Freedom over Serfdom: 6 Ways to Choose

By | December 31, 2014 Leave a Comment

Six Resolutions Which Will Change Your Financial Life

It’s time to wax philosophical once again. My last post was all about gold and other types of filthy lucre… not a bad thing, but because of the obscurity of that topic, I think the article might not have resonated with many of you that don’t have a finance/investment background.

So today, I’m going down a different path. I’m going to pander to you, the masses, about what every other feel-good, self-help, or motivational personality is going to hit you with this time of year, while still keeping as close as possible to my usual topic of healthy money-grubbing and wealth-building.

That's right.... let's talk RESOLUTIONS.

Let me start by saying that I think the idea of a "New Year's Resolution" is a complete joke, although I'll admit its intent is good.

Why is it a joke?

Does it make sense to arbitrarily sit around lazily until January first of every year to make changes or improvements to your life, which you know you should have made months ago? Why make some symbolic, weak-sauce deadline for yourself, signifying the point at which you will cease sucking at life, and begin to conquer it?

If you know there’s something you need to change, and it will make you better off, why are you waiting even one day, or one hour? Life’s too short for that kind of ridiculous procrastination.

Anyways, let me get off my soapbox and start moving with this monumental idea.

The resolution, which I think should be at the top of EVERYONE’S list, will improve every single aspect of your life in ways you can’t even imagine right now. Here it is.

Decide to be more FREE.

What do I mean by that?

I’m not talking about signing up to fight the Taliban, overthrowing North Korean dictators, or even becoming more politically active to support the cause of freedom (although all of these things are noble pursuits).

I’m talking about looking at different aspects of your life, and asking yourself the question: “How can I become more free in this?”

In my opinion, happiness is largely embodied in freedom. Having the capacity and power to make choices, and experiencing the satisfaction of success after making the right ones, truly makes you happy.

The truth is, most of us aren't free at all. And that makes us extremely depressed. We're slaves to vice, slaves to work, slaves to a paycheck... slaves to survival.  And it often seems like there's no way out.

That's why you're going to resolve this year to make yourself more free. So you can see the bright light of your future, and make some truly meaningful changes to your life.

I've laid out some things below which are meant to expand the level of your freedom. They're at the top of my own list this year. And if you drop by this blog regularly or have perused my other stuff on this site, you might notice some of the themes resonating.

Freedom Level One:
Freeing yourself from “stuff,” and simplify your life.

Many people truly are slaves to their possessions.

Are you a slave to anything you own? Think about the most expensive or beloved possession you have. How much of your livelihood did it cost you? How much time do you spend with it? How much money do you waste on it? How much of your life do you waste maintaining it, protecting it, or looking out for it? If the answer is “a lot,” then ponder your costs, and your return on that time spent. Is this possession bringing you greater freedom, true happiness, or peace of mind?

If not, I would argue you are slave to it. 

The more stuff you have, the more nagging this stuff does to get you to use it, even if there are other, better things you could or should be doing with your time.

Consider cutting ties with this stuff immediately, even if it means selling whatever is causing you problems.  
Even if you just bought it for Christmas. If you do, you’ll find yourself with greater peace of mind, more freedom, maybe more money, and certainly more simplicity.

Freedom Level Two:Free up your finances by paying off debt and staying out of it.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE making my mortgage payment. I every time I do it, the interest charges remind me of the mistake I made in not having a larger down payment, or not saving up to pay cash.

I can’t even imagine what it’s like to make an outrageous payment on a car, boat, or other luxury item. I've never gone into debt for something like that, and I never plan to.

Most of the time, people who buy big toys with debt end up watching them sit for eight months of the year in the off-season, or they can’t find the time to even use them even in the on-season, because they’re too busy trying to provide a living for themselves. And yet, they pay interest every second every day of the year for this crap. It’s nonsense. Expensive toys steal your freedom, your future, and your “10-15 Year-Smell-the-Freedom" retirement plan.

That being said, pay off any debt you have immediately. Stop making interest payments which provide no value to you or your loved ones. Sell the toys you have sitting in the garage or in storage that are causing you to have mental anguish, not to mention flush money down the toilet.

Plow this extra money into your savings and investments, where it will actually do you some good.
Every dollar you put toward paying down extra debt brings you a couple days closer to financial freedom.

Freedom Level Three:
Get freedom from your job

You may be fortunate enough to love every second of the job you do every day.

But it’s more than likely that the job you work at every day is not what you would prefer to spend your life doing. There are a million fun or wholesome things you could be doing, instead of working, if only you had the financial means to have the option of not working.

People attain this. Its not a fairy tale. It's just simple math.

As I’ve told you in the past, most people on just a modest income should be spending no more than a decade and a half of their life working full-time for someone else. If you are responsible and smart with your money, and you start working full-time at 25 years old, like the majority of us stiffs, you should be done by age 45 (as I showed you in the "math" article above).

It just takes discipline, and the right mindset about the purpose of money and the true meaning of life. Life is meant to be free, and freedom to do whatever you want only comes through financial freedom. Financial freedom comes if you learn to live within your means, avoid debt at all costs, and save and invest like a maniac. That's my favorite part of this blog, so check it out.

