As I’ve been tossing around ideas in my head (yes, its a large, rather empty place with lots of room for tossers!) I find myself drawn to many different topics. I’m mad keen to write about them, but some of those discussions are somewhat philosophical.
So before I do that, seems a good idea to give you a sense of the road we’re going to take. As my ethics professor in university said about writing a good essay – tell ’em what you gonna tell ’em, tell ’em, tell ’em what you told them.
So, here we go (though don’t expect this to be an actual road map, but more of a general guide…)
The simple path is one of financial first steps to get our house in order. Basically:
1) Save some money from every bit that you get. Lets be original and say… 10%
2) Track your spending so you know where its going…
3) Finally… create a budget (oh – no, did he say that nasty word?)
That’s it. Bet you’re wondering how I can get 12 posts out of that. (Well, ok, those of you who actually know me in real life know what won’t be a problem at all…)
In all seriousness, it really is that simple.
Simple, but not easy!
There’s a lot of life that falls into this category – exercise is good for you, eat fewer calories that you burn to lose weight, forgive and forget your way to a peaceful relationship. The trouble doesn’t come in the ‘what’ the trouble is in the how.
To paraphrase the famous beginning of Anna Karenina – Wealthy people are all alike – every poor person is poor in their own way.
What I mean is that my relationship with my finances is personal – nuanced, curated and influenced by family history, live events and even disposition. So in order to bring about lasting change, I need to delve into some psychology, perhaps even mythology.
Its not as simple as mind over matter. Its not just a matter of needing more discipline (though of course, some is required). Perhaps what’s missing is a vision for what is possible. Maybe a failure of imagination for what could be stands as a barrier to change.
For these reasons, I’m not going to stick to a simple how. Its the dance of skills, assumptions, beliefs and imagination that interests me.
Because for me, ultimately, money isn’t just about money. Its tied to my soul’s journey – and the soul’s speaks more in images than facts, impulse rather than hard figures.
So as we walk those simple yet not easy steps above, I will weave in reflections on the nature of money, notions of wealth, thoughts on capitalism (or rather, our extractive economy), spirituality and money, just to name a few.
Your takeaway this week is some green hat thinking. Imagine the sort of life that you would be living if you didn’t have the constraints. Yup. No constraints. All the time in the world, all the money in the world. In this world of imagination, it doesn’t doesn’t cost any more to go large. At the same time, keep it real to yourself. Would you really travel the world in a 160m yacht and party at a different port city each weekend?
You may need to ask Mr/Ms Judgement to go sit in the corner for a while if they’re a little too loud.
However, to make this a little bit more useful, imagine yourself already having lived this reality for a year. You’ve already done all the things that you’ve always wanted to do. Now its the specifics of your daily rhythm…
Preferably, you’ll find an hour to write this all down.
When your eyes open in the morning, what’s the first thing you see?
What do you do next?
Who do you share this life with?
Continue on through your day like this, being very curious to feel out what is really resonant for you.
Then read it though.
How do you feel during and after the reading? Enlivened? Collapsed? Depending on your ability to imagine and how much you put into this, your feelings could be fairly powerful. I’ve done this several times with different reactions each time. The most visceral feelings were imagining what my whole family was up to in 20 years. This allowed some of my deepest values to be expressed in a limitless future, which was quite powerful for me.
If you want to move to the next level, compare and make a list of the differences between your imagined life and your current life. Are you living different values or are they the same, just expressed differently? Would you need to change some habits to live your imagined like.
No matter what you do with this, this visualization gets richer the more you do it.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.