How to create a rich life now — especially when financial freedom feels far away

And the surprising “dream day” exercise

Oz Chen
3 min readJan 30, 2022

Financial freedom sounds good in theory, but the journey to get there makes a lot of people miserable.

This is because financial freedom makes people fixate on a goal in the distant future. When I finally have $5 million, then I won’t worry anymore. Goals are meant to be motivating, but what if they backfire? Here’s a case in point…

I coached someone who’s plenty rich. He and his wife make more than $200K combined and they have an investment property. They scrimp and save every penny to buy another investment property. One weekday, they were walking past a sidewalk cafe and watched a couple just relaxed, laughing, enjoying an afternoon cocktail. He shared his internal dialogue with me: Wow…when can I relax like that?

Here’s the irony: the psychological cost of chasing financial freedom is the sense of freedom it may cost you now.

He can literally take his wife to a nice dinner the same night. When I pressed him, all these reasons came up: yeah, but we don’t really like to waste money on fancy meals.

A rich life is created now. And it can be done in small and subtle ways. Because if you don’t cultivate that rich life…