:14:18.040,0:14:21.450
And I wasn't paying
attention to the details.

0:14:21.450,0:14:25.510
And I was just being normal
and paycheck to paycheck,

0:14:25.510,0:14:27.690
no emergency fund,
relying on credit cards.

0:14:27.690,0:14:29.240
- Yeah, so what was the debt?

0:14:29.240,0:14:31.580
Like, what did you spend money on

0:14:31.580,0:14:32.580
when you were going into debt?

0:14:32.580,0:14:34.890
And what was your motivation behind it?

0:14:34.890,0:14:37.230
- Pretty normal. Mine was
just like eating out,

0:14:37.230,0:14:40.593
going on trips, bebopping through life.

0:14:41.670,0:14:46.650
Nothing, we had credit cards,
car payments, student loans.

0:14:46.650,0:14:49.350
I mean, I thought, I really
thought I was normal.

0:14:49.350,0:14:50.880
- Yeah, totally, and you were.

0:14:50.880,0:14:53.770
I mean, to your credit,
like that is, that's normal.

0:14:53.770,0:14:56.930
Yeah, for sure, so you
guys started the journey.

0:14:56.930,0:15:00.370
What was the hardest
step that you had to take

0:15:00.370,0:15:01.350
to begin getting out of debt?

0:15:01.350,0:15:03.830
- Just saying no, simply.

0:15:03.830,0:15:06.210
Sometimes you can't go out to dinner

0:15:06.210,0:15:07.930
or go on that family trip,

0:15:07.930,0:15:10.350
or your friend's calling you last minute—

0:15:10.350,0:15:13.600
- Yeah, the last minute
stuff is hard to say no to.

0:15:13.600,0:15:15.260
- Yes, yes, for sure.

0:15:15.260,0:15:18.360
- In context though,
we were just saying no

0:15:18.360,0:15:20.530
in the short term just so
we can win in the long term.

0:15:20.530,0:15:22.100
So just no for now, not no forever.

0:15:22.100,0:15:23.910
- So is the no in the short term worth it?

0:15:23.910,0:15:25.680
- Absolutely.

0:15:25.680,0:15:28.410
- It's indescribable. To
me, it doesn't make sense

0:15:28.410,0:15:31.120
why it doesn't, why
doesn't everyone do this?

0:15:31.120,0:15:33.260
It's so hard for me to get now.

0:15:33.260,0:15:36.470
But before I was aware of this program

0:15:36.470,0:15:38.300
and getting out of debt even existed,

0:15:38.300,0:15:40.150
I was that person too.
- Yeah, for sure.

0:15:40.150,0:15:42.640
So you guys, you would
say, were pretty normal,

0:15:42.640,0:15:45.110
quote, unquote, Americans, right,

0:15:45.110,0:15:47.890
before this journey, and
spending money on stuff,

0:15:47.890,0:15:49.700
because I feel like society
tells us that, you know,

0:15:49.700,0:15:51.650
you have to buy stuff to make you happy.

0:15:51.650,0:15:54.080
And even marketing, advertisements,

0:15:54.080,0:15:56.490
like all of that, portray
this image of okay,

0:15:56.490,0:15:59.900
this perfect life if you
just buy what we're selling.

0:15:59.900,0:16:02.700
So what your outlook now on stuff

0:16:02.700,0:16:04.940
and even those advertisements
when you see it?

0:16:04.940,0:16:08.700
- I think that as marketers,
they have a job to do

0:16:08.700,0:16:12.903
to get your attention with
all this digital media.

0:16:13.810,0:16:15.810
We have a job as consumers and adults

0:16:15.810,0:16:17.533
and leaders of the family to kind of be aware

0:16:17.533,0:16:20.580
and make the right decisions
and not impulse buy,

0:16:20.580,0:16:21.670
because that's what they're betting on,

0:16:21.670,0:16:22.803
is your impulsiveness.

