Freedom and purpose are not a given. They require work, smart decision making, and study. Once a person obtains freedom and purpose, which are never absolute by any measure, further maintenance and work are required.
What do we need to do to obtain freedom and purpose? There are a few alternative pathways – let me present you with one of them.
If I want to be free what pathway can I take? Let’s start with a definition
What is freedom?
Freedom can be defined as the ability to spend your time on whatever you choose, with whomever you choose, while not worrying about finances. However, time freedom may not be possible without financial freedom. Let me explain why.
Financial freedom is the key to all other freedoms as well as one of the pathways to purpose. In North America we need money for food, shelter, education, going out, and investing into our future self. People who have more resources can impact the world in a greater way (i.e. via charity or employing others).
In addition, financial freedom can lead to time freedom. And with time freedom one can volunteer more, write more books that benefit others, set up businesses that employ other people, donate to charity, or pursue other interests and enjoy life. It is all connected.
How can one obtain financial freedom
The answers are not complicated, but hard work and patience are preconditions for financial freedom (unless you get an inheritance or win a lottery). These are a few potential tips for financial freedom:
- Educate yourself in the field of finance. The more you know, the less mistakes you will make
- Spend less than you earn
- Invest the difference in an emergency fund. This fund will give you greater confidence to take more risks
- Invest in other assets and let those assets work for you increasing your leverage and earning capacity (i.e. stock market, land, precious metals, rental properties, and personal business can help with that)
- Where possible, diversity your sources of income (i.e. if you loose your job other income will be there). This is not an easy task but it is doable. Rightly priced rental properties, income funds, or an online business come to mind but other options are there as well
- Diversify your skills and be employable in many industries
- Stay out of debt. Consider debt that is productive and can be repaid quickly without major effort (i.e. debt that produces more income that an interest payment, or debt that will allow a person to obtain education so even more income can be produced in the future). This topic requires more in depth study. Books are there to help.
Financial freedom leads to time freedom
Financial freedom may lead an individual to time freedom. An individual with time freedom has greater opportunity to invest in a purpose or legacy such as social causes or research (i.e. setting up charities, employing other people, writing a book to better someone’s life etc).
In addition, an individual with time can choose to spend it with his or her family, take care of an elder, or further educate oneself and start on a research project to better the humanity.
No longer this individual has to sacrifice his or her time to make money, they can now pursue his or her own purpose. Although going back to work is always there and is optional.
Alternative pathways to freedom
Is it possible to obtain time freedom without financial freedom? The short answer is yes. However, one’s impact on the world may be limited, and he or she may have to go back to work and sacrifice all the precious time for a job that is not fulfilling. One may not be able to help their family or others as much as well. As a general rule, financial freedom fuels time freedom.
Oftentimes, our financial decisions compound. The earlier we start with good decisions the more benefits we can reap later in life. To get on this road of success it is beneficial to start one’s financial education early. The more you know the better choices you will make, and those choices will bring rewards that may let you enjoy your financial freedom and time freedom sooner.
Do not wait. Many financial institutions and organizations including our own government preach retirement by 65. But that is not freedom. Why should we sacrifice our lives to work for a corporation or a government, only to rip the benefits when we are super old? This does not make sense.
Consider other options including (1) Mini retirements throughout your life (2) Working in different locations and (3) financial education that will support this time freedom throughout your life so you have an option to pursue your own purpose.