3 principles, 1 secret, 7 rules to achieve financial freedom.
How would you like to have more free time, enough money and good health to pursue whatever activities you want to? Is this an impossible dream? How come some people realize this dream while you struggle?
The Old World is dead. Long live the New World!
Until recently, life pretty much consisted of seeking our well-being through a job and career in a growing economy. Abdicating many of one's life´s prerogatives and responsibilities to a company (financial security, free time) or an institution (medical care, unemployment, education) made sense because the rules were clear and predictable. Most people agreed that the gains in stability outweighed any loss of control.
But the world has changed. In the new framework (globalization, marginal economic growth, less jobs, stagnant salaries and pensions, technological revolutions disrupting most sectors), the former social contract is being challenged and guaranteed stability has disappeared. Luckily, the modern framework offers tremendous opportunities to anybody capable of shaking off his/her educational bias. Internet is an equalizer, lowering barriers to entry to most sectors, reducing the need for capital, giving everybody access to the same information and opportunities to learn…
More than ever, the critical differentiators are: knowing what you want, the willingness to learn, and the readiness to go after it with determination.
Welcome to the freedom lifestyle
Whereas the old economic framework forced you to either seek financial freedom OR personal free time (usually the pursuit of money won) and would only be concerned with health when a bad occurrence happens, the new framework allows for a more balanced path by enabling you to make decisions that were automatically taken for you before. We call this balanced approach between financial freedom, free time, and a healthy way of life, the freedom lifestyle.
The freedom lifestyle is about choosing the way you want to live and fully embracing the consequences of your choices. It implies self-awareness (you know who you are, what you want) and motivation (readiness to act).
The freedom lifestyle means proactively selecting (instead of being forced to endure) which constraints (from your employer, government, institutions, family, relationships) to accept. It is about challenging one's education and accepting that life does not owe you anything. It is about overcoming most of our insecurities.
Many people claim that this is a lifestyle they aspire to. But do they really WANT it or is it just wishful thinking on their part? Are they ready to pay the price for financial freedom? The path is not simple. It requires self-questioning, sometimes in very uncomfortable ways.
For those of you ready to embark on the path and to take more control over your life, I will share 3 principles, 1 secret and 7 rules that I consider as the keys to personal freedom:
PRINCIPLE 1: I am in charge of MY life
- Your life is your life. Nobody should control it.
- Too many have abdicated important parts of their life to a company, government, family or a partner.
- You need to stand up, decide for yourself what you want out of life. The responsibility is yours. Not always an easy process, but a very worthwhile one.
- If you don´t do it, you will live the life that others have planned for you. It will probably be in their best interest rather than in your best interest.
- Standing up means you have to make choices and accept their consequences, good or bad. No more blaming others.
PRINCIPLE 2: Seek personal growth
- Why were we programmed to believe that all serious learning stops after we leave university?
- Life is a journey, the path changes constantly, and we also change as we grow older. It is essential to always keep learning, about the world around us and about ourselves. When was the last time you learned a completely new skill?
- There are two logical reasons to pursue learning: one is purely personal (self-growth, enrichment), the other is very pragmatic (by being aware of the changes around you, you will also be able to see and seize new opportunities).
PRINCIPLE 3: Enjoy the process while focusing on the goal
- The journey is at times difficult. With a proper attitude adjustment, you may end up finding joy in the path. But do not get distracted from your goal.
- Anything worthwhile requires effort, so don´t shy away from it.
ONE SECRET: Working and making money are not the same!
- Everybody works 40 hours a week, so why is there such a huge discrepancy between incomes generated?
- Obviously education, talent and determination are important factors, but the most impactful is the economic model you chose.
- Most people sell their time for a living. Since time is limited to 24 hours a day, their income potential has a limit.
- The old framework says: Work hard, you will earn more.
- But there is a secret: People who want to make money do not sell their time, they invest their time in building an asset.
- There are many ways to build an asset. You need to choose a way, first, in accordance to your ultimate goal, then to your financial capabilities. Do not worry. There are paths even for people with no initial capital. But nobody can help you if you do not define clearly your objective.
RULE 1: Visualize your life
- What do you want your life to be?
- Visualize yourself at 90, how would you like to look back at your life? Any regrets?
- What would you do if you won $100M at the lottery?
- Think big. Dream big
RULE 2: Overcome your fears
- Don´t let your personal insecurities limit your dreams
- You may find your life boring but tolerable now. But is this what you visualise your life to be: to live a tolerable life?
- You were given the chance to live life. Shouldn´t you try to make it as exciting and fulfilling as possible?
- Put your fears in perspective. Will you die? No! Could you be wasting your life? Probably!
RULE 3: Set concrete goals
- Once you visualize the life you want, start setting goals in that direction: about lifestyle, money, health, relationships…
- Any goal that is too vague is usually not achieved.
- All goals should be quantifiable with a clear time frame.
RULE 4: Model success, but not blindly
- See how the people who have the lifestyle you want have done it. Study their path.
- Don’t hesitate learning from people, listening to mentors, understanding the critical factors of their success.
- Think. Adapt this learning to your own situation.
RULE 5: Act! Act! Act!
- Knowledge alone does not give you results.
- Knowledge followed by actions gives you results.
- Action means NOW!
RULE 6: Be persistent
- There will be obstacles along the way. It is unavoidable.
- Consider them as a learning curve. Just as a child learning to walk will stumble and stand up again, you need to keep going.
RULE 7: No excuses
- Do not leave any room for excuses when you hesitate. Always keep the end in mind.
- Do not hide behind excuses. After all, the only one you can cheat is yourself.
- It is your life you are building!
- This is all about you! Please understand that I am not trying to preach any lifestyle. Your life is yours alone. YOU decide how to live it.
- If you are happy, congratulations! Keep doing what you are doing.
- If you are frustrated, this framework could be a road map to change. It may sound vague or like plain common sense, and could easily be dismissed. I would encourage you to re-think all the points, genuinely asking yourself why you are not on that path already.
My interest in all of this is clear. The more happy people there are on earth, the more peaceful and tolerant society will be, and the freer I will be to pursue my life on my own terms. So, please be happy!