0:16:24.310,0:16:26.140
But I, through our debt-free journey,

0:16:26.140,0:16:28.310
I just quit social media just to—

0:16:28.310,0:16:29.570
- Oh, altogether.
- altogether,

0:16:29.570,0:16:32.273
just to have that focus,
that singular focus,

0:16:33.580,0:16:35.610
because I knew that was
a friction point for me.

0:16:35.610,0:16:37.190
That's where they can get me,

0:16:37.190,0:16:38.330
so let me just get off this

0:16:38.330,0:16:42.300
and just kinda keep my eye on our goals.

0:16:42.300,0:16:45.260
- Yeah, I love that because
I'm like, they're so smart now.

0:16:45.260,0:16:47.550
So even the targeted ads and stuff

0:16:47.550,0:16:49.040
on your social media, you're like,

0:16:49.040,0:16:50.950
oh yeah, this is everything that I love.

0:16:50.950,0:16:53.090
This is everything I love,
and I wanna buy right now.

0:16:53.090,0:16:55.030
And I feel like, when you
get to the end of your life,

0:16:55.030,0:16:56.820
it's never like, oh,
wish I had more money.

0:16:56.820,0:16:58.540
Usually, it's like, oh I
wish I had more time, right?

0:16:58.540,0:16:59.760
To be with people that I love

0:16:59.760,0:17:01.910
and to actually prioritize your life,

0:17:01.910,0:17:03.060
even just over stuff.

0:17:03.060,0:17:05.820
And sadly, we're a culture
that is obsessed with stuff.

0:17:05.820,0:17:08.880
And you guys are a redemptive
part of that story.

0:17:08.880,0:17:10.430
- Thank you.
- Of saying, you know what?

0:17:10.430,0:17:12.530
We're done, and we're
gonna get out of debt.

0:17:12.530,0:17:13.370
You guys did it.

0:17:13.370,0:17:15.510
You guys are amazing, seriously.

0:17:15.510,0:17:16.343
Thanks for stopping by.

0:17:16.343,0:17:17.830
I know you just did the
big debt-free scream

0:17:17.830,0:17:18.663
on the Nashville show.

0:17:18.663,0:17:20.520
We pulled you down here in the studio.

0:17:20.520,0:17:22.730
But sharing your story,
it helps so many people.

0:17:22.730,0:17:23.910
So thank you guys so much.

0:17:23.910,0:17:24.743
- Thank you for having us.
- Thanks for having us,

0:17:24.743,0:17:26.510
appreciate it.
- Really appreciate it.

0:17:26.510,0:17:27.343
All right, coming up next,

0:17:27.343,0:17:29.100
I'm bringing on author Max Lucado,

0:17:29.100,0:17:31.280
and he is going to give us some great tips

0:17:31.280,0:17:33.462
on living a truly happy life.

0:17:33.462,0:17:36.045
(upbeat music)

0:17:39.100,0:17:41.430
As a mom, every day I take precautions

0:17:41.430,0:17:43.520
to give family peace of mind.

0:17:43.520,0:17:46.460
It's simple things, like
locking the front door,

0:17:46.460,0:17:48.630
making sure the car seats are buckled in,

0:17:48.630,0:17:51.260
and putting my phone
away when I'm driving.

0:17:51.260,0:17:53.700
But we don't always think
about the bigger things,

0:17:53.700,0:17:56.330
like what if something
happen to you or your spouse?

0:17:56.330,0:17:58.890
That's why you need term life insurance.

0:17:58.890,0:18:00.810
It makes sure your family's taken care of

0:18:00.810,0:18:02.450
no matter what happens.

0:18:02.450,0:18:04.480
I trust Zander Insurance.

0:18:04.480,0:18:05.950
They keep my family protected,

0:18:05.950,0:18:08.490
and that gives me such peace of mind.

0:18:08.490,0:18:10.030
They make things super simple

0:18:10.030,0:18:12.530
and find the best options and prices.

0:18:12.530,0:18:16.090
To learn more, call Zander
today, or go to zander.com.

0:18:16.090,0:18:19.442
Make sure your family has the
term life insurance they need.

0:18:19.442,0:18:22.275
(uplifting music)

0:18:23.460,0:18:24.940
Max Lucado, thanks for being here.

