I was recently crafting an interview post for the great and magnificent Physician on Fire, when I was reminded of a core belief that I had lost sight of recently. It’s crucial that everyone in pursuit of Financial Freedom pause and reflect on the following:
Don’t get so consumed building wealth that you forget to build a life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the pursuit of a better tomorrow that we forget to live in the present. None of us are even guaranteed a tomorrow. Life could be gone in an instant and that’s very sobering to realize.
That doesn’t mean I want you to go out there and live as if you will die tomorrow, I’m just asking YOU (and ME) to make sure to enjoy the journey. Every once in a while, lift your head, and enjoy the view. Pause and smell the roses. Kick your feet up and accept the lack of productivity while you consume and recharge.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been spending time with my wife, friends, family, and yet I wasn’t really present. My mind is always churning and planning my next move to hit that next milestone. It’s always that next thing. I’m personally allured by the chase because the game is fun for me.
But the game shouldn’t be played at the sacrifice of everything else. I encourage each and every one of you reading this to develop a deep sense of self-awareness. Doing so will allow you to course correct when the pendulum has swung to far to the left or right. It will allow you to take a moment to pause and reflect on why you started this wealth building journey in the first place.
Leverage self-awareness to travel on parallel paths. You can build your wealth and your life simultaneously. It’s not only okay, but it’s mandatory to indulge and enjoy the fruits of your labor from time to time. Treat your wife to that
fancy pricey dinner at your favorite restaurant. Rent that beach house and dip your toes into living your dream life. Get yourself a massage. Go to a concert or sporting event. We save so that we can spend, so get out there and spend a little money.
okay imperative that you live a little and learn to be present while doing so.
Now tune into the present and start building your life!
– Gen Y Finance Guy
I agree. The first 10 years of my working career, and while in college, I was OBSESSED with maximizing saving. I’m talking dollars and cents here. I guess it’s from growing up relatively poor. More than becoming rich, I didn’t want to become poor. But now, I’ve moderated quite a bit. I’m still on the frugal side, but I’m no minimalist. The money snowball I’ve already created, and the two healthy salaries help as well =)
Tim Kim – I can resonate with the strong desire to never be poor, since that is how I grew up as well.
“I’m a big fan of self-awareness in others.” – David Spade
“I like to live each day as if it will be my last. So what I do is wake up, feel the sun on my face, take a long hot indulgent shower, and then make funeral arrangements.” – Kevin Nealon
Great blog post, GYFG! Great reminder for us all to drill down to the ‘moment’ and enjoy it. May you keep winning at ‘the game’!
You always have such great quotes.
Not that it has anything to do with this post, but a quote I have recently been contemplating a lot lately is the following:
“If your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.” – Wes Jackson
Personally, I have a hard time to be present. It became easier now that I have set lifjoy above FI in the hierarchy of things
Good on you AmberTree. It can be a delicate dance 🙂
Great post! We’ve definitely realized how important it is to focus on being happy in every-day life. With previous major undertakings, like passing the CPA exam, I lost track of daily contentment during the process, instead focusing on “how happy I’ll be once I’m finished.” The result was that when I was finished, I ended up a bit down because it didn’t really change my life that much. We’re looking at about two years to finish paying off our $107k in debt, and taking a much healthier approach throughout the journey.
Good to hear Ryan! You have to enjoy the journey.
This is a great reminder. I think it is important to know yourself – which side would the pendulum swing if you didn’t adjust? Some people would spend everything, others would save everything.
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