Financial independence ruined my life, and get this, I am not even financially independent yet.
I was moving through life on cruise control, minding my own business lusting after plantation shutters and
granite quartzite countertops. Life was perfect, at least according to the magazine ideal I had always aspired to. Barring any unforeseen tragedy, my life’s course was set. Raise kids, have an OK career, pay off house, remodel it occasionally, work to age 65+ and then hope to retire. Not an especially fancy life but an average and predictable one. Oh, and I would have a hot tub too.
Then something changed.
I am not sure that I can pin it on any one event. Maybe it was the Great Financial Crisis or our spending death spiral or growing disappointment with the middle class dream. An early mid-life crisis, maybe? Stress? I found myself searching for something and trying to find the answers. I wasn’t even sure what the question was. I had an itch that I could not scratch.
I devoured library books. I scoured the Internet, and I found it. People, everyday ordinary people, have discovered a secret.
~ Financial Independence ~
With planning, lifestyle “alignment”, a high saving rate and passive income, financial independence is achievable in a remarkably short period of time, in as little as a few years in some cases. People can build enough personal wealth and reduce their spending to the point that work is not longer necessary. I was skeptical but intrigued.
I reviewed the scenarios, and I crunched the numbers. I calculated and I analyzed and I saw the potential.
I can become financially independent if I play my cards right.
What does playing my cards right mean.
- Limiting consumption and minimizing living expenses
- A high rate of saving and investing those saving to grow and generating passive income
I can do that! It sounds easy right? The principals behind financial independence are quite simple. The actions you need to take are not difficult either.
The biggest roadblock is my own brain. My poor brain has spent decades plugged into a marketing machine and it has been molded to the standards and norms of western society. A brain that is now tasked with tearing down a perfectly conforming life to create something counter to everything I was taught to believe. It is a scary prospect. Let’s just say, I took the red pill, got unplugged from the matrix and now face the discomfort of possibility and the prospect of growth. Possibility and growth are frightening because they can lead to change.
Now that I know that it is possible, I can’t unlearn this information. I can reject it. I can choose not to follow the path but I can’t “unknow” that I am capable of achieving it.
So there you have it. I discovered the path to financial independence and my life has been ruined. I don’t think it was the life I really wanted anyway so having it ruined was one of the best things that could have happen to me.
P.S. I want it now though! That is the thing with us humans. I don’t know if it is our short attention spans or inability to defer gratification but we all have this tendency: if we can’t have what we want right this minute, well then it isn’t worth pursuing. It is the reason so many diets fail, debts accumulate and gym memberships go unused. I need to fight against this weakness. I need a plan….
P.P.S. I didn’t actually take any pills, that was just a reference to the movie The Matrix. I just wanted to clear that up. Thanks.