I grew up in a poor family.
Or at least I thought so, until I realised that there is a disturbing amount of people who are actually poor, and I really have no clue what poverty looks like.
So, yes, I am aware that I speak from a privileged position of a white lower-middle-class male with an EU passport and higher education, but that doesn’t render my experience invalid. And I did grow up with a feeling of being denied things and experiences, because, as my mum was saying repeatadly ”we can’t afford it”, which left me doubting my worth and installed some fucked-up patterns deep inside my personality.
I’m actually very happy that I couldn’t afford stuff, as it pushed me to look for alternatives. And those experiences, like hitchhiking (because I couldn’t afford a bus or plane), dumpster-diving, and Rainbow Gatherings, shaped me into who I am today, and I wouldn’t swap my experience for any amount of $€£.
On the other hand, I’m quite confident that there’s plenty of money to go around for everyone (myself included), and I know that to do my best work, I can’t be worrying about affording healthy food.
That is if I want to be using money at all (and I know that there are people who are thriving without it), but it’s a choice I’m making because I don’t feel ready (yet?) for a lifestyle completely removed from the financial system.
And that brings the ”million dollar” question (pun intended):
How can I make a comfortable living, so I can focus on doing meaningful work?
For context, I’m doing my best work in personal development (think helping people grow) and experience design (think designing and facilitating growth-enhancing experiences). And that triggers an immediate conflict in my head 🚨:
How do I put financial value on personal development?
How can I share my knowledge and skill with people who can benefit from it but not always can afford it, while being financially sustainable and acting from a place of Love and Abundance?
It’s a tough nut to crack. And I know that I’m not the only one who’s cracking it.