Things Don’t Always Have To Go Exactly As Planned

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As planned, I found myself waiting for a flight on an early mid-September morning.  My excitement for this trip had been building for weeks.  Who would I meet?  What new opportunities would arise?  How would this trip influence my future?  The possibilities seemed endless.

But there was only one problem.

This wasn’t the trip I was originally supposed to take.  It wasn’t the one I’d planned for.  So what happened?

When I registered for FinCon16 last December, there’s no way I could’ve predicted the twists and turns my life would take over the next nine months.  Instead of flying from San Antonio, Texas to San Diego, California, I found myself on another continent departing London, England for Frankfurt, Germany.

In December 2015, I was a full-time employee with aspirations of financial independence and an early exit from the 9-5 grind.  As a relatively new blogger, I dove in headfirst to everything the FIRE community had to offer.  I devoured blogs endlessly, connecting with others who were on a similar path.  When I  learned about FinCon, I knew this was something my wife and I would have to attend.

Now, less than a year later, I no longer work full time and instead have begun building a new career, one that ditches the monotony of the daily grind and better suits my personality.  I’m actually doing many of the same things I was doing before, but now I’m picking and choosing what projects I work on and when.  So far, everything is working out amazingly well and new opportunities seem to pop up daily.

Really, this is the beginning of what I’ve envisioned for what seems like an eternity, but the way I got here was completely unexpected.  Many in the FIRE community, myself included to an extent, seem to be natural planners.  We set milestones and targets.  We have spreadsheets for everything and have simulated countless scenarios.

But you know what?  Life doesn’t always work out exactly the way we plan.  It’s unpredictable.  One unanticipated event could trigger a whole slew of unexpected consequences and take you down paths you’ve never imagined.

While it’s great to plan for the future, and I’m a big believer in having a strong overarching vision for your life, try not to get too caught up in sticking to the details of your plan or you may end up missing some incredible opportunities that’ll arise seemingly out of nowhere along the way.  We’re still hoping to make it to FinCon one day.  Who knows when that might be.  For now, we’ll stick with our vision and let all the details work themselves out.

 

16 thoughts on “Things Don’t Always Have To Go Exactly As Planned

  1. Mr. SSC says:

    Exactly! I mean two years ago I would’ve laughed if you’d told me I’d be A) interested in a financial conference, B) excited about going to one C) writing a blog that sometimes talks about personal finance and early retirement. 🙂 It’s crazy how life changes so quickly and rarely the way we think it should go.

    It keeps things exciting though!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      You’re so right. I love that things are constantly changing and unpredictable. When I was younger, I never could’ve guessed my life would turn out the way it has and I have no idea what the next few years will bring. Definitely keeps it exciting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vicki@MakeSmarterDecisions says:

    The comment “new opportunities seem to pop up daily” – is just as fun and even more important than things like conferences because it’s your life. I love your attitude – big overarching goals and let the details work themselves out! Much less stressful than the way most people go after their goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Our Next Life says:

    I missed meeting you guys at FinCon — I know you would have loved it. But, I remain super excited for this new journey you’re on, and know you will get so much out of it. Kudos for staying flexible and open-minded as your life unfolds before you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I’m sure we’ll get another chance to meet up down the road. I’m excited, too. It’s kind of fun to be in a position where you have no idea what’s going to happen next, yet at the same time being at a point financially where it doesn’t matter. Very freeing to say the least.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    This post is so true!
    It’s inspiring to hear that in just a years time you’ve ditched the grind and are doing things that better suit your personality. I kind of feel I’m on a similar path as you. It seems like we share that same amazement at what is happening in our lives. I love what you said at the end…

    “I’m a big believer in having a strong overarching vision for your life, try not to get too caught up in sticking to the details of your plan or you may end up missing some incredible opportunities that’ll arise seemingly out of nowhere along the way.”

    This is something you have to almost experience first hand to truly realize, but the results are incredible once you do. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks, Graham. It has been crazy and I could never imagine going back to a standard 9-5 job ever again. I honestly think if more people took a chance and followed their passions, they’d have a similar experience.

      Having a big financial cushion and not being desperate for money really is a game changer when it comes to having the confidence to take chances and see what happens.

      I can’t wait until our internet service finally gets set up and then big things can really start happening!

      Like

  5. TJ says:

    ““I’m a big believer in having a strong overarching vision for your life, try not to get too caught up in sticking to the details of your plan or you may end up missing some incredible opportunities that’ll arise seemingly out of nowhere along the way.””

    This rings true with me. It’s one reason I’ve tried not to completely map out my road trip, especially five months ahead of time. I think everyone has to find their right balance of spontaneity and plans. You don’t want to be so open-ended that you end up defaulting to lazy, but at the same time, there’s something to be said about keeping your options open and seeing what happens.

    I go back and forth between the idea of trying to generate revenue on the road and taking this time to just focus on myself and living off my existing assets for a little bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I think your comment really nailed it. Everyone should find the balance of planning and spontaneity that works for them.

      We’ve always enjoyed road trips. Our kids do surprisingly well and it’s given us an inexpensive way to see lots of the US and hopefully soon Europe as well. We’ll be following you as you lead up to and head out on your big trip. I’d say try to make a little money while on the road, but don’t let it become a distraction. Best of luck!

      Like

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