My friend and I were talking about our plans for 2017. Neither of us set resolutions anymore, we create themes, or identfy areas where we want to make changes. They are not ‘SMART’ – Specific, Measurable, Attainable Relevant and Timely. They are often not specific, but based on vague feelings we have. They are measurable only in terms of our happiness and levels of fulfillment. They are always attainable and relevant, but we never stick to a timeframe.
During what has become an annual discussion we both agreed that having more experiences and making memories was a big thing for us both. Then came the question; what do you call it when you redirect your spending from the frivolous type, towards the more meaningful long lasting type.
I discovered the Fulfilment Curve on the website www.getrichslowly.org
It was a revelation, and one that coincided with discovering lifestyle design. At 23 it felt like I was discovering the secret, and it resonated.
The fulfillment curve was the next bit of the puzzle. I had something to aim at, and it was called ‘enough’. I busied myself identifying what was enough for me. I soon had a list of criteria that if I achieved, would signify enough for me. I got to work…
It was the Christmas following my 30th birthday when I realised that we were there. We had enough. We both had jobs we enjoyed which remunerated us fairly. I was self employed doing work which was both fulfilling and compatible with my illness. We were settled into our new three bedroom house. Nothing fancy, but enough. We owned two cars. We could afford to give Erin what she needed, and we could afford at least one family holiday a year. We’d arrived at enough.
It was a great feeling, if a little strange. Our modest goals had been achieved, but with no framework, and no clear next step, we were unsure what to do next. The first year was great, we treated ourselves and took our foot off the financial brake. It was fun for a bit, and then as the graph shows it got unfulfilling.
Until recently I didn’t know what came after enough. I realise now, it’s purposeful spending.
With a clear purpose in life, you have real meaning, and it’s towards this purpose that any additional funds should be directed once you have achieved enough. Our purpose as humans is not simply to consume. Whether it be exploring and developing your passion, supporting your children, or philanthropic or charitable work – deep down you know what your purpose is – and once you have enough, you are in the fortunate position of being able to spend purposefully.