In this episode of the Financial Freedom Podcast, I chat with Vicki Robin, I chat with Vicki Robin about financial freedom, the FIRE movement, financial independence, and the fullness of existence.
It was in August 2010 that I first read Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez. It changed my life and relationship with money.
Vicki Robin wrote the foreword to my Financial Freedom book and I’m honored to call Vicki both a co-creator and friend. We are working together to make financial independence accessible to everyone. Financial independence can be achieved for everyone, regardless of their economic background. On a cool summer day on Whidbey Island, Washington, this episode was recorded. The sun was shining and the birds were singing in the trees.
Financial Freedom Podcast Episode 4: The Space of Freedom w/ Vicki Robin
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Full Transcript (I’ve added headers that make it easier to find key topics!)
Grant: Hey everyone and welcome to the financial freedom show. We’ll be talking about how to create a budget that works for you. I am excited to have someone who has had the biggest impact on me in my life today. They are here with me today. The author of Your Money or Your Life is Vicki Robin. Vicki Robin is a renowned financial expert, speaker and author who has helped countless people transform their relationship with money. In August 2010. I discovered Your Money or Your Life when I was beginning my financial independence journey, and it’s really the book that started it all for me. The idea of trading your life energy for money completely blew my mind and set me on a path to make more money in less time and I am really excited that over the years, past couple of years, Vicki and I have gotten to. I can’t wait to see where this journey leads us next. Beautiful Day. Couldn’t ask for a better day. I’m going to enjoy it to the fullest. Here on Washington’s Whidbey Island. Vicki, welcome to the show.
Vicki: Thank you. Grant.
Grant wanted to dive into the idea of freedom and begin to understand what financial freedom means to you. Financial freedom and peace of mind are what it means to me.
Vicki: There is a sense of justice in financial freedom. Financial freedom allows individuals to make decisions that benefit their own well-being and that of the community. When the system breaks apart as it is now with the rich and stagnant middle class and lower class that is losing ground. This is damaging to our society as a whole. The minimum wage is slowly increasing. In a situation like that. If you need help, you can always get it. I don’t think anyone is free. It can be hard to find freedom in a world filled with so many rules. The people with wealth don’t feel free because of their mentality. If one yacht is good, two and three are better. Nothing compares to the experience of four boats on the open water. Betsy Devos has 10 boats. Betsy Devos is one of the wealthiest cabinet members in U.S. history. I don’t know what you can do with 10 yachts, people have little mini yachts inside big yachts, and I don’t know what you can do with them. It’s just an indicator of wealth and luxury that you don’t need. I don’t think anyone in this system feels that sense of freedom, a sense that I don’t need anymore. It is possible that this lack of freedom affects us all.
Financial Freedom vs. Financial Independence
Vicki: I am fine. I don’t need anyone to change me. I have enough on a consistent basis. Justice is a social context for financial freedom. Financial freedom isn’t just about having enough money to fulfill an individual’s wants and needs, but also about having enough money to contribute to society. The ability to know what makes you happy is one of the things that can be created by financial freedom. Financial freedom can be achieved by understanding your values and spending money in a way that meshes with them. In Your Money or Your Life, we say what’s your enough point. The sentence reminds us to think about how much is enough for us and when we should stop spending money. How do you create a sense of freedom? One way to create a sense of freedom is to focus on activities that make you feel good and help you relax. I don’t mean that, that’s a spiritual sense of freedom where the material world isn’t material to you. I mean that psychological capacity to know yourself and know how much is enough. It’s about having an inner compass that leads you in the right direction. I distinguished between independence and freedom when we talked about financial independence. I have the ability to get away from things. I can get away from toxic environments. I am strong enough to know when it’s time to move on and find a better situation. Freedom is a different thing. It is like in a different place. I feel like I’m in a dream when I’m there. It is a sense that I can expand in time, space and consciousness. I have the power to explore new possibilities and create a better life for myself because of this feeling of freedom.
It is expansive without being intrusive. It is a safe place to explore new interests. There are no constrictions where you want to go. There are endless possibilities no matter where you go. Not predatory, not intrusive, but just this ease that I can be wherever I am. It’s a feeling of comfort that I can take with me no matter where I go. Being able to deconstruct the consumer culture is the first step towards financial freedom. You can break free from the consumer culture and achieve financial freedom by understanding it. I have seen a lot of people on the FIRE path, which is very material, and it is like I am going to earn more, or spend less, and save more. I believe that the true fire path is about living a life that you love and having financial freedom to do whatever makes you happy. It is a numbers game rather than a freedom game and there is a goal called a million dollars or something like that. The key is to be willing to change your goals as necessary. I have friends who say they need $10 million because they are going to be philanthropists and they are just habituated to working. It’s important to recognize that making a difference with such a large sum may be difficult, even though they may have the best of intentions. It isn’t for me, it’s mostly material. Something that will last is what I’m looking for. This sense of enoughness comes from having looked at your choices. It’s easier to appreciate what you have achieved if you take the time to reflect on what you have.
