One of my mentors had a great quote, he said “if money is the root of all evil, what is the root of money?”
That really hit me square in the chest. It’s not money per se, but the integrity and the character of the person with it.
My paradigm shifted.
Coming from a social justice background I learned to have a distrust for money. When you learn about economic injustice or financial inequity you begin to view people with money as being bad somehow. There is institutional injustice don’t give me wrong, but money is just a tool and the character of the person with the money dictates the quality of how it is spent and distributed. I think the most important thing that I have learned in starting my own business has been to re-learn how I view money.
I had a habit of spinning my wheels with finances and continually making decisions that were not moving me forward. Money in my hand meant money in someone else’s register. There was no forethought and at the end of the month I would be mad at everyone else for my lack of money. It was the institution’s fault.
So many of us have huge financial burdens of student loans and we have the pleasure of experiencing the debts in a time of unprecedented economic depression. So many are born in to cycles of poverty with no way out. Some don’t understand the true purpose of social programs.
I will tell you this: I have a master’s in social justice and community development and I learned that despite the roadblocks in our imperfect world, the human spirit is infinitely creative and unimaginably resourceful. Do not let yourself believe things are beyond your reach because your future is in your hands always.
If you don’t have a Plan B in today’s age I think you are doing your self a vast disservice. If you think that the job market will pick up, it will a little, but the trend for underemployment will remain high if not continue to grow. This is putting your future in somebody else’s hands which is why having a side project or a business of your own is really important. It will help you to discover confidence in managing your life and will help you when times are hard.
You can ask several friends of mine to verify this, but I used to believe that I would never be the type to own my own business. I was afraid. I was afraid of managing something, I was afraid of detail, I was afraid of failure. I also was afraid that I wouldn’t be successful in something that I loved… and that would be the ULTIMATE disappointment.
But just like anything else, you can determine the pace at which you grow.
If I had been thrown a huge amount of success at once I would have not known what to do with it. Like so many musicians, football players, lotto winners, or people in general, they fail when they have a large amount of success presented quickly because they haven’t earned it. They haven’t learned what to do to be successful and stay successful.
I am fortunate that I know what I’m passionate about and I know what I want out of my life and I know that waiting for somebody to give it to me is not going to make my dreams happen.
You have to chase your dreams, chances are taken not given.
I want a financially secure life. I don’t want to wait 25 years before I pay my student loans. I don’t want to wait until I’m 50 before I can travel. I don’t want to wait till I’m 40 to have children because I can’t afford them. I don’t want to eat top Ramen every single day of the week because I can’t afford groceries.
I want a room where I can just breathe and meditate. If you ask me “why?” that’s my vision. I want to breathing room with giant windows and big fig trees and I aloevera plants and honeysuckle and Jasmine and I want to sit in that room basking in the sunlight and breathe and know that I’m free and I’m in control. I want it so bad that I can smell the smells I can feel the warmth I know what it’s going to feel like and that is my vision.
That is my “why?” and that is the sustenance that I need when I grind.
Basically you have a choice, you sleep eight hours you work eight hours what do you do with the rest of your time? Do you spend the last six hours of your night watching Netflix? Do you really need to unwind that much?
I challenge you to spend one or two hours per night doing something to progress yourself whether it’s professional development, physical exercise, or learning something new.
Do you want to consume somebody else’s dreams and somebody else’s desires for the rest of your life? Do you want to let somebody else dictate how you spend your time? Time is precious and you can never get it back but you can control how you spend your time and what the effort of that time will reveal.
I’m not scared anymore. Am I nervous or apprehensive? Sure but when you are pursuing something I suppose there’s always that fear or the hunger that drives you that feeling of not wanting to fail to always keep you motivated to succeed. My ultimate fear in life is not death, it’s not spiders (though I’m not a fan of them) it’s not even heights.
My ultimate fear is complacency and apathy.
What is our world a reflection of today? To much TV and too much complacency. There’s never been a time when corporations have had more power then the people. That’s a result of complacency. That is a result of tacit living.
Don’t let others derail you because they are off track. Honestly explain to them the depth of your dreams and passions and desires. Invite them warmly to encourage you on your path. Encourage them to find their own spark of life. If they are not interested, kindly release them in faith. Heaven is on earth and is accessible at all times to all people.
Do you honestly feel you are living with zeal or fervor or passion? Are you feeling those feelings that bring forth your spirit more than anything in the world?
The sad thing is I doubt you are.
And I know this because I was once one of them.
But I have learned another way. My life is the result of my effort my labor and the fruits of that labor. My money; my labor; my time; my elbow grease; my life; my dreams; my breathing room.
I’m not afraid to go after it and I hope you aren’t either.