I just realized that I have a problem with catchphrases. “Financial freedom”, “radical saving”, even “building wealth”. It’s not that I don’t understand them - I do. I just think that they are stupid and misleading.
Let’s take “financial freedom”, for example. What exactly does that mean? Is it not having any debt? Or not having to work for a living? Is it having enough passive income to replace a “regular” job? Or is it some combination of all of it?
“Building wealth” - logically, it means to take steps to accumulate wealth - but then, what does it mean to be wealthy? Is that owning a lot of assets and not having debt? Or is it accumulating cash? And at what point are we “wealthy”? Is it when you can buy everything you want or when you already own everything you want?
My problem isn’t with the concepts but with the actual application. The catchphrases would have you believe that there is one definition for “financial freedom” or “wealth” and that there is a finish line for achieving them. And maybe there is a finish line - but you decide what the goal is and when you have reached it. And once you’ve achieved it, there will (and should be) another goal.
“Financial freedom” and “wealth” are not defined by numbers or dollar amounts, but by the standards that you set for yourself. You define when you are free, financially, emotionally and otherwise. And you define what wealth means to you. It’s harmful to allow others to define your personal and financial goals and to give them a name and a standard for you. You should define those things, call them whatever you want to call them and envision your life once you achieve them.
Your vision should include deadlines and specific and consistent actions. “Financial freedom” should be attached to specific goals; we’re not making vision boards without plans. We're not just taking vision boards and catchphrases into 2022, we're taking priorities and plans too!
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