- Are you not happy with your life? Do you constantly ask how you can get the life you actually want, but can never seem to get it? You're not alone.
- But money is not what you actually want. It's just the means to the end. So don't focus your life solely on the money.
- Figuring out the lifestyle you actually want is the first step. So answer the questions at the end to check how you're doing and what you can do to fix your life.
As promised this is Part 2 which follows on from my article last week.
For those who missed it, this article will make sense but you might find you will get more out of it if you read the last article I wrote.
"How Can I Get What I Want?"
I often get asked by my clients how they can get what they want. They look at my lifestyle and start asking questions. I only work a three-and-a-half-day week and on average take about 4 months holiday a year. I speak to a lot of wealthy medical practitioners who make large amounts of money but their accountant or advisor can’t help them because they don’t know how to. So I get them to undertake the exercise I gave last week and review the answers. This is what I observe.
Firstly, it is a list in no particular order of things they ‘think’ their lifestyle should be. Secondly, when we get into the conversation we find what they would ‘like’ but probably do not really ‘want’. And there is a big difference between the two. Just have a look at your list. Do you really ‘want’ what you have there or would you just ‘like’ it?
We live in a world of Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter. This usually means impressing friends and family is more important than breathing. A recent survey that said those who spend more than 2 hours a day on social media are less happy than those that spent less than 15 minutes a day. How insane is that? But there is a reason for this. We all get caught in the circle of not actually living the lives we want. We are too busy living the lives we think will impress other people.
Take buying a watch. No-one will buy a $10 watch and put it on Facebook. Oh no. It has to be made from materials that aren’t even on the periodic table, can go 10,000 meters under water and be the size of big ben. It also comes in a very large box. And a big bag. It probably beeps too because everything nowadays beeps. Our phones beep on every email or message received. Beeps make us feel important. But I digress.
We seem to forget that the main reason for a watch is to tell the time. But if you don’t have a watch that does all kinds of weird and wonderful things, somehow you have failed in life.
You Don't Actually Want Money
Almost every list that I see will have ‘more money’, ‘pay down debts’ or something along those lines.
But here’s the thing. It is not money you want.
“Huh?” I hear you question. It’s true. Just think about it. Think of three things that will bring a massive smile to your face or joy in your heart. Go on it now.
I’ll bet your list of three items doesn’t even have money on it. It will say things like travel, spending time with loved ones, buying lots of shoes and handbags, or racing around in an Aston Martin sports car.
And therein lies the problem. Money on its own has limited to no appeal.
You see, there is one thing you need to understand about money. Money does not provide you with anything except units of choices. That is why money on its own will not bring you happiness and why some very rich people are unhappy. It’s what you can do with it that will make you smile. Money on its own does nothing.
If I gave you 5,000 Estonian Kroon right now, what would you feel? This is real money, just not in a currency you know. I am guessing you feel nothing because you have no idea if 5,000 Estonian Kroon buys you a nuclear power plant, a Versace dress, or a Bic ballpoint pen. There is no Emotion in having money. What we crave is an emotional kick. We want emotion on steroids.
The Lifestyle You Actually Want
I have a simple belief system. I do not believe the Universe created human beings so that they spend the first quarter of their life learning and trying to blow up the chemistry lab in school, the next third working as hard as they can and being a slave to their job or business, and the final part worrying about if they have enough money to survive the rest of their days. Humans created this system.
What most people want is to be adventurous. They want to see the world, climb mountains and fly like a bird. But the issue is that the money system does not allow us to do this. That is why on holiday we go a bit nuts and bonkers. It allows us to live the way we really want even if it’s for a short period of time.
What you need to do is design your business so that it provides the lifestyle you want. If you do not design a business around you and just concentrate on the business, then the business comes first and your life takes a back seat to it.
Let me tell you a secret which, to be honest, is not that much of a secret, but one we all just tend to ignore. You set up in business because you thought you’d have the freedom to do what you want.
The reality is you and your freedom are chained to your business, and because it comes first you will spend all hours of the week working on your business. It should not be that way.
As a business person, you may also feel that your business and your personal life are separate. After all, when you leave your business at the end of the day, you go home and everything is different because now you are surrounded by your family. Except it’s not different. The link between your family life and your business is so strong it is astonishing.
Think about it. Let’s say you are bleeding so much cash in your business that you don’t know if your dog is going to get any food. When you go home is it all forgotten? Ever been so angry at work your team thought you had the ability to set off a tsunami? Did you then go home and find all is happy or did your family think you also had the ability to set off a tsunami?
If you are running a business, you have to assume it is part of your family. If it struggles, so will the family. If it is stressed, then the family will be stressed. So to have a happy family unit you need a happy business because your business is part of your family and will affect each and every member of your family.
So let me ask the question I asked last week.
‘What kind of lifestyle do you want?’
To help you, I have constructed a Wagon Wheel, which shows 10 different parts of our lives. These parts are known to affect our lives the most. In the middle is a Zero and on the outer circle there is a number 10. You’ll find the Wagon Wheel below.
You’ll see various categories such as “social and friends.” Using a pen, I want you to grade yourself. For example, if you were looking at “social and friends,” you would ask yourself, “How good is my life when it comes to being social and spending time with my friends?” If is absolutely spot on the way you want it, mark a dot at number 10. If it is pathetic because you spend seven days a week working, mark a dot at zero. If it is halfway, then mark it halfway. Do this for all 10 questions and then join up all the dots. If you have a lot bunched up near zero or about the halfway mark, you will probably find you are not very happy and wish things were different.
The above exercise will show areas you feel are not working for you, and then you need to ask what you can do to make it work. Spending more time and focusing in these areas will improve your life dramatically. It will also make you start asking questions about how you can find the time to actually do it.
Don’t spend time worrying about how you are going to improve your position. For now, you just need to write down what you need to do to improve it. Your brain will begin to work it out. So in the “social and friends” segment, you may state that you will meet with your friends every week on Friday and not cancel because of work. You don’t know how yet, but believe me, if you focus enough, your brain will work it out as you know what the end goal is.