A Valuist: Intentional Living

I usually listen to podcasts on my runs. It makes the miles fly by and I kill two birds with one stone—I get smarter and fitter. One morning as I was running I had a big smile on my face listening to Brad call himself a valuist.

What is a valuist? In terms of financial independence, it's someone who spends money on experiences or things that they truly place value on. It is a mindset like frugalism or minimalism but it can represent more of an individualized approach rather than something that fits neatly into the other two categories. Valuism is a way to live one's life with intentionality.

In the larger picture of life, a valuist is someone who keeps their values in consideration when making decisions. It is a way of making choices and it fits so well with the FI community. We choose to live a life with less consumption so that we can get back something that we all value—time. For example, you might choose to go on an unpaid vacation rather than increase your wealth because time with family holds more value.

Getting my clients to live a life based on values has been my focus for years! And here is Brad describing it on a financial podcast! It was so thrilling to hear how he lives his life and makes financial decisions based on their true value. Choosing to live a life with values and intention is right up my alley. Intentionality and mindful living has been so absent in a culture that values big houses, fancy cars and impressing the Jones'.

Just as Brad began describing himself this way, Brandon from the Mad FIentist interviewed Vicky Robin. Her interview and book, Your Money or Your Life, highlights how, in our society we tend to trade our life force (time) for things of little value to us.

How cool that several areas of my life came together—my interest in personal finance, my own personal journey, and my work with clients! Hence, when I heard Brad talk, I began thinking about creating a blog. If he was interested in this area, surely others would be as well and who better to write it than someone who talks about it all day.

I spend most of my day in conversation about emotional struggles and have little opportunity to say “Hey, me too! Here’s where I struggle…” or “I found this really cool idea that I’m implementing at home. You should try it” or “You shouldn’t put that on your credit card.” I’m excited that this is my opportunity to share what I know from my professional background, to learn from readers, and of course to share a bit about myself—including my monkey.

Who Is FI Monkey?

I’m a self employed psychologist living in a HCOLA. I am married to a wonderful man who also recently started his own small business. We have two young children who are amazing and drive us crazy! We always have an adventure on the horizon.

As self employed people and valuists, we try to live our lives fully. We go on field trips, take time off when school is out, and take frequent vacations. We travel hack, I run (I’m travel hacking my way to the Boston Marathon this year—Woohoo!), and eat healthy.

I love the outdoors—camping, the beach and the ocean, skiing, hiking and of course running. When indoors, my idea of fun is playing games with the kids, doing puzzles, cooking, reading, and knitting.

I am here to talk about the monkey in my mind and how it relates to living a life of value. I suspect you too have a monkey mind. While there won't be too much detail about the monkey mind here, I will give you a peak.

The Monkey Mind

Although many of us can identify our values, there is often something that prevents us from pursuing them. The monkey in my mind can be a barrier toward being a valuist and can hold me back with doubt or inertia. Here are some of the things my distractible monkey mind has said over the years:

  • “You could never get a Ph.D.”
  • “How could you quit and go out on your own? Stay with the safe paycheck.”
  • “Writing is hard and there’s already so much out there, don’t bother with a blog.”
  • “Its cold and dark. You can run later.”
  • “Why don’t you just watch Netflix instead of…”

The monkey mind is the thing that distracts you, takes away your focus, and doubts your path. It can prevent you from moving forward. The barriers steer us toward the path of least resistance, and at times away from our values. The monkey is inside of all of us although it may sound different. It may focus on things that make you sad, happy, or lacking in motivation.

What does your monkey say to you? Do you get distracted from your path toward your values? Do you know your path?

I hope that together we can help identify our paths and our barriers and limiting beliefs. Lets take our monkey on a walk toward a life of value and freedom!

4 Replies to “A Valuist: Intentional Living”

  1. I LOVE your first article. First, congrats on travel hacking your way to the Boston Marathon! Qualifying for that is an accomplishment in and of itself! Travel hacking there makes it way cooler.

    Second, I can totally relate to the monkey mind. I’ve had to uncover the lies I’ve believed about myself for too many years. Then I got to the root of them, proved their invalidity and ultimately replace them with the truth. Whenever these thoughts try to come back at me, it is rinse and repeat.

  2. Thank you for your comment! Boston should be fun and the couple nights at a spg hotel to boot! I was trying to get a first class flight back but I think everyone else had the same idea so I’m a little worried about being crammed in coach after running that far….but at least the flights were free or nearly free.

    Yeah, that monkey can be a deceiving little bugger. Our minds aren’t really our friend when it comes to how they can hold us back. Woke from that matrix too. 🙂

  3. That’s a great way to analogize it! My monkey mind has a very loud voice indeed, and it has definitely prevented me from doing things that would probably have enhanced my life. I’m getting better at avoiding the downward draw of doubt, but it is a continuous fight. Much like running a marathon, I suspect.
    I’m glad you have pushed through to begin writing, and I look forward to your next installment!

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