If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do? Some people may think this is a waste of brain power. Not me. I think there is a lot of value from thinking about your life if money were no issue. Why? Because while mapping out our ideal life without thinking about money, it shows you what you really care about, what you are really interested in, and what you should be focusing your energy on. This was a simple exercise I did a few months ago, and I check in on it every so often to remind myself what this life should really be about.
When mapping out your ideal life, make a list of your hobbies and interests, things you want to learn or do, places you want to see, what your morning and afternoon routines would look like, how you would eat, where you would live, and what you would do to challenge yourself or to make you uncomfortable. These are just a few starting points that you can start to map out. After you have a general list of things you want, go ahead and make a weekly schedule. Draw out a normal week, Monday through Sunday and what you would do if you had to organize your week full of hobbies, activities, and so on. Obviously, you wouldn’t be working a normal 9-5 (or maybe you still would) so there needs to be something that fills your days. For me, my weekly schedule was filled with hiking, golfing, dance lessons, cooking lessons, Jiu Jitsu, exercise and so on. I list each day out and the times I would do the activity on each day. I found the more specific you get with your day and the activities, the more caught up in it I got. Don’t be ashamed of this. Let your mind go off into imagination land. Keep your mind open to any ideas you get during this exercise.
I didn’t think this exercise was a waste of time at all. In fact, I found it to be very valuable. As I got caught up in the idea of living without having to think about money, I unknowingly wrote down everything I wanted to do during this lifetime. All those things I just listed above is exactly how I want to live my life. Full of fun and challenging activities. Furthermore, it made me stop and think about doing some of those things now. As a result, I started taking dance lessons. I enjoy hiking, which I do whenever I get the opportunity, but after this exercise, it made me want to get out there even more. Same with travel. This exercise made me realize that I can do a lot of the things that I listed right now! I don’t have to wait until I become a multimillionaire. Now sure, winning the lottery would help free up some time to take advantage of those activities even more, but I can still get a lot done with the time and budget I have right now.
This simple exercise showed me what I should be doing now and not to put off the things that really make me happy. In addition, this exercise was motivating and gave me some clarity on how to get to a point in life where I am financially independent to the point where I have the time and cash flow to do these things whenever I want to. Give this silly exercise a try. It may put a smile on your face. It may motivate you to work hard to be able to provide these things for you or your family. Or it may show you what you should really be spending your time on right now. Why put these things that make you happy off for another day that may never come? Start it now!