The alarm screams at you to wake up at a time when even the sun isn’t game enough to peak above the horizon.
You stumble out of bed in the dark, and stagger down the hallway to the shower.
A hot stream of water followed by a coffee is the only thing that will snap you into the day ahead.
You go through the motions of eggs on toast, suiting up, grabbing the bag with your packed lunch inside and racing out to make the train into work.
Later that day you return home.
It’s pay day.
You sit down with a glass of wine, and start paying off your bills. You want to cry over what’s left. It’s a measly sum for you to enjoy and once again you’re finding you have to push aside the things that really make you happy.
This is the question many of us fail to really answer.
If we do, we answer it based upon what society deems is important.
You’re working to pay the bills, to provide for your family, to save for retirement, to have the latest mod cons and keep up with the Joneses (who are they anyway?).
Is this what you imagined all those years ago when you were a pimply teenager and the world was your oyster?
I don’t think so, you just got caught up in it all. It’s an easy thing to do.
You get swept up in the fun of being an adult, having the independence that comes with earning your own keep, except, because of that lack of thought to the lifestyle you really want to work for, you’re suddenly working to pay the bills for things you don’t really care about – one day they just turned up.
What happens when you start going to work every day just to pay the bills?
You become bitter, resentful, and really unhappy. You spend your hours at work daydreaming, avoiding, and giving less than your best.
You start to lose all sense of purpose and meaning and the vicious cycle continues.
You’re not serving anyone.
There is a better way that will help you bring back that meaning, so your work is moving you to a place of happiness.
I had someone ask me a very important question the other week.
“How do I know when I’m purchasing something if it it’s something that will nourish the body and soul instead of the quick, feel-good fix?”
This is the point where most of us crossover into that lifestyle that is unconsciously created and imprisons us.
You don’t know how to make the right choice because you haven’t clearly defined the lifestyle you really work for.
What does it look like?
Are you the stay at home parent who relishes in playing Barbies with your daughters and cooking them meals from scratch three times a day?
Do you run marathons, eat healthy meals, and go on daring adventures?
Do you volunteer and give back to your communities with social projects?
Do you travel long-term, or, are you content with a two week trip each year to a new exotic destination?
What do you really want in the moments you’re away from the office? What gives you the most joy?
Remove the bills and the things you own. It’s not about the cable TV, the fast cars, or the swimming pool you dread cleaning so now looks like the setting of Slime 2.
When you start to create the image of your ideal lifestyle, decisions about where you spend your money become quite easy.
Is it moving me towards my ideal lifestyle, or away from it?
If I don’t buy this magazine does it mean I can buy a new organic ingredient that will improve my diet so I can be that fit, healthy person I dream about?
Let’s face it “Who wore it best” ain’t going to get you to dance like the ceiling can’t hold you. And that’s the reaction your lifestyle should give you.
I had quite the revelation about this just recently. Due to the fears and issues I have around money, I tend to worry a little too much about where I’m spending it. Even if I have the money safely sitting in the bank, I can have Great Depression hoarding tendencies.
I started to worry about the amount of work we are outsourcing. We’re so short of time because of our road tripping lifestyle, and in order to get things done, we have to call on other experts. But doing this reduces our bottom line.
I was fretting over having less in the bank would affect us.
“But, hang on a minute,” the voice that knows better than me said. “What exactly are you doing this for? To have more money in the bank or to have the lifestyle you dreamed of? Aren’t you living that now?”
Well I guess so.
“So if you stop outsourcing it means you have to do the work yourself, which means you have less time for your children and less time to enjoy your travels. So you’ll sacrifice all this just to have more money in the bank? What’s the money doing for you?”
And by outsourcing, we have more time to work ON our business and not just in it.
Having more money means nothing if I’m not enjoying my life. I don’t need to earn more money because my lifestyle is exactly how I want it. I don’t have to save for a rainy day, or for the future lifestyle, because it’s here right now.
Because I am clear on what that lifestyle is and how it gives me purpose, I can easily make a decision on where to spend my money.
Outsourcing is a good money spend for me because it buys me the time to have what I most want in my heart.
Plus, it frees up my time so I can give more to our community, because that’s a very important and motivating part of what we do.
If I tried to do it all myself my time would be taken up doing the bits and pieces instead of the creative stuff that helps others to travel more.
Spending money should always be done in a way that enriches us and moves us towards our ideal life. You don’t need to have a bank account over-brimming with dollars if in your daily life you’re stressed, overworked, and unhappy.
Put all your money into creating the lifestyle you really want. (And the Law of Attraction thing then goes into overdrive because you feel so amazing about your life and when you feel amazing, amazing things keep happening.)
So your task for today is:
1. Get very clear on the lifestyle you really really want. Define what it looks like in terms of health, career, relationships, and passions. Don’t think in terms of monetary amounts you want. If you focus on creating the ideal lifestyle, money will just be a tool to help you get that and it will come more effortlessly and with greater meaning. (we go through this strategy and more in my 30 Day Money Cleanse)
2. Think about how you currently spend your money. If it does not move you towards your ideal lifestyle then make some changes.
3. From now on every time you make a purchase carefully consider if it is moving you towards your ideal lifestyle, and if not, then ask yourself if it is truly necessary?
What lifestyle are you working for?
Are you there yet?
How else can we help you get there?