This is part of an ongoing series on happiness. I’m going to continue sharing everyday moments, experiences, and activities where I feel most happy. Since I believe the pursuit of happiness is something that binds humanity, and since one of the major reasons to attain financial freedom in the first place is to improve one’s happiness, I find it important to share aspects of my life where I feel like the pursuit of happiness is most successful. I hope to show through these regular insights that not only does it not take much (or any) money to improve one’s happiness, but also that financial freedom provides additional opportunities (via more time) to boost happiness.
The Internet, in my opinion, ranks among the greatest creations mankind has ever invented.
And it ranks among that which makes me happiest in my life.
I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this very article right now without it. And investing as I know it would be a hell of a lot more difficult otherwise.
In fact, my entire life would be drastically different and more difficult if I didn’t have access to the Internet. Being able to get online has dramatically impacted my life for the better in many ways.
I’ve been able to build multiple businesses, becoming a best-selling writer in the process.
I’ve been able to build a six-figure stock portfolio that’s allowed me financial independence.
I’ve made countless friends, as communicating with and inspiring people from all over the world is possible.
I’ve been able to research and start the process of moving abroad, booking a plane ticket and an apartment in the span of just minutes. And communicating with people back in the US, once I’m abroad, will be easier and cheaper (free) than ever before. Moreover, the Internet doesn’t have borders, meaning I can get online and do everything I do no matter where I am in the world.
I can completely manage my finances online. Communicate online. Listen to my favorite music online. Watch movies and TV shows online. Even buy things online.
One can explore the vast sum of humanity’s knowledge and learn valuable lessons online. One can access amazing written and visual content – for free, in most cases. When not learning, one can be endlessly entertained online.
Dating has even become easier than ever (especially for introverts like myself), allowing people to quantify and qualify their potential mates and set up dates with the flick of a finger.
You can even share your selfies with the world… if that’s, umm, what you’re into.
Plus, it’s easier than ever before to be a minimalist.
The Internet literally “stores” many possessions in a digital format that requires no room or weight in one’s life. No longer a need for DVDs, CDs, books, etc. Almost my entire life is digital. For example, I’m only bringing two small bags (both carry-ons) with me to Thailand, which essentially will only contain clothing, toiletries, and my laptop. That’s pretty much all I own in this life in the physical sense. Of course, my “digital” possessions are far greater in number and value.
The Internet can make someone a better, smarter, richer, and more free and enriched person.
It’s allowed me to pursue multiple passions in a far easier and more cost-effective manner than would have been otherwise possible just 30 years ago. It’s not even close.
And I wholeheartedly believe it made my journey to financial freedom substantially faster.
What’s perhaps most amazing about the Internet is that it’s practically free.
I mean, the Internet one of my favorite things about being alive in 2017. Yet it costs almost nothing. It’s absolutely incredible.
If online access all of the sudden tripled in price tomorrow, it would still be a fantastic deal. I’d gladly pay $200 per month to get online. It’s worth much more than I pay. It’s a tremendous value.
I can also say that if I had to travel back in time, being able to get online is one of the things I’d miss the most. Actually, I recently got to experience what life would be like “in the past” after Hurricane Irma devastated much of Florida (including Sarasota), knocking out power and the Internet for days on end. Suffice to say, it wasn’t fun. Eating boxed food? Not cool. No A/C in Florida heat? Literally not cool. Not being able to get online? Even worse.
A significant chunk of my life revolves around online access, and a significant chunk of my wealth directly relates to being able to take advantage of the benefits of being online.
The whole point of financial independence, in my view, is to live a happier and more free life, where you have more time and resources to pursue your passions and strive toward your potential as a human being.
But perhaps that which I spend the most time with is the Internet, as I spend hours per day reading, researching, writing, watching videos, and just browsing around.
There’s absolutely no way I could have ever done this back when I was working 55 or so hours per week. I simply didn’t have the time.
Now that I come to think of it, I have no idea how I had the time for a full-time job!
Owning my time and being able to spend it as I please is a great gift in life.
And I choose to spend a good amount of it on the Internet.
This almost-free, borderless, world wonder is something that truly makes me happy.
I could be a billionaire, yet I’d still spend much of my time online, doing pretty much everything I do now.
In fact, I look at my spare time a lot like Warren Buffett. This is a guy who’s worth many billions of dollars, yet spends hours per day just sitting in his office, reading away. Much like that, I spend hours per day also reading. And I’d still do it regardless of my wealth.
There are only a few things in my life that make me happy and simultaneously cost me money. The Internet is one of those things. But based on value, I’d be inclined to say it’s closer to free than not. And if I had no choice, I could access it for no cost at all.
The Internet has improved my quality of life so dramatically, I literally can’t imagine life without it. It allowed me to become financially independent sooner than otherwise possible, and financial independence has allowed me even more time to enjoy the inherent benefits that being online offers. It’s worked in this holistic and complementary manner that I’m overjoyed with.
They say the best things in life are free.
Well, I believe the Internet is one of the best things in life. And it’s practically free. So there you go.
What about you? Does being online make you happy? Does it add to your quality of life?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.