If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. – Steve Jobs on work
I have a couple pieces of information that you may find interesting:
- Early Retirement is not a goal. It’s a tool that gets you time back. That’s it. It’s not the end, but a beginning. This brings me to point #2.
- Work is the key to a happy life. If you’re planning on quitting so you can sit on the couch all day eating Cheetos and watching TV, stay at your job. You should take some time in early retirement to relax, but a life lived on the couch is not a life. The point is to do meaningful work on your own terms.
Note that I said work and not job:
- Work is performing a specific task like writing code, working in your garden or writing a blog post. My favorite work is building and creating.
- A job is all of the side-business that goes with conventional work including meetings, co-workers, a boss, an office and a paycheck.
Many of us enjoy our work; but not our job. I enjoyed my work as a software developer, but I enjoyed my job less.
More on all of this in a moment. First, we must get to last week’s question when I asked you about your favorite quotes.
I love quotes because a good one can convey clever wisdom in just a few words. Last week, I asked you what your favorite quotes are and here is what you said:
Reader Brian provided ths gem:
One piece of advice that I have used from my grandpa. You should try to fix anything once. That way you know why you are willing to pay someone if you don’t want to do it in the future and you might be surprised and what you can fix on your own.
Joe from Retire By 40 said this:
You just got to keep trying, no matter how hard it is. That’s life. Nowadays, my personal mantra is “keep at it.” Just keep going and it should turn out okay.
“Get rich once.” goes along with “when you’ve won the game, stop playing.”
It’s hard to stop playing. I find myself moving my money goalposts every time I’ve reached my net worth goal.
Full Time Finance had this to say:
An object in possession seldom retains the charm it had in pursuit” –Pliny the Younger
I noticed this with my fancy car. It’s still fun and I enjoy it, but now that it’s out of my system, I’ll sell it someday and not look back.
And finally, reader Jacob reminded me of this great one from Fight Club:
We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.
Your Ideal Work
If you put the word retirement into google image search, the results are images of old people frolicking on the beach (and some really weird other stuff):
It’s OK to sit on the beach all day when you’re 85 and have lost your mobility. It’s not OK when you’re 45 or 35 and have many, many good years ahead of you.
MMM himself is a good example of someone who is living a successful life after conventional work ended. He has built a studio in his backyard, turned a dilapidated property on Main Street Longmont into a thriving retail store and co-working space, and built a tiny house. He does this work according to his own rules and whenever he wants to. He enjoys building stuff. This is meaningful and worthwhile work.
What Would You Do?
Last week, Joe from Retire By 40 tweeted this:
If money isn’t a consideration, what would be your dream job? Assuming you can also work at your own pace and don’t have to deal with any workplace BS. I don’t know why, but I’m thinking Marine Biologist. Wouldn’t be cool to work with neat ocean creatures?
— Retire by 40 (@retirebyforty) August 10, 2018
With Joe’s permission, I ask you the same thing:
What is your ideal work? If you could do anything and do it completely on your own terms, what would you do?
It’s a fun, but difficult question. Be careful what you wish for! I’m so fortunate to have found work that I genuinely love twice in my life, but both times, it was by accident. I’ll save the stories for my Wednesday post.
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