Joe M: A Personal Testimony of How MFC Changed Me
When I began this program, I had recently emerged from a serious bout of depression. I was suffering under traumatic financial setbacks, and the weight of those setbacks were snowballing into anxiety levels that encouraged even more poor decisions, both for my financial security and my state of mind.
The program has helped me focus on fixing the things immediately at hand that I can effect, instead of dwelling on past mistakes and misfortunes. There are several parts of the program's philosophies that have helped me, including:
* Each choice I make is a free choice, which I can make independent of the pattern of past decisions.
* Each choice I make in life is either to try to move towards a desired goal, or to turn away from that goal. This includes smaller decisions like indulging in time-wasting or self-harming habits.
* From that point of view, choices are binary. Either they help my long-term goals, or they do not.
* If I don't pause and take time to reflect before acting, I am letting my habitual patterns control my decision-making. Since those patterns have led me downhill in the past, it is essential that I take this time to think before acting.
* WHY I got where I am right now is not nearly as important as WHAT I decide to do right now.
With these ideas in mind, I have been able to act far more wisely, both for my emotional state and for my financial state. I occasionally still engage in counter-productive behaviors, but I am more keenly aware that I can retain control of my actions. On the whole, I am less likely to waste time and happiness moving away from my goals, and more likely to pause, reflect, and then make a decision that moves me forward.
My deep period of depression is over, thankfully, and although I have faced new, troubling setbacks on occasion, I am able to reflect upon how my choices at this very moment can allow me to either get beyond those setbacks, or else if I do not choose that path, to settle back into self-destructive patterns - which I do not want to do! The realization that every such acquiescence into such behavior is a decision to turn away from self-betterment is a powerful one, placing the responsibility for future success on the only thing I can possibly affect - what I decide to do right now.
By example, on Saturday I was frustrated by a week of computer setbacks that threatened my secondary income stream of investments. I had lost my primary computer, two new computers I had ordered had both been delayed considerably in delivery, and even after delivery they failed to provide me with the functionality I would need when this business week started on Monday morning. By Saturday night I was also troubled by the fact that I had not begun work that I had brought home from my primary employment to accomplish over the weekend, and feared that my old pattern would kick in of putting it off until (literally) the eleventh hour or later of Sunday.
I realized that my mental outlook had degraded to the point where I was no longer making good decisions, and instead repeatedly beating myself up for the recent setbacks. I resolved to go to my girlfriend's house instead, and tried to work from there. When that failed, I gave up for the day, and allowed myself to relax and think about less-troubling things.
Sunday I decided to reengage my difficulties with a relaxed attitude, patiently. By not worrying about the deadlines looming (most of which which I had imposed on myself), I could knock one task at a time off my list. At a certain point I realized I had made sufficient progress on all goals that were the most time-critical, and went to bed to get a good night's rest.
By start of business Monday I had my trading platform working again, and I was prepared for my 10am meeting with the work I got done. I didn't get everything done that I had hoped, but in retrospect those goals were overambitious. Instead, I got a reasonable and sufficient amount of work done, focusing on what I could do in the moment rather than on farther-away goals, and goals that I had placed as anxiety roadblocks which simply weren't as time-critical.
Thank you very much for your help over these months.
Follow-up MFC Questions – Joe M Responses:
A - What changed in your life now that you have MFC Tools?
I have a better capacity to control my impulses, and to thus avoid falling into habitual behaviors that are unproductive, detrimental, and even downright dangerous.
B - What do you see now that you could not see before?
That my present is not a result of my past, but largely of my immediate decisions.
C - How would you compare MFC with other methods you may have tried?
It removes the concepts of "guilt" and the consequences of misbehavior/"sin" from my decision-making process, which appeals to my Catholic upbringing, but is not generally useful.
D - What do you find unique in MFC
A focus on positive actions moving forward, instead of working to overcome negative actions from the past.