What Will I Sacrifice If I Continue On This Track For 5,10, Or 20 Years?

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This topic hit me hard the other day.

I was re-reading Tim Ferris’ book “The 4-hour work-week” where this is one of the deepest questions. It’s quite interesting to think about what my life would look like if I continue working 9-5 for the next 20 years.

I don’t think I’m special or anything, it’s just that I want to live a life that aligns with my values.

People often write to me on Twitter: “Wow, you must really hate your job!” or “Why don’t you just chill down and enjoy the 9-5?”

People assume I just hate working, but that isn’t necessarily true. Others think I am lazy. Others think I am simply proving a point. But it is none of that.

Instead, it is a deep-seated unhappiness, a result of that I am afraid of spending my whole life working so hard for things I had never wanted in the first place.

When people ask me what I do, I’ll answer I’m an engineer”. But it’s not that I say it with a passionate voice. And there is no shame in being an engineer. It is merely because an engineer was never what I wanted to be, and that was never the life I had envisioned for myself.

Every day I would stare out the window from my cubicle and dream of living a different life; studying philosophy only for the sake of learning, building websites and blogs for the fun of it, live in Italy to really understand the culture and the language, take the time to write a book.

To say I am an engineer only upset me, because it tells me that I don’t have the resolve, and that I’m too afraid, to chase after the life that I truly want.

I am a dreamer; someone who talks big and walks small. I am that guy. And I know if that is always how I see myself, there is no chance of me ever being truly happy.

Luckily I discovered financial independence.

One day I thought something like this: “How could I wake up every morning and be totally unexcited about every single thing I was going to do that day? Spend 8 hours in the cubicle, 2 hours commuting, sleep too little, then wake up the next day knowing this is going to be my life for the next 40 years?”

This led me to searching on google for “How to quit my job forever?”.

You know the rest of the story…Early Retirement Extreme and Mr. Money Mustache is the first pages popping up.

I read everything in a couple of days. There was really no way back.

I’ve always been an avid saver, but when I dicovered the FIRE-community, something just clicked. Here I felt normal for saving like a maniac and the norm was to save 50% or more of your salary.

The FIRE community made me believe that there is actually a way out of the rat race.

And now, I’m no longer only a consumer of FI-content, I’m also a creator. People look up to me. I’m about to reach financial independence myself, and I won’t disappoint my fans. I’ll continue to inspire and help people along their way to FIRE too.

What Will I Sacrifice If I Continue To Work For 5, 10 Or 20 More Years?

We all think our lives are normal. We all think that the way we live, the things we do and the society that we have is the right version of life.

Not everyone wakes up at 6AM and does a 40 hour work week. Just the mere thought of doing that is a complete joke to many people.

We live in a wonderful world, where from the youngest of ages we are conditioned into being model citizens. Our lives are paved out for us before we even hit puberty.

I didn’t want a 9-5 work day. I didn’t want to apply for a job after graduation. I did it because I thought I had to. You’ll probably do the same.

I think that if I continue doing my job for 20 years, I’ll lose something inside of me. I don’t know how to describe it, but “wasted potential” is probably the words I’m looking for.

I believe that we all want to achieve something bigger in our life.

Most people don’t have time to figure out what they really want because of their busy lifestyle.

When you start to pursue the life you want, you connect with people who are already spending their lives exacltly like you want to. Those moments stick with you. It’s like, “Shit! Look at all these people living the exact life I never thought was possible!”

For me this connection was established through Twitter. I’ve met some great people already, and there are tons of people I’d like to meet.

To be free from work I need to reach financial independence. Then you no longer need an alarm clock to get you out of bed. You don’t need any more inspirational quotes on Facebook.

When you’re down on the path to FI, you’ve finally realised that if you just take the tiny step outside your comfort zone, it’s possible to spend your life just doing what you love and life is suddenly exciting again. That’s a part of finding yourself.

Do you need financial independence to find yourself? Probably not. But amongst all the noise of your daily life, it is hard to really give yourself the space to do so.

What I sacrifice by working for financial independence

I’ll go into the sacrifices I’ve made on my path to financial independence.

But let me change the view on what’s a sacrifice is first. Did you know that if you’re 40 years old, you only have aprox. 336.000 hours left to live on this planet?

Do you really want to sacrifice 1/3 of that time to a job you don’t even like? And don’t forget that you sleep 1/3 of the time as well, meaning that you only got 112.000 hours left doing what you like.

I haven’t even mentioned commuting, getting ready for work etc. that as well eats of your time, but it’s easy to see that we don’t have much time to what we really want in life, right?

To me this is the biggest sacrifice at all. Living an unfullfilled life.

That’s why I sacrifice to live on $1,500 – $2,000 a month now, and save 70% of my income every month (this is for me alone).

To me this doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.

I do all the things that I want to do today (besides from working 9 – 5).

The only thing I want is more time.

And that’s the reason I pursue financial independence.

Read all my posts in chronological order here: Archives

Have questions, comments or suggestions? I would love to help you with your FI-journey.

Feel free to reach out directly at @Route2FI on Twitter or email me at post@route2FI.com

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One Reply to “What Will I Sacrifice If I Continue On This Track For 5,10, Or 20 Years?”

  1. I feel this WHOLE post. I felt like I had to overly plan my life from a young age to ensure I was “successful” and something my family would be proud. I watched my family ridicule my cousin as she traveled and lived her best life, and even now as she lands a sweet remote job they give her grief for not being traditional. So I totally understand the feeling of being unfulfilled and lack of pride in your answer about what you do. I’m happy for you that you are so close to your FI number and can’t wait to read about how you maximize your time on this earth doing things that bring you joy and fulfillment!

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