I'm currently reading a book by T Harv Eker called "The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" and at first when I started this book, I felt a little bit guilty, like gosh, who am I to be reading about millionaire minds? I come from a modest upbringing, one that I am happy to have had, with so many stories to remember and smile about. I lived in a variety of homes as a kid, homes where my sister and I were able to create our own fun out of dances to Amy Grant, paper bag hats, forts and trees with climbing branches and games and all sorts of imagination. So while I feel connected to "The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind," I feel equally connected to "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne, a book about giving kids time and space and quiet and clutter-free environments to grow up in, explore, gain confidence and become their best unique self.
I do believe that the world today is far too cluttered. I see it in everything, from the bazillion ways I can order a latte to the back-to-back schedules we create for our toddlers, hoping they will excel at many things at a very young age. I also believe that wanting to build a financial nest egg and increase net worth does not mean a person wants to live a flashy, status-filled life. The day I admitted to myself that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and build a solid financial foundation for my family was a very freeing moment -- it was the moment I discovered what gives me peace. I think at the end of the day we are all striving for peace, or more specifically, total wellness in a variety of categories. One of these happens to be financial wellness. Another happens to be mental wellness, which for me includes time freedom to do as I please and little to no stress about providing for my family for the next few decades.
In "The Have It All Woman," Susan Sly talks about wellness coming from three distinct things: wellness in relationships, physical health, and financial health. If one of these three is not well, there is work to be done. For many of us, more than one of these could use improvement.
My dreams have shifted lately from getting out of student loan debt to being able to give back. The more I think about living a purpose-driven life, the more I think about helping people in a variety of ways, primarily through connectedness, wellness, and realizing one's true potential to give back in a way that is meaningful to them. I wrote about Maslow's hierarchy of needs a couple years ago in my other blog (Exactly As It Should Be) and at the time, it was related to self-actualization as a new mother. Self-actualization is defined as, "the full realization of one's potential." I continue to think about how to be self-actualized both personally and professionally. Lately things have been on my heart in new ways, ways I can give back to things that matter to me. If done correctly, money can support us in achieving time freedom and the freedom to give back. Ideas have been floating around in my head, such as setting up a series of lactation locations around the Twin Cities for nursing mamas to hang out (super lacking today, IMO), creating scholarships for students to attend my alma mater with certain focuses on entrepreneurship, study abroad, Latin America, etc., providing funds to programs for early childhood education, teaching real-life readiness workshops to students entering the workforce after college, and simply looking at ways to improve the well-being of children in other ways I have not yet thought about.
Those are just my ideas. They will probably morph and change a little. But this is what I challenge you. If you have stopped dreaming, start challenging yourself to understand WHY. If you are just going through the motions instead of listening to what makes your heart soar, consider making a change. Ask yourself the harder questions because if you attack the hardest one, the questions begin to get easier.
Money is just a vehicle. As Will Smith said, "Money and success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there." I like how he puts it, because it's helped me think bigger and broader about success and happiness, and most importantly what I want this life to be about.