Grant remembers reading your money at 24 and loving the idea that enough was more than a number and that it was a state of being. I changed the way I view money and my life after that moment. I didn’t need to let the world set this limit or set this number, but I did have to answer questions about how much money I have made in my life. What do I value? It’s an important question to ask yourself, as it can help you determine where to focus your energy and what kind of life you want to live. What makes me happy? There are moments of joy with my friends and family that make me happy. I had never heard that side of the coin. It’s like opening my eyes to a completely different perspective.
I could choose what I wanted to do. I feel like I have more control over my life now. I can either choose the limit or the number. I can either set an exact number of items to complete or work within a certain limit. I could choose the feeling that I didn’t need the outside world to dictate who I was, which was more of a life philosophy, than a money philosophy. I was able to take control of my life and be the author of my own story. Money was the door. I found a world of possibilities once inside. Money allowed me to engage in a deeper conversation. I realized that money could be used to open up more opportunities for exploration. What do you tell a kid in college or a young person in their twenties that they are stuck but constrained in their life because of their job or something? It is up to you to make the changes necessary to adjust your path to one that brings you joy and fulfillment, because you are in control of your own life. What are those first few steps that someone can take beyond the numbers in a really start asking those questions and figuring out what, what, what means to them as really kind of that first step?
How much is enough?
That is a great question. I’m glad you asked. We don’t know what’s going on because other people are bumping and we don’t know. We have to find our own way through the chaos because we can’t control what other people do. We need to find the steering wheel. To have some control, you need to find the steering wheel, and for me, the steering wheel is the ability to reflect on your behavior in light of is it really working for you, is the money you’re spending, buying you a life you love. It’s time to make a change if this isn’t working for you. We suggest four questions, those questions that you mentioned in your money or life, and you can always introduce them. It is possible to start a conversation about your financial goals and priorities with these questions. I want to know if the money I spend is translated into life, energy is the life energy. A driving force that motivates me to keep working towards my goals is the life energy. I have to earn this money to buy this item. It’s taken a long time to save up for this purchase. Is it making me happy because I spent so much time getting the money?
We all feel like we are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in our society. It is our right to strive for a life full of joy and satisfaction. I am an American. I’m proud to be an American and I’m honored to represent the country. I should be happy. I should get happiness and if, if, if, if I’m happy because I get a Coffee is on the way to work. I hate my job and so I have to have five beers on the weekend, you know, and I am not going to deny that from myself. I think it’s important to know that this kind of behavior can be harmful in the long run, and to make sure we don’t become too dependent on those substances or activities to cope. You don’t take into account number one that you’re buying your next 10 hours at work by your five beers and on Friday night, you have to say, is it worth it to me? If you have to get up early the next morning, you will be more productive at work. Maybe the first beer is, and the second beer is, but it may be the third, fourth and fifth that are unconscious. You might not remember how you got there by the sixth beer. Do you want to do that? Are you ready to take on the challenge? Is this making me happy? It’s important to think about whether the activity you’re doing will make you happy in the long term. What point am I most happy with this consumption? When I’m able to purchase things that allow me to express myself, I’m happy.
Is this going to make me happy or is it just going to make me sad? If you’re unsure about making a purchase, ask yourself if it will bring you happiness in the long run. Is this taking me in the direction I want to go? There are two paths in front of me, one leads to my dreams, and the other is full of uncertainty. I don’t know, what’s my life for most people in your life is only for, like we’re not taught what our lives are for. It’s important to find our own purpose and meaning in life so that we can live with intention and make the most of every day. We are for a career. It’s time to make our dreams of a successful career a reality. It is like my generation, you know, it is a career. The career path has become popular among young people of my age, making it a logical choice for me. When you grow up, what do you want to be? We could be a nurse, a teacher, or both when I was five. My mom told me that I could be anything I wanted to be. We could work as a secretary. Someday, we could become an office manager or a CEO. The teacher secretary is very simple. It’s easy to see why they’re so important. It was a stable society and there was something you wanted to do. Many people found it easy to adapt to the society and feel part of it.
It is a free for all. It’s hard to know what to expect with the current state of affairs. We haven’t had time to reflect on our values. Maybe our church taught us, but not everyone has that. It is up to us to decide whether or not to follow those teachings, even if we were taught the right way to treat people. You have to buy the beer, the second beer, the third, fourth and fifth, and then you have to say, is this taking me in the direction I want to go? You and your friend are out for the first beer. It’s sort of substitute for your therapist when you’re both enjoying each other’s company and you’re doing a little bit of networking. It’s a great way to be aware of your mental health. The first beer really works. It’s a great way to start the night. After a while you and your friend are drunk and nothing is happening. Both of you decided to head home. You know. Is the expenditure that my life energy takes me where I want to go in life adding value to my life? If not, then it’s time to make some changes to ensure that my life energy is being used in the most effective way. I am proud of my life because I have engaged in this and there is no particular item with their fulfilling this. I’m proud of the choices I’ve made to get to this point, and I know that I’m only continuing to grow. For one person, a pair of running shoes is completely aligned with their values to get healthy run every morning. By running every morning with a good pair of running shoes, that person is taking a positive step towards achieving their fitness goals.
