FIRE has thankfully given me a new perspective on life.
I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if it weren’t for the opportunities that FIRE has given me.
Of course, I worked for those opportunities. I made FIRE happen.
But that doesn’t make me any less grateful for this life position. Living the early retirement lifestyle, in my 30s, in Thailand is literally a dream come true for me. Owning my time is worth more than any luxury good I can think of. And the ownership of time means you end up learning and growing more as a natural byproduct.
One element of my newfound perspective is how I look at time.
And an interesting phrase would come up a lot. Sometimes a co-worker would mention it. Sometimes I’d say it. It would usually pop up on a Monday morning.
It would go like this:
“I hope this week flies by!”
I used to speak or hear that phrase with a sense of affirmation.
But I now cringe just thinking about it.
Wishing For Time To “Fly By”
The desire for time to go fast comes from an obvious place.
Few, if any, of us wanted to be where we were (at our jobs).
Thus, it was unsurprising that we would want those moments to go by as fast as possible. We wanted to get on to the rest of our lives, which we (hopefully) enjoyed more.
Of course, we all know that working 10-12 hours per day means you’re too worn out in the evenings to do much at all – let alone anything enjoyable. People tend to go home after a long Tuesday at work and sit on the couch.
All I ever wanted to do after work was go home and relax, although I instead used that time to build my online businesses, FIRE Fund, and physique because I knew the short-term pain would be worth the long-term gain.
And that’s the real shame here.
It’s during the peak of our abilities – the peak of our very lives – that we’re wishing for time to go fast. 30-year-old guys at work all wishing the day would just end. Ugh. How sad.
All that’s really doing, in disguise, is wishing for our deaths to come faster. That’s what it is. It’s brutally depressing.
Again, I’m guilty of this, too. I used to utter this phrase. As noted earlier, I despised my job, just as I would despise just about any job I could think of.
But I haven’t said (or heard) that phrase in years. Because I now think totally different about time. And I live a life that allows me this.
Wishing For Time To Slow Down
One of the finest gifts of FIRE is the ability to customize your life. My life is set up for me, by me.
You’re able to live life on your terms once you own your time.
Once you’ve created options for yourself, you can do what you want, when you want, where you want, why you want, with whom you want.
And when you’re living a life like that, there’s no way in the world you’d wish for time to speed up.
With energy reserves running low on a Thursday evening, back when I had a job, I used to look forward to a “fast Friday”. Fridays would seem to “fly by” because I’d be so excited about the coming weekend. I was working toward an exciting (or, at least, relaxing) Saturday. Friday would be a blur. And I’d be so happy about that.
Nowadays, I absolutely hate when time seems to fly by in a blur.
I’ll even sometimes remark to Oh that I feel a little bit sad when an afternoon or evening seems to be moving along too quickly. And she’ll nod her head in agreement.
Whereas before I used to wish time would fly by, I now wish that time would slow down. Even freeze completely.
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun
Unfortunately, time seems to move faster and faster for me these days.
This is because the passage of time can be felt differently, depending on what we’re doing and how we feel.
It’s a phenomenon we’ve surely all experienced, yet we might have a hard time putting our finger on it.
Since my entire life is one that’s now built on passions, productivity, and progress, time is this thing that constantly slips between my fingers. I can never seem to get enough time at the coffee shop, gym, or evenings out.
Time is a cruel friend. It seems to move slowly when we’d like it to move fast, and quickly when we’d like it to slow down.
Make Your Wish Come True
This is all to say, you should aim to make your wish come true.
If you ever find yourself wishing time would “fly by”, get busy setting your life up in a way that makes this happen as as a consequence.
Aim for FIRE. Imagine a future you that’s already financially free, because then you’ll know it’s an inevitability that you’re marching toward.
But also set your life up in a way that promotes a proper balance of work and leisure, along with progress-oriented fun.
If that’s how you build your life, you’ll surely notice that time flies by. You’ll have no choice about the matter, in fact.
Be Careful What You Wish For
But be careful what you wish for.
I used to wish that time would speed up so that I could get through those unhappy days at work.
And so I worked incredibly hard to achieve FIRE and all that I knew it could offer me.
Well, it was all worth it. I’m here to report that FIRE is all that it’s cracked up to be.
It’s not without drawbacks, but I can’t think of a more advantageous or better way to set your life up. I can’t imagine a better foundation upon which to stand than financial independence that’s underpinned by enough passive income to cover your essential expenses in life and free you from a job.
If I thought a better type of life existed, I’d be living it.
However, as great as all of it is, my time does now seem to “fly by” a little bit. There’s been an acceleration – even if it’s just imaginary. I feel it.
Now, I know that it seems to go by so fast because I’ve never enjoyed life more than I do now. I’ve honestly never felt better or happier than I do right now. As a consequence, my time has never seemed to move faster than it does right now.
So I’m not complaining.
I’m only advising you to be careful what you wish for.
If you frequently find you or your co-workers wishing for time to “fly by”, take a step back for a moment and think about what that really means. Time is all we have. It’s the most valuable and important thing in life. Without it, we have nothing.
Get busy setting your life up in a way that actually makes the time seem to fly by – in a good way.
You might find that time flies by a bit quicker than you’d like, when you’ve achieved the lifestyle of your dreams.
But it’s a drawback that’s more than worth the benefits.
So stop wishing for time to fly by. And make it so that it actually does!
What do you think? Ever wish for time to “fly by”? Why or why not? Would you rather live your life in a way that makes time actually fly by – in a good way?
Thanks for reading.
Image courtesy of: atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
P.S. If you’d like to achieve financial freedom and make your time seem to “fly by”, check out some awesome tools that I personally used on my way to becoming financially free at 33!