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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey a few months ago. Since then, I've re-read it 2 or 3 times and I continue to refer to parts of it almost daily.

This book changed my life. If you haven't read, you should! I know many people don't buy books, preferring to check them out at the library, but this book is worth every single penny.

In reading this book, I realized that my actions were not aligned with my priorities. I believe that this is why I've struggled with money and made poor decisions with my money. I have a good job making a very good living and yet I'm up to my eyeballs in debt, have virtually no savings, and haven't been able have the experiences I would have liked (i.e., travel, museums, plays, operas, symphonies, etc.).

I've spent so many years trying to build the life that I pictured in my head as a little girl. I grew up in Iowa, the oldest of 8 kids. I wasn't happy there. Don't get me wrong, my parents gave us a very nice, comfortable life, but Iowa is quiet. I dreamed of a large, loud, busy city. Dinners at fancy restaurants; seeing plays, going to the opera or symphony; great shopping. And most of all, having MY OWN place.

In many respects, I've succeeded. I live in a nice neighborhood in Chicago. I have my very own (albeit tiny) apartment. I have my dream job, wonderful friends, and am surrounded by more fancy restaurants and theatres than I could possibly go to in a lifetime. But with all of this, I still feel like a very large part of my dream is missing.

I was spending a ton of money on looking the part. I have beautiful clothes, designer handbags, a membership at a fancy gym. This wasn't about keeping up with the Jones' but more about trying to fulfill a image I've had in my head for years. An image of what life in a big city was supposed to be like in an 8-year old girls head. What can I say, I grew up in the 80's watching movies like Wall Street, Changing Places, and Working Girl.

I realized in reading "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" that what's missing are the plays I'm not seeing, the traveling I'm not doing, the mueseums I'm not visiting. I can't afford these things because I'm spending my money on the wrong things.
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