Many confuse the journey to financial freedom as the journey to happiness. I would argue that it is very difficult to become financially free without first being happy, because unhappiness causes people to spend more money and going for quick emotional wins when it comes to investing. In both instances, the person is made temporarily happier, but hurts him/herself in the long run on the 2 key things that we need to be financially free, wealth and growth on that wealth.
Expectations are the root of all happiness. If your expectations are met, you are content. If your expectations are exceeded, you are ecstatic, at least for a while until your expectations increase. If your expectations are not met, you are unhappy. The key to happiness is via managing your expectations. The most common mistake is having expectations on the actions of others without first explicitly setting and agreeing on those expectations. Nobody can control the actions of others and different people's expectations of what is reasonable in any given context involving more than 1 person is usually different. You are setting yourself up to be disappointed and unhappy, and the only person that suffers is you, not the person whom you perceived to have done you wrong. Letting go of these expectations will go a long way towards making you a happier person.
Leaving others aside for now, let's look at what you can control, your own actions in the context of financial freedom. If your current financial situation does not match your expectations and you are unhappy, take a step back and ask yourself, what have you done or did not do that got you to this point. Your current financial situation is a result of all the decisions you made in your life so far, so it is unreasonable to expect that you are better off. Forgive yourself for whatever you have done, you cannot change the past. Look towards the future and create expectations for how your financial situation will be, along with concrete steps on how to achieve that financial wealth. Hopefully you can get some tips on what those steps might be from this blog.
One of the key expectations that we all have is growth. Everyone expects to improve his life in some way, be it in social, financial, physical etc. ways. Staying stagnant is a surefire way of becoming unhappy. For me, financial growth was one of the key aspects that I realised made me happy. Once I identified this, I found that saving money, instead of spending money, actually made me happier. Whenever I got a raise during my career, I would still live the same lifestyle and simply saved up the extra. Learning about investing made me happier. I turned my expectation into a strength, something that helped me achieve what I expected. It became a virtuous cycle, the more I found growth in my finances, the happier I got. The happier I got, the easier it became to grow my finances. Once you are content with how your current life is, it becomes really easy to save. It becomes easy to take emotions out of your investing decisions. It becomes easy to plan and take concrete steps to ensure your future life meets your future expectations.