I recently listened to an old recording by Earl Nightingale, on the power of focussing on what you really want.
Not just writing it down and expecting the universe to manifest it for you.
But making a decision, prioritising it, and working towards it with the confidence that it will happen if you exchange enough time, energy and attention for it.
I’ve always struggled with stuff like that. Anything I wrote down seemed a little, arbitrary.
‘That’s for simpler people’, I told myself. People who want ‘a nice car’ or ‘to be a millionaire’. What I want is so much… deeper.
But in hindsight, chronic indecision was just an excuse for inaction.
Retaining the Peter Pan character of endless, unrealised possibility doesn’t keep you young. You just sacrifice becoming something real.
So I wrote down a list of things I want:
- A fit and healthy body
- To be a good father to my daughter
- To be financially successful
- To do meaningful, creative work
- To die without (too many) regrets
..and variations on a theme.
But it was hard to pin down the one thing I wanted most of all. How do you possibly prioritise stuff like that?
My daughter is the most important person in the world to me, so surely she has to come first. But while ‘being a good father’ is obviously important, it didn’t seem tangible and specific enough to be a primary goal.
And if I’m honest, I’m too selfish to make my life about serving someone else.
I wanted something I can focus on and work toward every day. To think of each morning and last thing at night. The North Star that makes me jump out of bed in the morning.
And then it came to me.
I want to do creative, inspiring work that makes me rich.
When I read that I feel inspired. Not obligated.
It probably won’t have the same effect on you, and that’s fine. In fact, you may be thinking that it sounds trite, or vague, or materialistic.
That’s fine too. It’s up to you to find your own thing.
But for me, it ticks all the boxes.
Let me explain…
When creative people aren’t being creative, we wither. We’re just not cut out for repetitive mundane work. It kills us.
My job right now isn’t creative enough (I’m a chiropractor). It possibly could be, and I’ve tried to inject creativity into it by making videos, flowcharts; I even built an online course for people with back pain.
And maybe it’s my illusion that it has to be approached a certain way. Or perhaps it’s my delusion that I can make it satisfy me, if I just try harder, or think more imaginatively.
Either way, I want to spend more time doing creative stuff. Making things, designing, innovating.
Creativity for its own sake it isn’t enough though. I don’t want to design socks for a living.
I want to be inspired and to inspire others. Because I feel like that’s the essence of what it means to really live.
Expressing the spirit that flows through you, and imprinting something unique.
Winning the lottery and wallowing on a beach would be great, for a month. But not fulfilling.
I want to get stuck into projects I care about, that call my time and energy, give me purpose and consume my attention.
An adventure worth pursuing.
…that makes me rich
Rich, I say!
Not comfortable. I want to be able to live where I want, in a beautiful house, and fly business class with my daughter (and future family) wherever we want to go.
And that takes leverage.
Rich is a relative term, so let’s start with a modest £200K per year, after tax. We’re not talking tigers on a diamond-studded leash, but certainly enough for what I just mentioned.
I’m not money-driven at all. In fact, I’ve always been a money-avoider (more on that another time). But it’s starting to dawn on me that money does mean options.
Most importantly, you can exchange money for time.
Here’s why ‘I do creative, inspiring work that makes me rich’ is so powerful for me
(…written as if it is already true)
- Because when I’m doing that I feel alive, and everything else falls into place.
- I enjoy making healthy decisions because it fuels my ability to create.
- I am discerning about where I direct my time, energy and attention.
- I have self-esteem and inner peace.
- I have my own needs met so I can focus on helping and engaging with others.
- I earn lots of money to provide for Cadence.
- I can help my family, friends and community in meaningful ways.
This, I find inspiring.
And I just wanted to share that with you.