Today’s Thoughts: Do you work in the slave trade, selling the lives of others for your own profit? Is that question shocking? The answer has more shock value: you may already be a slave trader, and a slave, alike. When our Present Self commits the life moments of our Future Self to pay for the folly of the present, we are stealing options from Future Self, tying them to a sentence to pay for what Present Self craved. This equates indentured servitude, genuine bondage to a life they didn’t choose, but you of the present did.
Freedom from indentured servitude is crucial to a liberation artist. One never knows what life will serve up or when opportunity will knock. Liberation Artists want to be ready to answer. What if tomorrow a dream opportunity opened up, such as living abroad for a year, the most awesome job ever, or discovery of a new passion you want to pursue full time? Could you pursue this opportunity, or will you be trapped, thanks to debt your former present self racked up? Worse still, what was the debt spent on? Lattes and pasta dinners in trendy though now forgettable restaurants? Some must-have designer t-shirt, or numerous splurge items on random rainy days?
I don’t buy that there is ‘good debt.’ Sometimes there is necessary debt. This is life or death debt – you need the antibiotics now, and don’t have money, or you have a series of emergencies that wiped out your emergency fund, so you will take that small debt, knowing you are committed to paying it off within three months. Few people become take this path to indentured servitude, though. Most find their way there one dinner and latte at a time. At the end of the day, all debt is a form of slave-trading. Keep this in mind next time you whip out the plastic. Aren’t you too awesome to do that to your future self, who will likely be as awesome as you, but compounded, for all the added years and experience? Keep Future Self’s options open – they deserve it.
For Today: Whenever you want to spend money, translate that number into life hours. You do this by figuring out how many hours of pay it will take to cover that cost. Is that item worth that many life hours? This is what you are really trading for that t-shirt or coffee – your life moments. Is it worth it? If yes, go for it, buy away (but pay cash, not credit!). If it isn’t, put your wallet away and give yourself a pat on the back. You just bought yourself a few more hours of freedom.
Respect your life moments – they are your greatest and only true asset. If you want to live your dreams, you must be free to pursue them. Keep your options open, and never, ever sell out your future self for today’s whimsy.
If you are already deep in debt, free yourself as quickly as possible. Check out great debt-busting advice and move toward freedom – you will not regret it.
Free yourself, wonder will follow.