I am on a journey. I started it a while ago, and then I moved countries. And then started it again once I got settled. And then stopped when other things needed to happen. And now, I am starting it again, seriously this time, with no intention of stopping. This is my journey to FIRE.
So what is FIRE, and why should you care?
Financial Independence, Retire Early – the basic premise is simple. Increase your net worth by buying assets. These assets add to your bottom line, rather than take away from it. Rental properties, shares, mutual funds, a business, all these things pay you for having them. They should be earning enough that you don’t have to work. Work should be something you choose to do.
But why am I on this journey?
One of my core beliefs is that people can not be effective with their lives, in their community, or their endeavors while working a full time, 40-hour job. There simply is not enough time in the rest of the week to become as fully effective, as helpful, as successful, as one could be. Especially when you’re dedicating your most productive 8 hours to someone else every day.
No person should be completely dependent on a single source of income either. That leads to mental slavery. The person holding the paycheck says jump and you only ask how high after your first few jumps. You end up doing things you dislike or even outright hate because “its part of the job”. You end up hanging out with people you don’t like because “they are my colleagues”. No one should be living like that. We, as people, end up putting way more effort into things we choose to do. And we can choose to do things because we want to or we have to, but we choose it non-the-less.
And that choice makes all the difference. Once you have achieved FIRE and you don’t need to work anymore, what will you do? Spend 6 months in Africa, helping orphans? Travel Europe and experience the world, with no time limit, instead of only having three weeks to enjoy it? Getting stuck into your community and becoming a councilor to help those around you? Suddenly your options are open. You have the time and the mental capacity to really become a helpful member of the community.
I believe everyone should be trying to find their version of FIRE, no matter what it is. Having more people free from having to work will have a major impact on this world – from traffic during rush hour, to having the time to really go through their bins and try a Zero Waste Lifestyle. The end goal is a net win for humanity, and the planet.
But what am I doing to get there?
I have started small. Due to a few recent expenses and an upcoming trip to Thailand. But slowly I have been investing money into New Zealand shares – for a small country, the economy is pretty rock starish. I have started running ads on my site, and so far earned a theoretical $9! I am also looking for more things – investing in a friends business for example. All these things to diversify my income stream. Its an end goal to get to the point where my actual job is less than 50% of my total annual income.
At the end of the day, I want to experience life. I don’t want to have to ask for permission to go on leave. I don’t want someone else having control over my life. I don’t want the fear of “what if I lose my job?”. I want a life that’s free. Free to become effective, to become helpful, and free to enjoy every waking moment of this gift called life.
I hope you come with me. I hope we can do it together. I hope to see you next to me, in India, helping to plant trees. I hope everyone around me can join me, and we can start giving back to the world. Because time is all we have. And giving your time is the best gift of all.
If you have any questions, from my journey to yours, feel free to ask. I believe we can do this together. There is no competition. It’s a group effort. And I succeed when we all succeed.