Desperate or inspired?

To change our path in life we are said to be either inspired or desperate. As a volunteer budget adviser in the community I see a lot of desperate people wanting to change their lives so money no longer controls them. They are desperate to get out of debt and desperate to free the mind from money worries. Over time it becomes such a heavy burden to carry that we become willing to do anything to change our path. This is as good a motivator as any to make change.

I too changed my financial life out of desperation. In 2015 I badly injured my back. It required a lot of time off work, and not all of it was paid. I had no income coming in and no idea of when my back would get better. I was desperate not to get into debt. Through this desperation I made changes to my budget so that I could live on much less money. By making money go further I was effectively buying extra time for my back to get better and to carry on without incurring debt. I was spending $5,000 a month, but after the desperate changes I was spending $2,500 per month. Effectively I bought myself half a year in time. What I would have previously spent in 6 months I was now spending in one year.

What started as desperation soon become inspiration. Through the desperation I found the financial independence community of bloggers who are retiring early, working their passions, and taking back their time. Reading the stories has inspired me to continue along the new found path of financial independence.  

A combination of desperation and inspiration has allowed me to go from living paycheck to paycheck at age 30 to be in a position to retire before the age of 50 should I want to.

Without experiencing such a painful back injury, chances are I would have never changed my path. I would be living paycheck to paycheck, working until I was at least 70 if my body and health allowed me to. I wouldn’t have even known there was another way. We are not taught this stuff in school. Most parents don’t teach this stuff because they don’t know any better either. This is evidenced in our country’s abysmal savings rate.

As strange as it may sound I am thankful to this day for my injury. It has opened up a new, better path for my life to take. A life where I get to buy back some time. Some freedom. If I was never desperate I would have never been inspired to make these changes.


So how do you find inspiration without being desperate first?

  • Clear distractions from your life. Take time from your busy life to think and reflect. I often make life changing decisions when on holiday or when I am relaxed. It is too hard to do this when always busy. This could be achieved through meditation, exercising, or a holiday.

  • Set ambitious goals. By going outside of our comfort zones we often find inspiration.

  • Make new friends/be social. Our closest friends are often pretty similar to us. We can learn a lot from people outside of our current circle. Especially if they are different to us. Find out what they are doing right and how you would like to replicate that. Good mentors are a great asset and there is no problem with being the dumbest person in the room. In fact, I recommend it!

  • Don’t stop learning. Keep reading and learning. You will find new ideas and inspirations. Pick up a random book at the library on a subject you would never normally pick for yourself.


These are just a few tips to help you find your inspiration. Unlike me, you don’t have to reach desperation stage before finding inspiration to make changes. Preferably you can find a way to an inspired life directly. Because if you don't, you may go through life not realising their is another way to live. One where you are not slave to an employer. One in which you control in how you spend your time. 



The information contained on this site is the opinion of the individual author(s) based on their personal opinions, observation, research, and years of experience. The information offered by this website is general education only and is not meant to be taken as individualised financial advice, legal advice, tax advice, or any other kind of advice. You can read more of my disclaimer here


What life changes have you made recently? How do you find inspiration to better your life?