Do you ever feel like you're working way too hard to make something happen? Like you're struggling and it just isn’t working out for you?
I want to tell you a very simple but powerful story about somebody I know that ran into that same problem, and how they were able to address it.
It all centers around creating a lifestyle that we most want, and how much we’re willing or able to wait for it.
A lot of us have been raised to believe that everything takes hard work. To be clear, most things that are worth doing do require hard work at some point. Usually you've got to break the gravity of the situation—to get out of the habit or rut that you’re in, and make something happen.
But not everything that's worth having needs to take a lot of effort forever. More importantly, delaying gratification for the sake of it is not always the best answer.
Sometimes it's necessary to wait to get what we want, and sometimes we can have it pretty much right away, if we can just shift the way we see things.
I’m going to tell you a story about a teacher and a young executive I know. The young executive was working at a company, and doing pretty well financially. He was probably making about twice as much as his friend, the teacher, was making.
The young executive had a goal to live on the beach. He was looking at the property values and thought, “Okay if I do the math and save my money, probably by the time I'm 50 I can live on the beach.” This young executive was only 25 at the time, so he has a 25-year plan to live on the beach, and in the meantime he was living in a smart part of town.
In other words, there were good property values in his area, and his property was going to rise and rise in value, and eventually he would be able to use that money and buy another property.
He was also putting aside money in his 401K, in his mutual fund. He would put aside 10% of his money. He was doing all these different things with the goal that he would eventually be able to live on the beach.
In other words, he was very responsible: coloring within the lines, and doing all the things that most people are taught to do.
Then one day, his friend the teacher had a get-together at his place. The young executive got the address and went there, and was shocked to find that the teacher was living two blocks from the beach.
The teacher was making about half of what the executive was making at this point, but the teacher had already achieved what this young executive had hoped to achieve in 25 years’ time.
The executive didn’t understand how this was possible, but, pretty quickly, he was able to figure it out. For a start, the teacher was living in a one-bedroom studio apartment, not a huge house. The teacher was single, so didn’t need a big place.
The teacher might not have been looking right over the ocean, but he was two blocks away, and could be on the beach in five minutes every morning, if he wanted.
He wasn't really concerned with owning a house right on the beach, or with the value of the property. He just wanted the experience. Simply put, he wanted to be able to live close enough to the beach that he could go there whenever he wanted, to watch the sunrise, without getting in the car.
This is a great example of how this person, the teacher, was so focused and so clear about exactly what he wanted, that he could go right for it. Compare this with the executive, who only half-knew what he wanted. He had such a specific vision that he thought it had to look a certain way, so he had to go about getting it in one specific way.
Yet, with a slight shift in his vision, that executive was later able to live on the beach much earlier than he thought he would be able to, and on other beaches in other parts of the world. I happen to know, because I'm that executive.
Once I found out that my teacher friend was doing that, I was able to live on the beach in Florida and later in Lima, Peru, where my wife is originally from.
I've never owned a place on the beach, and I still don't own a place on the beach. But I was able to experience it by renting. What a concept!
I was able to do that, thanks to something as simple as getting really clear what I most wanted. This kept me from making more mistakes, like I had been doing up until then in order to speed up my goal of owning a house on the beach. These mistakes included trying to make too much money too quickly in the stock market, and losing most of it.
But once I’d realized that I wasn't really looking to own the place on the beach, I just wanted to be close to the beach, I was able to be more sensible. I got to spend about five years of my life living near the beach all together, and I loved every minute of it.
I don’t live on the beach now, but I live near it, just a few minutes away.
This story is just a simple example of how sometimes the things we are looking to do aren't as difficult as we first thought. We just have to be clear on what we actually want.
When I talk to you about creating a 4-day work week lifestyle, I want you to understand that it’s not rocket science. I’m not trying to make you into a doctor or a movie star just to make enough money to make it happen. I’m also not trying to get you to live like a hermit in a shack. There are so many in-betweens, and I'm just showing you some fundamentally sound ways to get what you most want in life.
You might not even want to work 4 days. For example, maybe your kids are in school, so you just want to work when they’re in school, and be off when they’re off. In that case, you might have already figured out that being a teacher or being in the administration at a school might be one of the ways to get that lifestyle. Or you could start your own business.
But if that’s what you want to do, you would also want to make sure that you make enough money so that when the summer vacation comes, you can actually take the summer off without having to get a second job.
As I’ve said again and again, a lot of this is about getting very clear exactly what you want, and making it possible by understanding this without getting caught up in anybody else's definition.
You might decide that it's not exactly 4 days. Yours might look slightly different, and that’s fine. But you can create a lifestyle where you're making the time to do all the things you most want do. Where you can enjoy the time with the people you love most, doing the activities you love. Where you are able to afford that lifestyle on an ongoing basis that you enjoy, that you're happy to be a part of and that you want to continue living.
It’s funny: so many of my friends who are beach volleyball players have already created something very similar to a 4-day work week lifestyle. It amazes me that it's so easy for them to do it, because that's what they're focused on. At the same time, so many of my executive friends that are making 3, 5, or even 10 times what some of my beach volleyball buddies are making still don't have the lifestyle that they want.
This is not about money. It can be about money, and of course, more money is always a good thing. But overall, this is about you getting clear about what you most want to create for you and your loved ones or your family to enjoy the life you most desire.
Whether that takes you a year, 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years, it’s so worth it. It took me 22 years to lock it in for good, and I don’t regret it at all.
I hope you find this advice helpful. If you're looking for strategies to go deeper into the process of creating your 4-day work week lifestyle, subscribe to the videos or the audios, if you haven’t already.
You can also go to 4daygameplan.com and, as my gift to you, get access to the 4-Day Work Week Game Plan, a training and coaching series that will help you to plan and create your 4-day work week lifestyle. There are some great tools on there that help you to plan out your 4-Day Work Week Game Plan of how you're going to get to 4 days.
And, if you have any questions, either put them in the comment section below or reach out to me—you can find my contact information here.
As always, I look forward to helping you create the lifestyle you most desire so you can Make More Money… In Less Time, Doing What You Do Best.
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