It was 2007, and I was 25 years old. I was working a job that wasn't paying that much. And I had around $30,000 in student loan debt.
I realize that to many students graduating nowadays, $30,000 may not be that much. But to me it felt like Mount Everest. I just figured it would be something that would be with me for years to come. Just a huge monkey on my back forever.
Then my parents gave me a book called The Total Money Makeover, written by a guy named Dave Ramsey. I read the book, and it made a lot of sense to me. It even motivated me a little bit to try and get the student loan paid off.
But I didn't really do anything about it. I didn't take any action at that point. After I read the book I had an initial jolt of motivation, but a jolt is just that: a jolt. That motivation didn't stick around, and I went back to doing what I had been doing.
Not long after, I discovered that Dave Ramsey had a podcast. I checked it out, and started listening to it on a regular basis.
That's when things started to change.
I found myself starting to feel more regular motivation and even a passion for getting the student loan paid off. Dave Ramsey's passion and conviction was contagious, and it rubbed off on me each time I would listen to him on his podcast.
I also found myself starting to behave differently. I started to spend differently, and allocate my money differently. I began to throw every extra dollar I could towards the loan.
I became passionate about it myself. I would talk about it with friends. Not everyone agreed with what I was doing, but I didn't care. I was focused and determined, and I had a vision of where I was going and where I wanted to be.
Eventually, after about two years of persistent action, I paid off the loan. And it felt amazing.
What happened? Why did listening to the podcast have such a huge impact on me and set me on an aggressive course of action?
I think there were two things that listening to the podcast provided, which ultimately drove me to take persistent action:
1. I learned.
Listening to Dave's podcast consistently, I was learning about personal finance. It grew my confidence about my own situation and future, because I was being equipped and educated about how it all works together. And I was learning a specific, step-by-step plan forward.
2. I got a steady stream of motivation and encouragement.
Reading his book was like a singular rush of motivation to change and implement strategies that he recommended.
But the thing about change is that it takes time.
And because it takes time, there are lots of opportunities to get discouraged, to fall off the bandwagon, to give up.
Even though the end result will completely change your life, and your entire family tree for that matter, change is still really hard. And it's easy to give up hope that change can even happen.
Listening to his podcast kept my head up. I was hearing regular reminders that change is possible. That I CAN do it. And it provided regular fuel to keep going and not give up. To take another step.
This is exactly how it is with pursuing freedom from porn. You can get a jolt of motivation or encouragement here and there, but because change takes many steps consistently over time, regular doses of encouragement and reminders are what we need.
This is why I started The New Paths Podcast. Podcasts are my own go-to for learning, encouragement, and motivation. I wish so badly that I had had a podcast that would have given me the steps that I discovered to handle that next urge when it hits me. And not only to explain the steps, but a podcast to encourage me to keep going, to motivate me to take the next step.
This is what I want The New Paths Podcast to be for you. Make it your study stream of encouragement, motivation, and reminders to implement the P.A.T.H. Plan when the urge arises. Let it fuel you on your journey to freedom, and remind you that you absolutely CAN be free from porn.
Subscribe wherever you like to listen to podcasts so that you won't have to remember to listen to a new episode. And if certain episodes resonate with you, I encourage you to listen to it multiple times to really digest it, internalize it, and own it.
Change doesn't happen overnight. Make sure you feed yourself with regular doses of encouragement and reminders of the freedom that IS possible for you.