Intensity: Are you Gazelle Intense?

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

What is gazelle intensity? Gazelle intensity is a term coined by author and radio host Dave Ramsey. Dave says that it requires intensity and determination to get out of debt. Cheetah’s run exceptionally fast reaching up to seventy five miles per hour when in full sprint. Cheetah’s are the fastest animal on the planet. Cheetah’s can even accelerate faster than many sports cars.

So how does this weird animal analogy fit in with finances?

Dave compares cheetah’s to credit card companies and other financial institutions which want you to pay interest. Gazelle’s in this example are you and I. Those of us who have fallen prey to 90 days same as cash, student loans, credit cards, and other debt.

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Where did Dave Ramsey get this idea from?

Dave Ramsey got this analogy from Proverbs 6:4-5 which states:

“Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird from the hand of the Fowler.”

So gazelle’s do not stand a chance against cheetahs I guess right? Think again! Cheetah’s have a limited range. Cheetah’s have to stop running when it’s body temperature reaches 105 degrees.

The video below shows that in nature gazelle’s do overcome. Note that I did have to search for a while to find a video where the gazelle got away. 

Or like this gazelle take that cheetah down! This video is even rarer but this cheetah doesn’t fair too well at all.

Financial companies offer “same as cash” or “no interest for X amount of months” to lure people in. They have a lot of research and they are good at what they do. Otherwise they wouldn’t stay in business. Yet we can resist them! We can even tell our debtors that we want out and fight for our lives by paying off our debt like the gazelle!

What does this mean on a practical level? 

It could easily mean cutting expenses like cell phone data plans, cable, satellite, eating out, certain entertainment venues, and other expenses you could cut from your budget. You might even give up habits that are hazardous for your health like smoking cigarettes. You could give up buying new cars and the car payments that typically come with them short-term for a few years. Or permanently since very few “investments” like cars go down in value so drastically in the first 2-3 years of ownership. Think of this as short term cuts for long-term financial freedom.

Then when you are out of debt with no consumer debt you can re-consider those luxuries.

Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most. 

Discipline Quote ESH

Gazelle intensity is running for your life! Getting out of debt as quickly as you can. A budget and an emergency fund are two great tools to help you accomplish this goal. Set up a budget today!

Why? So eventually you can live and give like no one else.

Live Like No One Else Quote

Further reading:

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Are you working your way out of debt? Are you staying gazelle intense? How much longer do you want to stay burdened by student loans, car payments, and credit cards? What could you buy, save, give, or invest in instead of paying that monthly interest?

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

36 Comments

    • Thanks Sam for the encouragement! It is very appreciated. That’s awesome that you are in a class for Financial Peace University! We just finished this week our first class as coordinators. There is something new we learn every time. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    • Steve, thanks for the encouragement and for reading! I guess we all go through seasons where we are more intense than others. Setting goals is really the key. Glad you enjoyed this post!

    • Carol, perhaps in our service culture it’s a bit harder to fathom. Today most people only see wild animals like cheetahs and gazelles on TV. The culture of the time the passage was written would’ve understood the seriousness of the proverb I guess. I agree that debt is a real problem today. The analogy is meant to inspire others to reach financial freedom! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  1. As usual Jonathan, you explain these concepts so clearly. I love your definition of discipline and the videos that give depth to the ideas you are communicating.

    • Gina, i’m glad you found this helpful. The definition of discipline make sense right? And thanks I thought the videos really added to the post. Thanks too for stopping by and reading!

  2. This is really good. I think I really need to get some Dave Ramsey books. Unfortunately as younger people my husband and I got us into quite a bit of debt and are struggling now to pay it off. I wish we had been wiser back then…this is a great topic for all people to learn about. Thanks for sharing it on Fitness Fridays at Drops of Learning.
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    • Miranda I think it would be helpful to you to read Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover.” It’s a really great book. Hang in there you can do this! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Great stuff! My wife and I are 20-some-odd percent of the way through our snowball. We’re both working multiple jobs, skimping where we can, selling stuff, etc. But, being totally honest, being a gazelle is tiring! 🙂

    • Jay, I would agree that being gazelle is tiring! Maybe set up some small rewards as you go along to celebrate milestones and victories? Food for thought. Way to go on tackling your finances in your 20s! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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