Things haven’t been so easy of late. I mean, nothing is really bad, by any stretch.
But that’s just it – it doesn’t matter how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ you have it objectively, it is up to you to frame your perspective in such a way that allows you to see your situation in a positive light.
So no, nothing bad has happened, and nothing has really changed. It’s just that it turns out that having a goal and achieving that goal are not the same thing. Things ‘come up’, all the time. I could only imagine what it must be like for people with a more complicated life than mine, like those raising a family.
It’s hard to meet your budgeting and savings goals. It’s hard to meet your blogging goals. It’s hard to meet all your goals. That’s why it must become a habit – something we just simply do without too much thought to it, allowing consistent action over time to be the real change maker.‘Everybuddy Wanna Be a Body Builder’
Most people want to retire early. Well, to be free to at least. I remember as a teenager pondering the notion of selecting a career that suits you (it seemed they were trying to force us to do this as it was anyway) and then receive your pension and retirement benefits at a young age, so that you can enjoy the gift of youth and use your time to build the foundation of a good life and perhaps even begin a family while being able to be present in your childrens’ youngest and most formative years.
Then, later on in life – perhaps by a certain age or earlier if you choose to opt-in before that – you would work. This seemed to make particular sense for those in jobs of low labor, where increased age may not affect productivity too highly.
Now, I realize this is a fantasy. To an extent. But what if you could take the advantages you already have and further rig the system* to work in your favor? Can you really live like no one else now so that you can live like no one else later?
In any case, all of this has reminded me of one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time. Granted, I was shown a few YouTube hits in the early days of YouTube but never did really pick it up as a habit of browsing (I have lived in a lot of places with bad-to-average internet since then), so my idea of ‘classic YouTube’ video really is just that, ‘classic’. In any case, check this out:
‘But Ain’t nobody wanna lift this heavy ass weight!’
And here’s Ronnie explaining what the whole ‘philosophy’ is all about, in a slightly more measured way. Notice one of his main secrets to getting to the top: sacrifice.
‘Early retirement’ isn’t easy. It’s not easy to get there and it’s not easy once you arrive. But it’s not meant to be. You see, you may have heard this before, but it’s the simple truths that are often the strongest in life, and there is no easy way out. In fact, ‘Early Retirement’ is about remaining on the edge of your comfort zone more than it is about finding your comfort zone.
Like Joseph Campbell wrote, the insecure way is the secure way. Meaning, if you let your insecurities win and pull you away from your larger goals – away from the necessary sacrifices you need to make in order to rig the system in your favor – and into a comfortable but unsustainable situation, you may not ultimately be pleased with where that leads you.
For me, this is a timely reminder – as this blog was designed to be – that I should be careful about becoming too reliant on my ways of comfort and stick true to some of the goals I set out to achieve. You see, it wasn’t about reaching complete financial independence as quickly as possible. It was about living a creative life, with financial stress kept at a minimum while I explore new things and a new place.
You can’t be a body builder without lifting some heavy-ass weights. You can’t be financially independent without making some legitimate sacrifices along the way. There is no cake, if you ate it too, whatever the hell that phrase is supposed to mean.
I’ve said that I intend to leave my current job somewhere around spring 2019. On one hand, I could leave almost immediately and make it work just fine. On the other hand, another year, two, three, would mean financial independence forever (and some). But like many things in life, it is about finding the right balance. We have only so much time, something we are so incredibly adept at forgetting completely.
So, for all these reasons, this has also been a great reminder that it’s OK that things haven’t been so easy of late. Because, after all, they were never meant to be.
*I may use this term from time-to-time but by no means do I mean ‘cheat’ or act ‘immorally’. I mean identify your strengths and use them to your advantage while also focusing on your weaknesses, generally speaking. Don’t take advantage of others to get ahead.