If you can get all that down, you won’t have to worry about having a job for the majority of your lifetime. Resolve now to read all I’ve written about this, and start your freedom journey RIGHT NOW.

Freedom Level Four: Free Yourself From Addictions

The term “addiction” is much more broad than you might realize at first, so let me define it for you.

“A strong, often harmful, need to regularly have something or do something. An unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.”

It's pretty clear that this definition can apply to ANYTHING.

If there’s something in your life that you do, take, or use to an excess, at the expense of other better or wholesome things, you have an addiction.

I don’t care if it’s looking at Facebook, working, watching TV shows/movies, doing schoolwork, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, reading the news, watching sports, gambling, or doing something as vile as viewing pornography (which is a pernicious beast in and of itself). Anything taken to an extreme, even if it’s perceived to be good in general, can be harmful to your life.

Or maybe your addiction is over-dependence on other people, reliance on their generosity, or use of social welfare programs you don’t want to let go of. I know a few people who are super selfish. They are addicted to taking advantage of others. Other people I know are addicted to welfare, and won’t get a job because of it. They’re addicted to not working for a living, because of the free government handouts.

Addictions can come in any form. And all forms steal freedom and independence from you.

Take special note if you use anything from the above list to “escape” from life or your real-world problems. Chances are, your escape is an addiction.

If you need professional help to get rid of your addictions, seek it out. It feels great to toss aside your vices and instead fill your free time with fulfilling things. Get FREE from your addictions, no matter how minor they are.

Freedom Level Five:Get free from poor health, bad self-image, or low self-esteem

Don't make your resolution about exercise come down to being fit just for the sake of fitness. No fitness goal should focus on being the buffest or hottest person in the room. The resolve to be fit should be rooted much deeper. If it's based on something of true value, you'll be more likely to keep it up than if your goal is just arbitrary physical hotness. For example...

The main reason people should get fit is so they can live a healthy life, free from the need for medical care or medication, so they can feel financially free, be comfortable with themselves and their body, and do things they love without inhibitions.

Being fit has tons of advantages. For example. It’s easier to get around the house or in public if you don’t get winded going up and down stairs. You feel more motivated to get up and do things throughout the day, because you don't tire easily. You can play with your kids easier and for longer periods of time. You can more easily enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. 

Studies have shown that fit people actually get more respect from others in public. Seriously. Also, fit people are more likely to be hired for good jobs if they have a good self-image and exude confidence. When you're fit, you appear to have things more "together" in life. So, fitness can positively contribute to professional success as well as self-image.

Or perhaps your motivation in getting fit is to spice up your love life. I don’t know. To each their own.

I could go on. The bottom line is, being in good shape can provide you with various kinds of benefits and freedom. Financial freedom (less medical bills, better and more job prospects), freedom of movement, freedom from the judgment of others, freedom from a bad self-image, and more latitude to do the things you want.

Even if you aren’t fit enough to gym-timidate other people, and even if members of the opposite sex aren’t checking you out in public, there are countless intrinsic reasons for you to exercise regularly and have moderately good health. Find your own if I haven't given you enough ideas.

Freedom Level Six: Free yourself from ignorance

Ignorance is freaking expensive, on just about all levels--social, technical, and professional. 

If you're socially ignorant, you look like a fool to other people when you try to have an intelligent conversation.

If you're technically ignorant, you spend money paying other people to do simple things you could do yourself for cheaper.

If you're professionally ignorant, it can cost you your job and your reputation.

Knowing these facts, I make it a point in life to avoid as many informationally asymmetric situations as possible. This requires me to educate myself on as many things as possible wherever I find myself.

This year, why not consider becoming more informed in general? The more you know about politics, world events, history, economics, and similar topics, the better you are at just making casual conversation with people you know and work with. You suddenly become more interesting. What an idea!
But don't just stop at facts and theories. Learn as much as you can about the world around you by picking up some new skillsets. Having useful skills saves you time, money, and anguish in a lot of ways.

Learn to fix your own cars, computers, leaky faucets, clogged drains, and broken roof shingles.

Learn how to plan a menu, shop more wisely, and cook good, healthy food to save you and your family time and money, and give you better health.

Learn how to manage your finances, and make smart investments. Become more involved with ensuring a good future for yourself and your family.

Learn to do your own taxes, buy, sell, or manage real estate, or refinish furniture and resell it.

Basically, find profitable new hobbies that will either save you money, or help earn extra income, instead of pastimes that suck away your life, money, and time. This will change your life in fascinating ways.


I can’t think of many better ways to resolve for more freedom in the coming year for myself or others than what I’ve written above. I’ll be taking my own advice on this, and I hope you will take some as well wherever you find you can use it.

The way I see it, every one of your resolutions this year should revolve around giving you more choices in life, and less coercion to do things against your will. Financial freedom, in my opinion, is at the core of all this. If you aren't financially sound, your life choices are limited. So get educated, gain some new skills, get rid of bad habits, take control of your health and finances, and simplify your life.

And don't forget to check out everything else I’ve written in the past about financial freedom. I think you’ll find something on this site to benefit you in your life.

If you do, I only ask that you tell your friends. Share these ideas. Help others see the light, too.

Live long and invest,


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