There’s an epidemic going around the blogosphere these days. Its basic premise is this: “Work hard for just 5 years at a job you hate, save up a ton of money, and then you can quit and retire forever.”
It’s spoken by individuals like Mr. Money Mustache and Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme – not to say that they’re lying, they’ve actually done it. They’ve scrimped and saved and invested heavily (and I mean EXTREMELY heavily – like 75%-80% of their income), and they’ve been able to retire long before their 40th birthdays.
Good for them.
But is this the best route for you? Should you be working crazy hours and having no fun today so that you can simply escape your hated life? Or is there a better way to go?
Run Toward What You Love, Not Away From What You Hate
I enjoy writing Sunday posts on my blog. They’re a bit less formal and I often allow myself to write about what’s been on my mind from the previous week.
There are no complex models or calculators on Sunday. Just me and my simple quandaries – sometimes about people and their debt, sometimes about materialism, or maybe just about life in general. Heck, once in a while I have no original thoughts and I simply post some awesome articles that I read elsewhere (these are often the most popular…which sometimes makes me wonder if you just ignore these monologues of mine..?? ;)).
Today, I choose to talk about this marathon called life.
For some, the word “life” is a true 4-letter word. They hate where they live, they despise their work, and they can’t stand that they have no money.
If you told them, “You know what? If you just live the way I tell you to at that job you hate for 5 years, you could quit and never work another day in your life!”, most would jump up out of their chair and start waving their hands in the air shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!!”
But this is only a small portion of a bliss filled life. What about your interests? What about a sense of purpose? What about your influence?
What Is It That You Love?
Here’s how I propose you find your true love — the man or woman of your dreams.
- Choose to date the man/woman you most hate at the moment
- Keep the relationship going for five years
- Break up with him/her and choose another partner at random
- The End
Sounds pretty ridiculous, huh?
But this is exactly what you’re doing when you choose to work at a job you hate in order to simply not do it anymore after five years. Since when is this a good idea?
Instead of enduring what you hate so that you can stop showing up in the somewhat near future, why not stop and think about what you absolutely love doing? What is it that you’d do today for free, but could get paid for in the future? THAT’s what you should be aspiring to do.
If you’ve ever considered early retirement, understand that it’s not an evil thing. But it’s not the end goal. It won’t leave you loving life once you stop doing what you hate. Human beings still need purpose in order to be happy. Laying on the beach or chasing a white ball around will not plaster a smile on your face for the long-term. Sure, it’ll keep you busy for a few months, but it won’t make you happy.
So what is it for you? If money were no object, what would you do with yourself each day? What would leave you fulfilled? Instead of working to quit, why not direct your life to what you love? Because if you do what you love for a living, you’re just as good as retired.