Monday, July 30, 2012

A Kick in the Teeth

Walt Disney said, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Well, I was definitely getting a good kick in the teeth.

To get to the point where you file for bankruptcy you have to hit rock bottom. However, getting to that point is a gradual decline. It does not happen over night.

As things continued to deteriorate, I continued to naively believe that I could turn things around and get back on top of this mess that I had made for myself and my family. I just needed a little bit of luck and I needed to work harder. I think that’s a reasonable response to a self-inflicted challenge, don’t you? Funny thing though, it takes a long time for reality to set in when you become desperate. And I was desperate. That desperation quickly turned to depression. That depression fluctuated between depression and anger.

Well I’m tired of being angry. I’ve been angry for a long time and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere.

When you file for bankruptcy, the first thing you do is fill out a bankruptcy packet. The purpose of this is to give the bankruptcy court an in-depth look at your financial history. If they’re going to grant you bankruptcy relief, they want to know everything about you. In addition to that, they want you to understand what went wrong so that the same thing doesn’t happen again. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

I had to provide them a detailed asset and liability sheet, a profit and loss statement, tax returns, and in my case the most emotionally draining document, a detailed list of all of our possessions and a value. Why was this so difficult? Because it caused me to look at my possessions and realize that this is what I had worked my whole life for. Nothing but stuff. Crap really. Don’t get me wrong, I like having nice things, but it really shed a light on what my priorities had been.
The real questions I started to ask myself were, “Outside of this stuff I’ve accumulated, what is my life worth?”  “Do my kids know I love them?” “Do they know they are more important to me than anything else in the world?” “Does Michelle, my wife know I love her, and do I show that in a way that she not only knows it, but feels it?” “Have I made an impact in the world that I can truly feel proud of?” “What is my legacy?” I’d been kicked in the mouth with a steel-toed boot. I’m not satisfied with how I answered any of those questions. I’d become just another rat in the cage, working to survive and surviving to work.

We are all faced with the challenge of coming to know who we are. We must individually decide what our personal values are and then commit to living by those values. No one else should have that power over us. It is an individual mandate. What did I learn from filling out those bankruptcy forms? Man, know thyself.

As always thank you for reading this blog entry and please feel free to share my blog that you think this might help.

Warmest Regards,
Scot Boley    


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  2. You have made an impact in the world. You taught me the greatest truths of all. Once you hit bottom, up is the only place you can go. Love your family with all your heart, things don't matter.


  3. Reading this made me think that it would be a good thing for everyone to have to write that list ... See exactly what they have accumulated ... to love and be loved is the greatest thing of all .... Once anger fades ... it always becomes clearer ... sending best wishes

  4. There are a lot of things that you need to consider when you go through bankruptcy. What’s important is that you do all the right actions in order to carry on with life. You shouldn’t mind what other people might think of you. Yes, it is during that process that you will learn the things that you should and shouldn’t do. Well, you just have to focus on how you’re going to face it. It will pass and you’ll definitely start anew. :)

    Allan Morais

  5. It's normal to think of many things when you go through bankruptcy. You might even probably think some of the strangest or most devastating questions in life. And at some point, you should really take the blame, but you must not lose hope. Instead of making your life worse, recover from it. Do your best to become successful again. Remember, there's always a rainbow after the rain.