They already have a pair of running shoes and it is just a fashion statement. It might seem like a luxury to have an extra pair of shoes, but they can be very useful. There is no answer to this, only your answer. This answer is not applicable to everyone because it is based on your perspective and experience. If I didn’t have to work for money, and if my time were my own, would I buy this? If this purchase is a priority for me, and if it’s something I can do without, I need to think about it. That shows you two things. The first is that you have the power to make a difference, and the second is that the changes can be positive. The things you buy for yourself to compensate for not liking your job are number one. Number two is to think of ways to make your job more enjoyable. This would go away. I think it’s time to take a break. I do not need to do this. If I were able to move to a small town and volunteer or work in a coffee shop, I would just do whatever I wanted. Would I buy another pair of running shoes if I had a pair of running shoes? It gives you a chance to think about that. Money is only one way to live. It is important to remember that there are other paths available to you. If everybody did this, would the world be a better place? It’s worth considering how our actions affect the world around us, because the answer to this question is something that only each individual can decide. Let’s just that. Accept it and move on. What if everyone asked the same question and saw what it did to their spending? It is possible to track the impact of this change on your finances over time. “No shame, no blame, no expectations, observe when you’re spending money with this sort of irony, like who wins if I buy this?” We should try to make conscious decisions that align with our values and beliefs because our spending habits are embedded in them. Is it a win if I pay for this or engage in it? Buying something or paying for something doesn’t guarantee you will win. Someone like a producer winning. Some people like the thrill of winning a race, some like the joy of seeing their team succeed, and some like the satisfaction of creating a successful project.
Grant: The level ofMindfulness is very important. To ensure a positive outcome, we need to be aware of our actions and reactions. If you asked me what made me happy, I couldn’t give you an answer. I felt like I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. One of the things that I think is interesting is that when you lead with money as the site of inquiry and you really bring deep philosophical inquiry to kind of everyday purchases, those purchases are kind of the level of life. Money decisions have a deep and meaningful impact on our lives. Your valuesstart to shape through the questioning of the level of granularity. The process of questioning the level of granularity helps to create a clearer picture of what is truly important to you and how your values can shape your life. It becomes the site of discovery if you don’t know what makes you happy. How did I feel when I bought this? I’m pretty sure the feeling of accomplishment was huge. When I bought this, did I regret it? I was excited when I bought this, but the next day I had doubts about my purchase. Did I enjoy it? I really enjoyed it. It makes me happy. Spending time with my family and friends makes me happy. I was wondering if it was for some other reason. I didn’t know why I was buying it, but something inside me told me to. Money is a reflection of who you are and if you can look at how you spend your money, it can make you feel uncomfortable. By taking an honest look at your spending habits and making intentional decisions, you can be more aware of how you use your money and ensure it reflects your values.
Bringing that level of focus. This can help us to be more aware of our thoughts and feelings, so that we can better regulate our emotions and reactions. It is like a reveal of who you are and where you are directing your life energy through money. Taking control of your life is an empowering way to create a more secure future for yourself. You have spent a lot of time writing about money. Money is an important topic in today’s society. You have been all over the world talking about it. Some of the challenges that you see are different for young people or for people that weren’t as challenging, what are some of the things that are different today? The need to quickly adapt to rapidly changing technology is one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. The only reason I asked this was because we were talking about the pace of life and we were entering a hyper competitive world where everything is moving so quickly. I think it’s important to take time to enjoy the moments and appreciate what life has to offer. Is it easier to become financially independent when you see what you have seen over the years? I’ve seen a lot of people make great strides towards financial independence through hard work and smart investments, but it’s still an ongoing journey that requires dedication and perseverance. Is it more difficult? It is more challenging than expected, but that is what makes it so rewarding.
Is it easier or harder to reach financial independence?
Vicki: Yeah. I feel like this is a granny question. It might seem like a silly question, but I would really appreciate your input. When I graduated from college. It was necessary to have a college degree. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who possess more than just a college degree to succeed in the workplace. Very few people. You didn’t go on for master’s unless you had a professional interest. It wasn’t the norm to get a master’s degree if you wanted a specific career goal. Maybe if you’re moving forward in your career. If you want to pursue a career in research or academia, a PhD can be beneficial. The cost of education is more than the time of education. When I was a girl, I’m a New York’s City University was free. It was a great opportunity for students to learn. Just like your New Yorker, it was free. The state school cost $30 a credit. The state school has low tuition fees that make it a great option for those looking for an affordable education. Some of the state schools were very good if you stayed in state. Some of them were good. Others were terrible.
