Sunday, April 30, 2006

WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?! What's your motivator?

This morning I FINALLY got it!

Got what, you ask?

IT!

My motivator.

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
FANTASTIC,
AMAZING,
DELICIOUS
- dare I say...

ORGASMIC!

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...

10 comments:

traveller one said...

That is definitely a worthy and LIFE CHANGING goal. I wish you the joy of accomplishing it by 40! You can do it!

Granny said...

I'm sure it can be done. There's a lot to be said for pay as you go.

Expat Traveler said...

I feel previledged to be quoted. :) Like you, I think I really have the same goals as you. Really... It's quite odd. Everything you says rings to be the same... Money for the business, mortgage..everything..

Bast said...

I sure don't want to rain on your parade, Turtle (especially having met you in person just yesterday) but I'm on the other side of your plan - no debt, savings ok - and I'm still angst-ridden about finances. But maybe that's just me. And I'm blaming it on my generation - see last Bast post!

ipodmomma said...

good post. Weive been debt free for about 6 or 7 years, nd it really does have an impact. stresses from the past are gone, and there is this feeling- okay, what do we need, opposed to what do we want...

however... with 3 kids going to college boom, boom, boom... we'll see how we can keep things as smooth as they have been... :)))

good luck!

oshee said...

I wish you luck with this new passionate goal. That passion will falter in the years to come though. I encourage you to return to this post, reread it, and regain the drive and passion when needed.
Good luck.

pissed off patricia said...

I would say that you are a wise man.

We are debt free and have been for some time. It requires a change in attitude to get there. You have to look at your money as yours and decide carefully who you will give it to. Is what they're selling worth parting with your money? Some times it is, but mostly it isn't. Like someone said before here, you must ask do I need it or do I just want it? Most often it's a want and not a need.

I have no doubt you'll reach your goal because once you get started you won't want to stop. YOU CAN DO IT! :)

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Mary said...

We have been in the pursuit of debt-free living for several years now. Funny how quickly it racks up and how long it takes to pay it down - especially when you do not have a lot of disposable income! It is a difficult but excellent goal to have - especially considering our consumer-driven culture. How easily we can be convinced that we "need" something - the messages are everywhere and we really don't even realize we're being effected by them. Good for you for tackling the issue.

smiley said...

Good Luck with being debt free. I believe that if you want something bad enough you can make it happen!

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.