Everybody I know and everyone that I meet, when they find out what I’ve done, they want to do the same thing.
100% of them.
Not a single person has ever said to me that they don’t want to be financially free. In fact, I would argue that everyone wants to be financially free.
Is it because they aren’t smart enough? Or that they don’t have the right talent to make money? Or perhaps they didn’t go to the right school?
No, no and no.
As Goethe said, “nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent”… and “unrewarded genius is almost a proverb”. And what of going to the right school as the way to riches? Goethe reminds us that “the world is full of educated derelicts”. Indeed it is.
What about being born into wealth? Surely, that’s why so many are not financially free, simply because they weren’t born into the right family, correct?
Neither of my parents finished high school. I grew up in a farming community. We were poor. If being a part of a financial dynasty was the prerequisite for becoming financially free, I would have been disqualified.
Here’s another example on the other extreme – The Vanderbilt family, Cornelius, the patriarch, built a fortune on railroads and shipping during the mid-1800s. Adjusted for the size of the economy, he was the second richest American ever, worth over $200 billion — well above Bill Gates. By the 1970s, the family held a reunion with 120 members attending, and there wasn’t a millionaire among them. All that dynastic wealth, gone.
So, if the “secret” to achieving financial freedom is not any of these things, what is it?
Great question. Based on my observations and experience, it’s this…
Deciding to become financially free.
Now, some of you may be thinking that’s way too elementary. Surely, there’s more to achieving financial freedom than just waking up one day and saying “I’ve decided that I’ll be financially free!”
There is, and I’ll get to that in a moment.
But first, I want you to understand something.
Whenever you decide to do something, you commit to doing it. More importantly, when you don’t decide to do something, you are also making a commitment – you’re committing not to do that something.
Put another way, if you don’t commit to achieving financial freedom, you are committing to achieving its opposite – financial mediocrity. Indeed, you must select yourself to achieve financial freedom. That may sound a little weird until you grasp this most important concept – the most important person you have to convince that you will achieve financial freedom (or anything worthwhile) is you. You have to win you over that you can really do it.
You see, ambiguity of any form just doesn’t work in success. Chances are your parents or grandparents told you this lie when you were growing up – “You can do anything that you set your mind to.”
The real truth is this…
You can do something that you set your mind to.
Indeed, if you reflect back on the things you’ve accomplished in your life so far, haven’t they always involved you “setting your mind” to accomplish them? That’s where the popular phrase “setting your mind to it” comes from.
Back to Goethe…
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.”
So, if committing to become financially free is the “secret” to riches, why don’t more people do it?
There’s several common reasons but one real reason. I’ll address the common reasons first…
- Like someone skipping ahead to the middle of a movie or novel to get to the interesting parts, they’ve peered into what’s required to become wealthy and simply decided it wasn’t worth the effort. They just weren’t willing to make the sacrifices to lift themselves out of mediocrity.
- They suffer from analysis paralysis. They use phrases like “like to”, “want to”, and “plan to” when it comes to becoming financially free. They’re waiting on the right inspiration, right opportunity and right time, but it never comes. Meanwhile, they busy themselves reading about other people’s success, all the while having never decided to take the first step for their own success.
- They tried, then failed, and then quit. They read one book and expected lightening to strike and when it didn’t, they gave up. Maybe they tried saving a little money but found the temptation to spend it too great, so they threw their hands up in the air and said, “why bother?”. Or maybe they just got embarrassed or discouraged by the inevitable mistakes along the way and were afraid of being judged, so they simply decided to quit.
See the common theme? Either way, they are making a decision. To be or not to be? Make no mistake, you are making a decision every day about financial freedom, one way or another.
So, if you’re the impatient type, you’re probably asking “what’s the real reason most people don’t commit to achieving financial freedom?”
They never ask themselves the very question that leads to making the commitment, which is…
“Who will I be?”
Not what, but who?
You see, greatness is rarely achieved by great people. Rather, it’s more often achieved by the unknown person unwilling to give up on who he must be.
You often hear of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. But the greater truth and more common reality, is that a lot of extraordinary people are just accomplishing ordinary things.
Let’s bring in Goethe one more time…
“The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.”
The sensible man doesn’t find anything ridiculous about the fact that he’s jolted awake at 5:30 in the morning, to get ready and then jump into the car to commute for an hour and half to get to a job that he literally hates. A job that sucks the soul out of him and robs him of the time to do what he really wants with his life. A job where he has to work with stupid people, playing stupid office politics and talking about stupid things. The sensible man will hardly find anything ridiculous about this.
But not the intelligent man. He finds it ridiculous that he has to conform to someone else’s version of what he should be. He find it’s ridiculous to trade his time for dollars while making someone else rich. He find it ridiculous to be an imposter, not his true self.
The reason I say that the good people who told you that you can do “anything you set your mind to” are wrong, is because you weren’t put here to do anything. You were put here to do something.
There’s something that you were born to do.
There’s something that you are right for, something you must do, something that lines up perfectly with your life story.
This “something” is a lot more powerful than “anything”.
To achieve this something will require discipline, focus and determination. It will require you to go beyond your comfort zone, to venture to your limits and to challenge yourself in ways that few people do.
But there will be a difference though – it will feel right to do so. You will be true to yourself. Who you were meant to be.
It will feel as though it’s your life’s work, that you were born to do it, that your life story is unfolding just as it should.
This is the essence of what I mean by “demanding” financial freedom of yourself – It’s summoning the real you to the top. Not the beaten down you, just muddling thru life. But the real you, the you that you describe when you ask, “who will I be?”.
Who will you be?
When you answer that question honestly, sincerely and at a deep emotional level, something will happen – you will decide to become financially free. You will set your mind to it. You will demand it of yourself. It’s always been inside of you. Will you decide that today?
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
P.S. Why aren’t you wealthy yet? It’s because of something you don’t know. Otherwise you’d already be rich. Isn’t it time to learn what you don’t know? Consider signing-up for my newsletter below, to help you build wealth faster.
P.S.S. Looking to make an overnight fortune? Don’t sign-up to receive my newsletter below. There’s no magic secret. Becoming financially free takes time and dedication. But learning professional-grade money skills can have a life changing effect. If you’re ready to put in the work and learn, I can show you how to achieve financial freedom faster than normal.
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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: