Since I can remember being able to think for myself, money consumed my goals, thoughts and actions. When you grow up young, black and broke, money matters control your life.
Money is important! I can’t overstate that enough. It helps us obtain the basics of what we need to survive like food, shelter and clothes. The better we are at earning, saving, protecting and investing our money, the better we will be. We will have a more comfortable lifestyle and be able to help our communities and family. Money can buy freedom, but the trick is to not allow it to have power over you.
Freedom is the power to act, speak, think or do as one wants without restraint. Having freedom means you have control over your time, and as you control your time, you can control your income. The more free time you have, the more you can focus on doing things that you are passionate about about. And it’s very possible to earn a living doing the things that you enjoy.
If you don’t like your job, you are not free. If you don’t have an reserves to cover emergency situations or you are unable to take a few weeks off to travel, you are not free. If you have to ask for permission to visit an ailing parent or to go to a day concert at your kid’s school, you are not free. Freedom allows you to come and go as you please and spend time with people you love on your terms.
“Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller
Focusing solely on money can cloud your judgement. When you make decisions based on money, you sometimes forget to focus on what you love. You do things out of obligation instead of focusing on things that bring the most value to you and others.
I believe we need to focus more on our independence more than growing our bank accounts. We know that money cannot buy happiness so we need to focus more on our freedom. Research has shown that having more autonomy over our life has a greater impact than having a bunch of money.
Here are some of the reasons why I choose freedom over money.
1. Focus on self development
Freedom over money allows me to focus on my own self development. What good is it to have a lot of money if I don’t develop myself? When money is not the main the concern, I can make personal growth, maturity and happiness my focal point.
2. Focus on financial freedom
When money consumes me, I don’t spend enough time thinking about my financial freedom. My goal since I was a kid was to get to a point where I don’t have to think about money. As I achieve financial freedom, I am concerned less about what I’m required to do and I can focus on being creative and doing what I love.
3. Focus on happiness
Focusing on money is stressful and I hate stress. Money anxiety can be triggered by dealing with other people’s bad spending habits or giving money to a friend in a time of need. Once we reach the point of being able to meet our basic needs, more money leads to marginal gains at best. Happiness is achieved by our thoughts and have very little to do with how much money we have.
4. Focus on time
Time creates way more memories than money. Missing important milestones in my children’s life is way more important than having a bunch of zeros in my bank account. You can use your time to make money, but you can’t use money to purchase more time. Life is short and instead of me wishing I had more time, I want to go in the grave with amazing memories and no regrets.
5. Focus on my faith
I have taken a lot of risks, I mean a lot. I’m convinced I’ve lost more money then a lot of people have ever made. (Nothing to brag about) And although I don’t take as many risks now with a family, I still love the thrill of learning and trying something new. I increase my faith when I do things without money being the reason why I do it. Material things are cool, but they don’t last forever. Money fails me but my faith never will.