Monday, August 11, 2008

What does financial independence mean to you?

A freedom that brings with it more responsibility!

Disclaimer: This post has a lot of indirect references to experiences from my personal life. I am just making an attempt to connect those innumerable dots and trying to make sense out of it. The following is an attempt to answer one such question that has haunted me for quite some time now. I have tried to put forth my point of view on this subject.

My current mood is one of total discombobulation. As I wrote before, I have been constantly battling out with my mind to find answers to a few questions in my life. I some how have figured out a logical reasoning to a few of them but a lot of them still remain pending for a more profound thought process.

One thing I always have found necessary is that if ever you want to feel independent, it almost always begins with you becoming financially self sufficient. Financial self sufficiency not only gives you a sense of freedom but also gives you an inexplicably great feeling of security. The feeling of having the choice of to decide what you wanna do with the money you earn is simply great! You bid farewell to those good old days where you are dependent on someone for your pocket money. Suddenly you start to take ownership of all your expenses. When I look back at the day I got my first salary, I still remember how happy I was. I sensed a true feeling of independence. I also happen to realize that I had gotten a bit more responsible as well. It had brought in me a great confidence, a sense of accomplishment and a sense of subtle joy that I could, from there on take on bigger responsibilities and help my parents in whatever the small way I could, to make life more easier for them and for myself.

I somehow feel that every individual at some point or the other would want to take charge of their lives and decide for themselves as to what they would be doing with their lives. One of the basic requirements for such a thing to happen is financial self-sufficiency. When you are confident enough to say, "I will take care of myself, come what may!", life suddenly begins to appear so different. You will start to realize that life offers you with a great chance to choose. And I swear... If there is one thing you would ever want to be gifted with for a life time, it would undoubtedly be the ability to choose, for life is all about choices!

Don't you think you would appear very fragile and helpless if you are financially dependent on others? I strongly feel that at least after a point in life, when you are very much capable of making a livelihood of your own, you should start to take things seriously and act up on it. If you don't realize that, gradually people around you would start to disrespect you and even before you realize what damage you did to your life, you would have reached a point of no return! Trust me, it kills your confidence.

Having said so much about removing the financial dependencies from your life, I strongly believe that it shouldn't isolate you from the other relationships in your life. Having read multiple times about how the same 'financial independence' has resulted in shallow marital relationships, I feel that it should handled very carefully. If you start to exercise your freedom a bit too much, you definitely might land yourself in to trouble. One needs to learn how to strike a balance between his freedom and his duties.

At the end of the day, what one would need is a confidence to say, "I am in charge of my own life. I'll take care of myself." It is very essential that one should learn how to use this independence and not abuse it.

I would love to hear your views on the same as well.

Note: It is a humble request to all those readers of this post to please read through the comments before they comment. B'coz you know what? I'm tired of making myself clear on this one!

~IT's My Life

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13 comments:

Harish - ಹರೀಶ said...

When you say "I'll take care of myself", pakka samjho ki you are on the wrong path.

You can't declare you can take care of yourself just because you have money. There are many things which money can't do.

A child, which is completely dependent on its parents will never have any type of insecurity; nor does it feel any dependency. It has complete faith in its parents. So why do we feel it? Don't you think it's a damage to that very relation which makes you feel insecure as you grow up?

Once you tighten your relationships with others, you'll feel much more comfortable as well as secure. You know what, richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

As they say, "It's all in the bloody mind".

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Harish,

Why is it that I am misunderstood each time? Anyways... I have gotten used to it now:)


When I said I'll take care of myself, I meant not to depend on others for fulfilling your basic necessities of life. I didn't mean to banish all relationships in your life totally. They are two different things all together.

All I meant was getting financially self sufficient gives you that golden opportunity to help your parents in a way so that you can take on their responsibility and do your bit of help.

Money definitely isn't everything. I know that. But it definitely means a thing or two to become dependent on others for money. One shouldn't do that after a point in time. I would never ever encourage that!

