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