“People ask me if I’m ever gonna get a real job. I just shrug. If I won the lottery, this is exactly what I’d be doing. I spend all winter snowboarding then surf in the summer. I’m already a millionaire in my mind. I’m never gonna be one in real life. But I am up here. That’s what you want in life, isn’t it?”
I’m coming up to 30 and I’m not yet where I want to be in life. This is not a unique position to be in. In fact, I imagine most 29 years olds are in the same boat. And 30 years olds. 31 year olds… Any age. I’d like to change this.
In truth, I don’t completely buy the whole ‘you create your own circumstances’ spiel spouted by so many positive psychologists and motivational bloggers. Personally, I think that’s the cry of the privileged or those completely ignorant of the realities of the world we live in. Those miraculous underdog champions the media so loves to show off are proportionately few and far between. Many will always struggle and fail to better their position, now matter how much they work. That’s just life.
Yet, despite admitting that, I sincerely believe there’s a lot you can control. More than most of us realise. And the harsh reality I’ve just acknowledged does not mean you shouldn’t try to better yourself or position. It does not mean it’s impossible.
The quote at the top came from the bearded mouth of my very first surf instructor. Frizzy haired. Tattoo sleeved. Belly out. Smile on his face.
I put it down on paper as soon as I got the chance, for fear of forgetting. It was beautifully simple. Like good wisdom is. And it’s been on my mind since returning from Cornwall.
How he’s living- that’s what I wanted. It’s what I want.
The simple premise- to live life as if you were already a millionaire.
How exactly do you go about doing that? How do you achieve the level of contentment this guy showed?
I figured you do it by asking the question:
If I was a millionaire, what would I be doing with my time?
Now, once you’ve gotten past the mental picture of jet setting, partying, penthouses, a shopping spree, infinity pools and perhaps a Scarface sized mound of coke, what would you be doing? If you had the time and the freedom. If work or whatever wasn’t in the way.
I started thinking about it and began to boil things down.
Writing. Exercise. Physical activities. Learning. Photography. Reading a shed load. Seeing or doing random things I’ve never seen or done before. Saving the world.
What I’ve just described might not seem all that exciting to you. Thats what you’d do if you a millionaire?! Yes. Don’t get me wrong, I’d party and travel and all that, but you can’t do that 24 hours a day for the rest of your life. Not without medical assistance. The stuff I just listed is what a great deal of my time would be spent on.
So, I became determined this week to start moving towards this millionaire feeling I so desire…
Writing- two blog posts written (including this one). An hour and a half set aside a day to work on the first edit of my film script.
Exercising- a shake up of what I’ve been doing for the last couple of months. A nice change up of routine to keep me interested and improving. Lunchtimes during the working week to break up the day.
Physical activities- sadly, there’s no surfing around Liverpool but there’s good indoor climbing. A session with a mate proved to be both a good laugh and a decent workout on my skill level.
Learning- this thing keeps popping up on my Facebook feed- the best free online courses. You may have seen it. I always kept saying to myself I’d look into it, marking the site for future reference and never getting round to it. This week I made myself look at it and signed up to a couple of courses. Just a couple that take a few hours to complete, to get me going.
Photography- on an excursion round Liverpool I have planned for the weekend, the iPhone will be out while I look for what I think are decent shots. I’ve also pulled out the photography textbook I bought a few months back and only got halfway through.
Reading a shed load- one night a week. I can give myself one night a week. Without any writing, exercising, learning, going out with friends, watching nonsense TV or browsing social media. And just read a book. I read fast. I can clear a lot of a novel in a few hours. Finish one I started down in Cornwall.
Seeing or doing random things- the Jackson Pollock exhibit at the Tate. The Mayan exhibit at the museum. A free ticket to a Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance mixed with a ballet…sounds a bit nuts but sure, sign me up.
Save the world- okay so capes, utility belts and armour are out. But a growing interest of mine is green business. I wonder if combined with writing, there might be something there to help with. I’m signing up to a sustainable business course on one of the free online providers to get me up to speed.
Relatively small actions. I won’t be completing my script, I won’t be setting a new PB on my pull up count, getting a new degree, selling my prints, reading a library, visiting one of the seven wonders or ending global poverty. But I’ll be spending more time, knowingly, in that millionaire mindset Taffy talked about.
The numbers in my bank account won’t have changed. Actually, that’s not true, the amount will have decreased after some of the above activity. But isn’t that the point of money, finding value in its use? And wouldn’t I be spending it if I was a millionaire? I certainly wouldn’t be hoarding it for bragging rights. So with this little bit of spending on the exhibits, the climbing, gym membership etc, I’ll be catching a glimpse of what I’m after.
And this, I believe, will be the trick. To claw my way to a position where my time spent on my millionaire activities outweighs the time spent not. A continual increase until the balance shifts, one day. And I’m living the life I want. With or without the 7 figures in the bank. Sure, there’s more to go. Like turning what I love to do into an earning function and finding somewhere to live that’s more suitable to my interests (the coast, it would appear). But this is just the first week. Only lottery wins make the overnight millionaires. This is a good start. Recognising I’m doing what I want to do is the key.
Why wait for a financial situation that may never come when you could live and feel something akin to it, immediately?
What would you be doing if you were a millionaire?
What can you do right now?