I had this dream come to me as I was turning 28 years old.
It’s still pretty clear to me, even to this day.
It was this visualization where I would walk to my mailbox in the sunny mid-afternoon to collect whatever fresh dividend check(s) that had just been delivered.
And that would basically be my “work” for the day.
Tough work, I know. I’m building up a sweat just thinking about it.
Kind of funny to look back on my naivety now, since we all know that dividends don’t really come by “check” anymore. Things are made even easier for shareholders these days, as dividends are deposited electronically, whereby they can be transferred to bank accounts and spent fairly quickly.
The joke’s on me. The “work” I thought I’d be doing isn’t even necessary: no trips to the mailbox or banks are required.
This is probably a huge relief, right? How much easier can life get?
Well, it’s fun to retrospectively look back on that dream now. Because I’m there. There’s rarely a day I wake up without fresh cash deposited into one of my accounts – cash I didn’t have to do anything to receive (other than hold shares in high-quality businesses that pay growing dividends in my Full-Time Fund).
Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow is another day to do it all over again.
It’s a dream come true!
But there’s also been a paradigm shift.
I now realize that the dream isn’t hacking life so that you can limit work and challenges in life. The dream is to constantly strive toward one’s own potential by seeking out new and appropriate challenges.
It’s all about pursuing happiness and purpose, not making things as easy as possible.
In fact, things should be difficult fairly often. It’s through challenges that I’ve been able to grow and evolve. Without difficulties and challenges, I wilt like a flower without water. Challenges are my water. And breaking through these challenges, becoming a better version of myself, allows me to bloom.
Some may think financial freedom is all about leisure. I disagree. If anything, financial freedom is anti-leisure.
In my opinion, one of financial freedom’s biggest benefits is that it allows one to align their lifestyle and interests/skills with the appropriate challenges at the appropriate time.
That’s because not all challenges are created equal.
Taking apart a refrigerator and putting it back together is a challenge.
So is writing a book.
I’ve done the latter; never done the former.
There’s a good reason for that: I don’t enjoy taking apart refrigerators. I do, however, enjoy writing.
Financial independence gives you the power to fill your life with challenges that suit you, while being able to simultaneously discard the challenges that don’t make sense. That’s an incredible gift.
And as you change, the challenges you want to take on will likely change. Being able to position yourself correctly as you go is amazing.
While it seems to me that most people fear change, I do not. I think one reason why change is looked at in a negative light is because people like the security blanket that is a regular paycheck. People are afraid of the unknown, especially if it means that income may no longer be reliable. But once you no longer need that pacifier, you can customize your life to your needs as you go.
I can say for sure that I’m happier now that I’ve been able to discard the challenge that was my prior career in the auto industry, as the dislike I felt for the job is something that strongly motivated me to become financially independent in the first place.
It’s been more than two years since I last “clocked in”. I’m in the prime of my life here, yet I don’t have to trot down to any 9-5. It’s an amazing feeling.
I’m essentially retired in my early 30s.
But that doesn’t mean I’m happy without any challenges at all.
They just have to be the right challenges at the right time.
And that’s just one more great thing about financial independence. When one doesn’t have to place such a strong emphasis on the paycheck portion of a challenge, the whole world opens up. A paradigm shift occurs.
And so I’ve been giving great thought to this lately, as I search for the next set of great challenges in my life.
After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I want to spend more time directly impacting people in a positive but tangible manner. I want to work with people. I want to connect.
I want to help you, guide you, support you, and show you the light.
Ever since I first started writing about the journey to financial independence, it’s really been mostly about me. What I’m doing. What I’m saving. What I’m investing in. The challenges I’m overcoming.
And I’ve had great fun being as transparent as possible. I’ve spent years discussing every penny I earned and spent. I showed what a dividend snowball looks like in real-time. I’ve analyzed my investments. And I’ve provided the blueprint. I’m the proof in the pudding. I’ve been this human experiment. It’s all made me a better person, and I think it’s made a lot of you better, too.
But I think the time has come to make this more about you.
I want to know how I can help you. I want to be a mentor to other people striving toward their potential. I want to be a guide. I want to be a benevolent drill sergeant, there to keep pushing you. I want to teach.
And so I’m going to be announcing a major change in my professional life very soon. I still plan to continue writing, as I thoroughly enjoy it. It really does make me happy.
But I’m going to be spending a bit less time on that aspect of my life and a bit more time with this new aspect moving forward.
I sometimes feel underutilized, as if I could be doing so much more. And I’ll sit here, writing away, thinking about how I could better leverage my talent and experience to positively change the world. It’s something that eats away at me a little bit.
Moreover, writing can be a very lonely venture. It’s just me and a computer oftentimes. It can be easy to feel disconnected from the world. I crave connections. And I want to help people. This next challenge is a way to connect and help.
So it’s time to redirect some of my passion for all of this. My enthusiasm for saving, investing, and achieving financial independence is almost boundless. And I want to use that enthusiasm to directly help others climb their own mountains. If I could be in a position to personally guide someone to a better life, I’d be remiss if I didn’t step into that role.
Keep an eye out. I’ll be announcing this next phase in my life, which can help so many others in their lives, very soon.
How about you? Do you regularly seek out new, appropriate challenges? Why or why not? Are you interested in directly working together? Would you find value in a mentor?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.