Updated: Oct 11, 2019
“My goal is to make the world a better place by empowering YOU to become financially independent.”
Boom. I said it.
Now before you claim me to be some righteous (or narcissistic) person, I will humbly disclose that I am not Gandhi or Mother Teresa (shocking!). I am not embarking on this quest to better the world solely out of the goodness of my heart. Although I love the combination of financial planning and helping people (my job), I run a for-profit company and charge clients for my counseling and also plan to become financially independent someday.
Back to the noble quest!
So how does becoming financially independent (FI) make the world a better place?
First, we need to recognize that humans are biologically designed to have a scarcity mindset; it’s what allowed our ancestors to survive tens of thousands of years ago.
Think about the internal conflict we have within ourselves after virtually every meal. Our limbic system (old brain) is telling us to take one more bite of that scrumptious chocolate cake just in case we don’t eat again for a long time; meanwhile our complex cerebral cortex is trying to determine if one more bite is worth an extra 7 minutes on the treadmill.
When put into a stressful situation, our panicked state of mind forces us to instinctively care only for ourselves, our children (an extension of ourselves), and our immediate needs. According to research based at Princeton University, people that are concerned with pressing financial issues “exhibit a drop in cognitive function similar to a 13-point dip in IQ, or the loss of an entire night’s sleep”!
Making sound financial decisions will lower your stress level and quite literally enable you to make wiser decisions, which will then reduce stress. This positive feedback loop can either be a beautiful path to FI or a vicious cycle of stressful attempts to solve short term problems.
I don’t need to cite some fancy research to convince you that a world of more intelligent and thoughtful people is better than that of stressed and selfish people. But allowing you to function at your highest (and kindest) cognitive level is only the technique required to make you FI and allow the execution of my larger plan. Muhahaha!
Successfully becoming FI is becoming an even more difficult task as company pension plans are becoming a thing of the past and the state of social security will inevitably change. It is going to take years and years of smart decisions to become FI.
With that being said, once you are FI, my job then becomes to help you maintain it. But the last step of making the world a better place is “within you” (spoken in Mufasa’s voice).
When you become FI - you are 100% confident that you have more than enough resources to maintain your comfortable lifestyle without the need of a job.
This fundamental change will liberate you for needing to use your skills and talents to provide for yourself to being able to genuinely focus on the things that matter most around you. When this happens, your entire mindset will shift from that of scarcity to a mindset of abundance.
Sure, lay back and drink on the beach or take two years to sail around the world. But from my experience with clients, the sweetest thoughts of retirement start to lose their flavor after the 100th Bahama Mama.
What brings people true pride & joy is accomplishing a labor of love. Doing something that brings meaning to you may not seem like an impactful event. But when you add up the impact of a community of uniquely gifted people whose acts are no longer centered around themselves, this is enough to change the world!
My Sincere Advice:
Make sure your positive feedback loop of decision making is a beautiful path to FI.
You don’t need to wait until you’re FI make give without expecting anything in return :)