Money is a tool. Period. It is meant as a tool to exchange value. Though others treat it as a toy and still others treat it as an enemy.
The truth is that one of the most important life lessons is learning how to interact with money and use it to your advantage.
But money often consumes us. It becomes our dictator. So how do we escape that?
Pursue a fulfilling life rather than a successful life. Let me explain.
As a coach, one of my main focuses is helping 20–30 something professionals find what fulfills them in life.
Once we get into our careers and day jobs, we sometimes realize that perhaps the career isn’t what college cracked it up to be. It loses its appeal. The Romance is dead.
So we begin looking for more in life. And that “more” can be (if we do it right) what I call fulfillment. The idea is that we start to form our lives based on our true individual natures, aspirations, and desires. Not based off of what society has told us is what life should look like.
So what does this have to do with our relationship with money?
When we progress in our careers and start making more money a lot can change.
- We start to realize just how much money we have to make a lot (it’s a lot).
- Sometimes, we start to realize that even though we make more money, our lifestyle has just gotten more expensive too because of what society tells us success looks like. At the end of the day, we still feel stressed about money.
- And often, we start to realize, that even though we make money and are finally able to at least keep the Jones’s on the horizon, we don’t feel that much more satisfied with life.
So that brings me to my thesis: when we start chasing a fulfilled life, instead of just money and “success” (whatever that means), we start finding our financial freedom.
The opposite of financial freedom is financial dictatorship: the idea that money decides how we have fun, what we buy, who we are friends with, and what we learn.
But when we decide to chase our fulfilling lives, we stop spending our money on things just because that’s what society tells us we want. We stop buying things for the idea that more people will like us if we own said things.
We stop making financial decisions that are fueled by society’s expectations and start making financial decisions based on what our true natures want.
So I want to know in the comments (or private note) what does a fulfilling life look like to you?
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Every week, I break down how to define a fulfilling life and motivating stories. To join others learning about their pursuit of fulfillment and purpose, click here.
I’m a certified life coach focusing on fulfillment over success. I offer very limited 1:1 sessions here.