What is your purpose?
I’ve struggled with that question for a long time.
I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
That’s been the answer I’ve provided time and time again when asked about my ambitions.
I knew that my career in Information Technology wasn’t it. I slogged away for 30 years doing work that didn’t touch my soul in pursuit of money to set myself free.
In 2021, I took a leap of faith and left the career that fed my financial dreams, and launched a mini-retirement to find the answer to the question I could never answer before.
Recently, I’ve spent more time pondering my purpose. I’ve been reading Taking Stock: A Hospice Doctor’s Advice on Financial Independence, Building Wealth, and Living a Regret-Free Life.
Sometimes we find something that hits us right where we need it most. That’s how I’m feeling about this book today.
It took me almost nine months away from the stresses of work to focus on my purpose and understand that my preconceived version of Financial Independence doesn’t have to be my final version.
Grinding away for financial gain doesn’t have to be your path to Financial Independence.
Even though I knew that my work was eating away at my soul, I pushed forward. My only focus was the drive to reach Financial Independence and set myself free.
During those years, I had little headspace to seek my purpose — nose to the grindstone, cash in the bank.
Blood pressure rising.
Fear drove me. Fear that if I gave up on my career, I would not achieve Financial Independence.
Jordan Grumet’s new book addresses the challenge and importance of discovering your purpose. Preferably early on in life.
If you understand your purpose, you can mold your life accordingly — wind up doing work you love.
Would I have been ready to walk away from work at 48 if I had loved my work?
I can answer with confidence now.
I’ve found something I enjoy and would do for free. My purpose is becoming clear.
You don’t have to work 30 years in a job you don’t love. You can and should work to discover your purpose early.
Fear and a scarcity mindset led me down my path. Your path doesn’t have to be like mine.
People who can find their purpose and mold their life accordingly can live a rich and rewarding life without the painful grind of work that sucks your soul.
Financial Independence is much more than a money goal.
25 times your annual spending.
Get there. Be free.
That’s what I thought and strove for.
What if you could live and experience the joys of life another way?
My Financial Independence path wasn’t the same as Mr. Money Mustaches. I spent a lot on stuff. Some that brought joy and some that just delayed my arrival to my financial goals.
I always knew there was more than one path. I’ve even read about other approaches, like Slow FI, Coast FI, etc.
However, I set one goal and pushed relentlessly ahead.
My ultimate reward would only come after reaching my financial goal.
Nine months later, I finally see that the benefits of a Financial Independent life are possible without a massive nest egg.
You gain significant freedom when you love what you do and achieve a balance. You rely on income from your work, but unlike my path, you enjoy your work.
Instead of putting off freedom for some future date, you enjoy freedom in your life on the journey.
It takes courage to live life in that way.
My journey has been fueled by fear.
Yours doesn’t have to be.
Waking up takes time and focus.
My mini-retirement has been a wake-up call since the day I left my career behind last fall. I could see changes in my perspective shortly after leaving.
Now nine months later, I continue to seek new information to understand my options better.
When I was slogging away, my path was set in stone.
Today, I see many paths in front of me — options galore.
As I become more comfortable discovering my purpose in life, I also feel better about the options ahead.
I also realize that I still have a lot of discovery to do.
Writing and sharing experiences in hopes that others may benefit brings me joy.
There is much more I hope to do in this world.
Can a Mini-Retirement help you?
Jillian has taken five mini-retirements, and J.L. took several throughout his career.
My first didn’t happen until I worked for 30 years. Hindsight tells me I would have benefitted from taking time away earlier in my career.
If you haven’t discovered your purpose, time away from work is a great help. Freedom from the daily stresses of a career can create a headspace for this important discovery.
A life shaped around your purpose sounds more appealing than my approach.
Work you do not love isn’t the only way.
A mini-retirement might be just the right prescription.
How long is long enough?
I saw big changes within weeks of initiating my mini-retirement. Nine months later, I still feel things are becoming more clear.
Jillian Johnsrud’s mini-retirements have been frequent and primarily short in duration. J.L. Collins took a break for about five years.
I don’t have an end date in mind yet.
I believe even a short mini-retirement would have provided the reset I needed if I wanted to return to the same soul-crushing work I did. It’s taken me much longer to start to understand my purpose.
Your mileage may vary, but any time away can be beneficial.
The Journey to Financial Independence Creates Freedom
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