The Chains of the Mind

We become prisoners of our mind long before we become prisoners of our body.

Many people expect that once they reach FI, they’ll just be happy. They usually have plans of travel, volunteering, founding that start-up, or even just a long staycation.

All the things they told themselves and others that they would do if only they had enough money and time.

But then what?

I’m not FI yet, but I have glimpses into that future for myself.

As it turns out, life actually doesn’t change tremendously, because you’re still you… with pretty much all the same problems and issues (except with fewer money-related ones).

How can this be?

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My Own Why of FI: My Parents’ Twilight Years

I came back to New York City to take care of my parents in their twilight years.

One of the main reasons for my wife and I to return home to New York City was because of my parents. They were getting older and started to physically and mentally decline. As the youngest (and only) son , I was expected to be around to help them. And, eventually, take over their affairs.

But as much as I tried to get them to plan, my elderly parents simply refused to take action. And I don’t think this is unique to them.

So when the critical event does happen – a sudden medical emergency, such as a fall or a stroke – you are almost always scrambling to do damage control after the fact.

If I weren’t (almost) financially independent, I don’t know how I could possibly have managed things.

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Cancer, Death, and the Gift of Clarity

The prospect of our inevitable death should make us appreciate our life so much more.

The prospect of our inevitable death should make us appreciate our life so much more.We all think and act like we will live forever, or, at least until some far off, future date that we prefer not to think about.

This is very much how I thought of my time on this earth. As a child, I was obsessed with academic performance. And then for almost 20 years I was obsessed with my career and compensation. In the past few years, I’ve been obsessed with financial independence.

But this was always in the context of balancing an enjoyable and fulfilling life now with an even more enjoyable and more fulfilling life in the future.

What if that future turns out to be only 5 years later? or 2 years? or 1 year?

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Avoiding the Regrets of the Dying, Regret #4

Can one really have friends for life, outside of spouses and family?

I’ve been doing a lot of contemplation and reflection on palliative nurse Bronnie Ware’s 2009 viral post in which she listed the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. These are my reflections.

I am chagrined to say that lifelong community is something which I only recently have started to long for.

#4 I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

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Avoiding the Regrets of the Dying, Regret #3

Just writing this blog is an act of courage for me.

I’m writing a series related to palliative nurse Bronnie Ware’s 2009 viral post where she listed the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.

Fear is something that I’ve written about before, and this third most common regret is really a manifestation of fear.

#3 I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Continue reading “Avoiding the Regrets of the Dying, Regret #3”

Avoiding the Regrets of the Dying, Regret #2

Another long night at the office

Palliative nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a viral post back in 2009 where she listed the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. I’m doing a post series about my thoughts.

This post focuses on the second most common regret, a particularly common one amongst Type A personalities in ultra-competitive industries.

#2 I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

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Avoiding the Regrets of the Dying, Regret #1 (Thank You Bronnie Ware)

Trying to stay away from an unsmiley-face life

One of the reasons why I’ve pursued FI is because I want to learn from and avoid the regrets of those who have gone before.

In her 2009 blogpost entitled Regrets of the Dying, palliative nurse Bronnie Ware outlined the top 5 regrets that people have as they lay on their deathbed.

I came across references to it in many books. Avoiding these regrets became one of my driving forces in pursuing FI.

This is a series on my thoughts and musings about each one.

#1 I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

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My Own Why of FI: Gym Epiphany

Wish I were as buff as this guy now! (Image used under license from Freestock.com)

I went to the gym recently, the first time in roughly 12 months. I had taken a break from my expensive, high end gym in New York City in order to reduce a high recurring expense. But then I cancelled it because my job at that time had become really stressful, and I didn’t have time for consistent gym work out sessions. Big mistake.

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Clever and Lazy is the Sweetspot for… Financial Independence Retire Early?

The Person Who is Clever and Lazy Qualifies for the Highest Leadership Posts

– General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord, 4th Chief of the German Army Command, Weimar Republic

General von Hammerstein-Equord, 1929. Courtesy Wikipedia.org.

I came across the above quote a few years ago during my path to financial independence.

I thought it was extremely obnoxious, overly simplistic, and yet disturbingly true.

Continue reading “Clever and Lazy is the Sweetspot for… Financial Independence Retire Early?”