Imagine coming into a sudden windfall of money. Perhaps you’ve won a settlement, received an inheritance, or happened to purchase that winning lottery ticket. What do you do next? How do you adjust to financial independence, and how do you sustain it? Money can be wonderful, but it won’t be a solution to all of your problems. It can amplify good habits as well as bad. Below are suggestions to help safeguard against some of the pitfalls that accompany new financial freedom.
Find a purpose
The old saying about idle hands is true, and having a road map toward a goal can help detour from many common mistakes. Rather than wasting your time sleeping late and binge-watching Netflix, try finding something you want to achieve and turn it into your purpose. Don’t worry; an exercise to help you discover a purpose is below.
Commit to self-work
If you have bad habits, you no longer have the excuse of not having the time or money to fix them. A great start is focusing on your health. Try walking at least 15 minutes a day or maybe take a yoga class. Perhaps try one of YouTube’s many guided meditations. If you have bad spending habits, this would be an opportune time to meet with a wealth therapist to learn the tools needed to sustain your financial independence. The key is discipline. As your self-work continues, your confidence will grow, and your purpose will become more clear.
Contribute to society
Nothing propels self-growth like giving back and leaving the world a better place. Being philanthropic is an option, but one of the best commodities you can give is your time. Mixing something you enjoy with helping others is rewarding on many levels. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, advocate for at-risk youth or become a hospice volunteer. There are many ways to give back that can enrich you spiritually and mentally. There is nothing more gratifying than leaving a legacy of helping those in need.
What’s next and how do I find my purpose?
Next is the big question. How do you find your life’s purpose? Here are six steps to help answer that question. Grab a sheet of paper or open a new document on your computer, and answer the following questions.
- What are your lifetime goals?
- How do you envision your next 5 years?
- If you had only 6 months left to live, how would you want to spend them?
- Read over the previous 3 questions and compose a list of your most valuable goals.
- Form a personal mission statement.
- Walk away from your mission statement. After several days come back and revisit it, making any necessary changes.
Being financially independent doesn’t mean all problems will be automatically solved. Old problems are replaced with new ones, and having self-discipline and a clear plan in place is essential for achieving the ultimate goal of contentment with your new lifestyle.