While visiting Mexico in May 2016, I found out that a normal work week consists of 6 working days at 8 hours per day. In the US and Europe, we typically have 5 working days, 8 hours per day. I might be spoiled but sometimes two days are not enough. Imagine only having 1 day off. Imagine not having any days off. It’s nerve-racking unless your full-time work is what you feel strongly about. If it’s not, then do you have enough time to engage with projects that you feel destined to do? That’s where freedom of time is an important asset.
Introduction of the weekend
The six-day workweek was fairly standard around the world. A non-working day came from a religious stance: Friday (Islam), Saturday (Judaism), Sunday (Christianity). In the 1920’s, Henry Ford instituted a 5 day work week at his car plant, while providing Saturday and Sunday as days off. It wasn’t until Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) that a 40 hour, 5 days per week work week was standardized in the United States.
The Rich Person
The rich person is the one who has the freedom of time. Why? It’s because freedom of time gives you control over what step you take next in your life. It gives you control over which project or creative idea you’d like to investigate next. It gives you the chance to expand your knowledge in order to elevate yourself and those around you.
What if you have money without the freedom of time, are you still rich? I don’t think so because your freedom to maneuver is still limited. Let’s say you’re an emperor of many people with much wealth. You can’t just do whatever you want. The monarchy already has a life plan laid out for you. You have state functions to attend, other leaders to communicate with, and inescapable publicity to avoid. Your job is the position of the emperor and there’s no way out. You might feel sad, but you dare not show your emotions in the public eye. That’s a tough proposition to live with.
Remember when mom and dad said Go to School? The reason they encouraged you is so that your problem-solving abilities can be expanded. Problem-solving is what’s valuable to the market place at its core. As your problem-solving abilities expand, so does your value to the marketplace. When that happens, you earn a higher income. With a higher income, you have more freedom of time and an opportunity to pursue personal happiness.
A small change makes a big difference over time. Let’s say you’re flying a spaceship from Earth to the Moon and your direction is off by only 1 degree. By the time you attempt to arrive at the moon, you’ll realize you’ve drifted thousands of miles off course by only miscalculating by 1 degree! This also means that a small positive change in life today ends up making a big difference sometime in the future.
With freedom of time, there’s an opportunity to be with your family while it is growing. There is an opportunity for expansion of your own skills and ideas, which might yield a greater income, and provide even more freedom of time. Life risks are minimized because you’ve saved up enough cash that allows you to live for months while searching for a new income opportunity. Contrast this to living paycheck to paycheck consistently. The stress alone will rob you of any time and cause stomach ulcers in the process. There’s no shame of starting at a lower point. I had to start somewhere low, and in all probability, you probably did too. The fault is to start and stay at that level while sacrificing the future opportunity that brings you freedom of time. The pitfall is not expanding and reaching for stronger problem-solving skills to make you more valuable to the marketplace, thereby providing more freedom of time for the things in life that truly matter to you.
Twenty years now
Where’d they go?
I don’t know
I sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they’ve gone
— Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock”
The Pursuit of Happiness -> Freedom of Time -> Income / Wealth -> Expanding your problem-solving skills -> Expanding your knowledge.
The pursuit of happiness is largely dependent on your freedom of time. Freedom of time can be obtained from income / wealth. Income can be increased from the increase in problem-solving skills. Problem-solving skills are increased through expanding your knowledge.