You’ve grown disgusted with lists of urgent tasks, and so have I. They promise to solve everything but waste your time instead.

That is why these five courageous steps are not more tasks but descriptions of a growth process that will help you focus on important issues, eliminate demands,develop decision-making clarity, reduce anxiety and confusion, and fortify your important values.

These steps provide a framework to help you embrace your truth, rather than buy someone else’s, and move forward in a simple, substantive, confident way. As you read, you can breathe, concentrate, and stop being distracted by all the fantasies and band-aids others are offering to make a buck off your desire for solutions.I’m going to provide something better than “the answer” or feel-good checklists. I am going to explain a simple process of getting real with any issue or question you face, so
the answers you come up with will not only be grounded in your authentic concerns but will address your reality.

I will briefly explain and then apply these steps to current economic issues, but you can apply them to any area in your life. There is no time to waste. Let’s get started. What are the five steps and how do you
apply them?

“Nail the issue/ pierce the fantasy”
“Get real about consequences/ anticipate the trends”
“Stop feeding the beast/ act on your deeper values and sense”
“Confront your habits/ transform your character”
“Liberate yourself/ get proactive”


This means asking, “What’s going on, really?” and
consciously pursuing the truth.

This is rarely easy, because first you must overcome your desire not to know. Additionally,information you receive, even from “experts,” often reflects their fantasies and interests and not the core underlying issues.
Sorting wish from fact, and reliable information from hype, is a key skill in this step. (Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities is built on this premise.)

Don’t get sucked in. Selective statistics, bobble-head “experts”, and relentlessly rosy government officials will almost always protect the status quo and hide fundamental problems. Expect it!
How many times did you hear, “The housing market has reached a bottom? Now is a good time to buy!” or “Economic indicators say the recession has ended” even while unemployment remains near record highs.Trust evidence over words. It’s not “just you” struggling financially. Why do statisticians, experts, and officials lie or tell only part of the story? Because their “success” comes from making things appear pleasant to your perception, not from being truthful about your reality.

Examine motive. Look at underlying factors. Don’t allow your need to be comforted get in the way of being fully responsible and informed. Are you going to bow to optimistic cheerleaders and your own insecurity or
heed your deeper know-how?


In this step, dedication to fundamentals must win out over fear and greed. For instance,when people said during the housing bubble, “If you don’t buy now, you won’t be able to afford it,” or, “Housing only goes up; you’re missing out!,” they were appealing to fear and greed. Look instead at the key financial factors:

When matched against the reality of people paying ten times their
salary for houses that actually added more money owed to their
mortgage principal (i.e. negative amortization), required no money
down, and set up “balloon payments,” large step-ups in payments
after a few years, there is no possible way borrowers could not default
in a predictable span of time.”
(Transforming Economy, pg. 43)

In other words, the only thing you are missing in a bubble-driven economic frenzy is financial heartache. Lesson from Step #1: Take fundamentals over fear and greed.

To Be Continued...come back to read all 5 steps! We would love to hear your thoughts on the first step below.


 zeus.jpgZeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D. is an economics blogger, futurist, and author of Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities. He has written regularly for top alternative economics blogs, including ZeroHedge.com and OfTwoMinds.com. He has appeared as a guest on “The Keiser Report” and “On the Edge with Max Keiser” on RT TV as well as the “Inside the Eye” radio program. Zeus is a “performance educator” with expertise in philosophy and cultural foundations of education. His own blog, Citizen Zeus (http://citizenzeus.com)

Pick up a copy of the Transforming Economy e-book here. Visit Citizen Zeus to engage other essays on transforming yourself and your society. Contact Zeus at [email protected] to engage his "learn to transform" consulting services.

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