You can get a good college education for a lot of money. Those with limited resources can still get a high quality college education. Compared to middle class incomes, the price of college has just skyrocketed. You need an advanced degree even if you only have the BA. It is important to consider furthering your education if you want to be competitive in the job market. You have to keep climbing up on people’s shoulders if you want to compete. This can cause a feeling of pressure and anxiety. You can get a PHD, but you can’t get a job. It can be hard to find a job that makes sense. You’re still like a You can still be a barista in a coffee shop. Regardless of your job, you can take pride in the work you do and strive to develop professionally in whatever field you choose. You might be advanced to a sort of middle manager, like a sales clerk. But still, you didn’t get a My generation is encouraging people to go to college because our experience was that it did make a difference, because PhD for that is a very different condition. Getting a college education is more important than ever because many employers are now requiring job applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree to be considered for positions. I see younger people hobbled by debt that is un-payable. It can limit their future potential and financial stability. It is un-payable. You won’t have enough years. Time is precious and should be used wisely, so make sure you don’t waste it. You could figure out how much it costs to live and how much you make. I am going to die with this debt. I feel like I’m in too deep and there’s no way out. When I graduated from college, maybe there were 4 billion people on the planet. We’re at a total of 7.7 billion people, and it’s amazing how the population has grown since then. In this part of my life it has almost doubled. There are more people competing for houses. It can lead to higher prices and fewer options for those looking to purchase a home.
New York City has not added any land. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. If you want to be in the city, you have to go further and further out into the country, but I lived in Brooklyn for a couple years when I was in my twenties. You can see which side of the line you’re on when you cross the boundary of one of these cities. The apartment cost $110 a month. It was one of the best deals in town. $110 a month was the price for a one room apartment. The tiny space was crammed with all of the necessities, but it was a cozy and comfortable home. There was a garden apartment in Brooklyn. A peaceful and inviting atmosphere was created by the garden apartment, which was surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful flowers. Some neighborhoods were considered completely unsafe. Many of the neighborhoods were considered to be relatively safe, but there were some that had higher crime rates and lower income levels. The people who lived in those neighborhoods have left. In order to preserve the culture and legacy of these areas, many of them have moved away. We are not increasing the space of the planet. This is leading to the destruction of our planet’s natural habitats. We are occupying more space on the planet. The strain on our natural resources has increased. A lot of stress can be created by the fact that there are 50 people just like you on your block in the city. It can be difficult to find a place in a busy environment.
When I graduated from college, I got my first credit card, and I thought, “How do I make my way in a world where there’s not a lot of open slots?” If you think about how credit cards have potentiated overconsumption, you’ll understand. This has led to an increase in the amount of debt people are taking on, making it difficult for them to pay back and stay financially secure. People have not been educated about the credit card debt. Many people find themselves in financial trouble due to their lack of knowledge about credit and debt. We need financial education that reflects the complexity of the money system that we live in. Money management skills need to be taught at a deeper level so that people can make informed decisions about their financial future. People don’t know how to manage their credit cards because there is no financial education. People getting into debt can be difficult to escape from because of the lack of financial education. People think about financial education. Financial education can help people make better decisions with their money. Financial education is what people in my generation say. People should know how to balance their finances. If you have a good idea of where your money is going and how much you have, you can make better decisions about your finances. People need to know how to open an account, they need to know how to sign on to mint.com, and they need to know all their banks. They need to know how to track their spending in order to make wise financial decisions. They need to know how to track their money, they need to know how to pay their credit cards off on time, and they need to know how to avoid huge interest payments. It is important to have a budget and stick to it. All of this is not being taught. The lack of education is a shame. The other thing is that young people are slipping into debt, and then the level of advertising is so much more. This is making it harder for young people to make financial decisions that are in their best interest. There used to be ads in the newspaper, but not in the supermarket. It’s hard to find a magazine or newspaper that doesn’t have ads or promotional inserts. This is similar to the floor and the lights. Consumer resistance is more difficult. Businesses need to focus on understanding and anticipating consumer needs in order to stay competitive. The pressures on young people are immense. It is difficult for young people to cope with these pressures. The way the economy is being structured is making it harder for the general public to find a job that will pay them enough so they can afford their rent.
Grant: I think one of the things that has made a huge difference in my life is that when I had $100,000, I could live for two, three years on it. realization gave me the freedom to explore more opportunities and take more risks without worrying about money I did not have to worry about what was happening in the outside world or the speed. The freedom allowed me to focus on my thoughts and feelings. When I started going inside, it was the first time in my life. I think trying to grow. I am not saying I did, but I am trying to cultivate a level of freedom in myself that no matter what job I had or where I was living, I could carry with me. I want to live in a way that is not restricted by the circumstances of my life.
My company was one of the things I defined myself by. I knew that it wasn’t going to last and I really didn’t want it to last. I didn’t know what I was going to be able to carry on with. I was determined to make the most of the opportunity. You know, beyond that. I needed enough money to have the space to do that. I wanted to find a job that would pay me enough to cover the cost of renting an office. Can you tell me a little bit about your beliefs? I want you to think about going inside and creating a space of freedom within you, so that you can protect yourself from this speed, and also help you move in a world that is increasingly uncertain and fragmented.
