Temptations are everywhere. It has become almost impossible to avoid advertisements that try to tempt you into buying. Even our homes are not safe from the assault. There isn't any wonder why most Americans struggle by spending too much money to buy things that they do not need. If you want to reach financial "success", avoiding temptations is key.
To start, it is very important to think about the relationship of temptations. Meaning the psychology behind it. For example, why whenever chocolate is presented to me I have an insatiable need to devour it? For some reason, my brain thinks "I better eat it all now because I will never see chocolate again". Logically, we all know that chocolate can be found in just about every store. So why can I not stop myself? Since I am not a psychologist, it is not possible for me to adequately explain the science behind it. Basically, my short-term pleasure is overriding my logic and long-term thinking. I become a dog with a bone in front of me. With that said, I have learned to fight it. My weapon of choice is avoidance.
Avoidance is a very powerful tool when used right. It is the perfect tool when your ability to say no is too weak. A perfect example of this is an alcoholic who is trying to become sober for the first time. Do you think an alcoholic has the ability to say no to a drink? Absolutely not, especially in the beginning. If they do not avoid the presence of alcohol, a drink will wind up in their hands. They have to take time away to strengthen the ability to say no.
Ultimately, avoidance will not be enough. You have to figure out what you really want. To do this, you have to know what you truly value. An example is a healthy body or sweets. We naturally want the sweets but we value a healthy body over it. For our finances, everyone wants a shiny new car. What we value though is a reliable car to get you to where you want to go for many years to come.
Bottom line, do be like the child in the picture lacking self-control. We all have temptations (a.k.a addictions). Discover them and learn how to control them instead of being controlled. Take the time to figure out what you truly value in life to help you win the fight. Try this exercise by Stephen Covey to start. Watch the video below. There are also additional resources listed at the bottom.
Psychological- How to Get What You Really Want
Spiritual- How to Get What You Really Want (message series)