Save, invest, build robustness, surround yourself with quality, live life with passion, and seize your freedom. My journey to freedom began some years ago when I decided to build a life that is free and independent of the concerns shared by the bulk of society. I was sick and tired of being whipsawed by world events and the depressing ineptitude in Washington DC. I was disgusted at constantly being manipulated by politicians and external forces seemingly beyond my control. I also had no desire to be a cubicle slave clinging to a paycheck to maintain our family’s standard of living. I wanted to be free to speak my mind or walk out the door at any time and not think twice about it. I knew deep down that if our livlihood depended on a paycheck then we would forever be clinging to the status quo of life – slaves to process and maintaining the status quo. If that was our reality, then basic fundamentals like honor, integrity, and honesty would occasionally come into conflict with well being. I hated that paradigm and set out to destroy it. I set out to build a life of freedom and quality – empowering my family to seize opportunity and quality wherever we could. Some people define the quest as “early retirement.” I would define it as being your own person in a setting where external forces have little sway over you and your loved ones. Once attained, then work becomes a choice rather than a necessary process. If that describes how you feel then please join me in the quest to find that special place.
The spark for this blog was spawned by the discovery of a life philosophy born from years of study, observation, and trial and error. My goal is to explain what I have learned through my journey towards freedom in the vain hope that some of you may find it useful in your own lives and perhaps some will adopt the methods which will allow you to seize the day when opportunities arise and grow stronger and more resilient for having done so. American history is filled with examples of the self-made, self-reliant individual and this country is still defined by the opportunity to seize the day. A huge part of the above path is attaining financial independence which a large part of this blog will be dedicated to. Other areas will also relate to the theme: self-reliance; dealing with chaos and crisis; finding quality; enjoying everyday life etc. The freedom formula is simple and the posts that follow will all fall into one of these categories:
Live on as little as practical
Invest the remainder
Other than hitting the lottery or inheriting wealth there’s no other way to do it. This reality means that you’re going to have to be disciplined. Far moreso than wild investment success, it’s discipline which is the most important factor to finding freedom.
Our family’s somewhat frugal life choices are far from the norm in everyday America but at this point we don’t lack for anything I can think of (one of the advantages of starting early enough). It still baffles me why more Americans don’t strive to be more self-reliant and strive for financial independence early in life. Living well beneath one’s means and investing the surplus in quality assets makes eminent, logical sense. It is sad to see so many people sentence themselves and their families to financial difficulty and dependence when the solution is simple and right in front of them. I think that part of the problem is our national narrative. It is interesting that our media and national leadership will never blame the so-called victims, they will quickly find the villian and place all blame on the external factor. Bernie Madof stole from his investors! Bankers misled their clients and put them into bad mortgages! Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy destroyed livlihoods! Businesses are screwing their workers with low wages! Nobody tells people to look in the mirror for the cause of a lot of their problems. Nearly everything that happens to us can be traced to our own decision-making. The power to live a rich, fulfilling, independent life is in all of us. Don’t be a victim. Don’t let others define the problem on your behalf – it does you no good. It is our natural calling to take charge of our lives and seize the day.