Deep thoughts about life and FI
What is the meaning of life?
I mean, why are we here?
What is our life purpose?
These questions I think about quite often.
We work 9 – 5, commute 45 min each way to work, eat dinner, relax an hour or two before we go to sleep. Then we repeat this the next day. The next week. Then next month. Next year. Suddenly 10 years has passed us by, and we did not even notice.
The world is beautiful, there is so much life out there. Why do we choose to live the dreading cubicle life when we got other possibilities?
Do you ever feel like life is just boring?
I feel like that often when I’m working. Some days I just wake up, and I don’t feel like doing anything.
Isn’t that insane?
The world is so exciting and wonderful, with so much to do and see that even three lifetimes wouldn’t even be enough to do everything we want. But we’re bored.
We’re bored because our life is boring. I can’t figure out another answer.
But it’s true.
Think about it. We accept to work for 8 hours every day on a job we wouldn’t do for free. Our most precious life energy is spent on work we don’t enjoy.
We don’t pursue what we love. Instead we become slaves of the system.
Even though I enjoy the field I work within, there is so much I don’t like.
The meetings, the interupting from co-workers (which ensures I never enter flow-mode) and all the small talk that I can’t stand. I want to talk deeply about subjects, not just about the weather.
This is why I find the idea of Financial Independence so appealing. It gives me an option to walk away from my job, or eventually work part time.
Why do we find work boring?
I think the answer to this question is that many of us do repetitive tasks every day. We’re not learning anything new.
A typical day for me in the cubicle starts with checking and answer mail, attend some meetings, make some documents for a project, make some phone calls and maybe schedule some meetings for the next day.
Same shit, different day.
I wasn’t learning anything new. I wasn’t growing. Now and then I learn something new, but often I feel it’s more relevant for my office than for me.
It feels like I am trading my life away for money. Trading my young days away in exchange for an older body.
All my life I’ve been learning things that I don’t care about. First when I started on the university I understood that I had the choice to choose the subjects I actually liked.
When I was 22 years old I started my bachelors degree in nutrition. I did it because I was deeply interested in it. For the first time in my life I started up on something that I actually cared about, not something that others wanted me to learn.
Often I heard: “Choose this and that study, and you will be set for life in a safe job”
But what isn’t more boring than staying in a safe job you don’t like?
I think you need new experiences and new perspectives once in a while. To learn something new. To be challenged.
Learning is actually fun if you learn something that excites you.
What I learned today that amazed me about the future
Today I read an amazing article by Four Pillar Freedom, which stated that even if you’re the most unlucky investor on the planet, you would only had -3,8 % return annually if you were invested in S & P 500 over at least a 10 year period.
Think about that. Let’s say you had invested 300 k in the stock market over a 10 year period. That means your 300.000 $ would be worth aprox. 205.000 $ with -3,8 % annually interest rate. It sucks, but remember that this is the worst case scenario ever in history.
Think about the potenial upside. Over a 10-year period the best annual return ever was 17,9 %. If you invested 300 k with 17,9 % annual interest rate, your money would be worth 1.773.000 $. Wow, that’s a huge difference! That risk is a no-brainer in my opinion.
But here I showed you the most extreme variables. Most likely you would have recieved an annual interest rate around the avaerage 7 %. If we’d invested 300 k to 7 % interest rate, this would be worth 603.000 $ after 10 years. Pretty amazing that your money is actually doubled without putting anything in!
Table 1: 300 k $ invested over a 10 year period
Your worst case scenario isn’t that bad
The main takeaway is that your worst case scenario is not that bad at all, and everyday we hear about how scary and dangerous the stock market is. If we just invest consistently through good times and bad times, we will eventually become FI, no matter how bad the market conditons are.
When we went to school we learned about things that we didn’t care two shits about, no doubt learning was always boring.
Why do you think we need to have rules and laws and exams in place to force us to learn this stuff?
Because no one cares about the subjects. And to get someone to learn something they don’t care about, you need to hold a gun to their head.
Do you think anyone forced Lionel Messi how to curl the football over the goalkeeper?
Or do you think anybody forced Michael Phelps to swim faster?
No. Because they loved what they were learning.
That’s the difference.
Never stop learning
I loved learning nutrition and environmental subjects at the university. Life was so interesting again. I learned something new. Something that I actually was interested in. After this I’ve been hooked on learning this. Learning in the case of learning. Not to take some stupid exams.
I can sit up all night and google a subject. Recently I’ve read so much about my personality type INFJ. It’s like I’m getting to know myself better for each passing day. I’m so grateful for the oppurtunity to learn!
I’ve always loved writing, and last summer I somehow managed to put up this site and write about my route 2 FI and my life in general. It’s like I’ve discovered myself in a new way. For some people a blog is something you do to show others, but I would say this blog is for me first and foremost.
To write about something I’m curious about makes me understand it better. It forces me to learn more and to clarify my thoughts. To share my content online makes me comitted to my writing habit.
When I started learing things in my 20’s, it’s breathed new life into me and given me eyes into a whole new world.
Learning doesn’t stop when you finish university. In fact, I believe that’s exactly when it starts. You’re done with the bullshit. No more exams, and lectures.
Stop procrastinating and get things done
You can finally start learning whatever you want. And you must keep learning, because if you don’t, if you don’t keep acquiring new knowledge, what are you doing? If you’re not getting better every day, if you’re not expanding your experiences, why are you even still alive?
Let me ask you, when’s the last time you actually learned something you wanted to learn? I mean, something you wanted to learn for yourself. Not some bullshit they wanted you to learn at your job, but something you do really enjoy. Always wanted to try fishing? Mountain road bike? Hiking? A new instrument?
So why haven’t you started yet?
Isn’t it funny how we put off all the things we actually want to learn in life, but for some reason we have the time to go to work every day and learn how to write boring stuff for our manager.
I know, it’s insane.
That was all. Start learning something you’ve always wanted to learn. Start reading on a subject that excites you. Feel that magic touch inside yourself when you learn something new, and realise you’re a little bit closer to the person you want to be.
Start right away.
Do what you’ve always dreamt of. Only you know the answer to this.