There’s a myth going around. A nasty one.

Basically it’s some version of “I can’t take a risk until I’ve got a certain amount of money.”

And to an extent this is true. From a survival standpoint, absolutely. It’s hard to consider self-actualization when we need a roof and a meal.

But there’s a trap here. Based on my personal experience and from coaching men all across the spectrum — from multi-millionaires to broke college kids — I’ve noticed a pattern.

It seems that — for most — more money actually equals less freedom.

Huh?

We tell ourselves that we want to work in order to create more wealth. For what? For more space, more choice, more freedom.

But I’ve found that a lot of folks — not all — but a lot of them weld their asses shut as they move up the financial ladder.

Why? They’re more afraid of going back down the ladder. They’re fearful of losing the comfort, status and “benefits” of wealth. Which means they’re trapped by their own good fortune.

Which makes sense. Studies have shown that the pain of losing $20 is far greater than the joy of finding $20. These guys don’t want to feel pain, they don’t want to risk losing — especially when the gain seems so minimal.

Many good men waste their lives…

Chasing the next thing —

Keeping up with the neighbors and —

Making sure they don’t slide down the ladder.

They can’t “afford” to make anything less than a lateral move. Which means they’re trapped in their own good fortune.

So they simply stick with the status quo, they stick with what they know. Those ideas of pursuing their passion, taking chances — feeling free! — all go out the window.

Now, I’m not opposed to money. I believe it is simply a tool, a means to an end.

“How much does my ideal lifestyle cost?”

“How much do I need in order to pursue my calling?”

“How much does it cost to do what I love and be with the people I love?”

When we know the number, we can generate the income accordingly. There’s a purpose to this work — no matter what it is — to empower ourselves to live the life we truly want. Period. That’s it.

So watch out for this myth that says you’ll have greater freedom when you’re wallet is fat. Don’t put off what you’re really wanting to do because you think there’s going to be a day when you’ve got “enough.” Whatever that means. It’s bullshit. It’s a treadmill. It’s a trap.

My advice? Simplify. Prioritize freedom and flexibility in order to experience passion, meaning and love. Remember that you’ve only got this one life to live.

Know the difference between a need and a want. Clarify your desired lifestyle from this perspective. What would it actually cost per month? Be willing to ditch all of the “stuff.” Most of the time it’s just slowing us down.

I’ve found that those with the simplest of lifestyles feel that they have the least to lose. They’re willing to risk and play. They’re more free to live the life they truly want.

This is good news for all. The life you really want is much closer than you may have thought. Don’t forfeit what you really want for something you mistakenly think you need.

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