Over the years, I have written and published a lot of blog posts. In fact, WordPress tells me that I have published over 430 blog posts and 11 pages, or a total of 613,610 words (that’s enough words for seven adult novels in case you’re wondering). Through these articles, I have shared a lot of details about our dividend income, our financial independence journey, and our everyday life.
For the most part, I have openly shared a lot of numbers in these articles, but I have purposely not shared specific numbers like our portfolio value, net worth, etc. for privacy reasons. After all, I am no longer blogging anonymously so I gotta watch out for what I share on the internet.
Some people may look at our dividend income at over $2,100 a month and think that our lives are rosy and perfect. Some people may look at my goal of having dividends covering over 55% of our annual expenses and think that we will be living off dividends in the next few years. Some people may look at our travel pictures and think we are seasoned travellers. Some people may think that we really have our stuff together when we are only in our 30’s. Some people may look at all the things I have shared, and think that our lives are perfect.
Please don’t put Mrs. T and I on a pedestal. We have faults and our lives are far from perfect.
In fact, we know we are not perfect and neither of us are aiming for perfection.
Aiming to be perfect is simply impossible. That’s not how life works and that’s not how we should enjoy our lives.
So we’re OK with not being perfect. And we’re perfectly OK giving up on the chase for the “perfect” life.
I ain’t aiming for perfection and neither should you
It’s pointless to aim for perfection and live in the dream world. That’s like pretending that you’re an Oscar-winning actor or actress and hiding behind an imaginary role that you created for yourself. Unfortunately, this is happening on a daily basis, especially on social media.
Take a look on Facebook or Instagram and all those pictures that mimic the perfect lifestyle – travelling in private jets, staying in fancy 5-star hotels, eating fancy exotic foods, walking around in fancy clothes, looking perfect in tip-top shape, etc.
Is such the “perfect” lifestyle really sustainable? What happens when you get older and you can’t stay in tip-top shape anymore? What happens when you can’t take on more debt to buy more fancy luxury items? Does this perfect world topple and crumble? What would happen to your thousands and millions of followers? Would they abandon you because you are no longer projecting that perfect lifestyle?
I used to think that materials can bring me happiness. So, I dreamed of having the fastest computer, the latest gadgets, the newest basketball shoes, the expensive cameras, the fancy Canon L lenses, etc.
But I learned that the materialistic happiness is short-lived and not sustainable. A new $100 gadget brought me a lot of happiness at first. A year later, spending $100 on a new gadget didn’t bring the same level of happiness. So I had to increase the dollar amount. Soon it was a $200 item, $300, $400, and the dollar amount got bigger and bigger while the happiness I got lasted shorter and shorter.
Then I realized that happiness from having material things is not the right way to seek happiness. Happiness comes from within, it is joy and inner peace I am seeking.
So I began asking myself – what brings me inner peace? What makes me smile inside?
To do that, I have learned to accept who I am deep inside. I have learned to love myself first.
It has been a long journey for me to come to terms with who I am and truly love myself. I have had mental struggles, I have struggled with learning a completely new language, I have had some very dark moments, I have felt embarrassed about my non-native English accent, I have struggled with body image, I have struggled with not feeling included, and the list goes on.
These struggles have not totally gone away. I still have to deal with some of them regularly… but that’s totally OK. Because I know that’s part of being human. And that’s part of who I am. Stuff happens and I deal with it! I have learned not to bottle them struggles and challenges deep inside because that will only create bigger problems later on.
Although it has taken a few years, I have realized that I am never going to be perfect. More importantly, I have realized there’s no need to chase perfection, that perfect life, that perfect image, that perfect aura. Because this search for perfection will only end up being a never-ending-no-satisfaction journey.
Rather than spending days and years of time chasing for perfection and never getting anywhere. I’ve decided to spend that time elsewhere – to spend with friends and family, to help others in the community, and to share what I have learned.
So… I’m proud to say that I am not perfect. I’m also just as proud to say that I ain’t aiming for perfection either.
I hope you have come to this same realization too.