Freedom is within you
Vicki: Yeah. That is an interesting question because when I think about my own sense of ease, it is not only my capacity to not just reflect, but it is also like taking a shower. It’s like washing away the day and all the emotions that come with it, it’s a feeling of being refreshed. It’s more like a thirst for facing myself and knowing myself so that anything that comes up for me becomes a site of personal growth, like a failed relationship, so most of us don’t want to touch it. This can help us to be better prepared for our future relationships. It is like a hot potato. If you don’t act quickly, you’ll end up getting burned. We don’t want to touch it. It looks like it could be dangerous. We don’t think about it and just go on. We use it to make it through the day. For me, a failed relationship is like, oh, why did it fail? I can’t help but think of ways I could have done better. What can I learn from this? What were my expectations? My expectations were completely open because I had no idea what to expect. I enjoy the projections and not taking responsibility for things that I, everything is sort of grist for the mill for me. I’m always learning from my experiences.
When you live that way, there is a lot of space around things because there is nothing you want to run away from or there is nothing you want to chase. This will allow you to be more present in the moment. I think that willingness to face yourself as a matter of fact, not just willingness, like eat, I don’t want to do it, but I will have to, you know, thirst to know yourself. This journey will lead to personal growth and development. And that’s you. The more you know yourself, the more you accept yourself, and the more you can be with yourself. What do I like to do? Taking pictures of my adventures is a great way to capture the moment and remember it in the future. What kind of friends do I really want, are the people who are my friends really my friends? I’m trying to understand my relationships and figure out who I can trust in this world. It’s all good and I can choose. I have the freedom to make my own decisions. I think that is a lot of freedom.
A sense of community is one of the things that has disappeared from the mix for most people. I have three friends as well. One of my friends is in New York, another is in Chicago, and the other is in San Francisco. I use social media and video calls to keep in touch with my friends. I can’t count on anything else because I am the center of the universe. I have to remember that I am not alone. I am cast with building these separate relationships because they can fall apart and people are not connected with each other. Maintaining these relationships and keeping track of who knows whom can be a lot of work. One of the great feelings of freedom is the feeling that I belong in a community that was here before me. I feel a connection to the past and others around me. It will be here after me. There are people who know me. I feel blessed that I have a support system of family and friends, and that there are people who care about me. When I first moved here, I said that I may be the village idiot, but I am their village idiot. I’m having a great time getting to know everyone and embracing my role as their village idiot. I belong here. There is a container for my life. I am aware that the container is internal, but it is also a surround. The container is both inside and outside of me. You learn about sickly manners, courtesy, and consideration from that. It can help create a more compassionate society. We can lose track of how our lives impacted their people when we focus on ourselves.
If you build a container, a sense of belonging in a real community place, where not only do I know people, I know the trees, I know where the mushroom is, I wish I knew where the mushrooms were in the forest. In a city where you hang out in the same coffee shop, you can feel that you are part of the life of a place. There’s. I think that is an important part when people are trying to improve their lives. Finding joy and fulfillment in life is equally important as it is for productivity and efficiency. It is a very self focused pursuit. It can be rewarding to achieve your goals.
Grant: Yeah, I think a lot of people younger, older, the response to this increasing pace is to numb, you know, you use TV rates. Grant: Yeah, I think a lot of people younger, older, turn to technology to cope with the increasing pace of life, and the response is to numb, you know, you use TV rates. You should watch rates go up. It’s important that you stay informed of the changes so that you can make smart decisions about your finances. I understand that it is fun to be entertained and dive into that, but it does require five or six hours a night to check out a television show. It is difficult to build relationships when you are stuck in your phone or watching tv. Taking time each day to have meaningful conversations with people you care about is important.
I think a lot of people out there are lonely and they are watching a race and they are seeing the race go faster and faster. It can be hard for those on the sidelines to keep up with the pace of life. With the increased suicide and depression rates, you see people opting out or not understanding or belonging is hard to get in our hyper individual age. It’s important that we create an environment where everyone can feel supported, and that’s because belonging is a basic human need. You know that someone in a city can go into a coffee shop and start talking to people. It is easy to make new connections and build relationships in the most unexpected places. I have spent some time with you here in your community and just see how many people you know and how familiar you are with this place. Even if you are living in a city, how can you build a sense of community when you don’t have to play? A new pathway of success can be established by creating a different set of rules that work for you and your community. You can make your own game. You can make any type of game you want, from board games to video games.
Vicki: It’s a funny thing, but I think you develop a routine where you show up, you do your volunteer work in the playground once a week, and then you work five days a week but from nine to five. I enjoy the sense of purpose and satisfaction that comes from making a difference. There is always a chance to join a group of people who are doing good. If you don’t know anything, you can ask around in your local community to find out what activities are available. If you have a walking club and you go to it every Saturday morning, you might not find the most interesting people. You can connect with other people who share your love of walking by joining a walking group online. Eventually you will belong to that. You will always have a place to call home. People said, “Oh, you weren’t here last week, you know, we’re you.” It’s great to have you back. That sort of thing. It’s so mundane. It makes a difference if other people include you in their routines. You lose some of your anonymity. A lot of people live in cities to be anonymous. It’s a great way to meet new people. They have lost the habit of belonging. A lack of connection can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health. I think that is one thing. It is called in some circles, a sit spot, because it is like natural areas in every city. This is a place where you can just be in nature, observe the environment and connect with yourself.
