How often you come across a social media profile or an article where someone is talking about leaving their job or school to travel across the world? How many times you wonder “I wish I could do that’? But due to your career and financial responsibilities, you can not become a monk who sold his Ferrari.
What if I tell you that you can be ‘A Monk who kept his Ferrari” and was still happy.
We all have desires to travel, visit new places, meet new people, pursue a hobby, be an artist or just be in a holiday mood. All of us cannot afford just to take off for months without taking care of rent, school semester, payments and all those responsibilities and duties. There is nothing wrong with it either; we should have a career path and something to look forward to when we wake up every morning. Little struggles in life make it interesting and worth living. A painting is not made by just one shade, and similarly, life cannot be made up with just one shade either. First of all, do not feel you are the only one entangled in the responsibilities, it is not true, and everyone has their own struggle. Do not let yourself consume by the feeling of wishing to live someone else’s life.
I love to travel, and I am not a millionaire therefore I work and go to school plus I deal with day-to-day stuff just like we all do. And I do travel more than an average person does per year (6-7 times a year). You do not have to give up on your full-time job or school to travel or be spiritual or to keep up with your hobbies. Let me tell you five magic tricks that will help you to a happy monk and will let you keep your Ferrari as well –
Simplify Your Life
You do not have to leave your house looking for happiness; you just need to be connected to yourself. De-clutter your mind and simplify your life by keeping a journal. You cannot start a journey without a map or have an idea about routes. Journal will work as your roadmap in your life’s journey. I have multiple goals in my life because I want to be everything from a Business-owner to a Buddha. I have categories for my goals – Career, Health, Social, Spiritual, Blog, Travel, and Financial. I write down things under each one of them. You are free to use this template if you like and of course, you can make yours depending on your goals. Sometimes you just think about so many things, and your mind is screaming “I want this” “I want that too” But when you sit down and write your priorities, you will be surprised some things, and some people will not make it to that list. Know your goals, prioritize them, focus on them and eliminate the rest. Simple.
Use Phone Apps Such As Reminders, Notepads, Calendars, Budget
Life gets busy, and it is hard to keep up with so many gadgets and carry them around, use your phone to keep you organized and aligned with your goals. There are useful apps such as calendar, reminder, notepad, blogger, Myfitnesspal, budget, that will keep track of your goals and progress. It works as a friendly reminder. Do not over do by downloading ten apps for one purpose. If you do not like to keep a hard copy of a journal, download it on your phone. An important side note, make sure you backup your phone regularly, just in case if you lose it or it fell off from your pocket while you were setting a dance floor on fire.
Planning and Time Management
Once you have your goals in a line, next step is allotting resources to each one of them. Time is the greatest resource of them all. More time you spend on something more likely you will be doing it for rest of your life. Therefore, stop wasting your time on things which did not make it your list. Let go of past mistakes and burden and free your mind. Each of us has same 24 hours and how we use them to make us who we are. Planning and Time Management can save you time, money and energy. Rather than buying last minutes travel tickets, accommodations, shopping, plan at least 2-3 months ahead and avoid the pain of stress. If you use this magic trick, you will find time to indulge in activities that you enjoy.
Sign-up for an Automatic Savings Account
Most of our goals need some monetary backup; therefore financial planning plays a major role in our life. We all work towards a goal which will require us to save some money however we tend to get lazy and ignore this monetary aspect. Very simple solution, sign up for an automatic savings account monthly withdrawal. Pay your bank a quick visit or call them, request them to set up an automatic transfer to your savings account. Forget about that money unless you are using it for your designated goal or an emergency (and remember shopping for clothes and shoes are not an emergency). I have signed up for a Tax-free Savings Account which is separate from my main bank account and does not even show up on the Bank Account Statement. Out of sight, out of mind theory works well for me!
Choose Your Credit Card and Credit Limit Wisely
There are so many fancy credit cards available with lots of incentives ranging from cash back and travel points. If you can save up while you are spending, then why not! Book an appointment with your bank and tell them your financial goals, they will suggest you a credit card depending on your priorities; mine is with travel points and low annual fees. Sometimes there are very nice offers and travel bonus points to start with. Request your credit card company to waive annual fees at least for an introductory year. Make sure you do not have high credit card limit, we tend to fall off the wagon and over-spend. Your credit card limit should be less than your paycheck. If you are a frequent traveler, check out airlines credit cards and mileage memberships to accumulate points for your future travel. When it comes to a credit card, make sure you are financially educated to avoid late fees and high-interest rates. Use an automatic payment withdrawal to avoid the stress of reminding yourself to go to the bank or online to pay bills. You make sure that there is enough money available in your account when your payments are due, and let automatic payment system take care of the rest.
Life is short, and there are so many things to do and so many places to explore. Mindfulness and Self-Awareness will help you create both peace and productivity. Peace is not about doing or going somewhere; it is about being. If you want to be a Monk who can keep his Ferrari – and still be happy – you need to look at how you live, and how you use your mind.