Why are we doing this? What is this all for? What is the purpose of saving your money, investing it, and building wealth? What are you learning all of this for?
I think about my personal answers to these questions all the time. Collecting more money isn’t enough for me. Finding answers to “My Why” is what this journey is all about. My personal “WHY” is what drives me. It’s what challenges me. It’s what inspires me when I wake up and I’m not happy. It’s what entertains me when I am bored. Finding my personal “WHY” is what will keep me engaged with my life no matter what happens to me in my future. I don’t worry about feeling lost in my eventual retirement, because I will always have my “WHY” to chase, develop, and master.
The beauty to these personal “WHY” questions is that each person has their own unique path to find their answers.
My wife and I were driving to Colorado 2 weeks ago, and I asked her, “We’re not poor anymore. What does it feel like now that we’re starting to become wealthy?”
She thought about the question. This is all new territory for us. Neither of us started our adult lives with loads of money in the bank. We did it the hard way. We avoided debt. We chose an inexpensive lifestyle. We read financial blogs, and we asked for help. We then did what other wealthy people told us to do.
Amanda looked back at me as we drove across Nebraska. “It feels peaceful.” She said. “More and more of my day-to-day worries in life are slowly drifting further out of my mind.”
I thought this would be a good opportunity to get to know my wife better, because I can’t see inside her mind as she matures and grows. So I asked her: “Can you give me examples of what your financial peace looks like?”
She explored the ideas in her mind like she was flying through a sky of clouds.
“Financial success is all new to me.” She said. “I love it because I no longer have to stress the small things in life. I no longer care if a job or a boss threatens me financially. I don’t have to worry about what other people think of me. It allows me the freedom to focus on doing a job that is meaningful to me. I’m not afraid of change if it comes. Rather than being terrified of the change that is sure to come in my life, I feel prepared for it, and that peace of being prepared is priceless to me.”
As you can see above, one of Amanda’s “why” for chasing financial success is finding more peace: The peace to not worry. The peace to do as she pleases. The peace to make the decisions she must make to find what she really wants to do with her life.
Our conversation made me ask myself, “What is my why?” I encourage you to ask yourself when you think about your finances: “What is your why?” It’s important to know because it’s your “Why” that will guide all of the money that you save. If you don’t have a “why,” then your money will be worthless, even if you have a ton of it.
I realized that for me, my why, originates in my curiosity.
I can be obsessively curious to find out who I am in my absolutely purest sense. I want to discover what I am meant to do, and how far I can push myself toward my dream of being a “professional creative.”
Pursuing financial independence is just a logical step for me. Because when I don’t have to think about money, I can spend all day thinking about the thoughts that are important to me.
Ultimately, I realize that money is worthless on its own. Modern financial success is really just a number flickering on a computer screen most of the time. That flickering number can make you feel anxious, stressed, powerful, or content, depending on the health of that number.
For me, the secret to being happy with your financial state doesn’t come from the actual quantity of money you own. Happiness comes from the “Why” in your financial journey. Amanda is after peace. I am feeding the hunger of my curiosity. We both save and invest, so that we are free to find our answers to the biggest questions in life.
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