I'm not one of the wealthiest members of this community.  So, why am I writing an article for financial month? Because what we (my husband Pat and I) have been able to achieve is FINANCIAL FREEDOM.    We have the freedom to do what we want, when we want, where we want, and how we want.  I don't have to work if I don't want to work.  I love what I do and choose to work 20 weeks of the year.  Pat works 4 days a week and has a long weekend every weekend. We have a wonderful life, free from financial stress.  We are debt free.   We have a good retirement fund, separate substantial "wealth investments" providing passive income, and other savings equivalent to many years worth of living expenses at our current lifestyle. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to be able to do this.  Neither does it mean living so frugally that you never do anything.  We still travel overseas regularly and haven’t done without anything. So how did we achieve this on average incomes while also raising our children? When I was in my 20's, a wise friend recommended reading a simple book called "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George Samuel Clason.  It is a simple story with many tried-and-tested easy lessons for accumulating wealth. Here are the lessons we learnt from the book.

I created my Lifebook with the online program. At the time, though always run by my emotions and state of very poor health, I was coming into a new, very tentative understanding of my value, and was beginning to gain a bit of confidence and a sense of possibility. I had always longed for something better; had always wanted to BE better. I had high, though fairly unformed, aspirations. Somehow, in my darkness and struggle, I just knew there was a way to get to the life I really wanted, though it seemed an almost impossibly long way off: I'd never lacked courage, but I had no map, no instructions, and few tools. And then, along came Lifebook! I recognized immediately that this was the way for me. It felt right. The process of creating my Lifebook was both deeply challenging and totally thrilling. I had previously written feeling descriptions of my desired level of physical well-being, and I had crafted a grounding, fulfilling, and adventurous lifestyle on paper, but had never seen as complete a concept of life and self as the program work revealed. Just envisioning myself and my life in such deep detail and such high terms gave me some confidence. Who knew that knowing one's desires so well could create so much change, even before taking any further action? I began to have some real admiration for myself, even just for having the vision and courage to WANT to be the person I was describing.

By:  Dr. Nathaniel Branden
The passionate attachment between man and woman that is known as romantic love can generate the most profound ecstasy.  It can also generate, when frustrated, the most unutterable suffering.  Yet for all its intensity, the nature of that attachment is little understood.  To some who associate “romantic” with “irrational,” romantic love is a temporary neurosis, an emotional storm, inevitably short-lived, which leaves disillusionment and disenchantment in its wake.  To others, romantic love is an ideal that, if never reached, leaves one feeling one has somehow missed the secret of life.Looking at the tragedy and confusion so many experience in romantic relationships, many persons have concluded that the idea of romantic love is somehow fundamentally wrong, a false hope.  Romantic love is often attacked today by psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, who frequently scorn it as an immature, illusory ideal.  To such intellectuals, the idea that an intense emotional attachment could form the basis of a lasting, fulfilling relationship is simply a neurotic product of modern Western culture.Young people growing up today in century North America take for granted certain assumptions about their future with the opposite sex, assumptions that are by no means shared by all other cultures.  These include that the two people who will share their lives will choose each other, freely and voluntarily, and that no one, not family or friends, church or state, can or should make that choice for them; that they will choose on the basis of love rather than on the basis of social, family, or financial considerations; that it very much matters which human beings they choose and, in this connection, that the differences between one human being and another are immensely important; that they can hope and expect to derive happiness for the relationship with the person of their choice and that the pursuit of such happiness is entirely normal, indeed is a human birthright; and that the person they choose to share their life with and the person they hope and expect to find sexual fulfillment with are one and the same.  Throughout most of human history, all these views would have been regarded as extraordinary, even incredible.