This morning I FINALLY got it!
Got what, you ask?
That thing inside that drives us!
That thing that makes "Effort In" - effortless!
What makes a man go to the ends of the earth for a woman.
What makes a person like W. get up at 5 every morning, work like a deamon for 16 hours - AND DO IT AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN... without burnout, but simply a want for more of the same.
What makes a person like S. persevere despite seemingly endless physical setback.
What makes a person like B.A. work so damn hard - yet burnt out or no, he remains one of the most consistent quality entertainers.
For what seems to be as long as I can remember, I've been searaching. Searching for SOMETHING that will bring the JUICE back into my life. I've been running around in circles for the last number of months trying to put my finger on it - seemingly missing the mark again and again.
ET made a comment a couple posts back,
"To the punch line, it kinda sounds like my previous life and how driven I was..14 years straight actually... And I guess I can't see any of that or seem to pick up the steam to want to do something with that sort of passion again...so I understand..."
and it's been playing on my mind - along with something S. said, "You just have to want it bad enough... keep your sights on the end goal."
Trouble was, I didn't have one. At least, nothing concrete. Sure, lots of stuff swimming around in my mind:
"It would be NICE to have X..."
"It sure would be NEAT to have Y..."
but the puzzle didn't come together until I woke up this morning. This 1000 watt lightbulb went off in my mind.
What is it I want?
Well, it has EVERYTHING to do with money and internal peace and well-being. I never thought in a million years that I would put "money" and "internal well-being" in the same sentence.
I even said the triggering statement to S. yesterday.
"It's not the WORK I want more of, (referring to contracts and such) it's money."
For years - probably since it's creation in 1986 - I've been running a company based on the love for DOING the work. In fact, a lot of the money has gone straight back into the business to keep it alive, and relatively healthy.
Well, the "work" is OK - it's not fresh and new anymore, but I have lots of ideas that ARE. And these ideas don't necessarily have ANYTHING to do with the business, but what's holding me back from bringing these ideas to light is money.
Making money is one thing. Managing it is quite another.
This morning when the lightbulb went off I realized the one money-management piece to the puzzle that would within seconds become my motivator: This thing that will drive me to success - regardless of barriers, obstacles or outside influence.
I WANT to be debt-free.
That's what I WANT.
The thought of having nothing but the regular bills to pay every month is downright delicious.
Do you have any idea what that feeling is like? To most who read this you may be saying "So what? I pay rent every month, or I pay my mortgage... I pay the heat and electricity too. What makes YOU so special??"
I'll be frank. It's a struggle. I had a "friend" of mine tell me once
"Yah, but you make $X.xx every Friday and Saturday night -- that's $Y.yy per week! Must be nice!"
What my "friend failed to realize is that is only one side to the balance sheet. He had no idea what I paid out every week. The DIFFERENCE is my income and THAT determines my standard of living.
Having a certain standard of living is all well and fine, but what does it take to maintain it? The answer is "more and more every year!"
So my question to myself was this:
"What would it FEEL like to maintain my standard of living WITHOUT going outside of my means to do it?"
The answer is simple.
It would feel
DELICIOUS - dare I say...
So there it is.
Right here for the world to see.
Now... I need a timeline and a timetable of events to make sure this wonderful dream becomes reality. I can walk on air about it all I want, but the cold, hard fact is this:
If I do nothing, nothing happens.
I have essentially three and a half years before I turn 40.
It seems a reasonable time line to me, not to mention a benchmark year!
And further to a conversation I had yesterday, it seems "40" is the new "30", so being debt-free by age 30 is really not so bad!
So. The goal.
1. Eliminate all debt - and to be fair, mortgage not withstanding.
As wonderful as it sounds, this goal must be achievable. If I'm ahead of schedule, banging down the mortgage is totally doable. For now, a certain degree of "reasonable" is completely acceptable.
2. Consistently contribute to my long-term savings.
3. Develop an contingency fund of AT LEAST 3-months operational expenses.
4. At goal's realization, paying cash for most everything will be the norm.
There it is. Now... let's go!
Oh, yes... and one more thing...