0:18:24.940,0:18:27.418
- Oh absolutely. I'm honored. Thank you.

0:18:27.418,0:18:28.579
- You're one of my favorite people,

0:18:28.579,0:18:30.140
and I was telling you
this before the interview,

0:18:30.140,0:18:32.630
but even your kids book,
"You Are Special," is like,

0:18:32.630,0:18:33.810
I tell everyone about it.

0:18:33.810,0:18:36.040
- Well, thank you very much.

0:18:36.040,0:18:37.280
- This episode specifically,

0:18:37.280,0:18:38.710
we're talking about the American dream.

0:18:38.710,0:18:39.890
- Okay.
- And so,

0:18:39.890,0:18:43.310
I'm curious, from you, you
talk a lot about happiness,

0:18:43.310,0:18:44.440
that's what your new book's about,

0:18:44.440,0:18:47.210
but do you think that
happiness has changed

0:18:47.210,0:18:49.600
over the past, even just 30 years

0:18:49.600,0:18:51.650
when you look at American culture?

0:18:51.650,0:18:54.080
- I think the illusion of happiness has.

0:18:54.080,0:18:57.460
I think that what we're dealing with now,

0:18:57.460,0:19:01.330
that's one of the characteristics
of our unique day and age,

0:19:01.330,0:19:04.190
is this proliferation of advertisement,

0:19:04.190,0:19:08.060
this subliminal messaging that
comes at us from all angles.

0:19:09.200,0:19:14.040
And, you know, 60 years ago, it was the
television generation.

0:19:14.050,0:19:16.760
30 years ago, it was
the internet generation.

0:19:16.760,0:19:19.510
Today, it's the social media generation,

0:19:19.510,0:19:21.860
plus the other two, right?

0:19:21.860,0:19:26.860
And so, just the increase
number of messages

0:19:27.130,0:19:28.690
that come our way,

0:19:28.690,0:19:33.290
telling us "we will be
happy when . . ." has increased.

0:19:33.290,0:19:34.123
- Yeah.

0:19:34.123,0:19:36.800
- And I'm still trying to figure out,

0:19:36.800,0:19:41.530
how do we explain just the
despair in the culture today?

0:19:41.530,0:19:43.990
One out of three Americans
say they're happy.

0:19:43.990,0:19:45.820
That's it, only one out of three.

0:19:45.820,0:19:50.820
Depression is drawing
close to heart disease

0:19:51.230,0:19:54.183
as the number two, as the
most prevalent illness

0:19:54.183,0:19:56.440
in the world, in America.

0:19:56.440,0:19:58.240
And then the increase in suicide is just

0:19:58.240,0:20:02.370
the pandemic that we
don't all wanna talk about.

0:20:02.370,0:20:04.780
And so, trying to get our hands and heads

0:20:04.780,0:20:07.150
around this is a very valid topic.

0:20:07.150,0:20:09.310
- Yeah, so this whole
message of happiness,

0:20:09.310,0:20:10.380
it's been obviously on your heart,

0:20:10.380,0:20:11.213
you wrote a book about it.

0:20:11.213,0:20:12.940
But what have you found?

0:20:12.940,0:20:15.310
Like, when you've dug into
just the marketing side

0:20:15.310,0:20:17.110
and the comparison side,

0:20:17.110,0:20:19.530
what are you seeing in our culture today?

0:20:19.530,0:20:22.340
- Well, you talk a lot about
comparisons in your book.

0:20:22.340,0:20:25.660
And number one, comparison is,

0:20:25.660,0:20:29.350
because of social media,
is comparison on steroids.

0:20:29.350,0:20:30.630
I mean, it's just gone wacko.

0:20:30.630,0:20:32.630
It's just gone wacko.

0:20:32.630,0:20:34.560
But comparison always results

0:20:34.560,0:20:37.430
in either superiority or inferiority,

0:20:37.430,0:20:39.380
feelings of I'm better or I'm worse.

0:20:39.380,0:20:40.860
Neither one of those is healthy.

