"But Godliness with contentment is great gain." ~Timothy 6: 6-7
On the path of wealth contentment is our silent partner. When we embrace gratitude for what we have, the big things, and the little things, suddenly our path becomes filled with grace & ease. Life is not so hard anymore! We can savor the little things in life: a brisk walk crunching fall leaves under our feet, gathering a sweater or warm blanket around ourselves or lighting candles.... This concept of simple coziness and enjoyment, no matter the season, is called "hygge"(pronounced hoo-ga) in Denmark. And I believe it is essential if we want to build longterm wealth and meet our big life goals!
I used to spend tons of money on lifestyle, but I was chasing happiness! I was not happy. My kids and I actually have become more content with some monetary restrictions. We have found joy in spending time together, creativity, and simple entertainment. Ironically, now that I am debt-free, with a good nest egg, I find spending money actually has a cap on enjoyment! Don't get me wrong, I do love to eat out, and the occasional latte! But large extravagances don't create real happiness for me~they are like fancy frames around the real picture, which is the people I love & work I enjoy.
Ways to be more content, no matter which Baby Step you are on!
1. Get a plan for your money. Learn about budgeting and the Baby Steps to Wealth Building. When I started my Baby Steps, I instantly felt more wealthy because I felt I was following a smart plan. I could relax, and enjoy the moments with my children. Stopping the crazy debt cycle and getting clarity on my investments was also liberating. I no longer had the stress of the money fog! The monthly budget helped me see exactly where my money was going and exactly how much wealth I was building. And hearing stories on www.daveramsey.com of other people who had paid off debt and saved money was very inspiring. I gained a million dollars in peace of mind. That was huge!
2. Savor the simple things. Simple meals together, board games, playing music, watching shows on netflix, all became more meaningful for me the last 3 years. Julia Cameron speaks about nurturing your inner child in her book "The Artists Way". She says a little "artist date" does not have to be expensive, just fun! A trip to a vintage store to snoop around, $5 for new paint brushes, hearing a concert in the park....This weekend I had a blissful time resting & puttering around the house....napping, cleaning out the fridge, writing this blog...just letting the spirit move me however. What a treat! Money does not buy happiness. My sweetie and I paid for an expensive weekend trip to a local tourist spot with the kids where we ended up mainly hunkering down together in the living room, watching videos and playing games!! The togetherness was what mattered. And that is free.
3. Practice active gratitude. Speaking out loud what you are grateful for, and being generous from what you have, ups contentment. 12 years ago My coach Toni Stone taught me to say affirmative prayers every day. I've been doing a prayer call with a good friend ever since, and it helps me remember my blessings...especially when I get into a "pity party" because I've forgotten to be content. Some people like to keep a gratitude journal and write down their blessings. Giving also helps when we are feeling tight, poor & constricted. Toni taught me the practice of tithing 10% to churches & charities, and I have been a tither ever since. Dave Ramsey also recommends you continue your tithe while getting out of debt! Giving, even a little, reminds us that we "have it to give", and that we are blessed.
Thank you, and Happy Fall!
Coach. Teacher. Author. Speaker.