If your favorite food is white bread and you have never eaten a good bagel then perhaps ignorance is bliss when you buy your first cheap bagel and it tastes like white bread. You are getting what you like and have no idea how bad it really is! As I write this on a Wednesday morning, I am eating a BAD bagel. If I were after a piece of white bread toast then at least I wouldn’t be disappointed. Okay, enough of the analogies.
The ignorance of things only makes you accept cheap alternatives for the good things you don’t even know exist. Okay, one more analogy. I worked with a good friend years ago who met me for lunch one day at one of my favorite restaurants. One that had some killer New England Clam Chowder. He went on a tirade about how disgusting clam chowder was. He said his mom made it when he was a kid. She made it out of a can! Well that explained it, He was ignorant to what good clam chowder was. He actually agreed to try some at the restaurant and guess what? Ignorance was no longer bliss. He loved it. Okay, enough of the analogies! Really!
Things like bad bagels and bad clam chowder really don’t affect our lives much beyond robbing us of simple pleasures such as good food. Ignorance of financial literacy, on the other hand, can rob us of much, much more. Ignorance of these things cannot be described as “Bliss”. I am nearly 53 years old and have dedicated most of my education for the past ten years to understanding personal financial principles, business and real estate investing. I have removed enough of my ignorance in these areas to have become a millionaire. Looking at life from this side of things, I can tell you that its like the bagel and clam chowder. If you don’t know what the good is, you will settle for the bad.
Settling for the bad in personal finance looks like moving from one low paying job to the next somehow believing that the next one will be different. No it won’t. Ignorance to this will lead to being 65 years old and still working a low paying job at Wal Mart or McDonalds because you chose to remain ignorant to understanding personal finance. Ignorance will cause you to buy things that become burdens to you. invest in things with low R.O.I. (if you don’t know what R.O.I. is, then it’s just another area of ignorance that will keep you broke)
People can be divided into two categories when it comes to ignorance. The first can be overcome. Those people who have never even heard of bagels much less if there are good ones and bad ones, but they still want to learn. At least these people can be enlightened and go on to choose if they want to experience the good, the bad, something in between or nothing at all.
The second group is exasperating to me. They are the ones who seem to be determined to remain in their ignorance. They hang on to things that don’t work. They refuse to consider anything different from their current paradigm. They scoff at others who are trying something new or different. They tend to live in the past and embrace things that have become obsolete. And here’s the big one……They refuse to be open to the fact that maybe there’s a better way………….. Small statement, HUGE implications.
I have one retired friend, (who will never read a blog post, so I’m okay here) who fit the description of the second type of person I just described. (and I know there are many more who fit this description) Even when we were experiencing success, their answer was always, too much work, too much reading, I’ve got a good job, I can get social security in a couple of years, you take money too seriously, and on and on and on and on…………..
Today he gets a social security check, which does virtually nothing for him. He works a low paying job (probably minimum wage, I don’t have the heart to ask him), to make up for what social security doesn’t cover. He struggles to do necessary things and forget about enjoyable things, there’s just no money for that. Here’s the kicker. His belief in WHY life has come down to this is; It’s a combination of bad luck, misfortune and the “government and employers cheating us”!
NO…………It’s because of IGNORANCE and Ignorance is not bliss!
So……Choose to remain ignorant believing that what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Or…..Choose to open up to the fact that maybe what you don’t know could rob you of your best potential!