I’m Done Asking for Permission


asking for permission

Photo by Ben White

“Forty years I’ve been asking for permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.” This is a great line from the movie Shawshank Redemption, and it addresses a problem we all face. Red (played by Morgan Freeman) was so right: throughout our lives, we are constantly asking for permission. It never ends.

Well, one day, I decided to make a change: I was done asking for permission. If I wanted something, and if I could afford it—on my own, without having to ask—I’d buy it. And if I couldn’t afford it, I wouldn’t.

It may sound unbelievable, but you, too, can decide you’re done asking for permission in your own life. Let me give you an example.

You and your lovely spouse are watching TV when you notice the big, beautiful house the main characters live in. You have the great idea that it’s time for you to move, but you don’t have enough money available to purchase that bigger, shinier home outright, so you call your mortgage broker to apply for a loan.

Sounds great, right? There’s just one problem: without the cold, hard cash to purchase that place, taking out a loan requires asking for permission to pay the bank back (with interest) over the next 15 or 30 years. Debt sucks.

How would I approach this situation? If I don’t have the money upfront—and if I’m really done asking for permission—I just won’t buy it. It takes willpower, but I know that the benefits of living within my means far outweigh the cost of taking out that loan.

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