On the way to financial freedom, many of us will have to learn how to adapt our mindset, spending, our goals, adjust to new lifestyle choices, adapt to new priorities, and to a financially independent lifestyle (when financial independence finally happens).
Throughout the history of humanity, to be able to survive we all had to learn how to adapt. Unfortunately, the more comfortable people become, the less they want to venture towards new territories if adapting new skills were required on that quest. Of course, any type of change is scary, but nothing in life is constant, and transition can be exciting, especially when the change brings a positive shift all around.
When it comes to financial independence, flexibility goes hand in hand with the ability to adapt to new circumstances, unpredictable market losses and new opportunities that can get people out of their comfort zone.
Flexibility and adaptability are great skills to have in your repertoire, they bring with them peace of mind, which can translate to less stress and anxiety. Knowing that whatever happens in life, you can scale down on expenses without feeling deprived, is a great example of adapting.
I used to feel deprived if I couldn’t afford to buy a cup of coffee or a cake when I was out and about. But these were issues, which I needed to deal with. Now, I see that particular situation in a different light. I swap deprivation (such a negative, heavy word) with choice. I choose not to buy something; I choose not to do something; these are all my choices that don’t reflect on who I am, what I have achieved or what I stand for.
I wasn’t always so comfortable with my choices but what empowered me was knowing that the money I earn I could put into good use, towards my investments’ portfolio (thank you JL Collins and Mr Money Mustache) , which will benefit my family and me. Accumulated wealth over a long period gives much more than a split second of happiness the first sip of coffee could ever offer. To accumulate all that wealth, people need to start somewhere. And cutting down on non-essential spending is a good start.
I used to buy lots of clothes during summer and winter sale. To accommodate that hobby of mine, I needed to clean my closet (give it away to a charity) perfectly good fashionable, hardly worn clothes. I did all that only because I felt pressured to look good, and I also believed that I worked hard enough, so I earn it—nothing more misleading than that. Of course, I deserved to do whatever I wanted with my money but supporting fashion brands that care very little about sustainability was simply silly.
If I wanted to be financially independent, I had to learn how to make better choices and adapt my thinking in such a way that I would never be tricked again by the brands, marketers or the social pressure to think that I was less only because I didn’t do what everyone else was doing.
I feel that the journey towards financial independence isn’t only about saving up and investing. It’s also, or maybe first of all about an inward journey helping people realise what is the most important for them in life while dropping along the way all the other fluff they don’t need.
In the long run, adaptation skills and flexibility help reduce stress and anxiety. Taking the fear, stress, and anxiety out of the equation is a massive positive lifestyle shift.
For me learning how to adapt to every situation while discovering who I truly am is definitely worth the effort and hard work.