Margaret Bonanno once said — “Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.”
For me, there’s a sweet spot in between and that’s where these five Japanese techniques come into play.
They’re numbered 1–5 but they’re not in chronological order.
They happened at different times throughout my life and were often on the back of years of personal work. (This is especially true for numbers one to four.)
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for financial or personal freedom, these five techniques have the ability to generate immense wealth and abundance in life. And for that, I’m excited to share them with you now.
A Reason for Being: How to Discover Your Purpose In Life
Finding your ikigai is no mean feat and it can look a million different ways.
What I found extremely eye-opening and helpful was travelling the world, experimenting with a bunch of different activities, finding new and exciting people to learn from, and being open to many ideologies and philosophies. Then I saw what resonated and what didn’t.
I first found my purpose when I became a scuba diving instructor. Then I found it again when I became a Soma Breath facilitator and once more when I became a full-time writer.
So, our Ikigai can change throughout life and it often does. I personally like that because it takes the pressure off.
Every time I’ve found a new direction in life I’ve experienced a deeper meaning to life, I’ve been able to serve others openly and freely, and there’s been a driving force that’s required almost no effort. That’s what’s made them so magical.
If you’re still looking for yours, James Clear has got some solid advice that I can vouch for:
“Before you discover what you love: fewer commitments, more experiments.
After you discover what you love: fewer experiments, more commitments.”
— James Clear
Take Small Steps Toward Big Progress
When I became a full-time writer three years ago, I had to take a lot of small steps to make it real.
I took courses, invested in personal equipment, studied a lot, and created a schedule that worked around my life. It took about six months for me to find my groove but taking small steps every day made the world of difference because it gave signs of progress. And that was all I needed to continue.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain
Today I publish 5-7 blogs a week on Medium and once a week on Substack and I’m comfortably living off both.
So, my best advice would be to start small, create daily habits that support your mission, and then double down when things start moving.
Embrace the Beginner’s Mindset
A beginner is not afraid to explore, be wrong, question, and interrogate what’s in front of them. That’s what a beginner should do and it’s what makes the learning curve so huge.
Shoshin reminds me that curiosity is still king and I love that. It says — “Don’t worry about having all the answers, just keep your eyes open, and learn.”
This helps me embrace the unknown and try new things.
When the fear of failure is replaced with an opportunity to learn and grow, everything changes.
“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few.” ― Shunryū Suzuki (Zen monk and teacher)
Wabi-sabi is all about building on the beginner’s mindset.
Every beginner recognises that they have lots to learn so they’re not as hard on themselves. This allows them to make mistakes, grow, and ultimately evolve.
Without wabi-sabi, things can become rigid and self-critical. So, it’s just as the old Japanese proverb goes: “Even monkeys fall from trees.”
“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist” ― Stephen Hawking
Master Your Finances
In Japan, there’s a saying that roughly translates to “Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched.” (Toranu tanuki no kawa zan’you.)
In other words, get things in order.
It took me 30 years old to realise this. Before that, I was a scuba diving instructor who travelled the world on a shoestring.
Then covid hit and scuba diving was the worst industry to be in (I think it was all of those shared mouthpieces that pushed people over the edge.)
So, I had to get serious about money because my way of making it had changed. That’s when I did what most people did in 2020, I went online and searched for something as generic as, “How to make money online.”
Luckily, one of them was writing and it changed my life.
Once I started getting paid for my words, I then started to build up a savings account that earned interest, I built an emergency fund on the advice of financial experts, and I slowly started investing in cryptocurrencies and ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Now I’m financially stable for the first time in my life and it feels fantastic. But it was only possible when I started taking my finances seriously.
“No path to wealth happens like magic. You’ve got to work at it.” — Tim Denning
A Quick Recap
Here are the five Japanese techniques once more:
Ikigai — A Reason for Being: How to Discover Your Purpose In Life
Kaizen — Take Small Steps Toward Big Progress
Shoshin — Embrace the Beginner’s Mindset
Wabi-Sabi — Accept Imperfection
Kakeibo — Master Your Finances
Contributed by Andy Murphy
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