Yesterday, for the first time since I left my full-time job over seven months ago, I didn’t have any work when I actually wanted to work.
That’s not to say there wasn’t any work available. I’ve found there’s always plenty of work to go around.
Yet, skimming through the list of editing jobs that had been allocated to me (and others) returned few worth the required effort. Earlier in the day, on two separate occasions, I tried to accept what appeared to be an easy edit of a well-written paper only to have it snatched up by another freelancer seconds before I clicked “Accept.”
Instead of settling on a less than ideal job with either an unrealistic deadline or enough errors to require a complete rewrite, I decided to take the day off.
I kept myself busy by reading and working out. Must be nice, huh?
As you approach financial independence, you can afford to be picky.
You can also take chances and find opportunities in unique situations. A few such possibilities have come about recently that would allow me to grow both personally and professionally. I’m hoping to share them soon.
I’ve discovered that is what this blog is really about. I initially thought the primary focus was on personal finance, but I’ve found that’s only a small part of the equation.
I didn’t realize the exact term for what this blog has become until the other day when I was reading a post on Reverse The Crush, one of my favorite blogs, written by Graham Bell. In his tagline, Graham uses the phrase “personal development.”
These two simple words articulate what I’m focused on right now.
What has allowed me to concentrate on this personal growth is our financial situation. Even with three kids, we’ve always been diligent savers. With a combined 20 years in the professional workforce (11+ for me, 8+ for the wifey), I’d estimate we’re about 80% of the way to complete financial independence.
Although we’re not 100% there, our financial security has enabled me to reassess my life and career goals and begin building a new lifestyle on my own terms.
For me, this is the biggest benefit of nearing financial independence. Money just isn’t all that important anymore and it’s liberating. That’s why I don’t get the negative comments on any article published on a mainstream site written about those seeking an early exit from the daily grind.
It’s not about extreme frugality and doing nothing all day. It’s about prioritizing so you can do anything every day. It’s about learning for the sake of learning. Trying something new because you thought it might be fun/challenging/scary. Visiting a new city or an old friend… just because.
I guess most people aren’t wired to take a chance and go against the grain. Society’s conditioned us all from day one to slave away, barely scraping by, because that’s just how it is.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Determine what’s important to you and make the changes necessary to achieve those things.
A part of me has always wanted to be financially free and for the longest time I thought it was about the money. But I’ve realized that I don’t even care about money. And I don’t care about stuff.
All this time, I’ve been after the journey of personal development. Now I’m just getting started.