“The elephant stays on course, moving toward its goal, regardless of all the barking and noise that swirls around him.”
In her new book The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream, personal finance guru and TV personality Suze Orman advises readers to think pachyderm, not canine. Wait, what?
She explains using one of her favorite phrases:
The elephant keeps walking while the dog keeps barking.
Again, what? Huh?
What does this mean? The point, basically, is to ignore all of the barking—by marketers, by your friends and society, and certainly by the Joneses living beyond their means next door—that entices you to spend on random stuff you don’t need. To realize your financial goals—getting out of debt, buying a house, paying for college without loans—you must plod slowly, steadily and elephant-like and ignore all of that yapping.
Orman explains further in part of her book excerpted in the Globe and Mail:
Let me tell you, it’s not easy to ignore all that barking. A lot of time and money and invention is spent on coming up with ways to seduce you to spend. But if you are steady and true and you are able to just keep walking when your friends say let’s go skiing this weekend, let’s go out to eat, come on, live a little– if you can just keep walking then you will end up where you want to be, regardless of the obstacles thrown in your path. An elephant walks where it wants – surely and steadily it arrives at its destination, and that is the truth that I want you to stand in.
And the reward for behaving like an elephant? It’s more than just peanuts.