A lot of people want freedom in one way or another. Ideally we all want it in totality, and we all have varying visions of what that means. BUT it’s safe to say my concept of 360 balance hits the spot for most people. Just a refresher on what my 360 balance concept means:
The physical health to have the freedom to do what I want.
The financial freedom to do what I want whenever I want.
The mental freedom to never be afraid to go after what I want.
And lastly the social freedom to make my own decisions on what I want.
Freedom doesn’t guarantee happiness or a fulfilled life, but it does create the environment where you can go pursue it wholeheartedly. I think that’s what most people want the most; the chance to go pursue what you want is sometimes better than actually achieving what you want.
Or maybe that’s just me…either way, I know a lot of people wonder how they can get themselves into a position of 360 balance. Many think it’s not possible for themselves, and they never even give themselves the c
hance to imagine their own life with 360 balance. We read these articles about people living unconventional, amazing
lives, or we watch videos or hear about them someway or another and just simply brush it off as luck.
It’s not luck. Trust me, it’s not luck. I’m not saying I’m THAT person you hear about with an amazing life, but I do know I have a leg up on many people when it comes to living a life you want. So here are my secrets to 360 balance that will help you rea
ch 360 balance as well.
Be clear on your values in life
We all have values, but we may not actually know what they are or are unable to write them down in plain language. If you can’t sum it up in one paragraph then you don’t have a clear enough understanding of yourself. This is the first and most important step to freedom. Your answers to this step will influence and dictate your decisions for all the other steps. You might already have the answers to this, but if you don’t then be prepared to spend more than a lazy afternoon to figure it out.
So get a pen and paper out to start figuring out your values in life.
Just to get you thinking in the right direction.
My cornerstone value in life is Family.
That’s pretty much sums it up for me. Family is the foundation of my life. Family doesn’t have to be blood, but family to me are the select few people in my life I am willing to give my all for. These people are the reason why I do everything I do.
Values are not situational, relative or contextual. Values should be consistent and all encompassing to your life. They shouldn’t change easily or frequently. Values are things you truly believe in and stand by. They are what influence how you feel, think and behave. By clearly having your values known to yourself, you can begin creating your unique personalized version of freedom in life. Without it, you may find yourself chasing after dreams or ideas that won’t satisfy you or make you happy by the end of it all.
You probably know a few people who seem to jump from one idea to the next because they think the next one will be the one. They keep searching for their thing, but are always left disappointed or feeling empty. These people don’t have a clear conscious idea of what their values are. They spend a lot of their efforts chasing dreams they don’t actually care about. And that’s the case for most people.
Although we all HAVE values, not all of us are aware of them and this causes us to feel, think and behave out-of-line. This mismatch makes us waste a lot of time, energy, effort and resources. It’s what gets people burnt out, finding themselves lost in a midlife crisis or quitting law school suddenly to do something completely unrelated.
Figure this step out now, no matter how long it will take and you will save yourself a lifetime of regret.
Understand where you’re currently at
Once you have a very clear understanding of your values. It is time to evaluate where you currently are in life. What are you doing right now? What are you currently trying to pursue? What relationships do I have in your life? What areas do I need to work on to make my life more inline with my values? Do I need to change or get rid of anything in my life? etc.
Ask yourself these questions and start answering them with a focus on your values. Understand and recognize when they aren’t inline with each other and think of immediate steps you can take to improve the situation. Know what areas are already inline and explore how these areas make you feel. Explore these areas and ask yourself if you can do more.
Where the first step was to find your life’s compass, this second step is to figure out where you are on your journey. This step takes honesty. A whole lot of it. Dig deep and start uncovering every area so you know exactly how far away from 360 balance you are. Don’t even bother trying to lie, because it won’t do you any good. You’re better off knowing your current life is not inline with your values at all then delude yourself from the situation and hinder your future potential.
Get out of debt
Unless you’re living off the grid, then you can’t escape the necessity of money in life. One of my secondary values in life is that money is a device that solves life problems. Obviously not all problems can be solved with money, but a whole lot of them can be, or at the very least assisted.
This isn’t a subjective opinion of mine. It’s stands true for everyone that wishes to be living within a currency driven society, so this step is vital to reaching 360 balance in practical terms. You will never reach freedom of any kind if you have debt. Not only are you not going to not reach freedom, but you will only move further and further away from freedom.
Depending on your situation, this will take no effort to address while some of you will have to sit their ass down to write out every single detail in order to get out of debt. If you’re somewhat the latter, don’t worry. It’s not impossible. Everyone has to start somewhere and NOW is as good as any other time. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t hide and don’t kid yourself about your situation.
