Your success with money determines how you make decisions.
For most of my career I’ve made decisions out of fear. If I don’t do what my boss says I’ll get fired again is the self-talk. Each day I’d work with fear in the back of my head. Fear would decide what I wouldn’t do.
With fear making decisions for me, I became deeply unhappy. I’m not alone. People spend their entire lives doing work they hate to keep the fear demon in their head happy.
It makes sense. When your food and shelter are on the line you’ll always choose fear, because becoming hungry and homeless isn’t a life many want to transition to.
Danielle Colding, an interior designer, says In The Company of Women that “Quality of life is having the freedom to make choices that are not fear based.”
She describes freedom as a place where you:
- Choose the projects you work on.
- Choose what work you do based on how much you’ll learn.
- Or choose work that allows you to travel anywhere for a month without a permission slip.
Whether we’re forced to make fear-based decisions determines if we’re free.
“Work is better when you don’t need the money”
This quote is Mr Money Moustache’s motto. He created a freedom movement.
While the FIRE freedom movement is nice and all, I don’t personally buy into his view that we work stupidly hard while we’re young and spend nothing, to have money later.
But not everything he says is crazy.
The average person goes to work to earn money. The money they earn helps tame their fear. It’s a rollercoaster existence though. One minute safe, another minute under huge stress.
Mr Money Moustache says the real purpose of work is to create. You get to this place by understanding that money’s sole purpose is to have enough money.
Once money is plentiful enough, a switch gets flicked in your head.
The birth of the I-don’t-give-f*ck attitude
Once you transition to the other side something else magical happens, according to Mr Money Moustache…
When your sole focus isn’t to acquire money, you become more authentic. You don’t see people as capitalistic transactions anymore. No. You see them as humans you either want to connect and make friends with, or people you’d rather not see again.
This newfound authenticity leads people to believe you don’t give a f*ck. So you become a human magnet and attract a lot of good into your life.
Here’s where the miracle happens…
With the need for fear-based decisions gone because money is taken care of, your work becomes a lot more truthful.
It’s why when we see those guys and gals on Twitter or TikTok who say “I have nothing to sell you,” we get chills down our spines. They truly don’t.
They don’t give a damn about money because the chase for it got intentionally taken care of a long time ago.
This doesn’t mean these carefree folk are rich with Lambos either. It just means they’ve rigged the money game in their favor by investing well and needing less money overall. So now they can focus on creation rather than boring old money accumulation.
How to ditch fear-based decisions lightning fast
Where focus goes, money flows.
Habits expert James Clear says that you can’t become exceptional at anything without focus. He explains that we spend too much time d*cking around making dumb things more efficient when we should leave them undone.
Focus grows stronger with every “no” you say.
Saying no is an art. Those who master it get more focus. Focus sets you financially free, faster.
2. Become an unsexy weirdo
Seymour Cray was an electrical engineer who reinvented the performance of computers. Not sexy at all.
His guiding philosophy was to do everything a little different. Otherwise you become a sheep. When you do things slightly — not radically — different, the chance of better financial rewards is higher.
There’s more risk, sure. But life is too short to follow the herd and be stuck making fear-based choices forever.
Being different is simpler than being better.
3. The one no one wants to hear
Escaping the mediocre life most people live is not easy.
There’s a huge boulder that stands in our way called boring execution.
Every day for 8 years I’ve sat in my home office and slapped my keyboard silly. Some days it’s fun. Some days it sucks ass. The daily execution has allowed me to escape making fear-based decisions forever.
The greatest predictor of whether you’ll experience real freedom is this: will you execute daily despite…
- How you feel
- What people say
- Whether it’s a good day or a bad day
- How successful you are compared to others
If you can automate execution, you can automate results. Results produce the opportunity to escape fear-based decisions forever.
4. Pick the person in the mirror
Seth Godin is a badass author. His view is “The internet is an amplifier of people who pick themselves.”
James Altucher has a similar philosophy called Choose Yourself.
Escaping fear-based decisions requires you to stop relying on everyone else or external factors you can’t control. It’s a choice to go, “Hey, screw it, I’m just going to back myself now and stop listening to the gatekeepers.”
The person you see in the mirror every day when you brush your sexy teeth is capable of anything — including making enough cashola to comfortably stop making fear-based decisions forever.
5. Rub shoulders with the devil
The devil is risk. Many of us dance with him every day.
We’re afraid risks might ruin our lives. We let potential risks dictate how life is played. We forget that even if a risk comes true, it won’t ruin our lives.
In fact risks that go bad enhance our lives. It’s where resilience, discipline, and courage come from.
If you don’t take a risk you’ll be dreaming for the rest of your life. Smart risks create the payoffs that wipe out fear-based financial decisions.
6. Choose a life that doesn’t make sense
A lot of people think life should make sense. I don’t.
Life should be a crazy ride that makes no sense at all. Otherwise, have you really lived? Zach Pogrob says there comes a time when you have to decide…
An ordinary life full of fear-based decisions that secretly steal the joy from life? Or an extraordinary life where the money problem gets solved so you can do honest work where money isn’t a factor?
I choose an honest life where money doesn’t pollute the stream of consciousness. What will you choose from now on?