This month, Philip shares his perspective on the space between financial security and financial freedom.
Nearly 20 years ago, when I was 30 (he says, suddenly realising his age), I read millionnaire and “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” guru Robert Kiyosaki’s second book, The Cashflow Quadrant. It changed my life in many ways, including increasing what Kiyosaki terms my Financial IQ. But most of all it began me thinking about the spectrum of freedom and security.
Financial freedom, Kiyosaki believes, is the key to wealth. It requires a leap of faith, however, to abandon the security of a salary or welfare payment and become self-employed, a business owner and/or investor. Nevertheless, choosing financial freedom was why left my job in 1998 and became self-employed, rather than going on a benefit. I’ve never regretted it.
If you know me well, you’ll be aware I’m not a fan of the monetary system, but we’re stuck with it for now, and better to know how it works than not. The idea of freedom and security reaches a lot wider though.
Finding an individual and collective balance between freedom and security pervades every institution, including justice, education, health and politics, to name a few. It also impacts personal decisions in all matters of life and relationships.
But, it seems to me, only considering them as a polarity, whereby to gain one you must sacrifice the other, is limiting, as it ignores the following paradoxical question:
What is the security in freedom and the freedom in security?
It becomes apparent, in such a tautologous inquiry, that being secure offers freedom from, for example, risk, doubt and fear, while being free offers security against certainty, routine and regulation.
We begin to see that, semantically “freedom from” and “security against” are, in effect, one and the same.
It allows us to understand that in, choosing one we are not, in fact, losing the other. Quite the opposite. By consciously deciding the overt quality of a behaviour or dynamic, we are also subconsiously determining the covert impact its inverse (or shadow) on our lives.
The choice between freedom and security then ceases to feel like a trade off. Rather it takes its useful place as a necessary process of prioritisation, the outcome of which creates the nature of an important space in between two essential aspects of being.
This blog was originally posted on www.philippatston.com. It has been reposted on DPSN with permission.