We are taught how to work, but we are never taught how to stop working. We should all strive to be financially free. This is why.
They say something is free if it is not constrained to its present state.
For example, we think of birds as free. You’re free as a bird!
The ability to just get up and fly away is a desirable state of being.
But I live in a city with a lot of birds and I watch them from my balcony. They can fly away if they wanted to, but they generally stick with the group.
Which begs the question: How free really is a bird?
The Modern American Dream
Birds and mammals (humans included) appear to be free from a distance. We can walk, eat, sleep, do whatever we want, whenever we want.
At least that’s how it looks.
In America, the Land of the Free, we have more people behind bars than any other country in the world.
And even though the rest of us are technically free, we have been given pretty specific instructions on how to live:
- Go to school to learn to socialize, play and obey
- Graduate high school
- Take out loans to go to college
- Get a job
- Start investing in stock market through retirement accounts
- Get married
- Use a 30-year mortgage to buy a home
- Have kids
- Get promoted
- Take out loans to buy cars
- Use credit cards to go on vacation
- Keep investing into stock market through retirement accounts
- When you reach 60 years, you will be rich and can retire and do whatever you want
So maybe the birds I watch from my balcony also have some unwritten rules on how to behave. Maybe a bird who leaves the group is ousted from the community forever. Or maybe within the group he has a role to play and the guilt of flying away would be too much.
An American who doesn’t go to college feels a certain shame. An American female who is 34 years old (*ahem*) doesn’t have kids and isn’t married raises eyebrows. Someone making a great salary but living in a less-than-
Why You Should Want to be Financially Free
The problem with the American Dream is that it does not encourage creativity.
Humans are superior to every bird or mammal on the planet because we have imagination. Humans can visualize and ponder concepts that are not physically in front of us — no other species can do that.
The American Dream doesn’t account for imagination, it is a recipe from the side of a cardboard box. And I suspect this recipe is making us sick:
Depression Levels are Increasing
In 2014, around 15.7 million adults age 18 or older in the U.S. had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the last year. That’s 6.7% of population.
Anxiety is Skyrocketing
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. Over 40 million Americans age 18 and older, suffer from anxiety. That’s 18.1% of the population.
Antidepressant Use has Doubled
According to the American Psychological Association, 7.7% of the American population was on antidepressant medication in 1999. By 2014, that percentage had almost doubled to 12.7%.
But why is the American Dream making us sick?
For starters, the only instructions humans should take seriously is the task of aligning with our soul and expressing its desires. This is sometimes called Spiritual Healing.
In literal terms, this means we need to sit with ourselves, clear the mind, open the heart and listen to what the soul is saying. When you feel your heart swell, or you get excited butterflies in your stomach — stop immediately. This is your soul communicating with you.
In our modern world, however, this spiritual practice is not only uncommon but sometimes impossible.
Because we are too busy chasing the American Dream!
The antidote, therefore, is to become financially independent.
When you suddenly aren’t chasing paychecks to pay the bills for cars, clothes, gadgets you need for work to collect the paycheck, you have TIME. The one and only currency that counts.
What Does it Mean to be Financially Independent?
How to Become Financially Independent
Getting Ahead Financially is Hard
Obviously, this is easier said than done.
America’s cultural paradigms do not care about your spiritual healing, and do not value your imagination and creativity. Cultural paradigms exist as a form of control, and to enrich only a small group of people.
So what is a cultural paradigm?
Just like a personal paradigm, cultural paradigms are theories of how something should be done or thought about. Not all cultural paradigms affect your wallet, but below are the ones that do:
There are several cultural paradigms in America, and not all of them affect your wallet.
But the ones that do, do so in a DEVASTATING way. This is because the American Dream requires us to go into debt. Whether economic activity or monetary gains is the motive, the end result is a human that will for decades be stuck in the race to “pay bills.”
Unemployment is down (!)… but anxiety is up…
Stock market is up (!)….but wages are down…
Mortgage rates are low (!)….but depression and suicide rates are rising…
Do the world a favor and get a grip on your money. Ignore the messages and pressure. Save as much as you can, sell shit you don’t need, don’t take out a mortgage, don’t take out student loans… use your head and think about who benefits from the decisions you’re asked to make. Each and every one of us have a responsibility, which is to heal and honor our souls.
You becoming financially independent makes us collectively that much stronger to help others and heal the world.
- The Government Caused the Student Loan Crisis
- Buying a House? Use a 15-Year Mortgage.
- Why Are You Investing for Retirement?
- 6 Reasons to Rent vs. Own a Home
- Why Spiritual Healing Matters
Folks used to emigrate to America to buy land, embrace creativity, start a business, build their fortune, practice their religion, and prosper as an individual.
Perhaps this is still true for immigrants, but for Americans born and raised here, there are unspoken guidelines on how to live: