This afternoon, I paid the small price of $5 and purchased/downloaded the brand new documentary, I’m Fine, Thanks!, which is fairly well known in the personal finance community, since many of us know of Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt, who was heavily involved in its creation. I have to say that it was good watch. And definitely very professionally done. Its main goal, I’m assuming, of hitting home and tugging at people’s hearts, was successful. It tugged at my heart. It got me thinking, much more seriously than normal, about questioning my situation and my path. Am I living my dreams? Or am I playing it safe and letting fear hold me down to life I’m not enjoying. These are deep questions that aren’t easily answered.

I got a couple things going on in my life that relate to this topic:

  1. I’ve realized that stuff doesn’t bring me happiness and therefore, a crazy expensive lifestyle isn’t appealing to me.
  2. I’ve had my financial act together for a few years now, which has me going in the direction of my dreams.

It’s funny how finances worked their way into this movie, which was supposed to be about achieving our dreams and pursuing our passion. Why would money be a part of it? Hmm… Oh yes, because money is woven into every single part of our life. It affects what we do with our lives. I repeat. Money affects what we do with our lives. Without money, we don’t have control of what we do with our lives. I mean sure, we can pick our work/career track to some extent. But the lack of money has us essentially begging for employment. It is only when we have significant money that we can start making our own decisions. Money is crazy intertwined in our life’s work, decisions and time. It can be both a good thing and bad thing.

There was a couple in the movie that both hated their jobs. They spoke about it like it was absolutely miserable and I believe them. Yuck.. Know why they felt trapped? Because they had a nice, big house that required a big fat payment every month. Was the house worth their misery? They decided that it wasn’t, sold it and quit living in misery.

Their situation is very widespread in this country today. Most of us are stuck spending almost all our time doing something we hate because we have all this overhead like a nice big house and fancy cars. By owning these things, we sacrifice our entire life. I think it’s time we question this strategy. Is it really working? Is it really worth buying all this crap so that we can be trapped? Being trapped causes us to be scared to take the leap into pursuing our real dreams. It’s really sad, honestly.

Sure, my life isn’t so bad if you look at many people’s lives out there. So I shouldn’t say much right? No, it’s not terrible, but I have dreams and passions that I’m nowhere near even thinking about doing. I think it’s time I do a lot more thinking about them. Here’s a list of some of my dreams and passions:

  • I want to start my own business where I do what I love and do something that adds value to this world that I believe in.
  • Travel. I want to do more road tripping. I want to sleep under the stars in a tent, hike in the scenic backwoods, climb mountains, swim in pristine rivers/lakes, lay on the beach, surf in the pacific. I want to experience the beauty of this country/world. I want to watch the sunset a lot more with a backdrop of beautiful scenery while taking in the fresh, evening air.
  • I want to spend time taking pictures while doing the things above. I love outdoor/landscape photography, but never do it.
  • I want to spend more time doing hobbies that I enjoy and pick up many, many new ones, some indoor and some outdoor
  • I want to sleep in more, live simpler days and be more minimalistic.
  • I want to be healthy. That means eating healthy, home cooked meals, exercising more, getting plenty of sleep, rest, quiet time, alone time and prayer time.
  • I want to be with those that I love, my family and friends, a heck of a lot more.
  • I want to get control of my time. Achieve time freedom. Achieve time independence. I want to dictate my time and decide how I spend it. It’s all I have. Just a bunch of years.

Pretty simple, huh? I was tempted to put some “stuff” in there. Actually, never mind, No, I wasn’t. Whether I pursue my dreams while living in a bus that was converted into a home like one family in the movie or in a “house on wheels” (a home built on a large trailer) like another family, I don’t care. My values are changing and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be the same. I’m just not wanting the “American Dream” so much anymore. I just don’t see its appeal. I view it as soul sucking. I see pain in a future of living that way.

So, thanks creators of I’m Fine, Thanks!. Good job on creating something that questions the normal lifestyle. You’re spot on. It is something that needs to be questioned. Naw, I take that back. The “American Dream” is something that needs to be thrown out. It’s not good for us. Stuff = slavery. Stuff = misery. Stuff = missing out on our potential in life.