Why you can never be free, and why you don’t want to.
Ok, today I want to talk about something that touches on all of my favourite topics – money, property and how to be the most awesome human beings we can be.
And I want to introduce you to something: Golden Debt.
If you’ve been with me for any length of time, then you’ll know that debt is an essential ingredient in your growth and your financial ambitions.
You’ll also know that there are different kinds of debt.
Typically we talk about good debt and bad debt. Or productive debt or unproductive debt.
Good debt is debt that helps create assets – things that put money in you pocket. The mortgage on a (positively geared!) investment property is an example of productive debt.
Bad debt on the other hand is debt that doesn’t build assets, and just costs you money to carry. Putting a holiday on your credit card, or drawing down equity to buy a boat is an example of unproductive debt.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new here.
But there’s another debt – a debt that touches the full truth of what it means to be human. I call it Golden Debt.
Think about it this way: you go into your local bakery to buy some bread. The baker gives you the bread and you say thank you. You give her the money and she says thank you.
But why? Why say thank you?
You don’t owe the baker anything right? You gave her some money. You debt is settled.
And why does the baker say thank you? She gave you some bread. You’re not entitled to anything more.
So what’s going on?
This is something so common that it slips into the background. It’s just part of the cultural landscape.
But deep down we know we owe a debt of gratitude to every member of society. You wouldn’t have your lovely artisanal sour-dough loaf if you baker hadn’t decided to dedicate her life to bread – to take on the risks involved in opening her own bakery, and committing her days to giving the world a regular supply of bread.
The $8 you gave her doesn’t come close to touching this.
In the same way, the baker relies on you for your custom, and the fact that you’ve engineered your life in such a way that you’ve got money for that bread, every Tuesday.
You need each other.
You owe each other a golden debt.
This golden debt is what holds society together. We all rely on each other, for the peace and prosperity that we collectively make possible.
It is a debt that can never be measured, and can never be repaid.
And that’s a beautiful thing.
The great mistake people make as they start coming into money, is that they hope that money can settle all their debts – that money can make them fully independent, and elevate them above the desperate throng of human commerce and connection.
But money can’t do that. (It’s a social construct after all.)
And why would you want to do that? It’s a beautiful thing – to feel connected to everyone around you in a web of gratitude and responsibility.
Everything you do empowers the rest of us to live the lives we live. Everything we do empowers you to live yours.
We need each other. We rely on each other. We owe each other our lives.
And the richer the web of golden debt becomes, the richer we become as a society.
So just embrace it. Embrace the debt you owe others, and the debt that others owe you.
It’d be a cold and lonely world without it.
And that seems like a good a note as any to finish the year off with. I hope you’ve found some value in these little musings. I’ve really enjoyed these Truth-bomb Tuesdays. It helps me pull together and solidify a bunch of thoughts that would otherwise just be floating around in my head. I hope that they’re useful.
And we’ll definitely be back with more in the new year. I’ve got so much more I want to say.
So all the best for Christmas and the new year. Hope you recharge the batteries, and come ready to power back into the year with us in January.
All the best