Money = Freedom?

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Money equals freedom. You have enough money, and you can do whatever you want. We all know that, right? Work hard so that you can get a good job so that you can make money so that you can do whatever you want.

As my 12-year old son loves to say, “Some terms and conditions apply.” Well, the terms and conditions on the above statement are this: you can only do what you want in the evenings and on week-ends, when you aren’t busy in the evenings volunteering to maintain your image and working around the house most week-ends to maintain your stuff. Freedom starts at the age of 65, if qualified.

You’re here because you’ve already called bullshit on that one…But, on the other hand, you’re still reading this from your cubicle, under blinking fluorescent lights because there’s still a part of you that calls BS on these life designers and trail blazers who can just quit their jobs and don’t have to pay bills or something and they just don’t understand the realities of your life.

So how can YOU (not those other guys) have freedom too?

Define Freedom

What does freedom mean to you? (A quick google image search seems to suggest that freedom is all about jumping in fields, so you may be closer that you think!) If freedom some vague feeling that you’ll know when it hits you, I’m going to challenge you to really define it. I’m also going to ask you to leave out the MegaMillions lottery commercials that are starting to play in your head.

Is freedom not answering to anyone else? Is it making your own choices? Great. Now get more concrete: is it not even owning a suit much less wearing one? Is it working from home? Is it traveling with the family two months a year? Is it living in a yurt on a little island the Pacific?

For me, freedom is: being at home with my daughter until she is old enough for school; choosing the schools that my older boys go to; working from home; exploring the world with my kids; doing what I love; raising my children with the values that I believe in; eating what my body wants; having a balance of work and pleasure.

But you’re stuck right now, so you probably don’t want me to point out that I if that is freedom to me, that I already am free, that I can do most of those things without money. You want to hear me talk about the important stuff, the money stuff, right?

Freedom is a Choice

Well, going to work is a choice you make every day. It’s something that you choose because you want it. You are free to leave any time. Your job is something that you created in your life. I know, you work to pay your bills. But you are choosing the bills too. If you don’t want to pay the cable bill, then cancel the cable. It’s that easy. I know because I cancelled the cable. And the landline. And gave up the latte habit too.

Maybe you can’t quit your job, because, yes, there is a certain amount of bills that we all have, that we all want: food and some sort of roof over our heads. But much after that comes down to what we are choosing – using our freedom of choice! – because it’s what we want. Or maybe it’s just what we thought we wanted…

Challenge your assumptions.

Challenge your priorities.

Challenge your freedom.

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Shannon she writes about vulnerability, courage, and mental health. Before content strategy, she spent nine years teaching small humans.
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