(published February 7th through my newsletter)

The sun just rose, like a big golden yolk over a pale yellow horizon. Two coyotes are snorting and playing (breakfasting on a desert rat?) off in the shrubs beside the Scamp.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting here inside the camper, cross-legged, drinking lemon water and pondering how to help my Wealth Realization students make more money.

This week in the Wealth Realization Course we are exploring how to “up your earnings.” I present 13 different strategies to immediately increase income, and encourage everyone to implement three of them right away.

The lesson isn’t just about making more money though. It’s about matching your income to your real, math-based, long-term goals for financial freedom.

Wait. What? Is it even possible to know how much you need for retirement? Well, yes and no.

In the “yes” camp, you can estimate the nest egg you will need for retirement by studying your spending habits now, while also attuning to your deeper values in life… and looking at how you’d like to activate those over time.

You can take into consideration things like buying property, how you will invest, and conservatively predict how those investments will appreciate.

I encourage my students to design a range – from Raw Freedom to Plush Freedom – of how much they could happily live on. They imagine a simple, modest lifestyle, then move on up to the fully gilded version of their fantasy future.

For Ariel, Raw Freedom is $875k invested in index funds, with a conservative return rate of 4% per year (so I can draw $35k per year without touching that initial investment – this strategy is 95% reliable over any given 10 year period in history and accounts for inflation). Meanwhile, I’d live in a simple home somewhere in nature (investment of $200k?).

Plush Freedom in my world looks like $3.5m invested, with a more expansive (think many acres with rescue horses) property, and the ability to leave a legacy for the younger ones in my family (nieces, nephews, any kids that might pop out of me in the next decade).

It took me lots of studying and self-inquiry to get to these numbers, and it feels really empowering to have this sketch of what I need.

So yeah, you actually can estimate these numbers. You can examine trends in the market over the last century, look at fluctuating property values, and get an idea of what you need to be “financially free” (aka retired).

But there is also some truth to the opposing camp – the no-I-can’t-truly-know-what-I-need-camp, because we have no idea what will actually happen in “the future.”

If we wanna get really cosmic, “the future” isn’t even real. There’s only here and now – “future” is just a concept we use to plan in the present.

So ultimately, upping your earnings has to be about here and now for you to take action and make this difference for yourself.

It’s similar to choosing to eat healthier. If you love the unhealthy foods you presently eat, and just wanna eat healthier to ward off future disease, that’s really un-motivating (unless you’ve had a serious health scare).

But if you want to eat healthier for now, for how you want to feel in your body and how you want to move through your life now, that’ll get you out on a hike today, instead of “someday.”

The point of this note, whether you’re a student in my course or not, is that I’m inviting you to start imagining the details of the life that you feel genuinely called to live in “the future.”

Instead of looking out on your horizon and just seeing fog, look for the glowing gold light that is so compelling it will draw you out of your complacency and into action.

Let that vision of your future permeate your present, and make a plan to earn what you really need to get there.

Before long, “there” will become “here” and the support you’ve designed for yourself will inspire and uplift all the todays along the way.

This process isn’t just about logic though, there’s a heavy dose of intuition involved (which is my latest favorite word!) as you feel into the life that truly calls. If you sense your intuition could use some attention, be sure to check out the free Awakened Intuition online class recording below. It’s pretty good 🙂

Best wishes for a rich weekend,

Ps. If you want to receive notes and news and join upcoming free online classes from me, be sure you’re subscribed to Ariel’s List