I see now harm in doing that. Do you?

Harish - ಹರೀಶ said...

Oh-o.. I was not talking about any dilapidated relationship.

My point is, you CAN BE happy and self-sufficient without money also.

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Harish,

Happiness hasn't got anything to do with money. But being self sufficient without money... Well. I need to know what self sufficiency you are pointing to. I meant it in terms of fulfilling your day today expenses and stuff like that.

Harish - ಹರೀಶ said...

Well, money is a basic need. But, one seldom needs anything apart from food cloth and shelter (as a necessity). Most people living in this world have the ability to feed themselves and live, and thus, are self-sufficient. One doesn't have to be in the gravy to say he's self-sufficient.

>> Why is it that I am misunderstood each time? Anyways... I have gotten used to it now

When you say "I'll take care of myself" it definitely sounds harsh.
May be you need to be more careful while choosing your words..

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Harish,

I din't mean to sound arrogant. I felt those words weren't meant to be harsh. I just wanted to make them sound confident and not arrogant.

Well in any case, I will be more choosy while picking up words from here on. Thanks for the input:)

nivedithasperceptions said...

Financial independence (though I don't have it!) means a lot to me cos I've too much self respect to ask anyobdy, be it my own husband or father or mother for money. After being educated it's my right I believe.

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Niveditha,

That's precisely what I wanted to convey!

vinay said...

Suri,
I would suggest that you rename this post to "What does financial independence means to me".

I personally feel that financial independence means the following -

1. You get paid (no more the pocket money) and eventually you take the onus of deciding on many things which,otherwise, your dear ones would ve done for you.

2. You feel more "responsible"... I really do not know what you mean by responsibility here as I personally feel I am not experienced enough to define this.

3. You speculate more / think more than needed / and try transferring the control to yourself which at some point of time boils over in to a storm and causes a rift among dear ones ( is this what you meant in your last passage? but I put it in a blunt way :) ), which is absolutely not required.

4. Time heals every thing! only thing one needs to do is try to figure out how to deal with this new found financial independence, talk to dear ones freely about ( family+friends ) and you have the answer for every thing! may be you will not like the answers to start with but it is k... not all right answers are always acceptable ;)

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Vinay,

Thanks for dropping by. I really appreciate your views on this.

1. I am not sure if I would wan to rename this post. I guess I'll leave it at that.

2. By responsible, I meant one needs to have the capability to judiciously exercise one's freedom. It may be any kind of freedom one gets to enjoy.

3. I quite agree with you on this. One needs to be clear as to what's that thin line, crossing which would be unacceptable to both the parties.

4. Not all acceptable answers are right! It is just a shift of perceptions. One just needs to talk to the concerned and get them right!

Karthik Prasad said...

Guys! chill..no bigdeal in anythin for that matter :)

@suri,

Ur blog makes sense and to a large extent I am able to connect with wat you wana convey,may be ur other frnds arent able to do so coz of any other reasons,may it be they only know you as a collegue or a college mate.

Since I knw you since childhood,may be just that I am able to get the sync and the strings u r tryin to probably play with.

Now as that of mine,exactly every one reads the blog from their perspective and with a notion abt the topic,like reading harry potter may give no thrill to me..but it does refreshes smebody else and I hence I cant say Harry potter is a shitty novel,everytin has a taker and everytin has its sense in itself..all it requires is an empty mind and a willingness to accept the other persons views.

As per me money hey tho to a large exten u hav got everythin,it shudnot affect any relationships as such as long as the ego is clear and unchanged.

Thnks for the good blog..
I am not sure hw many ppl would wage their war on me nw
!
TO all the readers who wish to comment on my comment,I just say Chill and probably it is not for you if you arent in sync with what I say.

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Karthik,

I couldn't have agreed with you any better man:)

Hope I ain't misunderstood in future on my blog posts!

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