I was taking a shower the other day, reminiscing about years gone by.
There were thoughts dancing in my head about a much younger me, who was just starting his journey to financial independence. As I was standing under the warm water, I smiled as I recalled this driven, methodical, and intense guy who wouldn’t let anything stand in his way.
I’m still that same guy in a lot of ways, although I’m able to relax a bit more these days.
But I was thinking back on what I felt like five or so years ago.
And I asked myself an honest question, as if I were interviewing myself.
Was there ever a doubt in my mind that it was all going to work out?
My answer to myself was… no.
I Was Already Financially Independent
I never, ever doubted that I was going to be financially independent at a relatively young age. I knew, once I started saving and investing, that I was going to eventually be wealthy. I knew that I had it within myself to make my dreams come true. If I could just stay out of my own way, there was nothing else that could stop me.
In my mind, I was already financially independent.
For perspective, I wrote an article back in late 2014 about how I was already financially independent.
The concept behind the article was that I could actually see – through the power of belief and visualization – a future me who was already financially independent, living the life of his dreams. I could see this version of myself as clear as I see life as it exists in front of me, right now.
And because this version of me existed in the future, I was essentially already financially independent. I just hadn’t caught up to this future me.
Through this concentrated visualization, it was almost as if I could speak to this future me. And this future Jason was telling me the journey was already complete, as long as the me of late 2014 continued to save and invest my way toward that future version of myself. The future me was reaching across time, motivating the current me to become him.
It’s a fascinating way to look at things.
But it’s also a paradox, as I outlined years ago.
The only way the future me can exist, which is motivating the me of late 2014, is through the actions that prompted that future version of myself to manifest in the first place.
So it’s almost as if there’s a present-day you and a future you that are simultaneously working together to cement a future – it’s more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As such, when you envision a future you that’s more successful, happy, and financially free than you are today, you can’t help but succeed in your endeavors.
You Cannot Waver
As soon as you start to waver in your vision and belief, though, that future you starts to become less real. It almost starts to disappear into thin air. This version goes from a solid form – as real as you sit right now – to an apparition-like figure.
And that future you will vaporize completely if you’re not careful to stay the course and believe with your whole heart, mind, and soul.
These aspects are powerful in isolation. But they’re far more powerful when used together, as they all tend to complement and add to one another. Moreover, will is arguably the most powerful of all. If you have enough will, you’ll not lack consistency or persistence.
But the thing is, you also have to have conviction.
Saving and investing for a few months because you’re fed up with your job is one thing.
Believing in and giving your all to a multi-year journey, where you’re literally betting a major chunk of your life on something, is quite another.
Spending years of your life working toward an all-encompassing paradigm shift in your life takes a massive amount of conviction. But if you’re 100% sure you’ll succeed, there’s no way you’ll fail.
That Future Me Is Now The Present Me
It’s amazing for me to think back on this.
I’ve come full circle here.
I’m now the future me.
That me of the future that I envisioned as financially independent and immensely happy is now the me that woke up today and started writing this very article.
And I can say that it turned out more or less as I had thought it would.
I’ll go ahead and quote myself from the article I linked to earlier (written more than three years ago):
He lives without fear of going broke or having to work for the rest of his life. The decisions he makes aren’t based around money at all, but rather maximizing time and happiness.
Well, that’s me. I live exactly that way. And maximizing time and happiness is exactly what a lot of my writing these days is all about. Talk about forecasting the future!
Did I anticipate I’d be living in another country?
Not really. I didn’t fully anticipate moving abroad to become a dividend expat. But I’m the kind of person who’s open to and excited about expanding my perspective and options. I was single before I came here. I have no children. There is almost nothing tying me to the Sates. So it’s not that much of a stretch for me to live here.
I also didn’t think everything would happen as soon as it did. My original goal – way back when I first started saving and investing in 2010 – was to quit my job by 40 years old, in 2020.
But I gave it the kind of superhuman effort and focus that few people are capable of sustaining over a six-year stretch of time. It was more or less meant to be for me.
See, the more the present-day me (of years prior) became the future me, the more I wanted to become that future version of myself. Seeing the gap closing in real-time propelled me along this course where the self-fulfilling prophecy, well, fulfilled itself.
And now I’m looking forward to becoming a version of myself that exists 10 years from now. This version will almost certainly be even wealthier, healthier, happier, and more free than the me that exists in 2018. He’ll certainly be more intelligent and experienced. If I don’t learn something new every day, I’m pretty disappointed.
I can already envision a me of the future…
This future me will be a more accomplished philanthropist and investor. He will have helped far more people realize their dreams and become financially independent. He will have seen more countries, met more people, enjoyed more amazing memories, had far more laughs, and expanded his perspective. (And he’ll probably find out he sucks at more things than he thinks!)
I’m extremely excited to meet him and become him, in time. I’m constantly striving toward that future version of me and striving toward my potential as a human being.
But I never, ever lose conviction that I will become everything I know I can be.
This idea of becoming a future version of yourself motivated and inspired a coaching client of mine, Tyler, to start his own blog based around this concept. Well, he also became that future version of himself, quitting his job and pursuing his passions in the process.
But what you have to do in order to become a better, healthier, happier, wealthier, and more free version of yourself is to stay the course, believe with everything you have, and know with 100% conviction that you’ve already achieved your dreams in a future timeline that you simply have not yet experienced. Events you wish for have already come to pass. It’s an inevitability. You just haven’t yet caught up to a future you.
If you visualize a future, better you and fully believe that you’ll become this person, it will happen.
Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.
Think it’s important to have conviction? Have you ever lost conviction in your journey to become happier, healthier, wealthier, and more free? Are you coming closer to meeting a future you, every day?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
P.S. If you have the full conviction to become a future version of yourself, check out some wonderful resources that personally helped me reach financial independence and retire abroad in my 30s.