You can break almost any limit.
You can get out of the cubicle. You can fire your boss. You can conquer your inner self-doubts.
You can shape a flat stomach, make new friends and learn a foreign language. You can even learn how to dance.
You don’t have to live within the limits… most limits.
Unfortunately, we cannot exceed our planet’s time limit. Our most precious, and limited, resource is time.
However, the majority of us trade that precious resource, our time, for something infinitely more valuable, money.
This is unsustainable. We’ll run out of time if we keep going.
There is a way out.
Money is a renewable resource. Money can regenerate itself automatically. Money can be self-sustaining.
It isn’t. It is limited and non-renewable. Once it’s gone, it will be gone forever.
It is far better to temporarily trade money for time in perpetuity than it is to use that money to renew itself.
Rinse, lather, and repeat. Soon enough, the money will be able to sustain itself so that we can have our time back.
We can’t stop the time-for money trade tomorrow. Freedom is a process. Let me tell you about three types freedom.
- Debt freedom
- Locate Freedom
- Financial Freedom
Stage 1: Debt Freedom
This freedom is easy to understand. Debt Freedom means that you won’t owe any lenders anything. MasterCard, screw you!
Many people describe Debt Freedom like a day when they feel a huge, crushing weight lifted from their shoulders.
While I appreciate them, I must admit that I am a bit confused by the description.
Even after you have achieved Debt Freedom you still have to take care of your family. To achieve this, you will need to resort to the horrible time-for-money trade.
This is why freedom cannot be stopped here. The beginning of a longer journey is debt freedom.
Stage 2: Location Freedom
Location freedom is the ability to travel anywhere on the globe whenever you want.
Next week, you can explore Borneo’s jungles. Parisian coffee? Do you want to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef You got it.
Lucky duck, you live in the 21st Century. This means you have more flexibility in your location than any other human being in history. You have access to cheap airfare and ubiquitous internet connectivity, and you won’t waste that chance.
The stepping stone to Location Freedom is the freedom. People can jump from debt freedom to financial freedom without ever having experienced this intermediate level. To get a lifetime of passive income, they will trade years of hard labor.
Others, including myself, have Location Freedom. This makes the years between them more enjoyable. We tend to prefer “multiple mini-retirements” throughout every stage of life.
Stage Three: Financial Freedom
Financial freedom is the ultimate freedom. No longer do you need to ride the time-for money carousel.
You can do whatever you want at this point. You can continue working if your job is your mission and calling. You can also move to Tahiti to read on the beach and continue your work.
Here’s where we get geeky…
Here’s the question: Do these levels appear to be consecutive, as if you’re moving from freshman year to senior? Can you jump from one stage to another like you’re playing hopscotch?
These are stepping stones that will gradually take you to freedom. As an example:
(Yes, this was drawn by me. Because Photoshop is my weakness.)
Some people believe that all three are independent. It is possible to hop from one stage of the process to another.
It’s kinda like this:
Who doesn’t love a good Venn Diagram? (C’mon, be funny.)
Who is right? It doesn’t matter to me.
People can get stuck spinning their wheels.Awesome Life Theory. They will spend an hour discussing the differences between them.There are four types of retirement.They’ll also argue that the whole model isn’t scaleable because “if everyone quit the cubicle, our economies will collapse.”
They will rationalize, postulate and excuse themselves from any need to improve their life. They’ll then battle rush hour traffic, be in a cramped cubicle with a flickering fluorescent light overhead and realize that all the cards are against them.
Instead of debating Awesome Lifestyle Theory, why not take action? Pay an extra $200 towards your debt. Talk to your boss about working remotely every Friday. Put $100 into a dividend stock fund. You can also add $400 to your savings accounts. Read one book about how to buy a rental property. Better yet, purchase the damn property.
If you find it motivating to think of the three stages as a linear progression of 1-2-3, then adopt that worldview. You can also think of the three stages as a game of hopscotch or a Venn Diagram. Try a completely different approach if it lights a fire under you.
Don’t just sit there! Debating the minutiae of awesomeness…
Instead, get active. Begin to break through your limits. Start saving big. Begin negotiating with your boss.
Take back your time. It’s all that you have.