Author Topic: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?  (Read 1422 times)

moneytaichi

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Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« on: October 11, 2018, 11:44:09 PM »
As an over-achiever, you guess what I am doing after 6 months into FIRE? I am writing a memoir book on how I decided to quit my lucrative, but miserable job. I enrolled in a community writing class in late August and have really enjoyed writing. The problem is that I quickly become obsessed on my writing and even start counting my daily word production. I get little stressed out in the last month by driving myself too hard.

Luckily, I recognized it's my "over-achiever" behind the scene, plus her pal "Perfectionist". I had my first therapist session in six months. Man, I realized how deeply I am addicted to achieve. My homework is to figure out sensible writing hours. I am thinking about 15 hours per week outside of my 3 hour weekly writing class and ad-hoc writing meetups. That's really a lot already. But it's a good place to start. The whole thing is little comical, at least to me.

For over-achievers out there in MMM, do you want to share your stories (and how you manage to curb its bully energy)? We all can benefit from your experience and get a good laughter too :-)

Metta

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Re: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2018, 06:43:17 AM »
I am also writing and somewhat obsessed by my word count and am constantly working on it. So much so that I stopped calling myself retired and switched to calling myself a writer. As a result people no longer give me baffled looks, now they give me sad looks (clearly I must be struggling and unable to find work).

I love this life so much! What makes it possible to write without any income is the money we saved to become FIRE. Writing without having to worry about income is a completely different experience than Iíve had before. Now that I donít have to justify every piece I write on the basis of its potential future income, Iím free to experiment wildly. Iím free to toss things that donít work right. I can be obsessed.

I donít plan to do much about the desire to work on the writing. What I am working on is the perfectionism, which will stop my writing cold if I let it.

FIREby35

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Re: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2018, 07:17:49 AM »
I'lljoin the discussion. I've recently accumulated as much assets as MMM himself when he retired (paid house, 600k+ in assets in LCOL area). I did all that by finishing college as an All-American athlete, 4.0 student, top of my law class graduate, law practice founder, law firm founder, non-profit founder, board member for 4 other major local non-profits, etcetrea.

Are you seeing the over-achiever problem? Lol.

For me, I'm not going to retire since I own my business and I do like many of my community oriented activities. BUT, I have to slow it all down. I have to put conditions on all of it that work for me.

I'm trying to live without goals. I have been goal-oriented to a fault. So, how can I begin to "take life as it comes" how can I "find what is mine to do." I'm seeing that many things I did, I could have left for others. I don't always have to "jump in" and "take charge." Sometimes, just being present and offering simple guidance to others is more than enough.

I'm also trying to add structural things. For example, I take the last Friday of the month off, I take my children to school at 8:45 and pick them up at 4 to limit my work hours, I refuse to take any work call after I leave (I made someone else in the office the after-hours contact), I take a one-month vacation in the winter where I purposely make no work stuff a priority.

I also have tried to think about my relationships and which ones are a priority. With work, I was able to create a stable foundation for my family. With that accomplished, I have chosen to elevate time with my family as the guiding principle. If an achievement/ambition is going to mess with that, I have to let it go.

Yoga and meditation have helped me see my overachieving in many different aspects of my life and gently let go of it piece by piece. The process is ongoing!


ysette9

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Re: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 05:30:49 PM »
I’m not quite there yet but I find this discussion very interesting. I suspect the type of person who can reach FI by 35 or 40 is also likely to suffer from this over achiever-itis. It is how we are programmed. I have this to a slight degree (my drive to achieve somehow exists with a lazy nature). I do wonder how it will go once I do reach that magical FI number.

Did any of you have a hard time actually piling the plug and walking away from your careers once you reached FI?

moneytaichi

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Re: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 09:50:21 PM »
@FIREby35 and @Metta, thank you for your stories! I laughter loud to my tears. I saw a show poster on "The Marriage of Figaro". The poster has a checklist with three options: "Single", "In a Relationship", "It's Complicated!" They made me immediately thought about FIRE community, with our three options: "Working", "Retried, "It's Complicated!" Anyway, that gave me another laugh.

To @ysette9, walking from my job and old identities is very hard, but luckily I have support from an excellent therapist, friends, communities and my own years of meditation practice. Congratulations on being able to separate your own worth from achievement! It is a double-sword because it has helped me shape a life I want to live in, but sometimes it can overdo it. Achieving tendency is a useful servant, but a terrible master :)

FIREby35

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Re: Over-achiever after FIRE, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 07:48:31 AM »
@ysette9 Do I have a hard time pulling the plug? -- Yeah. For the last two years, I have had enough assets to be past "the point of retirement inevitability" which, to me, means I had enough money that if I just left my savings it would compound into a nice retirement (I'm 33 right now). Since crossing that threshold, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do. I think I landed on "it's complicated!"

For me, I have decided that "retiring" is not in the cards for at least a few more years. I have three small children at home (7, 5, 3). My family needs some stability right now so, while we travel for one long (but cheap!) vacation per year, most of the year we are home. So, I have focused on building my routine consciously. As an achiever, it has been a lot about what to STOP doing. Who to STOP impressing/caring about. How to find the balance of working while taking all liberties to say and do what I think is right without really being worried about what other people think. When you don't need anything from anyone, it is just a different vibe when interacting with people.

@moneytaichi I can't remember the name of the book, but I read a book about the daily routines of highly successful people. It was crazy because most of them limited their work to a few hours per day. If I remember right, Maya Angelou wrote for 3 hours a day for decades and produced a large body of work. The point I understood is that if a person is "working" in a calm, clear mindset for even a small amount of time then it can be highly effective. I feel like that with my law office, I work 7 hours a day and clearly accomplish as much (or more) as my peers who work 12 or more but their hours are less efficient because they are super stressed, over worked, unhealthy, out of balance with their family, etcetera. 7 hours of relaxed, clear, calm work is worth more than 12 hours of stressed work. You know?