0:20:40.860,0:20:41.830
- Yeah.

0:20:41.830,0:20:46.830
- And so, learning to
manage that comparison trap

0:20:47.070,0:20:49.631
is a huge deal in this day and age.

0:20:49.631,0:20:50.750
- Yeah, absolutely.

0:20:50.750,0:20:53.700
So when you dig through
Scripture, specifically,

0:20:53.700,0:20:56.850
what do you find it says about happiness?

0:20:56.850,0:20:58.020
Like, what the guide? What's the path?

0:20:58.020,0:21:02.480
- Well, the counterintuitive
message of Scripture

0:21:02.480,0:21:05.780
is when Jesus said it's really
better to give than receive.

0:21:05.780,0:21:09.290
And so, I think he was saying
there, among other things,

0:21:09.290,0:21:12.980
is if you wanna be happy,
just give happiness to others.

0:21:12.980,0:21:15.597
And you can be guaranteed,
you can be guaranteed.

0:21:15.597,0:21:17.970
I've double-dog dared people this

0:21:17.970,0:21:19.150
for about two or three years.

0:21:19.150,0:21:20.320
You can take a day.

0:21:20.320,0:21:23.050
Make it your day to
make other people happy.

0:21:23.050,0:21:25.800
Just do it. Just see what
in the world happens.

0:21:25.800,0:21:27.257
Put it to the test.

0:21:27.257,0:21:29.270
- So good.
- See what happens!

0:21:29.270,0:21:33.010
Set loose, you know, go and serve people,

0:21:33.010,0:21:35.830
encourage people, call
people up for no other reason

0:21:35.830,0:21:38.590
except to tell them they're great folks.

0:21:38.590,0:21:43.427
Maybe forgive some people.
Just kind of honor people.

0:21:44.540,0:21:46.580
I've yet to have anybody say anything

0:21:46.580,0:21:49.060
except, you know, that
was a pretty cool day.

0:21:49.060,0:21:52.803
So that's wonderful, Rachel,
because I can control that.

0:21:53.790,0:21:55.270
I can't control the weather.

0:21:55.270,0:21:57.800
I can't control so much of life,

0:21:57.800,0:21:59.847
but I can control how I treat people.

0:21:59.847,0:22:03.070
And that's why I think that
happiness levels can go up,

0:22:03.070,0:22:05.970
if we'll take that angle
that Jesus gave us,

0:22:05.970,0:22:07.630
and that's try to make other people happy.

0:22:07.630,0:22:09.490
- Yeah, so good. And it is.

0:22:09.490,0:22:11.883
It's like, we talk about
giving a lot, money,

0:22:11.883,0:22:14.930
on this show and getting
to the point, financially,

0:22:14.930,0:22:15.810
where you're not burdened by debt,

0:22:15.810,0:22:18.280
and that you're able to live
with this open hand and give

0:22:18.280,0:22:19.370
because that happiness—

0:22:19.370,0:22:20.250
- Is so fun.

0:22:20.250,0:22:21.510
- comes out and that giving. Yes!

0:22:21.510,0:22:23.640
So how do you think
happiness and money relate?

0:22:23.640,0:22:24.560
What do you see in that?

0:22:24.560,0:22:25.640
- [Max] Well, I think generosity's huge.

0:22:25.640,0:22:29.010
- Yeah, yeah.
- It really is. It really is.

0:22:29.010,0:22:31.540
To be able to do something that maybe even

0:22:31.540,0:22:34.960
is a bit spontaneous but
extravagant for somebody

0:22:34.960,0:22:37.030
that just knocks them off their feet,

0:22:37.030,0:22:39.340
it is so much fun. It really is.

0:22:39.340,0:22:41.710
And then just measured giving,

0:22:41.710,0:22:45.293
to be able to tithe in your
church or an organization.

0:22:46.230,0:22:47.880
It's a wonderful thing.

0:22:47.880,0:22:52.260
I draw a lot of satisfaction
out of being able

0:22:52.260,0:22:55.180
to leave a good inheritance for my kids.

