Yesterday, my wife and I were talking outside the RV while our daughter napped. The topic of conversation was life. Specifically, "what do you want life to look like?"
It's a difficult conversation to have without talking about money. In years past, we let finances make decisions for us. Although this is a topic that must be discussed at some point, what we want from life goes beyond what we can afford. Life is about values, beliefs, and time.
When we prioritize life based on core beliefs and values, money is no longer a limitation; it's something worth sacrificing in order to live life on our own terms and for my wife and I, according to God's plan.
Before this year, the "what do you want your life to look like" conversation started with money. In other words, it started with limitations. Once the limitations were established, we would then discuss the "lifestyle" we could afford.
But starting the conversation with limitations is completely backwards. Money represents stuff and stuff has nothing to do with what we want out of life.
When we look back on a lifetime of memories, achievements, and regrets, we won't talk about the things we wish we would've bought. We want to look back and talk about the experiences we shared together and the people we helped along the way.
So instead of money, we started yesterday's conversation with core values and beliefs. I wanted to dive deeper than "a life we can afford."
I wanted to talk about what our fantasy life looked like; the "best of both worlds" kind of life. I wanted to discuss life without limitations; a purpose driven life.
At the end of the day, purpose is what we're all searching for, right?
We've all seen the type who clearly knows their purpose. They're passionate, eager to learn more, do more, and help more. They're the type you just have to stop and...observe in admiration. They are who everyone else wants to be.
Remove money from your life and you're left with time. How you spend your time is likely determined by your own personal beliefs and values.
When the thought of money restricts your idea of living, your perception of life is warped. This is a difficult topic to write about because most people can't see beyond their own limitations. People won't understand completely until they realize that life without purpose isn't living.
The reason people are so intrigued with the RV lifestyle is because freedom is a fantasy that everyone yearns for. If given the option to retire now or work, everyone I know would retire. This, of course, is assuming retirement were economically feasible.
Life is a catch-22, isn't it? I'm certainly not above the struggle...just aware of it.
But what if your purpose is doing the things you want to do? What if living life on your terms could earn you enough money to live on? What if you could have "the best of both worlds?"
Yesterday, my wife and I celebrated our 6th year wedding anniversary and for the first time in our relationship, we talked about life without limitations. While our daughter napped, we tried to come up with a few personal values we wanted to build our life around.
I value our family, time, and freedom above everything. She values our family and time above everything.
It was a challenge to leave finances out of the discussion but once we did, we realized time together was the most important asset to both of us. After that, we were able to focus on the sacrifices we were willing to make that would allow us to have more time in our lives.
When we concentrated on the priceless values we shared, our perception of lifestyle changed.
Personal beliefs and values are, or at least they should be, the foundation for your life. If you don't consciously make the decision to build your own foundation, you will subconsciously build your life on a foundation someone else built for you.
Once you prioritize and make a decision to live life on your terms, you start thinking about creative ways to make it work economically.
Our goal isn't to make more money; it's to live a life that maximizes the "time" we have together and the time we're able to spend helping others. We've decided that the things we do, people we meet, and places we go together are far more important than anything money can buy.
Your purpose is your mission statement. The goal is to find your purpose and figure out a way to make money living it. No amount of money can make you happy if you're miserable doing what you do on a daily basis.
That said, in terms of finances, we've lost almost everything in the process of building our new life. But what have we really lost? We exchanged money for a life we want to live. Isn't that the point of money? Buy what we think will make us happier? I'll exchange money for a purpose filled life every day!
When you reprioritize values and rebuild a purpose driven life that you enjoy living, money becomes a small technicality. And when you catch a glimpse of what your purpose filled life looks like, you'll sacrifice anything to keep it alive.