Another Fragment and Analysis

Once I understood those obstacles, I began a process to lose weight, grow muscle, and become more fit. Your Total Money Makeover is the same. You need to realize there’s a problem, but you must also see what could hinder your move toward financial fitness…Look in the mirror. Take a long look…. focused intensity, life-or-death intensity, is required for you to reset your money-spending patterns and one of your biggest obstacles is DENIAL. The sad thing is that you can be financially mediocre in this country, financially flabby, and still be average. (Ramsey, 9-10)

This is another rich passage, from a chapter titled “Denial: I’m not that Out of Shape.” The sports/fitness metaphors are extremely palpable; it could be said that Ramsey is recommending “financial anorexia”: telling the reader he is fat, ugly, in debt, and useless. All of these are equitable. He is also telling the reader that these issues are his problems – not his boss’s, the governments, or some kind of institutional issue. It his fault, he is out of control, fat, and must confess. He is also asking the reader to judge himself, and ask if they even want to be normal. Ramsey is offering the reader to be more than normal: “this book is about winning” (10). The mention of a mirror is demanding the reader to survey himself: to constantly judge whether he is “succeeding” in his Total Money Makeover, and acknowledge that he isn’t, he isn’t until he takes the steps that Ramsey is demanding he take.

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