Give Yourself the Freedom to Fail with Your Finances
Financial Independence is a Tool for the Mind
Do you think financial independence will fill a void? Are you thinking that if you save enough or start a side hustle that all will be well? I believe there is so much more to the equation than that.
Financial independence as a tool for the mind may allow you to either re-affirm or find your purpose in your life! However, before you get to the good stuff, you may have to deal with some identity or social issues–just don’t let those deter you!
I read an article titled The Money Mind Meld written by Doc G. This article made me think a lot about financial independence and the psychology behind it. I see that financial independence as a tool for the mind can be the first step to a better life.
You may reach a point in your career when you need a change or you discover that your career isn’t as fulfilling as you thought it was going to be or that it used to be. This is when you use financial independence as a tool for the mind to make changes so that you can live a more meaningful life. It will change the daily grind into days that feel authentic to your soul.
You may need to start asking yourself some important questions:
What do I want next?
What do I enjoy doing?
How can I change my life so that I can do the things I enjoy?
Are you thinking now? Are you starting to look into the future to a time when you can use financial independence as a tool for the mind and as a springboard to spending your time on projects of your choosing?
Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: The Beginning
There are so many people who focus on financial independence with tunnel vision. They see it solely from the perspective of it as a “be all, end all” kind of end result. That means they are way off base!
Financial independence as a tool for the mind can be the beginning of a grand journey of your choosing. It is the initial stepping stone to a journey of purpose, identity and connection. Those are the important things in life.
Who wouldn’t want that?
If you use financial independence as a goal, like running a race to the finish line, you won’t find the satisfaction that experiencing the important things in life will give you because you just reach a goal (financial independence).
However, when you use financial independence as a tool for the mind, you still reach the goal, but it is one that allows you to open doors to the future of your choosing. Now, that is exciting!
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Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: Who are you?
Opening up the doors to the future of your choosing may be a transition that is harder than you might imagine. I feel like it may be similar to people who dream of winning the lottery. After winning the lottery, what happens when the purpose of going to work to put food on the table is suddenly taken away?
The same phenomenon exists when you are actively planning and working for financial independence–and then realize that you have it! There is no boss. You can sleep in as long as you want. You are suddenly free to spend your days any way you wish.
Have you heard the show 14 Days to Jumpstart Your Financial Residency with PT Money? Need to rattle your cage a bit when it comes to your finances? Check out the show.
However, without purpose, those days may suddenly seem to stretch out in infinite emptiness before you. Empty blocks of time to fill. There may be a social void as you lose contact with colleagues. There is fear of the unknown. You may suddenly begin scrambling to find your purpose.
Financial Independence as a tool for the mind opens up a unique opportunity for you to look at yourself–up close and personal!
That is not always a pleasant experience. When the need to work is no longer a part of the picture, your sense of purpose may diminish. You may suffer from loneliness (remember losing contact with your colleagues?), depression or have an identity crisis.
Now is the time to remember or re-examine your values and think about how you really want to spend your days!
Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: Finding Your Thing
I found my thing. I found my calling. I love being a fee only financial advisor. It took me thirty years plus to get to where I am–but I absolutely love it! I don’t want to stop what I’m doing.
That wasn’t always the case.
I started my career at Merrill Lynch. It was terrible. I needed an escape! I started working for other planners and then set off on my own. I found it. I found my thing.
Most of the physicians that I have talked to say they started their career because it was a calling. They love their career. They didn’t choose it because of the money.
When thinking about finance there is the finance piece with the numbers and then there is the finance piece with emotions and behavior. They sort of get mixed together! They each have a part to play.
I have several questions for you to consider:
- What does your ideal life look like?
- If you had a blank slate how would you set up your ideal life?
- What is holding you back?
A starting point might be considering what your purpose is or what you want to do with your life. Your job doesn’t necessarily have to fulfill your purpose. However, you might start to consider how you will use financial independence as a tool for the mind and tie it to meaningful goals.
What if you haven’t found your thing? What if you are burning out or want a change?
Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: What if?
It is most important to use financial independence as a tool for the mind in cases where you have not discovered a purposeful career. If you have found that purpose in your job–you may not need a Plan B. I would argue that financial independence as a tool for the mind is always a good escape clause to have anyway!
How do you feel?
Where are you in life?
It might be time for a change if:
- Are you unhappy or even hate your job 65% of the time?
- Are you are only excited because it’s Friday (or your days off?)
- Are you starting to dread Monday morning….on Sunday (or your days back on after a period of time off?)
There is definitely a lot of great reasons to cling to the identity of being a physician. There are also parts of being a physician that are scary or exhausting. There are parts that make us feel helpless or angry.
- Medical records
But are you afraid to make a change? What exactly is holding you back? Do you suddenly start the “what if” game?
- You are afraid you didn’t plan effectively?
- What if I don’t have enough money?
- What if something terrible happens?
- What if the stock market falls?
Do your doubts become larger, personal or more nebulous?
- What if I fail
- What if I don’t have a purpose
- What if I don’t know what to do with my life?
- What if being a physician is all I am or can be?
While we must keep in mind that prefacing any idea with “what if” shows a certain level of anxiety. However, what physician wouldn’t be anxious in making a huge leap?
There are all the years of striving, studying, and reaching goal after goal (not to mention the lack of sleep) to become a physician. Then there is the power behind helping people. It is hard to walk away from the feeling of importance and the power of helping.
Those are tough things to walk away from, only to step into the unknown!
However, financial independence as a tool for the mind is a mitigating factor. It gives you the freedom to fail!
Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: Freedom to Succeed
Financial independence as a tool for the mind gives you the freedom to fail completely. Conversely, it also gives you the freedom to spread your wings and pack more meaningful experiences into your life.
In order to cross all the huge hurdles and become a physician, you must be achievement driven. I would say the same for someone who is financially independent. It takes the ability to set a goal and persevere until you reach that goal.
What happens when you reach an achievement? You feel a rush of adrenaline–it gives you a “high”. That feeling will eventually fade. Then you will need to achieve something new.
Financial independence as a tool for the mind sets your mind free from the treadmill of striving for achievement. For the next prize. You are free to embrace doing things for the joy of doing them. There is no need to improve on that thing or take it to the next level.
Turning off the need to improve on something you are doing or take it to the next level may be so ingrained, such a powerful habit that it takes time to wean yourself off of the feeling of responsibility for achieving. It may take time to relax, enjoy and have fun with projects!
Financial Independence as a Tool for the Mind: You Choose
You don’t have to quit your job if you become financially independent. You may love your job. Financial Independence as a tool for the mind may mean that you still want to contribute in some way to the medical industry.
You are free to pick and choose what you type of work you will continue to do and you have greater control around the number of hours you work.
Financial Independence as a tool for the mind should not be used solely as an escape hatch, the lifestyle and keeping new goals in mind should be planned for!
Can you answer this magic question clearly: Why do I want to retire early?
If you’ve used financial independence as a tool for the mind (so your finances are in place for the leap) and you can answer that question clearly–you may just be on the right path!
Where are you on the road to financial independence? Are you just beginning the journey? Are you in the middle or about to take the leap into early retirement?
Alongside planning for retirement, are you also planning for life after retirement? Will you continue to work in some capacity?
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