You chose a bush, a tree, a crack in the sidewalk. You decided to make a secret spot for yourself, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You begin to see how the ants go when you sit there for 15 minutes and watch the natural world change. The grass has developed a stock and now it is seeding and it is flowery. As the sun reflects off the blades of the grass, it is a sight to behold. You can see nature’s cycles. The seasons remind us of the constant change in our world. You become a member of the natural world. You begin to feel connected to nature. A lot of this is regular. Establish a routine and stick to it for the best results. It’s like if you have a meditation practice you should join a meditation group because everybody gets scared in the morning. This is a great chance to learn more about yourself and the people around you. You are a part of people. You should surround yourself with people who encourage you to be the best version of yourself. These are the activities that create a sense of belonging.
Grant: Yeah. That you can not over-optimize. I mean those regular activities of showing up and being subject to, you know, the rhythms of someone else or maybe something not working perfectly or a class getting canceled, you know, there’s not only a, a vulnerability there, but there’s a sort of surrender to this idea We need to find the courage to accept unpleasant experiences and learn from them so that we can continue to grow. You can’t put it inside. It’s true that there are things you can’t control. It is not possible to show up to a five minute meditation and expect to get to know someone. Give yourself the time and space to truly connect with yourself or another person in order to foster a meaningful relationship. Which, which is true. The world is full of love and joy. Someone reached out to me and asked if I had time. I was happy to accept their request. I was asked if I had time for a four minute call. I was eager to hear what they had to say. They talked for four minutes on the phone. And I was like, uh, we’ve reached, we’ve reached the edge here,
Vicki: Maybe that person thought that you were so busy that they were low status in your high status. It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 They computed all those factors as well. They came up with a plan of action that would fit their needs. I could ask him for 20 minutes if I were higher status. You can go to yoga and try to improve it, but you are not part of the community. There is a sense of camaraderie and friendship that comes with attending a yoga class in a studio. You can like put your head up your ass and make people feel intimidated because you are in competition with the community. It’s important to remember that everyone is working hard to better themselves, so make sure you support your peers instead of making them feel inferior. I mean, if you know that, let’s be as healthy as we can be, but if that is yet one more self focus, then you are in the yoga class. It’s important to remember that yoga isn’t just about physical health, it’s also a great way to connect with yourself and find inner peace. You are competing with yourself. Try to do better each day and focus on your own progress.
Grant: Yeah. Let’s branch off that for a second. The originator of the FIRE movement, the financial independence movement, the money, your life has spawned so many different groups of people. It has been an amazing journey to watch the fire movement grow and develop into something bigger than I could have imagined. Money became an addiction in another forum for me. It was not a consumer side of the coin. I was spending way too much on things that I really liked. I didn’t spend any money. I decided to be strict with my budget because I wanted to save up for something special. I retreated into my spreadsheet instead of living, and I see that happening in some areas of the fire world, but I am not going to put words in your mouth. You have had the last year to get to know a lot of the FIRE people, and if you could give one message to the people that are there, that would be great. They should remember to be open-minded and flexible as the fire movement grows, so that they don’t miss out on any new opportunities or insights.
The FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) Movement
Vicki: There are several branches from what you said. It sounds like it could be interesting. We started doing seminars to give sharing tools for becoming conscious of resource flows because we wanted to be of service in the world. Our mission is to equip people with the knowledge they need to make a difference in the world. We did not consider money to be what we were teaching. The money was the occasion for teaching awareness, consciousness, love, connection and we thought we were teaching consciousness. A sense of inner peace and joy can be found in this extra teaching. Devotion. Devoting your life to something, like the Buddhists, you know, when they meditate, not necessarily American Buddhist, but the Buddhist I have known in Thailand, they dedicate the merit of every meditation to the wellbeing of all living being. Being able to devote your life to something meaningful and noble is an experience that is hard to describe. The merit is not their own. It wasn’t achieved entirely by their own efforts, so they should be grateful. It is not for their own evolution. Natural selection helps animal species adapt to their environment. It is dedicating the merit. Positive energy can benefit everyone and this gesture helps to spread it.
