Our main goal as Cashflownaires is to obtain comlete freedom.
Freedom flows from a position of strength where you have the ability to say “NO” to anything you don’t want to do for money.
More importantly, it allows you to focus on work that you actually do want to do.
Over the years, I’ve defined wealth in various ways. You’re wealthy when the value of your assets exceeds your liabilities. You’re wealthy when you have enough passive income to cover your living expenses. You’re wealthy when you hit your NUMBER.
Today, I realize these definitions aren’t accurate.
In my humble opinion, true wealth is the ability to say “NO” to any financial opportunity without regret. You don’t have to constantly chase more money. You can sit back and cherry pick the best opportunities without feeling pressure to constantly do more (and make) more.
If you really unpack this, you’ll see that true wealth comes from a certain way of thinking… from independent thinking.
We’ve all been brainwashed to think that freedom is about money. The problem is true freedom is NOT about money. Money actually becomes a distraction to true freedom.
True freedom flows from our
ability to break society’s programming.
Since we were young, we’ve all been programmed by society. These programs are running our lives, and in many cases these programs make us miserable.
I’ll be the first to tell you that this isn’t easy. I struggle with this on a daily basis. The reason why is because we usually don’t even realize we’re operating on false programming. The programming has been so ingrained that we don’t even “see” it.
We don’t even realize that we’re not living with true freedom.
We are so desperate for approval, attention, success, status, and recognition. This desperation creates a self-imposed prison where we’re always striving for something that we have no control over.
Consider how we’ve all been programmed to desire the approval of other people…
We want the approval of our teachers.
We want the approval of our parents.
We want the approval of our children.
We want the approval of our co-workers.
We want the approval of our customers/clients.
We want the approval of our employees.
We want the approval of our neighbors.
We want the approval of our friends.
We want the approval of our spouse.
We want the approval of our church community.
We want approval from society.
This desire for approval ends up controlling just about everything we do. We aren’t living in true freedom if we’re being controlled by our desire for approval.
True freedom flows from our ability
to break this need for approval.
True freedom means that we’re able to say “NO” to our teachers, to our parents, to our children, to our boss, to our co-workers, to our customers, to our neighbors, to our friends, to our spouse, and to our church communities.
More importantly, we must be able to say “NO” without regret.
Stop and think through about the various things you do on a day-to-day basis, and consider which activities are to gain the approval of others. If you’re honest with this exercise, you’ll probably “see” that 90% of what you do is connected to your desire for approval.
An small example… when I take my family out to dinner, I’m doing this because, on some level, I want their approval. I want to make them happy. This is a tricky situation because my desire for their approval ends up controlling what I do. I would much rather stay home than eat out all of the time…. but I don’t do what I want. I do what they want. I compromise to make them happy.
If I were completely free of this desire for their approval, I wouldn’t worry about trying to make them happy. I’d let them do whatever they wanted to do for dinner, and I’d open a cheap bottle of wine and grill a steak. 🙂
Yes, this is a ridiculous example; however, we do this with EVERYTHING… even BIG things.
When I was a CPA working my way up the partner ladder in one of the largest public accounting firms in the world, my mother was so incredibly proud of me. In her eyes, I was a success because I had a prestigious job. The problem was that I hated my job and wanted to quit to become a full-time real estate salesperson.
Most people would have a hard time walking away from such a great job. For some reason, this wasn’t an issue for me. The hardest part, for me, was that I knew my mother wouldn’t approve of my decision.
I can still remember how hard it was to tell her what I was going to do. The only thing that seemed to save me during this challenging conversation was explaining that I was going to leave on good terms and could get my job back if things didn’t go well in real estate. I had no intention of ever coming back to the job; however, this seemed to give her a sense of hope.
Society’s programming led my mother to believe that the only way to be successful in life was to have a good job. This programming got pushed into my life, and the only way I would maintain her approval was by getting and staying at a good job.
The main issue was my mother’s false societal programming. This was really her issue, not mine. When we stop doing things to get the approval of others, we give them the opportunity to deal with whatever false programming they may have.
As a man, I seem to be hardwired to try and fix the problems of my loved ones. Whenever they share a problem with me, I’m instantly giving suggestions on how to solve the problem. This is all well and good until we get to the point where we end up solving other people’s problems by doing things they want us to do… by compromising away what we want in life.
I could have solved my mother’s false programming by staying at my good job. This easy solution would have ended up making me miserable.
When I quit my good job, I ended up giving my mother the opportunity to examine her thinking around what it meant to be successful. Within a few years, she watched me build an amazing business with incredible people. She watched me create a new version of success (my own version of success) that she’d never considered before.
When we do things to please others, we eliminate the opportunity for them to challenge their own false programming.
I’m now on the other side of this parent/child relationship with my daughters, and I can see how my false programming impacts what I expect from them. They can earn my approval when they get good grades. They can earn my approval when they face their fears. They can earn my approval when they work hard toward one of their goals. They can earn my approval by going to college. They can earn my approval when they hang out with the “right” friends.
Please notice I specifically used the word – “EARN.” They have to “earn” my approval. This means they must DO something I want them to do. In other words, my false programming requires them to to trade away their freedom in order to earn my approval. 🙁
Are you starting to see how deep this false programming goes?
The crazy part is that we usually don’t see any of this because it’s so deeply ingrained. We don’t realize how much freedom we trade away to please others. We also don’t realize how much freedom we restrict from others in order to earn our approval.
I realize this article may seem a little out there. You might even be thinking…. “enough of this woo-woo stuff – just show me the damn money. I ain’t got no time for this!”
I AM showing you the damn money.
You’re just not seeing it.
When you start learning how to let go of your need for approval, you’ll unlock massive amounts of cashflow. That might be the most profitable sentence that I’ve ever written.
The more approval you desire, the less cashflow you’ll create. Your desire for approval will end up restricting just about everything you do – or – don’t do.
The less approval you desire, the more freedom you’ll uncover and the more cashflow you’ll create.