Beep-beep! That's the sound of the alarm clock at 6:30 in the morning. After hitting it harder than I should, I shuffle, slowly, into the bathroom to wash up and get ready for work. A quick breakfast goes down the hatch and then I'm off to the bus stop, or a quick hop on my 49cc scooter if the weather is nice.
Then it's almost 11 hours of work. Answering phone calls, filling out estimates, putting out proverbial fires and taking care of clients. At some point in the midst of the hustle I try to get time for a quick lunch. Mainly, however, it's moving and adjusting; fixing and filing.
Then it's time to go home. I get to finally do what I want to do! Great, right? Well, sort of. I only get about three hours of such freedom, and I've been awake for over 12 hours already at this point. So after the day is almost done and the sun is on it's way down, I get to work on projects that I'm passionate about, such as this blog. Soon thereafter it's a warm shower and then off to bed.
This is my life. At least from Monday through Friday, it is.
What if this were a movie?
It could be titled A Life Less Examined, or Freedomless. I'm sure titles like that would sell millions of tickets!
While I'm exaggerating a bit here, this quick glimpse of my life looks a lot like a glimpse into many other people's lives. It's filled with repetition, a work-life balance that leans way too hard to the work side of the scale and a sense of exasperation.
Except for one big difference.
I'm doing something to change it all.
I'm living well below my means, saving more than 60% of my net income by sharing a cheap apartment, living without a car, avoiding frivolous spending and keeping perspective. The power of saving this kind of money is not to be underestimated. Saving most of my free capital and investing the surplus into high quality opportunities means that I'm slowly, but surely, buying freedom.
And freedom is everything. It means there need not be any more repetition. It means life can be lived on your terms. It means that that work-life balance can tilt all the way to life if you want. You can break that damn scale!
What if you could travel the world indefinitely? Would a life like that be exciting? Would that be something people would want to watch? Would you want to watch it? You could be a nomad who meets people all over the world, forming lifelong relationships in countless countries. One year in Thailand, seeing some of the greatest beaches and Buddhist temples in the world. The next year it's Ecaudor where the U.S. dollar is the national currency, English is widely spoken, the cost of living is cheap and the people are friendly. Or maybe you travel throughout the U.S. for a year or two on the most epic road trip ever. Great cities like Chicago and San Francisco beckon, and so does Small Town U.S.A. Your movie could be called The Infinite Adventurer. That has a nice ring to it. This movie might be the best one of all!
What if you could wake up when you want? Be who you want? Spend your life creating things that bring value to you and others around you? You could build, tinker and invent. No longer a slave to project deadlines placed upon you by forces who care not for your input, you're free to work at your own pace. Maybe this movie is titled Life Reinvented. I like it!
What about spending time with family on your terms? Maybe you have young children you want to raise, rather than allow them to be a little too familiar with day care. You could play with your young ones; nerd out on board games, cuddle up to movies or go for long walks. You and your significant other could also spend more time with each other without needing to decompress after long days at a stressful job. At this point, life is about encouragement, learning, sharing and love. It's about spending time with loved ones and enjoying the little things in life. This movie is a blockbuster, because it's a story we can all relate to. It's calledMagnum Opus: Mi Familia. I'd love to watch it.
In the end, it doesn't matter how you spend your time. Because it's your time. But the key is getting to the point where it is your time. As long as you're chained to a desk and longing for freedom time is not your own. And that doesn't make for a very exciting movie or a very exciting life, for that matter.
I'm not saying life should be, or needs to be exciting. What I am saying is that life should be what you want it to be. It should be the life you'd want to create if you could write your own book, with you as the title character. Your life is a collection of little, seemingly insignificant decisions you make every single day. But these decisions aren't insignificant. Grains of sand don't seem very special until you have millions of them lining a beautiful beach. And pennies don't seem to add up to much until you're spending more of them than you make. Every decision is important. Every dollar adds up. And every day, once gone, is gone forever.
Be the you you'd want to be if you could star in your own movie. Because you are starring in your own movie! And every sound of "Action!" from the director (you) is a chance to make the right decision, to chase freedom and make this life the best damn life you can possibly make it.
What's the title to your life's movie? Would you want to watch it?
Thanks for reading.
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