It’s funny how there seems to be a natural order of things and a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3 states: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
I really like that verse. It keeps me feeling accepting of however things turn out. Some times in our lives are really good. And others are really hard. We just need to remember, there is a time for everything.
For those who haven’t yet changed their mindset about material goods and happiness, their time to do it has come. It’s time to turn your back on wanting to be the Jones’. The Jones’ aren’t happy. Yes, they have a big house, a white picket fence, a gate at the entrance of their community, four 50 inch TV’s in their house, two BMW’s in the garage and a lake home. They also have no freedom, no flexibility, no options, very little ability to chase their dreams and very little chance of escaping the rat race before they turn 65. If you’re buying nice things to chase happiness, now is the time to stop that.
And for us who turned from the stuff brings happiness mindset and decided that freedom, options, flexibility and peace of mind were worth seeking and would bring more happiness than material goods, we too are reaching a special time in our lives. It’s a time where we can exercise options and start chasing our dreams.
You Can’t Chase Your Dreams When You’re Broke
It’s pretty hard to do anything when you’re broke. Abraham Maslow told us how these things work about 70 years ago when he proposed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When you’re broke, you struggle to meet your physical requirements for survival. You struggle to pay your rent. You struggle to put food on your table. Chasing your dreams isn’t even in your vocabulary, let alone on your list of things to do. Broke is a bad place to be and many people are there.
Broke doesn’t just mean that you’re homeless either. Many people are broke even as they bring home salaries over $100,000 per year. They are broke because all their income is tied up in their lifestyle. Even making six figures, you can be broke and stuck, keeping you from even dreaming big dreams let alone achieving them.
So again, if you are one of those broke people, now is the time to stop being broke. If you are wondering how to do that, it’s easy, just live below your means and spend way less than you make, for…well.. pretty much the rest of your life.
Okay, now for those like me who are a few years past that stage, our time is up to start chasing our dreams. On Maslow’s hierarchy, we’re a bit further up. In fact, you could say we’re self actualizing if we’re thinking of chasing our dreams and reaching our full potential. That should be our goal and it’s surely mine.
Now is the time for us not-so-normal people, who have been living on less for a long time for a bigger reason. It’s not that we only want security or expensive things like houses paid for in cash, it’s that we want to reach our potential. Having some money and a modest lifestyle sets us up to kick our lives in high gear towards our potential.
I’m at that place. I’m turning 29 in a week. Life is ticking by. What will the future bring? So far, it has brought me good things since I started on a path to financial freedom. It’s set me up to be much more in control of my life. I’m not at the mercy of…really…anyone or anything. I have more options and choices than I’ve ever had before, by far. And that’s so exciting. So everyone, my word of encouragement to you is, whether it’s your time to change your mindset and live on less or to turn in the direction of your dreams, it’s time to make things happen.
I’m committing to making things happen this year towards my dreams. This year is the time. Where are you at? What time is it for you?
Get to Know Others Who Can Inspire You
I have to give a big shout out to my friend Jason from Dividend Mantra, who was featured this week in USA Today with this article. We’ve become friends because we have so much in common. He’s 30 and has saved $100,000 in the past three years while earning a salary very similar to mine. I’m not far behind him. His goal is to reach financial independence by age 40 by living on WAY less than he makes, investing every bit of free capital he can get his hands on (into dividend growth stocks) and building a portfolio large enough to live on forever.
I love his approach and his motivation for it all. Head over to his site and say hi to him. Remember to tell him I sent you.