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Freedom through or freedom from?

Everything comes with a price tag. We often end up chasing financial succes, imagining that it will eventually make us able to buy more freedom. But maybe real freedom is not freedom through money, but rather freedom from money?

Freedom through or freedom from?

For many, many years I used to punk myself because I was neither in control of my money affairs nor able to be motivated by money. Scary enough, I didn't even have a clue what modern money is. Let alone how modern money works.

Only in recent years have I learned that the nonchalance I previously blamed myself actually is not an obvious shortcoming, but rather a mark of nobility. Today I wouldn't trade my low key West Coast life for anything.

The moment we let money be the benchmark in our lives, it is in fact other people's demand—and thus whims and desires—that end up dictating our own criterion of success; other people's norms that end up determining how we arrange our days and prioritize our time.

Of course, sometimes I can still resent my limited financial freedom. Although I came out reasonably well from the sale of my business, I am far from wealthy. Far from. And who wouldn't love to be able to buy exactly the travel experiences, hotel stays, luxury goods and art that came to mind?

On the other hand, I know as well as anyone that the quality of life does not increase proportionally to the available purchasing power.

The money also comes with a price.

The moment we let money be the benchmark in our lives, it is in fact other people's demand—and thus whims and desires—that end up dictating our own criterion of success; other people's norms that end up determining how we arrange our days and prioritize our time.

Really the opposite of what I understand as freedom.

As I have written in one of my 7 shortcuts to the good life, we should consider money as a necessary evil. Neither more nor less.

Representative money is an ancient, and really quite sensible invention when it comes to making a society work, and sharing roles and jobs between many people.

If we are talking about real freedom, however, I understand the concept more as freedom from money, rather than freedom through money.

Feel free to chase Mammon all you want. By all means. But know that hunting money also makes you a servant.

The rest of us free traders are learning to live with less financial leeway. In return, we can enjoy the daily freedom of being able to choose our own agenda and set our own intention.


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