I just finished rocking my two-year-old before putting her down for her afternoon nap. While rocking her, that sweet little face looked up into mine. She had a binkie in her mouth, but you could see the joy in her eyes and the crinkle in her nose. She is my baby, and she knows it. I love her (and all my girls) more than I could ever say. Rocking my darling baby girl gives me a happiness and a peace that I cannot describe.
I’d do anything for those little ladies. But sometimes I get so caught up with doing other things that I forget my reason for doing the other things to begin with. I lose sight of what I’m working towards, forgetting the end goal.
One of my main streams of happiness is enjoying my children while they are young and relatively untouched by the negatives of the world. Staying at home with them in order to tap into that happiness is a priority I set for myself years ago.
But instead of happily snuggling them all day, reading books, looking into their loving eyes, and giggling over silly nothings, I often busy myself during the day with many other things that aren’t as high on my priority list. Today’s moment of rocking my daughter gave me a sense of clarity of what is really important in my life. It reminded me what makes me happy and what I need more of in my life.
For the blog and for my own personal development goals, I’m focusing on finances this month. Gushing on about my love for my children and what makes me happy may not seem to be in line with that topic. However, there is a connection between the two. It’s about knowing what’s important to us and using these priorities to guide our behavior.
The goal of life is not to swim in piles of money. Instead of thinking of it as an end goal, think of it as the middle man. Money is the means in which you work towards your goals. Money itself is not the goal.
So what is the goal?
Good question. Think about what you want in life. What’s important to you? What makes you happy? Be honest with yourself. You are your own person with your own priorities and your own things that make you happy. Once you figure out your priorities, think about money as a tool to get you where you want to be.
What good is anything without true happiness and contentment? Personally, my happiness in this stage of life comes from feeling safe, warm, and loved. I feel happiest when gently pushing myself, eating well, and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. And loving on my family makes my heart sing. Money itself doesn’t bring me happiness, but I can use it to create an environment that promotes my own happiness.
How do you do that?
Care about where your money is going. To see where you are spending, track your money using an app, a website, a spreadsheet, or even a piece of paper. Are your expenditures going towards a priority for you? You are in charge of your own money; you get to tell your money what to do. Create a budget to make sure your spending aligns with your goals in life. And make sure you are spending money on things that actually matter to YOU.
You should ask a few questions about every expenditure:
Does this matter to me?
Does spending my money here increase my happiness?
Is this a priority to me?
It is so easy to spend money on things that are not in line with your end goals. We spend money to fill emotional voids, to numb reality, and to combat boredom. We have to take a deep look into ourselves to figure out what makes us happy and what’s really important. Then we have to have the courage to use our wealth to build our lives around those answers.
Sometimes we buy things to fill someone else’s expectations or to fill our own ideas of what others expect from us. Each of us are living our own lives. We were each dealt a different hand in life, so we need to work with what we have and what we want and need. Let’s be honest with ourselves.
It’s not about depriving ourselves. It’s about making sure our wants are actually ours and not someone else’s. Know yourself and what you need in your life to be happy. Be brave enough to do what you need to do to be happy. Make your own decisions. Follow your own path.