You are living your life in service to the wellbeing of all life, including yourself. It’s a reminder that our decisions have an effect on all of us. You are forgetting about yourself in a destructive way when you are doing selfless service. Those were the people we were trying to serve. People who had no idea about money or who had an antipathy to money. Helping people, you know, people live with a political agenda, social change agenda. The opportunity to care for the Earth and create meaningful change in society is provided by permaculture, which is a great way to explore a more sustainable lifestyle. We were trying to change the world. Positive change can be created with the help of all of us. People who knew their lives were more than just money, but didn’t understand money. They had a vision of what they wanted to do, but they didn’t have the money to do it. We help them understand money. We want to help our clients make sound financial decisions. It was a fair world and we started teaching there in 1980. The quality of learning for students has greatly improved since then. When Reagan started to like, it was like jigger the economy. Reagan’s economic policies are still having an effect today. That began to fall apart. I mean like a janitor or garbage collector. I don’t want a career that requires a degree or specialized training, just something to get me by. These are the people who are writing to us about how they are going to realize their dreams while on the fi path. They made me realize that anything is possible if you have the determination and courage to do it. When I encountered the fire movement, I liked the people a lot. I found a place where I could connect with people who share the same values and goals. I like the people who are fun and have a good time, but they don’t seem to have an aspiration. They should challenge themselves to reach for something bigger than just having fun. There is nothing that they are dedicating their FI to. It’s almost as if they’re just letting their future be decided by chance. And so I’ve watched people who fire get a I am going to learn to play a musical instrument and travel, and I have seen some sort of sometimes faltering relationship with Fi. The three things I see are similar. I can learn a lot by looking around. Those are wonderful ways to occupy your time, but they don’t have a purpose. It can lead to feelings of aimlessness and lack of fulfillment. I am curious about that. I’m going to find out more about it. It surprises me. Back in the day, the people who were most successful with the program were engineers. As long as they’re driven and motivated to make their dreams a reality, anyone from any background can find success with the program.
I was so on the right side of the brain that I was surprised that the people got to financial independence where they had more of an engineering mind. It shows that analytical and creative mindsets are equally important in achieving financial success. I was happy with my financial independence, I didn’t have debt, and my basics were covered. I felt like I was in control of my finances. I lived for six years on $100 a month. I wanted to have life experience so I wanted to learn, grow, connect and help people. It freed my time for things that really mattered to me. This freedom allowed me to focus on my passions and prioritize what was important to me. If there was something I would recommend to people in fire, it would not be because volunteering can be boring. I would suggest that people take the time to learn about fire safety and become familiar with what to do in the event of an emergency. If you want to be an artist, you need to do a little art, so to think about, what do I really care about and what can I do now in service to something I really care about. Small steps can add up and help you find your life purpose and fulfill your dreams. That was a really well spent life. It reminds us to make the most of our time here on earth. Who do you like the books that inspire you? By reading books, we can open our minds to new ideas and perspectives that can help us grow as individuals. For some people, it’s the Bible and the Koran, but you can also read things that look for inspiration.
Vicki: Make a scientific breakthrough on something that would save a species by dedicating your passion to the precision of numbers. To protect the environment and its inhabitants, you could use your passion for mathematics to invent new technologies, such as renewable energy sources. I heard a talk by a famous mycologist, who just fell in love with mushrooms early in his life, who studied mushrooms and discovered things about them. I am talking about the healing power of mushrooms. He developed a company that processes the mushrooms so that people can buy them in capsule form. He is passionate about helping people understand the benefits of mushrooms and how to incorporate them into their daily lives. He is researching what is the Mycelium, why do mushrooms go the way that they do, what are the compounds that are in mushrooms? He’s looking into ways to improve human health with the help of mushrooms.
What else can they do? They can try out different hobbies, such as cooking and gardening. You take on something, you find a little thing that you love, and then you say, I’m going to investigate it so that it’s not just me getting high on mushrooms or something, but I’m going to investigate it in such a way that it’s not I could find a way to make the world a better place. I’m determined to put in the hard work necessary to make this a reality. I think. Life will never be boring, that’s what I think. Life will always be interesting. There is always something new to experience. For me, even teaching, your money or your life program, it was just a routine, and I didn’t care if you were famous or not. In the late 80’s, overconsumption was the biggest driver of environmental destruction. The realization made me want to become an environmental advocate. I found out how it is affecting species, how it is affecting the ocean, and how it is affecting the climate. I knew I had to help.
We had been teaching this for 10 years and nobody had the answer to overconsumption. We need to look for more sustainable solutions to address the issue of overconsumption and create a better future for generations to come. I was unstoppable for a decade. I was embarrassed and lonely and I was like the low man on the totem pole. The sense that I am part of something that is grander than I am was the biggest high. It made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself. It is available to everyone because it doesn’t matter what your interest is, you would be interested in computer technology or growing begonias. Everyone can learn something new about computers or begonias, no matter what level of understanding you have. He said, “It doesn’t matter what your entry point is, just something that calls you, that, you know, you’ll do whether they pay you or not, that it’s like you wake up on Saturday morning.” You are the only one who can make a decision, but once you find it, it will be worth it.
