Doris appears like a perfect politician’s wife. She’s lovely, tall and dresses well. In her 50s, her blue eyes still sparkle. My perception of Doris shifted when at my Excellent Adventure get-together at Starbucks this week, she whispered, “The biggest obstacle is deciding I deserve to live an excellent adventure.”
You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.
Our American work ethic is about working hard. Then, in your 60s you retire. The world has changed. It’s not unusual for people to work in their 70s now. We work harder, more hours and take less vacation time just to keep our heads above water.
We get caught up in maintaining the trappings of success. It’s pounded into our heads. Life should look a certain way. It’s not enough to be presentable and polite. Now we must have “a personal brand.” We miss out on living our excellent adventure because we’re too busy paying for everything.
The new “American Dream” is to live our passion – which can include a lot of financial ups and downs. However, we’re still supposed to maintain all the outer trappings. It also includes the latest iPad, smartphone and other gadgets. Maintaining that “look” or “brand” costs us the freedom to live our Excellent Adventure. We are trapped by our stuff and the expectation that we must keep buying more, even newer stuff.
Doris and her husband own a home in Las Vegas and another in New Mexico. Everything about them screams success. Inside, they both want something different. With their current lifestyle they can’t afford it. So, Doris wonders if she deserves it. I believe she does. If she and her husband are willing to make changes they’ll get there faster.
Consider the possibilities: trade down from a home with a $2,000 monthly mortgage and buy a condo with an $800 mortgage. That’s $1,200 per month in independence. Trade in the fancy SUV for more modest wheels and you free up money spent on payments, insurance and gasoline. Follow the rule you don’t buy something new unless you replace something old. You instantly have more money to live your excellent adventure and less clutter to organize. Life becomes streamlined.
You can live more authentically which truly is your personal brand.