position of strength

Kickass Motivation through Public Accountability

~ I will be able to retire within 10 years from today. ~

This is a challenge to myself, as well as encouragement to anyone else who wants to join me in this journey to financial freedom. This position of strength will grant us the time to do whatever we want to do (even continuing optional work) without having to worry about money. I write this here in this public forum, not to brag, but to hold myself accountable to you and to the me 10 years in the future who will be very disappointed if they are not yet financially independent.

If I had started thinking about this earlier, I could be much closer to this goal. But part of this process involves making peace with my past, and I invite anyone else of any age interested in joining me to look forward with optimism. Today is the first day we can change the rest of our lives.

Don’t worry, there will be no need for major windfalls like winning the lottery or gambling with individual stock-picking or timing the market. Financial freedom does not require working until an “official retirement age” or “hitting a homerun” to amass a stash. Unlike current popular belief, early retirement is really simple.

We will succeed by following 3 simple steps: (1) avoid debt, (2) spend less than we earn, and (3) invest the surplus. The more we save and invest, the shorter the timeline. As a safety margin, I am giving myself up to 10 years, but If you could maintain a 75% savings rate, the you{+7} could already be retired. How exciting would that be!

I turn 29 years old today, May 27, 2017. Before I turn 39 years old, I will be able to retire. This is simply a fact for I{<39}; I{>29} will make it so. And so it must become.

So this post is a birthday can of kickass motivation through public accountability; this is the best gift I could think of to give myself. If I fail in this goal, I will be the first to mock and criticize myself (and I’m asking that you throw stones too), so I better not disappoint!

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From a Position of Strength

As a successful Single Player, you will be able to live and thrive on your own, for yourself. It is from this Position of Strength, where you can better show compassion and live for others. When we try to show compassion without strength, is where we might have others applaud our efforts because we are showing that we care; but we are not really helping.

For others will have to help us. For others will have to take care of us. For others will have to save us when we are over-committed and under-resourced.

“But how can you say that, you monster!” you might tell me.

Why aren’t I handing out money or food to every helpless person I see? Why aren’t I putting in all my extra time at charities? Why aren’t I helping others not starve?

I am not ready yet.

I am not yet in a position of strength. If I were to slow down now, I would be that much weaker when the time comes where I truly need this strength. But the very real concern here is – What happens in the interim? What happens in the transition period, the growing time towards that Single Player Strength?

I cannot save everybody. You (probably) cannot save everybody (yet).

But we can, first and foremost, save ourselves. If everyone saves themselves, then there would be no need to save others. But even if more people were to save themselves, then we would be able to save more. If we try to affect and help those within our circle of influence, from a position of strength, then we are doing more than our share already, for our only responsibility should be for ourselves. Anything beyond the goal of becoming a strong Single Player is already us showing compassion.

Be mindful of who you help, too. Some people thrive under adversity. Some people need no help, or only a minimal push. Blanketing everyone we see with the same kind of compassion is not good, even though it might sound good. It might trigger Applause Lights. It might win the audience. But it is not good.

Build your strength for yourself first. Then, if you wish, appropriately help those around you to also become strong. Do not deprive others from growing their own strength. But also, watch out for those who really do need your strength. If you can help them directly, then do so if you wish. If you can’t help them directly, then you might have to let them go. You can grow yourself, and you can help grow those around you. Eventually, a future world with more stronger players may be able to help everybody; in the interim, we cannot.

Is it frustrating? Is it monstrous? Is it sad?

We must work quicker.