The month of June was a difficult one for me and I re-learnt an important lesson. There was a perfect storm of difficulties i.e. both professional and personal difficulties arriving at the same time and creating havoc.
- Professionally, my company had a layoff…it was a stressful week while all of this was happening as the laid off folks were not announced at the same time. Fortunately I was not affected, but a friend and colleague was. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Nothing to compare what my friend was going through, but I have been around a few layoffs in my career and it leaves more disgust in its wake each time. My mind was yearning for freedom from all of this for many days. What this event made clear is that the path I am on right now i.e. the path of achieving Financial Independence, is the best choice I could have ever made.
- Personally, there was a family emergency that forced me to travel across the country and away from my office at the critical time of layoffs. The issue took a week to resolve itself and the resolution was mostly positive. But, while I was spending time out there, my mind kept coming back to my work and the layoff scenario. I know that is really lame, but I kept wishing I had the freedom to spend some more time taking care of the family issue rather than coming back after a week or so.
On my path to Financial Independence, I am learning a lot from my experiences and in a bigger way from all the smart people who share experiences from their financial independence journey. And somehow along the way, my journey has focused mostly on financial goals. Yes, finance is a great part of achieving financial independence, but I think I forgot the true underlying reason to reach for Financial Independence. I would like those who are reading this to pause and rethink the reasons for their FI journey. Anyways, my real reason is hinted in the title of this post, which is a total steal from some wise person. I just do not remember whom to make a proper attribution to….my apologies for this.
True financial independence is not only about having enough money, but it is also about having total control of your time. It is the ability to spend time as you wish and when you wish it. I remember some wise soul saying that everything in life is about trading money for time OR vice versa. FI is about trading money for time i.e. building enough FU money (link below) to be able to gain control of our time in life. The amount of money needed for FI may be different for each person, but once achieved, you have control of how to spend your time and that is being wealthy. While I was waiting for the family situation to resolve itself, I re-learnt this important feeling of wealth. Thanks to June 2015.
PS: I am behind on some of my blog updates and replies to some wonderful comments. My apologies for that along with my promise to get back to them soon.
3 thoughts on “When you have total control of time, you feel wealthy!”
I hope that all now stays fine in the family and that the work situation normalizes.
In the long run, it sounds you had a motivation that proves to be a great motivator for the FI journey
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Hope you’re able to take a little time to decompress from what sounds like a lot of job and family stress!
As for money and time, the ONLY value of financial independence is to be able to trade money for time, never money for its own sake. So even though planning for FI is making us wealthy, our real “wealth” is what money will let us do, namely not work anymore. 🙂
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I remember in 2008-2009, my hospital was going through the hiring freeze. It was a like a wake up call for me. It changes my mentality on investing and saving completely.
Anyhow, you are well-prepared for this sort of situation as I see you continue to build up the emergency fund.