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  • Writer's pictureKel Galavan

Here is a friendly reminder, but you'll probably ignore it.

What do pants, doughnuts and financial freedom have in common?

This is a friendly reminder that money waits for no one. With each passing moment, your window of opportunity and choice gets smaller and smaller. How many paychecks have come and gone with nothing to show for them but fleeting moments of feast-like spending followed all too quickly by the long famine until the next payday?

Kids participating in an eating contest
Photo by Abigail Miller on Unsplash

Those fleeting heady highs of payday only to be left with a one-way ticket to brokes-ville. Like everyone else, you are living for the next payday.

How long do you want to be bored?

Doesn't it get boring? Are you following the same track again and suffering from hedonic vertigo with no way out? Don't you want more from life to break free from the money feast or famine rollercoaster? It is time to look up, open your eyes, and see that there is more to living than existing.

Financial freedom, want some?

I recently attended a seminar where entrepreneur and motivational speaker Brian Tracy gave the keynote address. He spoke on financial independence and the steps he took to achieve it. The first step, and the one that blew my mind, was to decide.

That's it! Decide!

Decide! Money can't be that easy.

How can any of us ever achieve anything unless we decide? When we make a decision, we can only take action. Your pants don't magically put themselves on. That doughnut at lunch didn't chew itself into your stomach. As of the last time I checked, cars don't drive themselves.

All of these are decisions we make, and the action comes later.

So what do pants and doughnuts have to do with financial freedom

Decisions that’s what. We have to decide to wear pants, eat doughnuts and get rich. We have to decide everything we do in life. Rarely do any of these things happen in isolation.

Whether it is to be rich, free, independent or a card-carrying nudist, you have to decide.

You can't hide your decisions.

Record savings were made during Covid in Ireland. Many other countries were the same, not all but many. As we were all cooped up indoors, our true nature shone through and divided us by our habits.

Some took to Amazon, screaming at them to take their money.

Others found that their savings rate shot through the roof. People who couldn't save before were suddenly saving hand over fist.

Headlines were touting what great savers we were. Look at us; aren't we simply fantastic with money? For the first time, we felt rich as a whole. Those extra digits in our bank accounts made us believe we were savants with money and the world was at our feet.

We were unstoppable.

Truth: we are not great savers.

Fast-forward to the brave new world after the pandemic. Stores opened, cafes resumed, and we blearily stepped out onto our high streets.

Here, two paths diverged. There were those who, with self-professed new unending wealth and ability to save, reverted to old habits and spent at lightning speed.

Then there were those who realised the true value of having money, the security of peace of mind, and a deep night's sleep. These were the people who decided to be rich. They learned the lesson and knew that not only was there another way, but they had the power to choose that other way.

Decide, and you're over halfway there.

Our time on this earth is short, very short. In just three generations, everyone who knew us will be gone, including those whose opinions may have prevented us from living in the way that makes us happiest.

The sources of those nasty, loud opinions do not dictate how we choose to live our lives today - that is, unless you decide to let them. All the fancy things we buy to impress those people won't even be memories; the stuff we collect will fade into obscurity, be buried deep in landfills, and be long forgotten along with most of their owners.

A fleeting hit or long-term high.

Impulse buys, and on-trend trinkets may provide that coveted but fleeting dopamine hit, but they are red herrings and do little to secure anything worthwhile. They take more than they give, draining your bank balance and taking up space.

In a few years, no one except for you will care what you did with your life. So why continue living according to someone else's low standards? Take control and make decisions that mean something to you.

Stop living your life based on others' small views. Figure out your expectations and chase those.

Today is the perfect day to start.

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are."

Roy Disney

What are you waiting for? The future is fast approaching, and the decisions you make today will shape the trajectory of your forever future.

Decide what you want your life to be, and set all your energy on making that happen.

More travel? Then dump the volume of stuff in dusty cupboards, clear them out, sell what you don't need, and quit buying more.

Invest in time spent, aim for experiences, not the 'never to be repeated sale' of black leggings. You haven't worn the other four you have at home yet.

If you want to test out minimalism, go for it. Try Minimalist Mondays. Pick one day a week to live with only essentials and see how it feels. Maybe you'll want a simpler life. It leaves extra space for adventure and spontaneity.

Fewer responsibilities = more time for you

Maybe you want fewer responsibilities. One sure way to achieve this is to have less stuff. Less stuff means less cleaning and maintenance, and, my favourite, less storage space required. 'Ma' is Japanese for the beauty of space. These guys know their priorities.

Final thoughts

Whatever you want in life, the first thing you need to do is decide. If you don't decide how to spend your short life on this big old blue ball, then you can be assured that someone else will choose for you.

You can also rest assured that you won't like what they do with your time and freedom. No one likes being told what to do.

Figure out your priorities and spend every waking moment chasing it with all you've got. Really, what have you to lose?

Rise Money, is a free weekly newsletter designed to help you reclaim your money while living a life of your own design. Join the thousands of other brilliant minds there.


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