I look back on my own journey to financial freedom with great pride and satisfaction, as there was once a version of me who was extremely dissatisfied with his financial position in life.
And it’s that dissatisfaction that led to the turning point, as I was motivated to make the change.
There are quite a few ingredients that go into a successful run at financial freedom early in life.
You have to be young to start with, as you can’t retire in your 40s if you’re already in your 50s. You have to make a halfway decent income. You have to be able to get your expenses low enough in order to pump up the savings rate. You have to have a personal situation that allows for major life changes (such as a spouse/partner who’s supportive to a certain degree).
But I think there’s one ingredient that’s more important than any other.
It’s an absolute necessity – one must have this before they begin the journey toward financial freedom.
One needs will.
Merriam-Webster defines will as: used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness.
If you’re not absolutely determined with every fiber of your being, it’s going to be a long, tough road.
I can tell you that. And it might not happen if you’re not totally committed. Even with maximum determination, it’s still very difficult. As such, giving it anything less than 100% makes it that much harder and more unlikely.
Will becomes a manifestation into knowing that you will do something.
Will isn’t just insistence. Will is knowing. Will is believing without doubt.
I will become financially free before my 40th birthday. I will do whatever is necessary. So on and so forth. You visualize what will come to pass – and then it comes to pass.
That future me became the me of today through action.
But you have to be persistent.
When others tell you that it can’t or won’t be done, you persist.
When saving becomes difficult, you persist.
When the stock market becomes volatile, you persist.
When working two jobs becomes exhausting, you persist.
I speak from experience.
I Willed Myself
People used to give me funny looks when I showed up to the car dealership via the city bus. Co-workers would make fun of me because I was eating ramen noodles for the 100th time in a row. Working 50+ hours at the car dealership and then going on to write and research investments at night was exhausting. When everyone was moving one way, I was moving the other. It was lonely. And it was hard.
But I persisted.
I willed myself forward, toward the me I wanted to become.
And I hit financial freedom about six years after I decided to seek it out with every ounce of effort I could possibly muster.
While there are drawbacks to the lifestyle, I consider the benefits to far outweigh them.
Desire is cheap.
Many people want the life they think will make them happy (or at least happier than they currently are). Everyone wants to win the lottery. We all want to be richer, healthier, and happier.
But very few people are willing to do that which is necessary (with 100% commitment) in order to bridge the gap between where they’re now at and where they ultimately want to be. They lack will, absolute commitment, and unending persistence. To want without the matching will is setting oneself up for failure and disappointment.
They may start the climb up the mountain, but then they stop. Life gets in the way. Or it gets too hard. Or something else occupies their attention.
And so you must persist. You must have will. And you must know that it’s going to happen.
It will happen because you will make it happen.
If I had to name one ingredient that’s more important than any other in order to reach financial independence early in life, it’s will.
Without it, it’s nigh impossible to become free very quickly.
One could get there in 15-20 years or so with much less effort. Then again, one could retire at 65 and live off of Social Security.
But extraordinary output requires extraordinary input.
And so if you really want to reach financial freedom early in life, relentless will is more important, in my experience, than any financial metrics you could possible think of. After all, many people out there make six-figure salaries but live paycheck-to-paycheck. Do they have the absolute will to change? I would think not.
Keep in mind, too, that the kind of will I’m discussing benefits one’s life not just in terms of reaching financial freedom. If you’re able to fully harness it, you’ll be capable of amazing things in just about every aspect of life. Moreover, it’s possible to direct that will as you please.
What do you think? Do you have relentless will? Has it served you well?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.