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Your Money or Your Life?

July 18, 2017

 

My dear friends, this is what I know for a fact because I have done it and will do it again if I determine I need to. Money is not a good reason to sacrifice your happiness. Or your contentedness. Or your dreams. Or any intangible thing you can think of that truly matters to you.

 

Money can hold you hostage. The kind of hostage that turns into Stockholm Syndrome if you're not careful. Money can keep you from taking risks, even somewhat safe ones.

Money can keep you from thinking creatively.

Money can make it look like you have no choices at all, when in fact all the choices in the world are there to be seen if you can look BEYOND the money.

 

I do not say this lightly, as someone who does not understand the need for money or someone who has never found myself needing more money than it seemed I could easily get my hands on. I do not say this as someone who has only known privilege or great success from day one of any endeavor I tried, because I certainly have not. I do not say this as someone who is not responsible for children or mortgages or car payments (Ok. No car payment right now. Those got paid, but certainly car insurance for 4 vehicles ain't going away until a vehicle does and car taxes is one of the laments of living in Connecticut.)

 

I say this as someone who knows exactly how hard it is to walk away from the safe, secure thing in favor of that thing I can't stopped envisioning. I've done it at least twice in my life so far. More if you count certain important relationships. I've always gained for whatever it was I let go of. I mean, I didn't really want that anymore anyway, right? Sure a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but you have no shot of catching even one in the bush until you let go of what's in your hand.

 

Money can't always be the motivation. Your happiness and mental health matters. Your very physical health can be impacted as well. And if, as you think about why you should continue something (for the money) you feel all angry or depressed or sad or hopeless or restless or anxious or anything other than something positive when you think about what staying in that situation to keep that money actually means for you, you owe it to your future self - and probably the people around you - to let that give you pause. This may be a good time for a pro/con list. This may be a great chance to use your creativity to solve the problem of replacing that money while you are in the relative safety of that situation. This may be an opportunity to get out of your own head and talk to someone impartial who won't judge your desires. Doing something, even just making a plan or doing research, gives you power and ownership over your freedom. Why? Because these are steps. And steps are movement, even small, quiet steps like these.

 

I am moved to say this because I know too many people who wish for something but can't quite reach it because of the money - or the fear of a lack of it. I can think of three people easily. And a fourth just popped in my head to remind she counts too. I know there are more if I let myself number them all.

 

If you want that business or for that business to grow or to write that book or to know what it is to live the purpose you have yet to start living, it may require making room for it by getting rid of the thing that is soaking up all the energy you need to do those things. You may have to work that much harder in your current reality to make the dream a new reality until the current reality can finally become just a bad dream. I can't promise it will be easy, of course. It once took me three years to get rid of one albatross. It may not happen quickly or easily. But then again, what if it does?

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