It started off easy.
You and some friends decided on a back country skiing destination for the weekend. You woke up early Saturday to drive to the trail head. At the trail head, you strapped on skis with skins on them, put on your backpack, and started skiing up the trail.
At fist it was fun and everything was peachy. Then things got hard. Six hours into the trip you were still not at the destination where you can set up camp. Tired, thirsty, and hungry, physically you were a wreck. Your friends were miles way ahead of you. You were alone in the snowy back country. You started to wonder if you would ever get there...
The endless chase
When things get tough, some of us start making excuses and focusing on the reasons why we can't do it. Eventually we are so focused on the reasons and excuses that we completely give up on what we set out to achieve in the first place. The mind is a very powerful tool, the moment that we start thinking that we cannot achieve something, our mind immediately starts sabotaging all of our actions without us realizing (i.e. sabotaging subconsciously). Before we know it, all we can see is the poor progress and convince ourselves that it's time to give up. So, we go back to what we're familiar with - the norm.
Take our daily lives for example, some of us go to our typical 9-5 jobs during the weekdays despite not enjoying what we do. We do this simply because we need the money to pay the bills. Because of this, we feel like we're stuck in a rat race, running around and around on the rodent wheel, getting nowhere. We dream about the magical day where we can finally retire and start doing things that we love and start living the way that we always wanted. Some of us even have a goal of early retirement. However, after a few years of working hard on the early retirement goal, we measure our progress and found out that we're nowhere close to our goal. So we give up. We tell ourselves that hey at least we tried. We even pat ourselves on the back for going back to the norm and toughing it out until the proper retirement age. When we eventually retire at 65, we don't know what to do with our lives. Because we are so used to the 9-5 job cycle, we lost all of our interests and forgot all of our ambitions and dreams. What happens if we were to die before we reach the magical retirement age? Sorry, too bad? Try again next time?
What is preventing us from start doing things that we love right at this second? Are we so busy in our lives that we can't take a couple of minutes each day to treat ourselves? Or are we just pretending to be busy to allow ourselves to escape from the reality?
Instead of doing things that we enjoy now, we constantly look forward to the magical retirement life... this becomes a dangerous game to play.
Human-being or human-doing?
For those of us that aim to retire early or reach financial independence, are we guilty of paying too much attention to this thing called FIRE that we forget to live in the present?
"What do you do for a living?"
Ponder the meaning of this question for a second, isn't it one of the most ambiguous questions in life ever? Most of us give the typical who-gives-a-crap answer resulting some follow-on questions about how much money we make and such. Shouldn't we turn the question around and reply with what our interests are and what we are passionate about in life?
We all need to learn to be in touch with ourselves. What we do in life does not define who we are. Work does not define who we are. Listen to that little voice in our head and go with our gut feeling.
We should all take the time to enjoy our lives even though we're still working and not financially free. Regardless of our financial situations, we should all thrive to pursue doing things that we truly enjoy. Our interests are things that make us better human-beings. They keep us happy and balanced in life.
Instead of waiting until we reach financially freedom or retirement, we should all learn to enjoy our lives now. Be happy and content about our lives this very moment. Practice gratitude by being grateful for what we have in life right now. Stop looking toward to the future all the time and end up losing sight of what we have now. Do not be afraid to push our comfort zone and challenge ourselves. Stop the need of doing something all the time, like checking emails, checking something on the smartphone, or pretending being busy for the sake of being busy. Stop being a human-doing that needs to do something all the freaking time. We are human-beings, not human-doings.
Life is not a competition with others around us. We are only competing with ourselves so we can be better. Life is about the experiences that we gain during each of our personal life journey. We are the one defining who we are and how we react and feel. Stop judging others. Stop comparing ourselves to others. Stop questioning what other people think about us.
If we all stop doing these things, we'll be a lot happier.
In other news, apparently someone developed an app that would let others to rate you like the typical restaurant review systems. Really? Talk about taking bullying to the next level. Apparently the company is valued at $7.6 million.
What a shocking way to make money eh?