0:22:55.180,0:22:58.360
I'm pro-money. I'm not pro-materialism,

0:22:58.360,0:23:01.200
but I'm pro-money because
it's just a great tool

0:23:01.200,0:23:02.240
with which to make people happy.

0:23:02.240,0:23:03.730
- Yup, amen.

0:23:03.730,0:23:06.307
So, your new book,
"How Happiness Happens,"

0:23:07.177,0:23:08.140
I'm really, really excited to read it.

0:23:08.140,0:23:09.370
So dig into that a little bit.

0:23:09.370,0:23:11.684
Like, what caused you to write it?

0:23:11.684,0:23:13.113
What's the message in it?

0:23:13.113,0:23:14.150
What can people learn from it?

0:23:14.150,0:23:16.000
- When I saw that statistic, Rachel,

0:23:16.000,0:23:18.550
that said only one of
three Americans are happy,

0:23:18.550,0:23:20.980
that got me interested in happiness.

0:23:20.980,0:23:24.630
But the materialism factor is really big

0:23:24.630,0:23:26.460
because of the advertising factor.

0:23:26.460,0:23:28.920
And that's fine, everybody's got,

0:23:28.920,0:23:32.080
we've got good ideas, we wanna
pitch them. That's legitimate.

0:23:32.080,0:23:34.190
We who hear the ideas need to be able

0:23:34.190,0:23:36.920
to filter it correctly,
so that's up to us.

0:23:36.920,0:23:39.843
- Yes, so good. Max, thank you—

0:23:39.843,0:23:41.650
- Thank you. Thank you.
- so, so much. You guys,

0:23:41.650,0:23:45.500
pick up a copy of that book,
any book that he's written.

0:23:45.500,0:23:46.570
There's tons of them.

0:23:46.570,0:23:49.090
But you are just a master communicator.

0:23:49.090,0:23:50.880
You bring God's word to life.

0:23:50.880,0:23:53.840
And even, you spoke to
our entire company today,

0:23:53.840,0:23:55.170
and I heard some people just talk about,

0:23:55.170,0:23:56.255
like, I'm just happier

0:23:56.255,0:23:57.523
(laughing)
after hearing from Max!

0:23:57.523,0:24:00.684
So I was like, his message
definitely hit home.

0:24:00.684,0:24:01.890
- I'm happy about that.

0:24:01.890,0:24:03.600
- Really, a pleasure for you

0:24:03.600,0:24:05.409
to sit here and be here.
- Thank you, Rachel.

0:24:05.409,0:24:06.779
Thank you so much.
- So thank you. Thank you.

0:24:06.779,0:24:09.362
(upbeat music)

0:24:14.190,0:24:15.960
All right, I hope you see how debt

0:24:15.960,0:24:17.660
is full of broken promises,

0:24:17.660,0:24:18.660
and that you don't need debt

0:24:18.660,0:24:20.250
to achieve the American dream.

0:24:20.250,0:24:22.360
So, what are your thoughts
on the American dream?

0:24:22.360,0:24:25.050
I'd love to hear what you
think. Just let me know.

0:24:25.050,0:24:27.350
All right, a big thanks
to Jeremy and Julie

0:24:27.350,0:24:29.220
for coming on and sharing their story,

0:24:29.220,0:24:32.700
and to Max Lucado, who is
just awesome and so wise.

0:24:32.700,0:24:35.540
If you've not checked out the
podcast version of my show,

0:24:35.540,0:24:38.410
make sure you do that
and subscribe. It's so fun.

0:24:38.410,0:24:40.610
And be sure to subscribe
to my YouTube channel

0:24:40.610,0:24:44.310
and follow my Facebook page
for more great money tips.

0:24:44.310,0:24:46.220
Now, if you're looking for
The Contentment Journal

0:24:46.220,0:24:48.190
or anything that I
mentioned in today's show,

0:24:48.190,0:24:50.920
make sure to click the
link in the show notes.

0:24:50.920,0:24:52.920
And as always, make sure to take control

0:24:52.920,0:24:55.503
of your money and create a life you love.