Steering Clear of the ‘I have Reached Syndrome’



The Japanese have a famous standard that they use in their production systems known as ‘Kaizen’ which means continuous improvement. It was the key to Japan’s success in the 1980’s and the 1990s. Today it is used in organizations to ensure that they remain on top of their competition. Just like companies, it is important for you and me to remain on top of our finances to be able to remain competitive. But just how would anyone fall into a financial abyss and how can anyone steer clear of that path?


The I have reached Syndrome’
Symptoms associated with this syndrome include living large irrespective of someone’s income bracket. You could liken this syndrome to living a life of the rich and famous when actually one is not. The syndrome is quite common worldwide due to its nature. It so happens that when we make money suddenly we develop popups in our heads of our wants. Some of us go ahead to gratify these popups while the rest of us fulfill only particular predefined needs. That is what makes the difference. As such, individuals suffering from this syndrome end up indebted to the hilt, lose social credibility or on the other hand with little or no growth financially.

Competing with the Toms
The greatest causative agent of this syndrome would be none other than competing with every Tom, Dick and Harry. If they buy a car, you admire their car and you buy a similar one. They choose to take their children to a particular school and you also opt for the same. As such the person ends up in impulsive buying that is guided by peer groups. Such a lifestyle is bent more on spending than generating income.

Speculate to Spend
Someone once said that you speculate to accumulate. Well, this thinking has been distorted to ‘speculate to spend’. This is the biggest cause of financial indiscipline. People speculate their earnings and spend in advance. Individuals suffering from this syndrome will therefore commit their future earnings by borrowing.

Live like Warren
One of the cures to this syndrome would be to live like Warren Buffet. He lives in the same house he bought in 1958. He is also known as the father of value investing. Value investing on a personal finances level would imply living far below your means. This is contrary to what individuals suffering from this syndrome go through which is living above their means. 

Bottom Line
Ultimately, for you to avert this syndrome, you will need massive financial and self- discipline as well as a desire for 'kaizen' - Always improve.