The first type of debt you need to tackle if you have any, is credit card debt or any form of store credit debt. The last thing you want is debt in this category and it’s wise to address this type of debt first. Interest starts to piling up and making minimum repayments will end up costing you an arm and a leg by the time you manage to pay the whole thing off. You always want to pay off your credit card bills in full every month, and if you can’t you need to be having no more than 10% of your credit line as your remaining balance. (depending on the terms and conditions, I can write a post just for credit cards another day for you all)
The next type of debt to tackle are personal loans you’ve taken out and haven’t paid off yet. Personal loans tend not to be recurring lines of credit and have a fixed tender, similar to a mortgage. So in that aspect, you don’t have to rush yourself in paying it off, if you can keep to your personal loan repayment schedule. However, if you’re not confident that you’ll keep to the schedule for the entire duration of your tender. THEN paying it off before the agreed date will be more beneficial to your credit score.
Mortgages are an entire category in itself. It’s not entirely bad debt in the right situation. Unfortunately not many people know how to utilise it properly and make it more of a liability than an asset to their life. Just to keep things simple for this post, the idea would be the same as a personal loan.
The point you need to take home from this step is; debt needs to be kept to a minimum and closely managed. Start now, start today and don’t waste time in fixing any debt problems you may have. It doesn’t matter how big the problem is. It doesn’t matter how long you think it will take. You need to control your debt, credit and money if you are serious about gaining freedom in life.
Free your time
If you read my definition of 360 balance, you’ll notice you need a high level of control over your own life. Which also means you need a high level of control over your own time. You should be spending your time exactly how you want it or believe to be the best use of it. Most of us don’t have this luxury, because of issues from the above step. Money. Though like I mentioned before, if you want to live off the grid then it’s not money that’s the problem. It’s your own emotional and mental barriers standing in your way.
Whatever the case, the power to choose how to use your time is the actual definition of freedom. Everything else within the process is to minimize and or limit external forces that will get in the way.
It’s easier said then done, but assuming you’ve done all the above. You’re reading to start planning how you can free your time, and for most people that means quitting your day job and getting out of the rat race. The immediate question you might be having is, “what do I live off on? I might be debt free, but that doesn’t mean I can go quit my job and live life the way I want.”
True, very true. Which means you need to find ways to make money while loving what you do or make passive income. You’ll already know what my advice would be, if you know anything about me.
The reason is because finding something you truly love and am willing to do day in and day out is hard. Not many people are gifted with that level of passion. Instead, a more realistic view is; everyone can put a bit of upfront effort to enjoy the long-term reoccurring rewards; that will let them enjoy all the novelty this world has to offer.
Passive income is the only reason why I have a leg up compared to most people. I’ve been enjoying passive income for a few years now and I’ve managed to travel the world as well as give $1000 usd to my parents every month. I have total control over my time right now in life and it’s all thanks to the multiple passive income streams I have.
But it’s not as simple as just figuring out the practical side of freeing your time. It also takes an emotional readiness to do what you want. The truth is, it’s hard to do something the majority isn’t and that means to live their life in 360 balance. It was scary telling my family I wasn’t going to go into corporate and it continues to be scary whenever I decide to do something off the beaten track. But the main point of freeing your time is to have the courage to say what you want and do what you want.
The best tip I can ever give anyone is to surround yourself with supportive people. Be ready to open your world up to new people that are more inline with your goals and values in life, and you won’t struggle to find the courage to use your time the way you want.
Learn to save, create and invest
Once you’ve started earning anything of significance, you need to learn to save it, then eventually invest it. A lot of people never surpass the first stage of earning and end up finding themselves living pay check to pay check. It’s unfortunate to think someone can work all their lives to find themselves in financial trouble by retirement age.
The same rules apply for passive income as well. You want to aim to stretch the lifespan of your wealth for the entire duration of your life. That doesn’t mean to save and scrimp. That wouldn’t really fall inline with the definition of 360 balance. So the aim would naturally be for your wealth to build upon itself. You don’t want to be starting from scratch with each new stream of income for all eternity. Instead you want your income to act like a snowball rolling down a hill slope. Starting small and slow but for it to eventually start free rolling with zero effort and getting bigger the faster it rolls.
Let’s keep with the snowball analogy. You don’t want to make a ton of small snow balls, with each requiring the same amount of effort to make, when you can make one big one with comparatively little effort.
Which is why you HAVE to learn how to save. It doesn’t matter how little, you just need to start. Once you get that one small snowball ready, you can roll it down a slope. (That’s the investing part) It doesn’t even take much saving to start investing. If you’re a complete noob to investing, you can use Etoro and deposit $100 each time to start copying other traders. I’ve made a 50% gain as of January 2018 in less than a year. You can read more about it here.
Start small and Keep pushing
The final step is to understand freedom isn’t a destination, but a journey and every little bit of progress shouldn’t be ignored or downplayed. Celebrate your achievements and keep pushing forward.
Other resources you should check out:
- The internet’s longest list of passive income ideas
- Learn how I travel without a job
- Read my interview with my parents who retired in their 40’s
- How to build confidence for success
- Learn how I live a fulfilling life even with bipolar disorder