The central purpose for this website is to share speech therapy ideas, knowledge, research, and inspiration. I have decided, however, that I would also like to share on my other passions in life, namely: faith, family, and real-estate.
A recent discovery of mine encompases all three of these: Lifeonaire.
One of the authors, Steve Cook, admits in the introduction that while “Lifeonaire is something that is changing lives” and though he “tried repeatedly to put it into words . . . [he] struggled to get [the book] to flow from one idea to the other.” The authors thus decided to share the ideology of being a “Lifeonaire” – by which one becomes “wealthy” in life – via a short, fictional novel based on innumerable real-life accounts.
Admittedly, I struggled a bit due to a certain cheesiness of dialogue and the fact that the principles unfold slowly. However, the “slowness” of illumination almost seems like part of the process, as the characters’ thoughts and reactions acknowlege your own natural skepticism and doubts and your determination to change your life for the better is tested.
In the end, however, the Lifeonaire principles seem solid and rational. One aspect that I thoroughly appreciated is that, while it’s not necessary to have a strong basis in faith to follow the Lifeonaire principles, faith can easily intertwine with them.
Essentially, Lifeonaire is threefold: a perspective, an attitude, and a set of principles.
The character Scott, the mentor of the main characters, explains that one of the first steps in the Lifeonaire process is to change your perspective on what money is and how to reevaluate your priorities in life. Scott paints an interesting picture, emphasizing that money is a tool, not a goal. It can either be mastered or master you. While that doesn’t seem like a novel concept, he goes on to explain that when we are in debt, we essentially become slaves to the lenders, promising to work to earn them money for 6, 15, 30 years, and agreeing that if we fail to pay at any point for any reason, they can take back the car, house, etc. and keep all the money we already paid them. He claims that we essentially “trade our lives away for money.” It’s an interesting viewpoint.
He goes on to explain that though most people would say that their family is one of their highest priorities, their lives wouldn’t reflect this. Rather, most people’s lives are centered around work, and it’s around their work schedule that they plan their time with family. He explains some people “[pursue] money, in hopes that it will give [them] a great life,” instead of really establishing a vision for what they want their life to look like and making the other aspects of their life – like work- fit into that.
Scott also explains that priorities are things that are important enough to us that we make them happen. If we realize we’re not going to be finished with work come quitting time, but we know we’ll lose our job if the work’s not completed, we make some way to complete the work – by reprioritizing other work that day, staying late at work, or asking for help. In the same way, if we say that our family is a priority, our lives need to reflect that. This concept both sets my mind reeling and rings true for me. I wonder about the families with 8 kids who have the bare minimum and mom and dad want to spend more time with the kids but they’re both working minimum wage jobs to make ends meet each month – how are they supposed to sell off what they don’t need to reduce debt and “make it happen” if they don’t have anything they don’t need? But I guess that’s the idea. If it’s important enough to you, don’t quit trying to make it happen. Search out resources. Be humble. And be proactive.
Lastly, Scott explained the 4 principles, or stages – finally! It seemed like it took forever for the main characters to work this out of him!
- Vision – develop the idea of what you want to do with your life. Write it down. Don’t worry about how you’re going to pay for it – that comes later.
- Now Figure Out How to Pay for It – figure out if there’s any possessions you have that are not imperative for your to achieve your vision – and sell them! Pay down debt. If you have to get rid of a piece of property (like a car you’re still paying off) just to get rid of the monthly payment and get something cheap but reliable that you can pay cash for instead – do it! The reason step 1 is so essential is because step 2 is SO DIFFICULT. We like stuff. I like stuff. I feel I have earned my stuff. But stuff can so easily distract and detract from our vision, our goal. And the lower our monthly bill is, the more we can keep to make our vision come true.
- Join the Community – remember when Mom said she didn’t want you hanging out with certain kids and did want you hanging out with others because you’d end up acting like them? Guess what – she’s right. This Lifeonaire lifestyle is radical in that our culture demands we do the opposite! I genuinely love going to Mass every weekend (okay, some weekends I’m grouchy because I’m tired,) because these people are like me. They believe the same things as I do. And it’s comforting. And reassuring. And it makes me feel stronger. I truly believe that God doesn’t ask that I attend Mass every weekend for Him, he asks it for me. Because I need it. Similarly, the creators of Lifeonaire have developed channels of communication and community to help you maintain strength and determination. From coaches to retreats and more, you can find more about their community support here.
- Share the Message – just like we spread the Good News of the Gospel so that everyone and anyone has the opportunity to benefit from the grace of God like we do, the authors of Lifeonaire ask that the followers of these principles share their experiences and knowledge with others. Because what good is it to regain our freedom if those we love most are still trapped and enslaved?
In sum, personally, I believe the Lifeonaire principles are intriguing nuggets of wisdom. There are a number of ideas the authors propose that sound logical and worth pursuing. However, they also suggest some ideas that I don’t quite agree with. For example, Scott claims, “there’s nothing passive about owning single-family homes” as rental properties. In my opinion, if you set up systems carefully and thoroughly and employ the right management company, rental properties can be 99% passive. On the other hand, their suggestion to reprioritize your life and minimize debt accordingly makes a lot of sense. It sounds extremely difficult. But it makes sense. On a related note, the idea of having the attitude of making things happen to fulfill your priorities sounds extremely logical. And, from personal experience, is extremely effective.
I highly recommend the read. Some parts of the book are slow. Depending on your taste, lots of parts may seem slow. But in my opinion, the nuggets are worth it. Give it a read. And let me know what you think!
You can find out more by clicking here.
Cook, S. & McCloskey, S. Lifeonaire. (2013). Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing, LLC.