Tuesday, December 8, 2015

What Does LIVING FREE Mean To You? By Melody Schafer

This is a hot topic today and can cause a great debate between people. The thing is….there is no reason to argue because there is no one right answer. We all have a different definition of what LIVING FREE is to us and it could mean something different to us in different times of our lives.

When we were kids, being free might mean being able to go to a friend’s house and do things we normally are not allowed to do in our own home…or not having to go to school because of a snow day.

As we get older, we may find the meaning of LIVING FREE changes.
I personally have found having health would be on the top of my list for LIVING FREE. Without it, it can be difficult to do the things one would love to do. Many of us have a lot of control over our health by just living a healthy life style (and that will also mean different things to different people). For those of us who don’t have total control of our health, we need to do whatever it takes to be running at peak performance…usually that means keeping stress down, resting when we need to, etc. In order to do this we need the freedom of our TIME.

If we do not have control of our time I, personally, find that is part of our freedom being taken away. How do we take more control of our TIME? This is where some debate may enter into the conversation. Working for a company for x amount of dollars will take away from your time. One will say “but I NEED money to pay for xyz”. That xyz might be a house, car, jewelry, food, vacations, education, taxes, insurance, health care, etc….

It is true we need money to live within society, BUT if one can find a way to earn that income in an enjoyable manner, then that TIME or FREEDOM is really not being taken away from oneself and that person still feels free. If you work for a company you love, pays well, benefits, lets you decide when you want to work then you may feel quite free. Unfortunately, there are very few companies like this.

What are alternatives? Working for oneself is one idea. I’m not talking about owning a brick and mortar type of business where there are large overheads and much of your time is taken because of set hours. You may LOVE your brick and mortar business and feel completely free because that is all you want to do…BUT something to think about…if you lose your health…and can’t physically be at the brick and mortar business, can you still earn income to pay for xyz? Can you afford to close the doors and travel for a month?

Thanks to the Internet there are so many new ways to earn money online. One can do what they love to do and on their own time. If you are not feeling well you can take a nap, eat, take a day off, then get back to what you love while earning an income. 

This can be something such as selling artwork, crafts, writing, editing, consulting, tutoring, etc… Just do your research online. There isn’t anything you can’t find online on “how to” do something. There is no excuse saying “I don’t know how”. You don’t need a college degree to learn. The Internet is  FULL of information. 

Yes, it can take hours, months and years to find what you want to do and how to do it but you don’t need to WAIT. You can start TODAY. Something as simple as starting your own blog or YouTube channel or opening an Etsy, eBay or Amazon store will get the ball rolling. This doesn’t mean that this is what you will do for the rest of your life…but it might start you in the right direction and things will evolve for you as you learn and find your way if you keep at it…keep at it EVERY DAY.

The MORE xyz items you have the MORE income you need. Take a look around ask yourself….”do I need all this?” You may not need it, but you say you WANT it. That is great…BUT….are you WANTING to keep these items at the expense of your freedom? That is up to you. No one can answer that for you but yourself. If you are saying “I don’t need it. I’m tired of dusting that thing”. Post the items you want sold, such as furniture on Craigslist, or eBay or whatever site you prefer. Have a yard sale. Once you get started…it can be addicting and so much fun when you feel the space open around you and you can breathe better and you have a few extra dollars in your pocket. You will find you can think more clearly and you will be set in motion to find the freedom and dreams you have always wished for.

The older I get, the more I am looking around to see how else I can continue to downsize. I don’t’ WANT things. I don't know if I can call myself a minimalist, but I'm always striving for minimalism in my life.

We have rented in the past, we have owned a larger home on 10 acres, we rented again when we moved to Florida, then downsized to a smaller home. For now, it works for our family of 4 and 2 dogs. 

We played with the idea for MANY years with living in an RV and I still LOVE that idea, but for now we are doing what we feel is right for this time of our life. We even played with the idea of living on a boat since my husband owns a mobile marine business and could do the repairs which can get costly if we were to have to pay someone for things when they go wrong. Who knows, maybe we will do it all J

Many of us LOVE to travel. I know I do. I have traveled all my life, but not to the extent that I would have liked to. So just talking about this topic motivates me to do MORE that will lead me into the direction I seek. 

That is one of the reasons I HIGHLY recommend finding a home based business or rather an online or other mobile business that you can earn an income and doing something you love while traveling the world or at least knowing you can travel in between slow times in your business. Again, the less things you have, the less bills you have and the MORE money you will have to travel…IF….that is what you want to do….IF that what makes you feel FREE.

Life is too short not to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Some say we should work REALLY hard, save every penny, then when we retire at 65 or 70 THEN we can travel the world. The problem with that is that there is no guarantee we will live until then and if we do…for how many years? OR will we have the health or energy to really jump out of that plane, sail around the world, backpack through Europe, visit the Andes, scuba dive, etc…?

We all have our excuses not to do what it takes to fulfill our dreams. I catch myself many times doing just that…so I know it’s not always easy. It helps when we speak with likeminded people because you will find friends, family and even strangers telling you that you are crazy for living an “unconventional” life, or that you are not “normal” for doing something, such as downsizing, or starting a business, or living with less. Do what you know is right for you. Find what LIVING FREE means to you and DO IT!

I’m not saying to not be responsible for your future…but be responsible for RIGHT NOW…while you have it. 

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