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“Careful what you wish, you may regret it careful what you wish you just might get it…”King Nothing – Metallica

P.S. Make sure to check out my break up letter with debt on Dear big thanks to Melanie. I had a lot of fun writing it.

What’s Your Idea of Financial Freedom?

1 Thing to Keep Asking Yourself with Financial FreedomI’ve been giving a lot of thought to what financial freedom really means. Whenever I think of freedom, it conjures up this idea of sitting on a beach. Watching the waves come in and relaxing, sitting around with my toes in the sand…


Then I actually go to the beach….


The truth is I can’t sit still for that long, beach or anywhere else. Sitting on a beach is this great mental image I hold, but the reality for me is something else. Something far, far different.

It’s confusing.

I have this golden image of not working and sitting around enjoying life, but when I have a chance to kick back it just doesn’t happen the way I envision it.

What Do You Really Want?

So, I came up with a little exercise for myself whenever I don’t want to think things through. It’s designed to keep pushing the thought process forward and dig down deep to what I really want. I hope it helps you.

The One Question to Keep Asking Yourself

This question has driven me crazy for years. It’s been great at making me see through things as well as I can. It’s simple:

…And Then What?

If you conitnuously ask yourself this, it will get you to start peeeling away the layers of what you are really truly wanting.

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For instance, this is what my financial freedom conversation sounds like

“I want to be financially free. I want to have enough money coming in from passive income to live the life of my dreams.”

…And Then What?

“Then I would go sit on a beach and enjoy life.”

…And Then What?

“I don’t know, I would probably get bored of the beach after an hour and start looking for something to do.”

…And Then What?

“Then I would find a project to start, I’m happiest when I am taking on a project of some kind.”

…And Then What?

“I would probably devote myself to the project and work at it until it was completed or until I was satisfied with it’s success. Then I would keep repeating that process.”

So that means?

“That means I want financial freedom so that I can work on a project that I can devote myself to, and achieve my definition of success. CRAP! I guess the beach isn’t really what I want.”

*Imaginary interviewer drops the mic and walks out..*

So basically I am visualizing a life of relaxation, when really that is the furthest thing that would satisfy me. It’s a strange thing to realize. I can’t get my head around it in one way, but deep down inside I know this new version is right.

I’m not really retiring from something but more wanting to escape from one thing so that I can go and do another thing. The weirdest part is, I would be working just as hard or harder because that’s how I’m built.

I don’t know where this exercise will take you but I have used it in so many parts of my life and it can really help you get clear on why you want the things you want.

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Why is This So Important?

It’s important to know the reasons why you want something. There are so often we blindly chase after things and don’t realize that the reason we are chasing them isn’t for the right reason. That’s why we fail, that’s why whenit gets tough we give up.

What Does Financial Freedom Mean to You?

For me financial freedom means choice. It’s about choosing what I can do instead of doing what I think is necessary. There is a big difference. Whether you like your work or not, having the freedom to leave is a big deal.

Ladder of SuccessI’ll leave you with a thought I’ve kept in my mind since my early twenties.

“If you are going to climb the ladder of success, make sure it’s leaning against the right wall”

So why is financial freedom important to you? What does it look like? Let me know in the comments below. If you try this exercise and tell me your results, I’d love to hear them.

This post may contain affiliate links, thanks for supporting my blogging endeavors!
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  1. Reply

    This hits home big time. I’ve figured out the amount of money that I need to live on the 4% rule, but then realized, I’d still work and make money so why do I need to wait to “retire” after I have 25x my annual expenses? The “and then” principle works big time.

    • Reply

      Thanks! I’m happy to hear that, I’m big on trying to think things through but it really hard sometimes. This exercise really opened my eyes to what I want. Rather than what I think I want. The clearer I get on my why the easier it will be to stay the course.

  2. Reply

    YES! I think too many people think of money as the end goal, or already THINK they know what they want. For me, I want to create financial freedom because I want to feel secure knowing my family is taken care of, while pursuing passion projects I care about whether or not they bring in income.

    Love the site! Keep up the awesome work!

    • Reply

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for the comment. That’s great that you know why you want financial freedom. The bigger your “Why” the easier it will be for you to stick with it. Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it.

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