Live Life Now – Not Later

I had a realization on my morning walk today.

If you’ve also made plans to “FIRE” (Financial Independence, Retire Early), you’ve probably experienced the same thing.

I don’t like my current career. This was the start of me developing the concept of Financial Liberty, and starting on my personal path to achieving it.

Here’s my current path:

  • Create enough passive and investment income
  • “Retire” at 30
  • Continue working, but on things that I enjoy and that give me purpose
  • Live a healthier, simpler lifestyle

Honestly, as I write that, I’m still really excited about this plan, but I think I got a little carried away.

The “Yellow Brick Road”

In essence, my current plan for achieving Financial Liberty is:

  • Sacrifice now
  • Enjoy life later

There’s nothing wrong with delayed gratification and working to achieve your goals, but don’t let it come at the cost of unhappiness. Admittedly, I got so laser-focused on my plans for the future, that I was completely ignoring the present.

I am aggressively focused on saving money, so much so that I am stressed any time I have to spend it. There are also a lot of great things in my life right now that I’ve taken for granted because I was only thinking about the next phase.

At FinCon 2021, I asked someone, “What does being rich mean to you?“. In that conversation he shared an anecdote that hit me like a ton of bricks:

“Life happens on the Yellow Brick Road, not in the Emerald City.”

-Lambo, from
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is yellowbrickroad.jpg
Photo by Akshay Nanavati on Unsplash

This is what I was thinking about on my morning walk, and I realized where I got carried away with my plans.

The Mistake I am Making

Since I don’t like my job, I decided to make a lot of sacrifices to leave it behind completely. But why do I have to be so extreme?

If I don’t like my job, I can just find a different one.

Like, duh! Isn’t that the normal thing to do? Why did I have to make it so complicated?

My New Plan

I’m going to stop focusing on only getting to the “Emerald City”, and focus more on the here and now. Early retirement is something that I’m still going to work towards. It would be great to get to live life on my own terms and be able to spend more time with friends and family. In my current attempt at achieving that, however, I forced myself to stay somewhere that I was unhappy, just for a salary.

You can simultaneously create a better tomorrow, while also creating a better today.

Have you experienced this on your own path to financial independence?

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