Before we get into today’s essay, I wanted to pen a note about the type of content I have here on the blog, especially for readers coming here for the first time. If you’ve recently subscribed to my newsletter or have just started coming to the blog, you may be wondering why there’s so much content about the “mental” side of wealth and not more about the “mechanical” side. By “mechanics” I mean material that would tell you what specific stocks to buy, what real estate to invest in and the like.
From my experience, wealth building is primarily a mental game. In fact, I would put the “wealth accumulation” ratio at about 85% mental and only 15% mechanical. In other words, you must first become a millionaire on the inside before you can become a true millionaire on the outside.
Now, is it possible to build a fortune on the outside without becoming a “fortune” person on the inside? It is possible. However, I would practically guarantee one of two things will happen to a person who somehow builds wealth without the necessary personal growth to accompany it. They will either:
- Lose it all. A perfect example of this is lottery winners. The vast majority of lottery winners lose everything (and sometimes more) within just a few years of their windfall. You see, their minds haven’t developed to match their physical wealth, therefore their “unwealthy” minds just get busy ridding them of their money via extravagant purchases, multiple homes and cars and total mismanagement of their finances…until there’s nothing left. A fancy term for this is entropy, meaning the gradual decline back into disorder. This is where the popular phrase “A fool and his money will soon part ways” comes from.
- Or lose their way. Our society is riddled with celebrities, professional athletes, executives and politicians who’ve made it big on the outside (money), yet are complete train wrecks in most other parts of their lives. Without the mental grounding necessary for wealth, they think that money provides fulfillment. And when they realize that it doesn’t, they binge on drugs, alcohol, marriages and extra martial affairs all in hopes of finding their purpose and to find true happiness. And they generally become more depressed when they find that those things aren’t the answer either.
So, what is the answer? Glad you asked, because that’s a perfect segue into today’s essay about getting unstuck in life.
I talk a lot about “demanding freedom” on this blog and in my ebook. The reason I do, is that we are all motivated by our needs. In other words, we mostly do what want to do and that’s where things sort of just stop for most people. It’s not until we do what we need to do, what we have to do, what we must do, that we push past our self-imposed limitations and onto extraordinary levels of success. Therefore, it is necessary to take wealth building from a “want to” to a “have to”, in order to trigger our brain to build a mental path to wealth.
Now, if that sounds a little new-agey, let me say this – our brains don’t kick-off the wealth building process. What does? Our emotions. So, we have to inform our brain to “get going” and join the party. You see, our brain’s natural and preferred state is comfort, not change. And to become wealthy means you have to make a big change.
In the early stages of change, the brain is required to work harder than normal. Energy, primarily in the form of glucose, is called upon to power this change. At times, during the process, the brain will fight you when the stores of glucose run low. This is commonly referred to as decision fatigue – periods of low willpower. This is why so many “want to be wealthy”, but are not. They usually give up, once fatigue sets in and they start facing the hard work required to be wealthy.
So, how does a person move past this fatigue and do it differently, so that the brain works for us instead of against us?
It’s by making your need to be wealthy a crucial need and not let it languish in the other two types of needs – critical and casual.
You see, we all have three types of needs – casual, critical and crucial. Let’s break each one down…
Casual needs are what you would like to happen. You’d like to get a parking spot right in front of the store. You’d like to find that perfect pair of shoes exactly when they are on sale. And you’d like to go on a European vacation one day. Unless you are a teenager, not fulfilling casual needs is not the end of the world. You’re not going to die. You’ll just be inconvenienced.
Critical needs are more important. Critical needs run the gamut of respect, admiration, safety and love. We all need love and affection. We work hard to achieve things so naturally we want to be respected and admired for those things that we do accomplish. You work to have a safe home and you save some money so that you won’t have any empty bank account in your later years. Critical needs are important, and if they’re not met you won’t grow or flourish. However, like casual needs, you’re also not going to die if you don’t have them met.
Crucial needs are something else entirely. They are the highest level of needs. It’s your purpose, why you’re put here. It’s who you must be. The real self, not what you’ve settled for. Maslow called this type of need “self-actualization” and labeled it the highest form of needs, after needs such as love, safety and food were met. What this means, is that man has an internal, natural drive (a crucial need) to become the best possible person he can be. Remember, Maslow studied healthy people, whereas most psychologists study sick people.
And what if you don’t satisfy crucial needs? What’s different about crucial needs is that if they are not met, you will die. Not physically die, but die on the inside.
This is what happens when people accept a life of mediocrity. They literally are buried in a coffin in their thirties or forties and then they live another 50 years after their buried, all because they never met their crucial needs.
This death generally doesn’t happen deliberately. As the quote goes, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”. In the day-to-day hustle of life, it’s easy to confuse critical needs as crucial needs. It’s easy to think that a job will provide fulfillment and it’s easy to think that finding that “right” person to marry will provide unending happiness. Although these needs are important, if fulfilling them were the answer to why we’re here, we wouldn’t have these sobering statistics:
- The average person will change jobs ten to fifteen times during his or her career.
- Half of all marriages in this country end in divorce.
You probably wouldn’t be here if you just focused on casual needs. But focusing on just the critical types of needs is why most people feel stuck in life. They wake up after ten, twenty or thirty years and realize that they’re in the exact same place as they were years ago. And the typical response? It’s to go find another critical need to focus on…and realize later on that it’s not the answer. Rinse and repeat.
You were put here for a reason. You were put here on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose and to do it courageously. I don’t know what you’re purpose is, but I can practically guarantee that you won’t have the money, time or courage to go do it unless you are financially free.
If you envision a better life for yourself than the one you are currently leading, if you believe that you can be better but are simply not getting better – it’s time to make some changes. Change your environment, make better financial decisions and you may even need to change your friends.
But before you can achieve financial freedom, you have to make the biggest change in your life. You have to make financial freedom and all that it brings a crucial need in your life. It can’t languish as a casual need and it certainly can’t get lost in a bunch of critical needs.
When you want to be free as bad as you want to breathe, that’s when it will be crucial to you. And that’s exactly when you’ll have it. Is it crucial that you become financially free? Let me know if the comment section below.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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P.S.S. What’s this got to do with you? If you don’t take action, absolutely nothing. But remember this – most people fail to achieve what they want in life simply because they never start. If you’re ready to escape the rat race and live life on your terms, don’t wait. There’s nothing for sale on this blog. I just provide actionable advice for free. What do you have to lose? Start today.
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: