Use Money to Buy Your Freedom
I’m watching SOLO, and a mini epiphany I had is this:
What we truly desire in life is freedom.
However, we need money in order to buy our freedom.
But how much money do we really need to buy our freedom?
The easiest way to buy your freedom is via the following:
- Have no debt
- Have very very low living expenses
- Have no material desires
If you don’t have debt, if you don’t have a fancy lifestyle, and if you don’t seek to own fancy stuff, it is actually quite easy to buy your freedom.
How do you know you don’t (already) have too much?
I learned from my best friend Seneca that when we think we need more money to be free and “secure”, we actually have too much money— far more than we need to secure our personal freedom.
The way I see it, employment in capitalist society is institutionalized slavery (idea: Nassim Taleb). With modern credit systems, banks, mortgages, etc— we are now modern share croppers. We think we “own” our stuff, but it’s actually our stuff which owns us. We become slaves to our stuff, our homes, our bills, and our lifestyles.
What is money good for?
Money is good to buy food, coffee, and to pay rent. Oh yeah, money is also good for buying our freedom —
To have money and to not have to do anything in order to “make a living”.
In Vietnamese, Cindy taught me that “to work” is ‘lam an’— which literally means, “labor [in order to] eat”.
So if we have enough money to feed ourselves, not die of thirst, or die of the cold — how much money do we really “need”?
Another quote I like from my buddy Nassim Taleb,
I only measure success by how much time you have to kill.
The ultimate luxury is free time and freedom— to do what you want to, and to NOT do what you don’t want to do.
Another saying by Taleb, to gauge how free you are:
“Can you take a nap whenever you want to?”
If you’re a billionaire and a slave to the board, share holders, and cannot even take a 15 minute nap when you want to, you’re simply a (very rich) slave.
Become an entrepreneur, earn money, and use that money to buy your freedom.
Simple as that.
Remember — it’s not “happiness” we are seeking, but freedom. Just because you’re rich and have lots of money doesn’t mean you have freedom. And if you don’t know how to live frugally and below your means, you will always be a slave to your “steady” income.
Simple steps towards freedom:
- Pay off all your debts
- Reduce your living expenses to the absolute bare minimum
- Increase your earning of money, and start saving 80%+ of your income
- Study Stoic philosophy, and recognize you have nothing to fear.
What do you do once you have freedom?
- Help empower others who are weak and need opportunities to do good in society
- Become as wise as you personally can, by studying philosophy and applying it to your real life.
- Start building companies that will outlive you, write books that will outlive you, and make artwork that will resonate to future generations.
More winged thoughts to come!