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The 5 Stages of Building a Wealthy Spirit
Commonalities on the journey to abundance
Building a wealthy spirit is about making how we spend our time align with our values. Though everyone's journey is different, Michelle and I have noticed five common stages in the process of building a wealthy spirit.
Here’s a quick summary of the stages:
Recognition: Becoming aware of misalignment
Preparation: Creating security, financial and otherwise for the journey ahead
Isolation: Being out of alignment with the people and things in our life
Self-Discovery: Learning about ourselves
Building Community: Finding like-minded people
Ever since we were born, we have been taught certain ideas and beliefs. These ideas help us function in society and help keep us safe.
We are taught how to be polite and likable. We are taught how to make a respectable living for ourselves. This respectable living gives us both financial security and esteem. We are even taught what to desire.
By staying within this traditional paradigm, we gain society's reverence, but at a cost. With busy jobs and busy schedules, we don't have time to take care of ourselves, let alone investigate our deepest interests.
Sometimes we get a glimpse that life could be different. Whether it be from a book or talk, a memorable vacation, the vastness of the night sky, or maybe it's an insight that appears when the chaos has reached its peak, these insights are the beginnings of recognition.
Recognition is the period of the journey when we see how our life is not fully in alignment. I remember busily charting at work one day, and looking at my coworkers and thinking- are they really planning on continuing this for decades?
Recognition is the seed that once planted will never stop growing. We can try to ignore it but in still moments it will reappear to inspire us. During chaotic weeks or months, recognition will haunt us.
What is it that we recognize? We recognize that if we loosen the reigns on our instilled ideas and beliefs, we can change how our day-to-day looks. By letting go of the fear of not being secure and not being respected, we get back control of our time.
Some people are brave and they can embark on a new life without much planning or security. Others, like me, need a safety net in place.
The journey of building a wealthy spirit often involves cutting hours at work or leaving the traditional 9 to 5 completely to make time for the things we value.
As a self-proclaimed planner, leaving the workforce in any form without a plan for how I will provide for myself financially, is anxiety provoking.
Luckily, there are others braver than me who have embarked on the journey of reclaiming their time and they have provided tactics for creating security outside of a W2 job.
Tactics like saving more, earning more, and investing more can create a financial runway that helps us feel secure on our journey.
We can save enough to become financially independent, the ability to provide for ourselves for our lifetime, or we can save enough cash to secure a few months of freedom. Either way, creating a stash of wealth can abate our fears which can help free our minds for the journey ahead.
As our values shift, we may have less in common with those who still live by the traditional paradigm, and this can result in isolation.
I remember a phase where I stopped wanting to go out to eat or to go out drinking. Yes, I wanted to save money to buy my time back, but I also did not enjoy those activities the same way. Even when I did other activities with my friends I found I was no longer in alignment with them. I didn't want to talk about consumeristic things or pursuits along the rat race. It was difficult for me to even pretend to entertain these ideas.
As social creatures, this isolation can feel uncomfortable. We might want to fall back into the status quo to avoid the discomfort of isolation. We might try to fill our time with another type of hamster wheel so we feel connected. Resist this urge. Isolation can give us the space we need for the next part of our journey
Isolation becomes the perfect breeding ground for self-discovery. It's difficult to actually know ourselves when we have been instilled with so many ideas and beliefs since childhood.
Many people don't feel satisfied at their job, but when asked to name what would be satisfying to them, they point to a similar job at a different company or maybe a different job completely. Maybe they want to be an entrepreneur, still working forty hours a week but on their own schedule.
What is the problem with these answers? They all stay within the "jobby mindset". It is hard for us to picture a life that doesn't center around some kind of work. For nearly our entire life, we have been taught that adults work. We are told to "follow our passions" but the assumption is that your passion is something that lines up with a job.
If you had enough money to live comfortably forever, what would you do? We often have no idea how to answer this question. As we learn more about ourselves we will discover what things excite us.
I've found that I need time for self-care. I need to be able to cook and eat healthy foods, exercise and receive adequate sleep. None of these things are inherent to any kind of work.
I've also come to know what my values are by working with a therapist and taking a values quiz. The Sparketype Test made me realize that I love learning and organizing things. No single person or quiz can show us who we are, but making the space and effort to learn about ourselves can chip away the programmed ideas and beliefs to reveal what we really enjoy.
In discussing this with Michelle, we realized we spent an embarrassingly large amount of time playing with Barbies. Were we future Barbie doll enthusiasts? No, we realized that what we liked about playing with our dolls was creating stories and characters and seeing how they interacted with each other. Michelle and I both love learning about people. We are immensely curious about the lives of the people around us.
The journey of self-discovery continues throughout our lifetime and changes as we do. The most important thing for self-discovery is making space for this discovery to occur. When we live a life full of busy routines we don't leave time to learn about ourselves and if we are not careful we will find we have given all our time, money, and energy to pursuits that we do not value.
Community building is the last stage on this list though it does not have to go last chronologically. Sometimes we start finding a community just as the recognition stage starts. Sometimes it is our community that brings us recognition and teaches us how to prepare.
Finding people with similar values makes this journey more fun and insightful. Since this path is not mainstream, it may be difficult to find like-minded people in our day-to-day life. This is where courses, online communities, meet-ups, conferences, and retreats can be a great way to meet people.
In addition to helping us feel connected, our community often helps point us to new interests and people that can inspire us further. Attending FI/RE [financial independence, retire early] meetings in the Bay Area, was always a highlight for me. I got to meet people who are further along on this journey and hear their stories. It's also nice to be able to laugh at niche jokes that only people with my same unique values would understand.
Recently, Michelle and I have had the privilege of being mentored by Joe Saul-Sehy of The Stacking Benjamins Show and Jordan Grumet host of the Earn and Invest Podcast. Not only are they both people who understand the importance of creating ownership over your time, but they are also expert podcasters. Their advice is targeted because they understand the podcast space and the changes they have recommended would have taken years for us to figure out on our own. This is the difference a community and mentors can make on our journey.
We hope to build a community here with the Build a Wealthy Spirit Podcast supporters. We know many of you individually and we have been inspired by the things you all are doing in your life. We want to bring together all of you and your exciting ideas and personalities to create a community of people living value-based lives.
Have you gone through any of these stages? What was it like and do you have any tips for anyone else experiencing the same thing?
If yes, post in the comments below!
Wishing you lots of love on your journey,