Freedom is an ideal this country was founded on, it’s all something we truly want. Why does everyone work their ass off? So they can have enough money to have some goddamned freedom. Well, that’s what I’ve always thought. Some people just want flashy shit. That’s cool, but I just want to be able to have enough cash in the bank to do whatever-the-fuck I want. Not in the sense that I’d bail on responsibilities and go drinking at 10am because that man with pointy ears and dressed in red on my shoulder told me how much fun it would be……………
Just in the sense that I could go on a trip for an extended weekend or even travel for a month.
Enjoy life? Live? It can all be taken from us tomorrow, I’m at least going out guns blazin’ and seeing what the world’s got to offer. “The Man” ain’t keepin’ me down, no sir!
But for real, it’s a beautiful world and it’s a life worth living, not being stuck within 4 walls for 40-80 hours a week depending on how busy your world of work can be. Paychecks are nice, they alleviate a lot of headaches and support our living.
But what are you sacrificing for that paycheck? Is it worth it? Can you replace it from elsewhere?
There are always other benefits of having a cushy, secure job to weigh in. Now, take those benefits and throw a numerical value on them and put them in the paycheck. NOW, take your gripes, the headaches, the sick-to-your-stomach-can’t-sleep-at-night stress and put a numerical value on THOSE. Be rational and be careful of exaggeration. Pro’s and con’s. Remember this little tool we used in 4th grade?
Dust it off and use it again.
Now – let’s circle back (no pun intended) to our sense of freedom. Let’s assume your cons outweigh it all and you seek more freedom. How you find that is totally up to you. If you have a wife, kids, bills, it’s hard to make a sudden jump. Lot’s of variables rely on your paycheck and benefits. Before you do anything drastic, I highly recommend the Tim Ferris Collection (he should have one, they’re all incredible reads). He, amongst his interviewees, have many different tools and paths to success – however you may define it.
Read his stuff before you read mine. I’ve told NO ONE about this little project of mine. It’s purely for myself at the moment. If you’re reading this in 2019, I’m not sure how you found it, but here I am. Peek-a-boo?
I found my freedom, and it’s not ideal at the moment, but now I have all I ever wanted paired with his good friend – time. With these 2 together, I’ve started to chase a lot of activities and interests I didn’t have time or energy for prior to my jump. Income is still a concern, but it is for about 99% of people I know.
BUT I need to set some guidelines. Some have already been set through habit and routine, but unless these are documented and put onto paper they’re too easy to slip from. These are not rules. I am becoming hellbent on understanding and subsequently breaking rules and boundaries. Not to rebel, but to create. Roads were once paths, paths were once boundaries of forest, mountain, or water – obstacles, nothing more.
These are guidelines. How to traverse the unwalked path before us.
- Stick to a morning routine.
- I wake up after 8 hours of sleep (usually it’s bed early and rise early 11-7ish). Water immediately, meditate, write 2,000 bullshit words to clear my head, drink some coffee, read a little, shower, head to the gym, and clean when I come back. This process can take up to 4-5 hours so it’s the first 3rd of my day. Then I’ll have lunch, reset my mind with a YouTube video and start to attack my To-Do list.
- Have a To-Do list done the night before.
- It’s easy to have a list in the morning and make it easy for yourself depending on how you feel. Drank too much the night before? Coffee is now a task on the To-Do list. But I also won’t tell myself I’m going to run a marathon the next day either. Keep it reasonable and have it propel yourself towards your WEEKLY To-Do list. I stick to roughly 4 tasks for the day and 5 for the week. This week I needed to get to the dentist (went too long without going, thanks Kristen, great job!), meet with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, and work on some investments. Nothing crazy, but all easily attainable. Mostly, it’s staying on task rather than falling down the rabbit holes of distraction which equates to lost time.
- Set attainable goals.
- EASILY where I struggle the most. It’s difficult, especially in transitional stages of your life to set these. Your heart and head are pulled in so many directions. Key word is ATTAINABLE. You’ve got to be able to measure these things. For me, this “blog” is one of them (Quotes because the word has become tainted over the years), standup comedy was another (I’m not funny…yet), learning an instrument (guitar is difficult AND painful? My poor, uncoordinated fingers…), and investing in myself (online certifications make this one easy). I set a time of the week to work on all of these goals and usually they’re on the To-Do list unless they’re assumed. The time-frames on each accomplishment certainly vary based on difficulty, but I’ve yet to set anything beyond a full year as life can change dramatically within a moment.
- Learn daily.
- Duh. Reading, documentaries, podcasts, discussion with people smarter than you (I’m quite dumb, so this one’s easy) – these are all valid types of education. Learning has always been the spice of life for me and the moment we stop, we’re stagnant. When we’re stagnant, all of our bullshit catches up to us and pulls us backwards (what’s up depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, that embarrassing thing I did in 7th grade). Continue to learn – something new, more about a subject you enjoy, but focus on that subject and take yourself out of your head. Introspectively you can go forever but putting your focus on something else makes that introspective view a little more interesting – to yourself and others.
- Side Note – Make sure to express yourself and create daily, too. I do this through writing, vlogging, blogging (ew, that word), streaming if I decide to play a video game (usually only weekends), or even MSPaint. But share it. Don’t keep it to yourself. I’m not saying shove it in people’s faces, but put it out there where people can see it. The internet has millions of places, who cares about how many people see it, just LET them see it… however good or bad you think it is.
- Let loose.
- No. Settle down, Farley (RIP). Stay disciplined throughout the week. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise vigorously, stretch, avoid excess in anything (that’s why it’s called “too much”). But once a week, throw it all out the window and live a little bit. Do it with friends. Put your attention into living an adventure and creating memories you can share with them down the road. Sunday brunch (buffet! Put away your protein shaker and grilled chicken for a day), have a bloody mary or 2 (not 30, Belushi) Do some silly shit. Go paintballing, build a snowman, zipline. Do something outside of your wheelhouse and do it with friends…but take none of it seriously. Who knows, maybe you’ll make some new friends, discover there’s a new skill or hobby for you to learn, or you’ll just laugh a lot and remember that day 30 years from now, putting an ear-to-ear smile on your face.
Life was meant for living, but only through discipline, determination, focus, and effort can we have those carefree moments, days, weeks, and months. Self-induced stress helps absolutely no one and subtracts from what little focus and attention you have. There’s no time for the bullshit, don’t create more of it. Set your goals, your To-Do lists, your habits and step down your path, whatever it may be.
Create your freedom.
” I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. “