Human beings have been looking for the solution to a better life, a happier life, a more meaningful life, even a more purpose driven life for quite some time. This month we will take a closer look into how a person could achieve those things and more. Here is what I have learned. Folks are not necessarily looking for the meaning of life. What they are really looking for is the meaning IN THEIR life. Let's explore.
Most of western society focuses on the external when seeking a better life and for good reason, up to a point. External things like getting food, water and shelter will make your life better, there is no denying that. Your life will be improved if those needs are met, but then what. Does the new car, big home or latest technology make you happier over the long term? The short answer is no thanks to the hedonic treadmill.
The solution to a better, more meaningful and happier life over the long term is not found in the external. Let's put that idea behind us. Now that we know that doesn't work, what will bring the solution to a more rewarding and happier life? Look within my friend. Look within. The answer to a more purpose driven life comes down to the intrinsic rewards that are waiting for you and me.
Happiness is an inside job. Once we fully accept this reality, our lives will change for the better. We stop trying to buy it and we start changing the way we live as we receive the intrinsic rewards that are so very meaningful in ways that are not so easy to explain. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to help others with the talents we possess. We will find meaning in our lives with unconditional giving.
The key here is unconditional vs. conditional giving. Conditional giving can suck the energy right out of what you are trying to do. Let go of the expectations when you give and just give to those who need help the most, which could also be those four legged friends of ours. This may require a a leap of faith. This video provides you a visual of this idea of trusting in something that is not so clearly identified.
The more you embrace this idea, the better your life will be and the better the world will be as you share your energy with other living things. You will literally make the world a better place as you let go of expectations and find ways to help others. Can this be challenging for many? Of course. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, your level of unconditional giving will be limited as you are in survival mode.
This brings us back to the finance piece of this message and that ultimate journey I call Financial Happine$$. By getting your finances in order, you will have more time and energy to give unconditionally vs. those who are struggling just to pay the bills. Your ability to reach financial freedom as early in life as possible will open up worlds of giving for you and the ones you help. It can literally change lives.
The finance piece is relatively simple. You reject a materialistic life. You save at least 20% (striving for more) of your gross income. You invest those savings primarily in stock index funds like VTSAX and VSIAX in retirement accounts at work, outside of work and even in a brokerage. You rid yourself of debt. You escape work because your portfolio and your fixed income is enough to live life. Then you circle back.
There are millions of people all over the world who grow up in very difficult and chaotic circumstances where poverty and a bad environment can put their lives in literal chaos. Those people need help to escape a world they were born into. They have seen crud in their life for so long, they can start to think that is normal and end up believing in that instead of the hope of escaping it and creating a better life.
They can escape thanks to the many opportunities we have in America and the willingness of a few people who step in to make a difference. You can read about two wonderful examples of young boys who made it out of a situation that many would have become casualties. Learn about Kevin Hart and David Goggins. They both had one person who helped them survive. It was their mother.
Without their mom, those young men very likely would have ended up in jail or the morgue. Many young people may not have that mother or other caring adult. Then what? That is where people like you and me who have had the opportunities to thrive based on our family and circumstances can step up and make a difference. One person can make a difference and that person can be US.
If you have your finances in order, I applaud you. Now what? I encourage you to find those organizations (or make one yourself) that are reaching those that need the help the most. You can give of your time, your energy, your stuff and yes, your money. That is what I have done with my new non-profit, The Giving Solution. We are there to serve the community and especially to help those who need help the most.
This non-profit (still waiting on the IRS on the 501c3 status) will help anyone and everyone with their finances at no cost. Whether you have $5 Million or $5, we will help improve not only your financial situation, but your life as a whole. We not only have a group of people to help you with your money, but we also have a select group of folks who will help beyond the finances. They have circled back.
This is all about identifying when you have enough so you can stop chasing after more money and instead redirect your time, energy and money to more important matters that go far beyond a larger portfolio. This is about being grateful for what you do have instead of wanting more and more and more. This idea of enough can be summarized quite well in a story. Read that story here.
Reach out at email@example.com if you would like to be on our list of givers who help others without any compensation. You simply identify your talents and then when someone comes in for help with their finances, we will direct them to the givers who can help with other parts of their life. It is really that simple as one person helps another unconditionally.
Go check out thegivingsolution.org and if you or someone you know needs help, reach out. If your finances are in good shape, consider a monetary donation. If you would like to donate your time to help others with your talents, let us know. I will leave you with this. When you and I are on our deathbeds, we will not care about the size of the portfolio, but we will remember those we have helped.
The Solution to a meaningful life is to give. Just give.
Stuff the lawyer wants me to say: Investing outside a bank or a credit union is not FDIC insured. You may lose the value in the investments you select. All information provided here is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer to buy or sell any of the securities, insurance products, or other products named. Translated: I am not selling anything! Educate yourself, research the information that you learned and finally make the right decisions that will benefit you and your family going forward.