Chapter 6: Joy or How the heck to really enjoy this Journey to Financial Freedom and Nirvana?

6.1 How to avoid living with an ankle monitor?


Are you living with an ankle monitor? What does it mean?  Is it ‘natural’ to have a mid-life, existential crisis? How do you get rid of your ankle monitor? How is decision-making different then? What is ‘Frame of Reference’ and how is this useful to review your goals?
 
It would be a sad story if your journey to reach financial freedom seems like you are under house arrest and every holiday feels like you are on parole- out on a bail but required to report back on time. And you hope to experience freedom after you’ve finished serving the required time under house arrest which in polite language is called retirement. When you are under house arrest, you are restricted to living in the house and can’t leave the premises. So, life seems normal until you want to leave the house because that’s when the person knows he is actually a prisoner. You may have seen some Hollywood movies where they put an ankle monitor on the person under arrest, on parole. The way this works is that the person is allowed to move freely but only in a certain area in the city or town. If he attempts to leave that area the police arrest him and put him behind bars. This is like an house arrest on a bigger scale, possible thanks to electronic monitoring devices and GPS. 
 
Society has a much more sophisticated monitoring system that you can’t even see but it is working on keeping you within a certain boundary even without your knowledge. Let’s see how.
 
Let’s for a moment assume that you enjoy chopping wood and carrying water and did it every day without fail. Now, suppose your in-laws came to stay with you and saw you do this every day and you overhear their conversation with their daughter, your wife which goes something like this, “why is he doing these menial jobs, is something wrong, has he lost his job or his mind, because he seems to be enjoying it. Doesn’t he have something better to do with his talent and time?”  Now whether you like or dislike your in-laws some part of your mind picks this up and a thought occurs to you, “what am I doing chopping wood and carrying water, this is not the best use of my time and talent, I am wasting my time doing this when there are so many important things that I need to do.” So, while there is a part of you doing the task there is another part that is running it down and finds it below its status to be doing this. This is the starting of an existential crisis. 
 
An existential crisis is the feeling of unease people experience about meaning, choice, and freedom in life. This existential anxiety often causes people to feel that life is inherently pointless and has no meaning.
 
And what is the ankle monitoring system. It is the social norms, values, the dos and don’t that you have been told since you were a child and continues to tell you. The moment you do something that is outside what is considered within socially acceptable norms, you are ‘hauled up’ through disapprovals by many people including the ones consider to be significant in your life. 
 
There are different ways people handle this situation. To live in harmony with others and because they want their approval, they give up actions that trigger the ankle...........Read More

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