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Have you finished that sentence a million times over in your life?
When I get a million dollars, I’ll travel the world. If I won a million dollars I’d ________ .
I did all the time. It was like my life couldn’t be fulfilling until I reached this arbitrary number. A number in my heart I knew I’d never reach, nor win, in the lotto.
Don’t let your money dreams win you over.
You can’t be happy. Your life is out of your control and you have no power to create a life that resonates with your values and your soul desires.
I’ve been on a journey for the past couple of years repairing my relationship with money. I created my course the 30 Days to Money Mindfulness Program to guide people like you to reach their own conclusions of what money means and to better understand its role in your life.
Through it, I pondered the following:
Why do I believe a million dollars will solve all my problems? Isn’t there something I can do now? Do I really need a million dollars anyway?”
When we focus on that number as being the permission to live a life in accordance to what we love and value, we immediately close the door on that possibility. We know it can’t happen so we don’t try. We don’t think out of the box and we don’t examine exactly what our version of a million dollar life looks and feels like.
We go back to living on autopilot and listening to what others tell us is the way to live.
We channel the disconnect – the feeling of it not being possible – into what others say.
“Well maybe, if I get that new big screen TV like Sue has, it might add some meaning to my life. I can’t afford it, but I just received a tax bonus, or perhaps I can put it on one of those store cards that are offering the cheap interest rate at the moment.”
Without knowing it, we’re sucked into the vortex of chasing possessions and money to support a life we possibly don’t care that much about.
There’s a process that’s much simpler. Instead of shutting down the idea of the life you really want because you don’t have the million dollars, or any money amount for that matter, think instead – what do I really want?
Give yourself permission to dream. Give your life the permission for flow, for miracles and doors of possibility.
Don’t close them because you fear disappointment, or you believe it can’t happen to you.
Ask the right questions
As soon as I stopped starting my problem-solving sentences with, “If only I had a million dollars” my life changed.
I asked instead:
- What are my values?
- What resonates with my soul and makes me bound out of bed?
- How can I make my life count on a level that is less about me?
When I stripped it back to this, the Universe started opening doors to bring it to me.
I now live a soul-connected life. I’m 40 and I feel like I’m retired. I’m still far away from that million dollars and I couldn’t care less.
I definitely could work to achieve it, and to be honest, with what we’ve created with this blog, I SHOULD have created it by now.
But, that success would have stripped from my life the very things that give it meaning:
Time to travel. Time to devote to my children. Time to wake up slowly of a morning, and spend the day in stillness listening to the ocean breathing.
I don’t care about shoulds anymore.
Know your values
Go through the process.
What do you really value? How could you really love your life? What does that really cost? What is it in your life you are now spending money on that does not align with that in any way? Can you eliminate it and transfer that money to the things you love?
When I visit my farmer’s market each Saturday and walk away with a bag full of organic produce, my heart explodes with a joy that no amount of zeros can give me. I feel so rich because I’m living in alignment with my values: health and wellbeing, eating whole foods untainted by human hands and supporting local farmers and the community.
The price of that joy is a extra $100 – $200 a month. Not the millions I thought I’d need to live a life that makes me happy.
It’s so easy to get sucked into it. If we stay in a beautiful apartment or hostel on our travels, I get so excited by the convenience and luxury. Oh wow. How cool is this? A TV in every room. Imagine being so wealthy you can afford that.
We might sit on the couch for an hour and watch the TV and then soon bored by the ads we turn it off.
We return home to our apartment and the TV remains silent (although we’ve recently become Nashville addicts via Netflix!)
We recently spoke about living without a car. We realized the expense of buying and maintaining a car would not contribute enough to our happiness to make it a worthy spend of our money.
Instead, we walk everywhere and connect to our health, to nature, and to each other instead.
We live across the road from the beach so our rent is a little more expensive. But, it’s fully furnished. We looked at renting a place that was cheaper, but it meant the huge expense of supplying it with furniture – is this what’s important to us? No, because we’d be soon enough back on the road and be left with an accumulation of possessions we’re forced to get rid of.
The last question was, “do we rent a cheaper place furnished away from the beach?”
No, because it might mean buying a car to get around, but more importantly, it wouldn’t connect to our values and what makes us happy.
What fills me with joy living in Burleigh Heads is I can hear the ocean all day long. Of a morning, Kalyra and I look out the kitchen window to do a quick surf check. If the day in the office gets to cabin feverish, Craig and I will bolt over the road for a quick ocean swim refresh. We walk five minutes to Kalyra’s surfing lessons. In 15-minutes we’ve walked along the beach to Burleigh Point and sit and watch the surfers express their joy, one wave after another.
That extra $100 a week gifts my life with so much richness. It meant eliminating many other conveniences and things that other people might tell me are important. If I have this in my life, it doesn’t matter what my bank account looks like.
I know what rocks my world, I know what I value, and I know that I don’t need a million dollars to get it.
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What I want for you?
Stop believing this million dollar fantasy determines whether you can or can’t live the life you want.
Spend time thinking about what does that ideal life look like for you. Start believing in and opening up those doors little by little each day.
Carry with you that vision and use your values to determine everything you now spend money on. You might still struggle and not get it right every time. I struggle with spending money on coffee.
Look for that greater purpose or clutch you can grab. After evaluating my values I discovered that security actually means a lot to me. I never focused on that before because I felt that it actually took away from my highest value of freedom.
But, really freedom can’t come without knowing all your needs are met.
I kept shutting the investment door because it felt so scary and unattainable, which is what we do when we feel frightened and don’t believe.
So I took baby steps.
Turning to guides to help me. Learning as much as I can. I recently learned of someone who invested $1,000 dollars about four years ago, into safe stock investments. Not quick buy and sells but slow investment in a solid company. That $1,000 dollars now is worth $100,000. Security.
So now when I go to buy that coffee I grab onto that. What’s more important to you Caroline – that coffee, or taking that money and investing it to grow into that security you desire? A much stronger picture based on what I truly value is helping me get better at my spending so I can create the life I want now, not when I win the lotto.
Let me know how you intend to apply this in your own life today and then keep me informed with the changes you see happening.
Please don’t think this is an overnight success thing. I abhor that idea. Sustainable long-term change is what we want and it comes slowly.
But start the change journey now!
What’s that life look like for you? Does it require a million dollars?