“The only real measure of magickal attainment is its manifestation in Midgard. I have to wonder about the claims of wizards who live on welfare, and don’t contribute articles because they can’t afford a second hand computer, or squander their talents on drugs and self pity.”
The second essential element of a full and happy life lies in mastering the balance between Wealth and Lifestyle.
Putting aside the question of money for a moment, I would like to point out that man cannot live in a vacuum. We need things. If you are going to survive in a human body, you will need a certain minimum amount of food and shelter. If you are going to survive in a human society, you are going to need a certain minimum of respectable clothing, transportation and some cash to spend on social events as well.
Oops, we didn’t get very far before the question of things became a question of money, did we?
The bottom line is we do need stuff to live and, in this day and age, we need money to buy the stuff we need to live. If you want to talk about going back to a DIY hunter/gatherer/farmer lifestyle, then we can talk, but I don’t want to hear anybody give me any crap about how the spiritually enlightened don’t need material possessions because that’s just a bunch of crap.
The monks, priests and yogis who preach most fervently against materialism are also the ones who beg for a living, in case you hadn’t noticed. I really fail to see how begging can be considered somehow more noble than producing something of value that you can trade with others.
The third possiblity would be to steal what you need, I suppose, and it certainly seems that some of our ancestors considered this a viable option. Personally, jail time would interfere too much with some of my lifestyle preferences. So I’m planing to stick with earning a living for now.
This is, in fact, the important point that most success gurus overlook. Once you get beyond the bare essentials, how you make your money very quickly becomes more important than how much you make. It’s not much good making $10,000,000.00 a year if you have to work in hell eighteen hours a day to do it. It might make sense, in some cases, to put in a few hard years and save for an early retirement. To me it makes much more sense to find a way to make the money you need doing something you love and still have time for friends and family.
So what are the essential steps to mastering the balance between Wealth and Lifestyle?
1. Make a decision that you’re going to take responsibility for your own financial situation. The universe does not owe you a living and you’re not going anywhere in life until you realize that fact.
2. Develop a valuable specialized skill. Unskilled laborers earn peanuts and are generally subjected to crappy working conditions into the bargain. You need to make yourself valuable to your fellow man if you want to earn anything more than a subsistence.
3.Make sure that your special skill is something that you enjoy and that you have a natural talent for. There’s no such thing as nine-to-five in the real world and you may need to be doing your thing for a long time
4. Find an honest way to make money off of your special skill. Unfortunately, the money does not roll in automatically just because you happen to be great at something. You have to learn how to sell your services and you still have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day.
5. Learn how to manage and invest the money you do make. I’ve met plenty of poor/rich people who bring in huge paychecks but blow it all on crap and live neck-deep in debt. Don’t be one of them.
6. Don’t forget the meaning of life! Money is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Take the time to relax, enjoy yourself, look after your health and never ever forget the people in your life who make it all worth while.
That’s it! Not a lot of detail this time, just the broad strokes. The details are going to depend on you! What’s your greatest passion? What are your special talents? What do you want out of life and how far are you willing to go to make it happen?
Tags: Building a Life