“When you understand that your self worth is not determined by your net worth then you have financial freedom”
To me, this quote from Suze Orman is all about what financial independence really is.
It’s not just about a number, it’s about being free from money dependencies and money worries.
It’s really not about how much you earn or how much you have but it’s the knowing that you are in charge of creating your own solid financial foundation on your own terms. A foundation free from limiting money beliefs and a mindset free from the psychological money fears that keep us trapped in financial insecurity.
And this independence is not a destination in itself but rather it is a process. A process built on effort and commitment to improve the various areas of our financial lives with the end goal being more flexibility, less stress and the financial reality we want for ourselves.
Financial independence means different things to different people and is defined in terms of each of our unique values. For some of us, it means security for others it means choice. But the common theme is the absence of money stress.
This definition explains why so many people who have a significant amount of money don’t in fact have financial independence. They are so dependent on defining who they are by having more that they have lost sight of the person inside that exists separately from the money. They have the ultimate money dependence and continuous stress of needing and wanting more.
How do we create our own freedom from money dependence and stress?
There are 3 key areas to focus on to break the money dependence trap.
Not relying on one source of income
The conventional approach we have followed to our finances is generally to pursue a career or business providing one source of income.
This plays to our dependency on money and in many cases provides a false sense of security when things are going well and a huge source of stress when they are not.
I wish the first thing they taught us in senior school was to diversify our sources of income. To exploit all our talents in different ways and to create the opportunities for those talents to provide value and receive value in exchange. And then to use that value to build other alternative income sources.
Not being a slave to money, but being it’s master
Whether you have a small or a large amount of money flowing to you if you aren’t guiding it to do what you want it to, you are its slave. You are constantly trailing behind it, grasping for it as it dodges away on its mindless and aimless pursuits.
Money independence means using money for what it is. A simple tool to create the reality you want.
This means giving every penny a function and directing it accordingly.
Know how much money flows to you and exactly where it is meant to go, automate its flows to ensure you can get on with the business of creating and living your best life.
Not crediting money with the power to make you happy
Money does bring a flash of happiness when it buys us something we want, extracts us from a thorny financial situation or gives us a feeling of security.
However if we continue to depend on money to bring that brief spell of happiness we are setting ourselves up for the exact opposite, a world of unhappiness.
Happiness comes from living your most authentic life. From knowing what is important to you and what you want out of life.
And from consciously directing all the resources available to you to create that life without having to wish and hope for the happiness that money can potentially fleetingly bring you.
The Path to Financial Independence
How do you create the conditions for financial independence?
Our habits effect every part of our lives including our finances.
The path to financial independence is built on developing healthy financial habits that support achieving financial independence.
And habits are built from the small, positive actions we consistently carry out.
Save more than you spend and invest the difference every single day. Make conscious mindful money decisions focused on supporting your goals and your vision.
Thinking Long term and short term
Having a vision of the future and a strategy in the present to create it.
Humans are excellent short term thinkers. It is when we have to look out to the hazy future we lose focus.
Long term thinking is not a natural skill it is a muscle we need to exercise every day.
Even though long term thinking isn’t something we come by easily, what we do have in abundance is a rich imagination and the power to use that to generate an exciting long term plan that we can commit to.
Use this powerful ability to create a vivid image, rich enough to ignite a burning desire to achieve it. Regularly revisit that compelling and magnetic imaginary vision.
And from that long term vision, craft a short term strategy to constantly create the conditions to achieve that vision.
And to somewhat paraphrase Robert Kiyosaki, never forget financial independence is a mental, emotional and an educational process.
Are you ready to create your rich vision of your life? Grab George Kinder’s vision and goals worksheet to build your dream.