If I only had one month left to live, I would spend most of my time writing and hanging out with the people I love. If I could do those two things, I wouldn’t need anything else. I would be perfectly happy because that’s what makes my life worthwhile. It’s what makes me excited to jump out of bed in the morning.
If my writing can inspire just one person to live a more intentional life, I consider that a victory. If I can be a good brother, a son, and friend, that’s an even bigger win.
I strongly believe that all anyone needs to be happy and fulfilled is just a life packed with close relationships and meaningful work. Everything else is just fluff.
The house you live in, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the phone you own, the decorations in your home, the neighborhood you live in, your yard, your gizmo-gadgets, your social media accounts, even your net worth is all just fluff around the edges of your life. They might enhance your life in different ways, but they don’t give it meaning.
That new car you yearn for so badly? Fluff.
It might make you happy for 2 months, but then it gets old.
That new Apple Watch? Neat, but fluff.
It won’t give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
That new smart phone? Pretty cool. Still fluff.
Fluff feels good for a few hours, days, weeks, maybe even months if you’re lucky. But long term, your excitement for existing on this planet is fueled by the relationships you have and the unique work you’re doing to contribute to the world. Technology, gadgets, collectibles, trinkets, and every other consumer good can be neat for a brief period of time. But it’s still fluff. It won’t feed your soul in the long run.
So what does this have to do with finance?
The more you focus on doing better, more impactful, more meaningful work every single day and spending time with people you love, the less your lizard brain desires the fluff. You begin to focus on feeding your soul, not feeding the pockets of retail corporations. You naturally spend less on consumer garbage. You transform from a consumer to a creator. When your happiness comes from your work and your relationships, there’s no need to search for more of it at the mall.
The path to a better financial life is simple: do work you love and spend time with people you love. That’s it. Not only will this bring you happiness, but it will have an incredibly positive impact on your finances.
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