People have this perception that the focus of our lives should be on work and saving up money for the future. Many people go as far to save up much more money than they’d ever need so they can buy an excess of toys for themselves. That’s not being rich, though, I guarantee it.
People love their fancy cars, their iPads, and their houses with a separate room for every member of the family and then maybe even a guest bedroom. Some people even live beyond their means, going into massive amounts of debt, just to have these things that wont make their quality of life any better.
I have a secret, though. It’s the key to having just the right amount of money while finding fulfillment. It’s a six-step plan to being rich. Here you go:
- Don’t buy these toys. If you don’t need it to live comfortably, you don’t need it. I know the lines of comfort are blurred, but not as much as one may think. If you can spend less, do it, and I’ll explain why in my next step.
- Work as little as possible. I know, I know. It sounds like a sin in our uptight, protestant culture. We’re taught that work ethic equals a person’s worth. A lot of people don’t like their jobs, but they do it because they have themselves and their families to feed. There’s a way to cut back on work, however; cut back on spending, as mentioned earlier. We have this conception that the more a person works the more value she has, since she provides more for her family. Objects don’t build a family, but the moments where the parents could get away from work to spend time with the kids do. Even if they live without extravagance. And if you don’t want a family, even easier. You can live within your means pretty cheaply and still have the time and energy for the things you love.
- Do something you love, even if it doesn’t pay the bills. Don’t put the stress on the thing you love to pay the bills. Have a financial plan in place where you can allot yourself the freedom to explore the activities you enjoy. Maybe your financial stability will come from investing money you already have (this is a huge blessing for a lot of people) or maybe it will come from saving as much as possible each month. You need to find a plan that works for you. Don’t starve yourself in hopes that someday your art career will work out and that’s all you’ll ever do. It would just lose meaning then. If it does begin to sell, then even better.
- Discover how you want to invest your time and money and do it effectively. Time isn’t money; it’s worth more than money. Time is your life and how you invest it will dictate your happiness more than how you choose to invest your money. With that being said, they go hand in hand often and money still has quite a bit of control over our lives. Getting a college degree is an investment of time and money, but it’s not the only one. Fixing up old cars, putting money into stocks, starting a business, and more are all investments. Don’t think you’ll ever invest the money without the time, though. So, ensure, when making an investment, you take the time to educate yourself and proceed with caution.
- Make sure your investments are experientially lucrative, if not financially. Every one will have their own combination of investments in their life. Some will be more financially lucrative than others, but a lot of times that’s not in your control. What is in your control is if you enjoy how you’re spending your time and take away a lesson from everything you do. Do things with meaning and do things that bring you enjoyment.
- Do it all for other people. Focus how you want to spend your life outwards, on other people. Life isn’t about withholding money and goods for yourself. There’d be no purpose to that, because, grimly, you’re going to die and there is no holding on to possessions from there on out. If you share, whether it’s money, time, experiences, or your message with other people, you will connect with them and that is the most fulfilling part of life.
Follow these six steps and you will live a life rich with joy and adventure. You might have to give up that iPad though. I’m sorry.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/notes-for-the-voyage/8263466825/”>Notes for the Voyage</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>