Symptom and disease. Often associated with your physical health this is something everyone is well aware of. The disease is the underlying issue while the symptom is something more superficial like coughing or a rash.

Today though I’d like to talk about these two things in a totally different light. I’d like to look at them from the angle of your happiness and spending. You see, for most people out there, they’ll have many diseases and do lots of various things to try and fix them, all without realising it.

For example someone might be overweight, unhealthy and unfit (the disease). The symptoms of this disease are being physically bigger, not wanting (or being able to) get off the couch and not being able to do relatively simple physical tasks like a sit up or a chin up.

The Trouble With Diseases

Now while these diseases might not be as bad as something like cancer they’re still highly problematic. If we have the problem/disease of being bored with our job and not finding it stimulating enough day to day, we can have the symptom of always spending money on travelling to “spice things up”.

The trouble is you’re taking two steps forward then one step back. You’re working hard to earn money only to then spend it on fixing the symptom your work created!

This type of dynamic shows up in many other areas too. People spend thousands trying to get fit and fix the symptom of having an unhealthy diet (the actual disease).

They’ll also quite often confuse the two as well, they’ll think the symptom is the disease and try and fix that rather than addressing the underlying disease. For example an older, overweight man might see the heart attack he just had as the disease/problem. The fix? Medication to thin his blood or reduce blood pressure of course!

Another extremely common disease/symptom confusion that occurs is heart burn or re-flux. A person will get re-flux and go to the doctor. Here, pay for and take these pills to address the symptom and off you go! (I find a lot of medicine is like this!)

If, instead, they were to try and address the disease/problem they’d make sure to stop drinking as much alcohol, coffee or energy drinks. Stop eating as much spicy food or ensuring they stop eating big meals or meals in general 3-4 hours before they go to sleep. They could try and lose weight if they’re not already in a healthy range and so on.

The trouble with all the “normal” ways people seem to deal with diseases or problems these days is that they 1) seem to address the symptom not the disease and 2) do so in a matter that sends them backwards.

Going Backwards Slows You Down

The obvious heading is obvious. But. More often than not we all need to be reminded of the obvious as we get swept up in our ever busier day to day lives.

The point of all this is to say that the next time you see a problem or disease arising take a step back and try and ask yourself what’s truly at the heart of it. Are you looking at a symptom or a disease?

Are you over spending on sugary drinks and chocolates because you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables? Do you not have enough energy when you get home because your job is treating you poorly and you should go elsewhere?

Is that the 8th coffee you’ve needed today to stay awake because you only sleep 6 hours a night? Is your entertainment budget going off the rails because you have no fulfilling hobby to keep you happy and engaged?

Besides the fact that addressing the underlying disease makes you more efficient and happier, it also saves you hoards of money usually. A happy, disease free person is one that more often than not spends very little money. You don’t need to buy things to make you feel good if you feel good already.

Whether it’s saving on snacks at work, blood pressure medication or useless stuff you constantly buy curing the disease is something that needs to be thought about and dealt with promptly.

Then after you deal with it you can take that money and slam it right back into your mortgage.

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