I have big dreams. My friends, clients, and colleagues also have dreams and ambitions. If you aren’t already one of the above, I’m sure you have dreams too.
If you work hard and have some luck, you will someday move from the dreaming stage to the planning stage – determining the actions that will move your plan forward. There are many great tools to help you make a plan for financial independence (try this simple planner or this more complex version), but what will you spend your money and time doing once you get there?
Make some Big Dreams
One of the best things you can do is set some goals or dreams for the future. Then, go and try them – now! This is a key to our 10 Rules of Life Rule 7: To be Rich, Spend Money on What You Love. Don’t put off what you love to do!
We suggest you begin by identifying your BHAGs – the Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals you have for the future. This helps identify how you want to spend your time. Other considerations include:
- Where do you want to live? You may not know the exact place(s), but what are they like? A tropical climate? A city? A place from your past?
- Who will you live with or near? Companions are important – who are the family or friends you want to be near?
- What features do you want in your home? A view? Privacy?
- What items do you want to have? A boat? A plane? A fancy car? Fun toys? Are you rich enough to want your own rocket to space?
- What experiences do you want to have? Do you want to live on a golf course or ski mountain? On a lake or the ocean? In a city? Near shopping or entertainment?
Don’t limit your dreams – during the planning stage be sure to have ambitious dreams. Once you try them out you are probably going to eliminate a bunch of them!
Try out your Big Dreams
Many of our dreams for the future should really be tested before we add them to our plan. People often discover what they really want is easier and cheaper to get than they thought.
I read a Tony Robbins book a few years ago where he showed that many of our wildest dreams are actually well within reach, once we make a few minor adjustments. For example, the dream of “owning a jet” seems out of reach for most of us, with costs in the tens of millions for the plane, crew, hangar space, maintenance, etc. But what if you adjust the goal to “fly on a private jet when I travel” for several trips per year? You can do this for only a few hundred thousand dollars. Flying first class is comfortable and about 10% of the cost of a private jet – with less planning.
I am currently having fun traveling to places I may want to live once I retire. Not only do I get to explore different states, the Caribbean, European cities, etc., but it is fun spending a week or two living in these places so I can see what my future could be like. Some places move up the list while others get crossed off the list after the experience.
An Example from the “My First Million” Podcast
Watch ten minutes or so from one of my favorite podcasts, My First Million. Hosts Sam Parr and Shaan Puri share some times they have benefitted from a “try before you buy” mentality.
Both Sam and Shaan believe in the Personal Kaizen 10 Rules of Life concept in Rule 7: To be Rich, Spend Money on What You Love. They share where they have sampled dream lifestyles for short periods of time. Some of the lifestyle choices they have tried are worth it, but several of these dream lifestyles disintegrate once put to the test.
Enjoy the testing!
A side benefit of “testing your big dreams” is discovering what you love and should spend $ on versus the things that aren’t that important to you. The next time you see someone with that fancy car maybe you will have a different perspective – instead of jealousy, envy, or lust for the car you may realize what a hassle that car is to service, keep clean, or even get out of!