This is part of an ongoing series on happiness. I’m going to continue sharing everyday moments, experiences, and activities where I feel most happy. Since I believe the pursuit of happiness is something that binds humanity, and since one of the major reasons to attain financial freedom in the first place is to improve one’s happiness, I find it important to share aspects of my life where I feel like the pursuit of happiness is most successful. I hope to show through these regular insights that not only does it not take much (or any) money to improve one’s happiness but also that financial freedom provides additional opportunities (via more time) to boost happiness.
Blue sky. Yellow sunshine. Green water. White sand.
The colors of happiness, no?
One reason (among many) I moved to Southwest Florida back in 2009 was because of the beautiful beaches we have access to down here.
Although my home state has its fair share of wonderful beaches in West Michigan, along the coast of Lake Michigan, these areas aren’t necessarily easily accessible when you’re spending most of your time in larger cities on the east side of the state. Moreover, the weather unfortunately prohibits the use of these beautiful beaches for much of the year.
But while the accessibility of beaches here along the Gulf of Mexico is certainly greatly improved relative to where I grew up, I found myself not visiting these amazing displays of nature very much when I was working 50-60 hours per week in my career. Add on the time it took to manage a fairly large website – and one just doesn’t have much time to hang out at the beach.
However, it’s quite different these days.
I’m now able to spend almost unfettered time at any local beach I please.
That’s not to brag but rather just to discuss one benefit of financial freedom.
If you’re a beach bum, you can beach bum it up all the time, if you so please.
I personally don’t like being at the beach 24/7, but I also didn’t enjoy being too tired and busy to really enjoy it very much before, either.
There’s definitely a balance to be had, just like with everything in life.
You need to find all that which makes you happy, and then try to experience as much of all of it as possible, with balance.
Well, enjoying the beach here and there is definitely something that makes me happy.
And what’s really great about financial freedom, besides the additional time and energy necessary to maximize one’s pursuit of activities like hanging out at the beach, is that you’re able to visit the beach on off-peak times, like during the middle of the week.
Want a beach all to yourself?
Well, you can actually have a large stretch of sand all to yourself on a Tuesday afternoon at some local beaches here along the Gulf.
Is that paradise? It sure feels like it.
Perhaps best of all, this paradise comes at practically no cost.
Other than whatever it costs you to actually get to the beach, there’s nothing to pay.
Just imagine that.
You’re sitting there on the warm, white sand, staring out across the horizon, witnessing the vast stretch of water slowly kiss the horizon. The sun is overhead, providing warmth, light, and life. Seagulls are squawking. The warm breeze gives you goosebumps. The palm trees sway to and fro. Warm Gulf water slowly splashes against land, two aspects of nature pushing against one another.
All of that is… free!
Free, I tell you!
Slowly falling asleep to the noise of the breeze, water, and birds is honestly one of the greatest experiences in life, yet it costs nothing.
They say the best things in life are free. Well, this has to rank pretty high up there as one of those things.
There are so many things in life that we spend so much money on.
Yet we have nature putting on one of the most stunning displays of awesomeness that you’ll ever see – and it’s there for the taking.
Moreover, there’s nothing to consume here. Nothing to throw away. Nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing to work hard for.
It’s just… there.
Every single time I cross over a boardwalk or walkway of some sort and see the sand, water, and horizon, my heart skips a beat. And I’m reminded of how great life really is.
The beach allows me to slow down. Rest. Recharge. I’m able to clear my mind. Be one with the world. And be me.
I’ve spent (and wasted) a lot of money over the years.
Yet I’ve spent almost nothing to enjoy one of the world’s greatest gifts. The beach is like an extremely undervalued stock. And the dividends the beach pays… oh, my!
Maybe you also enjoy the beach. Maybe not.
That’s not really important.
What’s important is that you find whatever it is that does make you happy… that drives you… that brings out the best in you… that calms you… that allows you to simply be you. Then you attempt to spend more time at that and less time at everything else. Prioritize. But still seek balance so that you’re able to pursue happiness in the most robust possible way.
How about you? Enjoy the beach? Does it make you happy? Why or why not?
Thanks for reading.