If You're Doing This For Money, You're Doing It Wrong
Going after financial freedom has little to do with finance really. What the pursuit is really about is personal freedom. The financial focus is simply a tool we use to unlock the personal freedom.
I've become super interested in Todd Tressider's blog as of late. Especially his take on happiness. Here's one of his quote's that just totally struck a cord with me this week. It's got a little taste of Buddhism to it.
"Suffering today in an effort to earn greater success and income for tomorrow so that I can relax and feel secure at some future date is insane. I can embrace the adventure that is my work. I do what I can each day without stress but with creativity and joy, and trust the results will be meaningful."
I was on this backwards path -- waiting till I hit some financial freedom number to really start improving my job situation. It did the exact opposite of what I truly wanted in going after financial freedom. I felt locked in to a job I didn't like because it was a reliable source of income.
I unknowingly succumbed to the pre-determined life on my path toward the self-determined life. Work for money, spend it, and use the "lack of money" as an excuse to improve my job situation. I got so lost in the "financial" portion of financial freedom that it became a hinderance to my true goal of personal freedom.
What I wish I realized then, and I am grateful I realize now is that your self-determined life starts now. No matter if you're at your financial freedom number or not. You control your situation. Right now.
If you're life doesn't feel self-determined right now, then it's time to focus in on personal freedom. I started by dreaming up the life I would live if money didn't exist. This exercise was so exciting and awakening for me!
Now I have self-determined goals to go after along my path. Things like finishing a book I've been writing for a year now, starting up a small business that provides me the freedom of location, working hours and creativity and traveling to different places and fully experiencing their natural surroundings.
I made my first step on this self-determined path a few months ago by getting a new job. I've liked it so much more and am so stoked on the decision. And soon, probably somewhere around September, I'm going to take a much bigger step toward the goals I wrote out above.
This will mean a cut to my income for some time. But who gives a crap! I've spent 3 years focusing on personal freedom and my financial situation can very well unlock the lifestyle I'm hoping to create. I can't spend another 2,000 hours in an office building letting the sunshine pass overhead without feeling it touch my skin. Can you?
The weekly spending on restaurants won't matter when you see it can get you snorkeling in the Caribbean. Monthly car payments will look ludicrous once you recognize they can give you an extra 6 months of ramp up time for starting a small business of your own. Cable and contract phone bills will get trashed after you become conscious that the money can boost time spent with your friends and family.
You are pursuing financial independence because it is one tool that helps gain personal freedom. Not for the money. The money is a lubricant that makes each dream decision easier and easier to make.
So start using the tool of financial independence and unlock your personal freedom, your true happiness, sooner rather than later.