I’ve found that one of the big challenges in pursuing financial independence is having patience. The beginning is easy: Absorbing new information about personal finances, discovering ways to optimizing your path to financial freedom, and connecting the others that are like minded, are all fun and exciting! It’s easy to forecast 10, 15, or 20 years ahead and imagine being in a great financial position, in control of your life.
The problem is that after you spend a few months learning, slashing your budget, automating investments, and getting things on track, there’s not a whole lot to do, especially if your plan envisions that you keep your current job. It can make day-to-day work life rather boring or even frustrating.
You certainly don’t want to spend the next decade or two irritated that you haven’t actually hit your goals yet. So you basically have three options:
- Work on a side hustle or career advancement or other clear goal that will help get you to financial independence faster.
If that’s not really an option, let’s say because you already work 60 hours a week at a high-paying job, then your other option is:
- Suck it up, live in the moment and do your best anyway.
You don’t want to look back at your career and realize that you were mediocre at your job and phoned it in. Even if you plan on leaving in a few years, do your best today. Whatever you do, do it with pride! Realize that while you may be dissatisfied with your job, wishing that you could pursue passion projects or even just sit around and relax, there are many people who would love to have the security of a full time job.
Needing to work to cover your expenses should not be a sentence to unhappiness.
That’s what the vast majority of people have to do to get by. So you think that you’ve found a better way by investments that will ultimately generate enough passive income to live on? Great, pursue that goal. But don’t be miserable in the meantime.
A third option:
- If your entire life’s goal is to quit your job because you hate it so much, the solution might not necessarily be to work in that job for 15-20 years so that you can not work at all. It might be to find a career that you actually enjoy!
Doing meaningful work, at least for a reasonable period of your life, is much more likely to bring happiness than sitting around living off of passive income.
Think long term. If pursuing another career entails learning something new, do it! Get whatever education or certification you need because you only live once. If you spend 30 or more years at a job you hate, that’s on you!
So change your circumstances, or if you can’t or don’t want to, change your mindset. Simply being miserable and doing a poor job simply isn’t a good life option.