You know, like investing, love and attention. It will create a bond with your loved ones that will last a lifetime. I started gardening a million years ago, and then I became interested in the sciences. I decided to enroll in a college course on the subject after discovering my interest in botany. I went to college. I started my career after graduating college. I arranged that I could go to the Botany course. I want to learn more about plants and how they grow. Cool. I was fascinated by what the world was doing and I was able to see it every season. It was always a delight to watch the trees change from season to season. I was able to see the leaf scars in February because I knew the spring was coming. The days were getting longer and the trees were starting to bud, which was a sign that winter was coming to an end. It was very similar. I couldn’t believe how perfect it was. I was engaged because I was curious about why the tomatoes died. I wanted to find out what caused the tomatoes to die.
Grant: You were curious, it sounds like you let yourself grow and discover. You’ve embraced the journey and allowed yourself to explore your potential. A fear of growth is what holds a lot of people back. By facing this fear, we can move forward and experience the positive changes that can come with growth. There is a level of precision that is sold that is kind of unrealistic. How do you know how much money you need for the rest of your life when you are not the same person? It’s important to plan for the future while being open to change. Is there an element of letting go of money as part of the process that maybe people are missing?
Is early retirement the goal? What is real wealth?
Vicki: We didn’t talk about fire, but we talked about fi. It’s a great topic to explore further. Joe? One percent of people who read your money or come to our seminars actually retire early and try to live off of their investment income for the rest of their lives, but only if you develop the system to retire early. The majority of people who pursue this goal are able to achieve financial independence and retire early, but it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. I think that everyone has something about money. Money is something that requires careful consideration and is an important concept to understand. What is my relationship with money? When I spend or save money, what do I do? I think about the long term implications of my decisions when it comes to money, and how they will affect me down the road. What is happening in my relationship with money when I use my app, what is happening with my husband or wife, what is happening with my children about money? I’m always looking for ways to save money and make wise financial decisions, so that I can provide our family with the best possible future.
Money became clear that you weren’t living the life of the society. It seemed like the only way to fit in was to have money. Like society says, you have this boring job, you do it, do it, do it so the clearer relationship with money produced in most people a sense of elevation and it wasn’t about retiring early. They can become financially secure and independent by gaining more skills and knowledge. The mastery of money is not retiring early and they can learn something else when they do another procession. It is being at ease and having a sense of competency, like in the new money or your life. This sense of competency can help you make sound financial decisions. I expanded the idea of wealth because I don’t think money is wealth. True wealth can be found in experiences, relationships, and knowledge. I think your skills and competencies, your abilities, the things you can do for yourself that you can look at, and they are not like, Oh God, call somebody to do it for It is possible to assess the situation and find a way to fix it on your own. I know how important technology is to my life. I learn new ways to use these technologies to make my life more efficient. There is a sense of empowerment. I feel like I have the power to make a difference.
You are the people who love you and you are part of your wealth. The greatest wealth is found in relationships with people who matter the most. There are a lot of people who ask the questions. Every day, those people are making a difference in their communities, and the answer is always a resounding yes. If you were in trouble, how many people could you call? If you were in need of support or someone to talk to, you could reach out to the helpline. A lot of people have no one. This can be isolating and lonely. It is important that you get a sense of belonging, but you are not going to get it by just being around. It’s important that you feel supported and secure so that you can call it home. Neighborhoods and neighbors look out for each other’s kids in the social safety net. This can create a sense of community and strengthen relationships. The social safety nets have four kids in them. Four kids had access to resources outside of social safety nets.
That’s, that’s wealth. We have collapsed everything down into money, meaning, purpose, identity, calling, and devotion. We have forgotten how to appreciate the little things in life that make us happy. We have collapsed all of that into a job. A role that is tailored to your skills and abilities allows you to make the most of your talents. We have become competent in the true tasks of being a human. We want to develop our skills and knowledge so that we can continue to grow and become even better at what we do. The to the zygotes get together is when we work. We are finally seeing the results of our hard work after a long journey. I mean the job of growing a body, the job of learning, and the culture of the job of getting educated. The job of growing a body, learning, and getting educated can be an incredibly rewarding experience and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. That’s work. We’re always working. It is exciting to apply yourself to things. It is a diminishment of being a human to link that with the job. I think it is important to remember that we are more than just our job and should not put our entire identity into one aspect of our lives. It is like we collapse it all down to money, because you are a father, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a son, and a cousin. Money shouldn’t take away from the roles we play in the world. You are connected. The possibilities are endless because you are connected to an incredible network of potential.
Grant: Nice to fly over the water. It makes you feel excited to watch it soar in the sky. I feel you
Money can be put in its place and you can be effective with it if you focus on the fullness of your existence. Money can be used to further your goals and dreams if you are in tune with yourself. You can do that. There are steps you can take to make a positive change in your life. You are maximizing and minimizing. For the best possible outcome, you’re streamlining your process. It becomes a sub routine when you do all that stuff. Adding new activities to your routine will keep it interesting.
Grant: It has been a pleasure to spend the past week with you. I can’t thank you enough for what you did for me. I am so grateful for your support and you have been an important part of my journey. I am excited for the future. I’m ready to face the challenges that come my way. Thanks for listening to the show. I enjoyed sharing my story with you and your audience.
To learn more about Vicki Robin visit Your Money or Your Life.