Ask ten different people and you are likely to get ten unique descriptions of freedom. Are some more accurate than others? I believe they are all equally valid. Our definition depends upon the type of freedom to which we are referring.
Your Inner Wealth Creates Your Material Wealth
True wealth must include spiritual fulfillment. Without gratitude and service, material success will lose its meaning. The temporary elation of receiving money or gaining power will fade as quickly it came. For us to be truly wealthy, we must live with purpose. We can still enjoy the luxuries that wealth can buy. Our material wealth however, can bring only limited joy unless it is received in the service of others.
The Elements of True Life Freedom
True life freedom comes in two primary and intimately related forms; time and finances (resources). Freedom of time consists of having the option to choose which activities and endeavors receive our energy and attention. Freedom of finances consists of possessing the means to direct resources as we see fit.
Either one alone is always only a subset of true wealth, true life freedom. Understanding the distinction and relationship between freedom of time and freedom of money is important.
The Limitations of Time Without Money
I know many people with varying degrees of time freedom. As a young man, I myself had enormous amounts of time freedom. I didn’t realize at that point in my life how much time I had, but how a person walks around with his head nearly constantly up his own ass is a story for another day. Nonetheless, I had plenty of time, but very little money.
Since I had the support of a loving family I didn’t need a great deal of money in order to spend my time how I wished. My problem was that I didn’t understand that the time freedom I had is a commodity. I wasted it, and my supply dwindled. However, when used wisely, it can generate more time freedom. So in squandering my time, I later encountered a shortage of it as well that other element of true life freedom; money.
The Limitations of Money Without Time
Just as challenging as having time but no money, I know many people with substantial material wealth, but little time with which to live fully. Regardless of the size of their paycheck, they are still trading their time for money. In fact, the larger the income, the more time they are likely to be spending doing the work that pays them so handsomely. Hopefully, they love the job. But even in the event that they do love the work, when they step away from that job, the income tends to stop flowing.
What is far too rare is to possess both time freedom and financial freedom simultaneously. So for me, true freedom is having not only considerable financial wealth, but the time to utilize and enjoy that wealth as well.
Passive Income Is True Life Freedom
To combine both elements into true life freedom, our income streams need to be residual. Of course we must do the appropriate work to build the conduit through which this stream will flow. But once we do, if we are positioned in the right field, in comparison with the initial time investment required to build the income, or in comparison with traditional work models where we trade our time for money, relatively little effort is required to maintain the stream. It becomes passive. Additionally, the accumulated wealth, itself generates an income stream. Thus our time is leveraged so that our income sustains or even grows regardless of the amount of time we put into our work.
Finding Purpose Beyond Your Own Wealth
There is one final attribute that we must include in order to build not only massive streams of residual income, but to do it in a way that is personally meaningful. In actuality, it is the most important aspect of building a life of true freedom. That attribute is purpose.
Stories abound of people who have built massive wealth for themselves and combined it with time freedom only to feel disillusioned when they discover that having a lot of money and stuff and time hasn’t fulfilled them or set them free.
The foolish ones continue to seek happiness or fulfillment in the pursuit of more stuff. They convince themselves, regardless of how much they already have, that the next acquisition will bring the satisfaction they are seeking. Or perhaps they never even pay attention to the feelings of dissatisfaction long enough to feel compelled to search for true fulfillment.
However, the wise ones will reflect on the emptiness they feel despite having built wealth and leveraged their time. The realization they will reach is that true life freedom only can come by combining the personal success of wealth and time with the fulfillment of acting in service to something greater than themselves.
This is true freedom. This is true wealth.
How May I Help You?
My purpose, in part, comes from helping others find true life freedom. Please let me know how I can help you to do so.
At your service.