Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Secret Of Real Financial Freedom

I know "financial freedom" is one of the latest buzzwords. People are working on building income streams and businesses on the side.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that's great! I believe in being proactive. I believe in working towards the life you want!
But I think freedom is a state of mind, and not the state of our bank account.

If our freedom is dependent upon having “enough” money/income (whatever that mysterious figure might be), then we are not free at all. In fact, we are the opposite of free. We are enslaved.

I contend that true financial freedom is knowing that you’ll be just fine, whether you have a lot of money or a little money. Because you already know that you have the drive, the creativity, the confidence to create opportunities, no matter what you’re circumstances are, or what the economy/your employer/the government does.

Too many people spend their lives in unfulfilling, soul-destroying jobs, so they can have money, so they can have options. Why not use your beautiful mind and create options now...and save yourself all that drudgery?

Let go of the limiting mindset that we must have money in order to have “freedom”, or options, or to live the life we want. Money doesn’t create options, YOU create options!! The truth is that most people don't really want more money, they want the lifestyle they assume can only be bought with money...

My husband and I wanted to be out of debt and have lots of time to spend with our children. We tried working harder, longer hours, saving more...all the usual things. But we seemed to be constantly going around in circles, never really getting anywhere. Because we assumed that the only way to be out of debt and spend lots of time with our children was to have more money. 

Then we started to think outside the box. We sold our house (sure that was a hard decision, but life is more important than a house), sold most of our stuff and moved overseas, where we live with extended family while we wait to build our own house. We have very little money...but we also have no debt and lots of time to spend with our children. 

Let’s say you want to travel, but you don’t have much money. Is the dream out of reach? Is it impossible? Of course not! You could:

Work overseas
Exchange Program
Start a crowd-funding campaign 
Find a host family and stay with them, then return the favor when they come to visit you
Be a travel companion for someone who might be unable to travel alone
Freelance write or teach English
Get a job on a cruise-ship
Do something bold, like approaching a company and telling them you’ll proudly fly their company flag while standing on Mount Everest/Running with the Bulls/whatever adventure you’ve got planned...as long as they pay for your ticket. Who knows, the worst they can do is say no, right?! (People and businesses can be surprisingly agreeable, if there’s something in it for them.)

The options are limited only by your imagination. 

There are people who travel the world full-time, yet they are not wealthy!! They swap, negotiate, work their way around the world, and they do it far cheaper than it costs to live in any of the major cities of the world...

To think that you MUST have money in order to have options is slave thinking.  Free minds know that there are options everywhere. What’s more, free minds create them!!

There was a Canadian guy called Kyle MacDonald. A few years ago, he was unemployed and broke, but he wanted to buy a house. Conventional thinking says it would be “impossible”. (Conventional thinking also keeps most of us in 9-5 jobs that slowly snuff out our inner fire, and then we retire and then we die. Who wants conventional thinking?)

On his desk was a red paper clip. It gave him an idea. He went on Craigslist, and asked to swap. He found someone who wanted the red paperclip, and swapped it for a fish-shaped pen. Then he swapped that pen for a door-knob.  And so on, and so on, until he was swapping a jetski and a motorbike, and eventually...a house. Read his fascinating blog here.

The moral of the story is: there are opportunities everywhere. Most people don’t see them, because they have never been taught to see them. (The other lesson is that we usually have something that somebody else wants, and vice versa....so learn to barter!)

It’s a ridiculous notion when you think about it. We collect some little pieces of paper in our wallet, and suddenly we have options? No, friend, we always had options!

You know the saying: “Many people spend their health trying to gain wealth, and then have to spend their wealth trying to re-gain their health?" You don’t need to spend the best years of your life and health in order to have financial freedom. You can have financial freedom today, if you just realize this...

True financial freedom is being free of the fear that you might not have “enough”. True financial freedom is being free of the limiting belief that you must have money to live the kind of life you dream of. (You don't.)

True financial freedom is knowing you have the intelligence, the creativity, the willpower to create options beyond the sphere of money. No global financial crisis, no economic downturn, no job redundancy can take those things from you!! Now isn’t that real freedom?

Everything you need for an awesome life is already inside you. What a relief! Isn’t that real freedom? It can’t be stolen, embezzled, lost, eroded by inflation, or poorly invested. 

Now isn’t that real freedom?

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Kylie Ofiu said...

Oh so true. When i started blogging it was because I wanted to be a millionaire. My experiences in the past 2 years have shown me money isn't what I need and financial freedom is a state of mind. I know that no matter what happens, I will be ok and since accepting that and trusting, my income has increased, not that it mattered to me if it did or didn't.

The peace of mind and freedom I feel now, not stressing about how much money I make or focusing so much on my income/networth, is amazing.

Money is at the bottom of my priorities.

Kate Punivai said...

Yes, I often think how you've been changed by your journey, and it's been such a privilege for us all to watch your evolution and growth! Thanks for being so open and honest about your journey.

Recently I've been blessed to meet people who live in "poverty" but financially speaking, they are free. Money comes and money goes, but their happiness is entirely independent of whether the money is coming or whether it's going. They simply share what they have because they know there'll always be more - they are simply part of the eternal flow of life. Such faith! It's really had a profound impact on me.