Author Topic: How do you stay motivated?  (Read 14186 times)

Adventine

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How do you stay motivated?
« on: March 17, 2013, 11:00:55 PM »
Dear Mustachians,

I feel frustrated. It's taking so damn long to reach FI, even though I'm doing "all the right things."
I'm not comfortable posting exact numbers, but hopefully this is clear enough:

Monthly Salary: x
Monthly Savings: 60% of x
Debt: 0.00 (I've never had debt in my life and don't plan on starting anytime, ever)
Net Worth as of March 15, 2013: 21x (meaning my current stash is currently 21 times as large as my monthly salary)

According to the nifty little early retirement calculator at Networthify (http://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement), I could retire in 9.6 years, at 33 years old. It feels like an eternity.

I know that the logical answer to a faster retirement is to increase my income and my savings rate. I'm doing both things right now. I'm looking for more sources of income (I currently have three) and I'm trying to find ways to increase my savings rate to 65% and beyond.

But how does one deal with the interim? With the rising feelings of impatience, dissatisfaction, restlessness, that come with "waiting for my life to begin", so to speak?

My job is pretty good. It suits my skills and my temperament. It pays relatively well and has good benefits. I have a nice boss and I get along fine with my co-workers. The hours, although not perfect, are better than they used to be. Most days I get to go home on time. I have time to exercise, to read books, and to draw. My family and friends, although living normal consumerist lifestyles, don't nag like other unsupportive family members described on this forum.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I hate feeling stuck. I get that I'm in a privileged position compared to a lot of people. I know I'm making steady, definite progress every month. But I can't shake the nagging feeling that I'm going nowhere fast and that I will be in the rat race forever.

It's a terrible sinking feeling. Some days I hate everything and everyone, even though my life is a relatively good one. Sometimes I feel hopeless and totally demotivated. Of course it's an ugly feeling. I don't want to be this way.

Your thoughts and insights are appreciated.

gooki

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 12:43:45 AM »
How that your road to FI is well defined and moving smoothly, it's time to make it your secondary goal in life. Give yourself a high five, or do your I'm a financial badass dance (yes I have one of those).

Now that you've acknowledge that you are fucking badass, what do you want to do when you are FI? Can you start doing some of that now?

My only other tip, learn to love patience.

Ozstache

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 12:54:20 AM »
The accumulation phase is part of your life, whether you want it to be or not. Learn patience while waiting to ER because you're going to need it at some stage on the other side too. Be patient grasshopper!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 12:56:06 AM by Ozstache »

Vilx-

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 02:12:49 AM »
You're just 24 and you already want to retire?! Sheesh, kids these days! Why, when I grew up.... :D

Seriously though, I think that what you're stuck with is seeing just that one goal. Sure, it's one of the most important goals in your life, but not it's not the only one.  It's not like your life will only begin when you reach FI!

Frugality is not about holding your breath until The Magic Moment. It's about arranging your life in such a way that you can enjoy it without worrying about the money. In fact, you can already do it as well as you will be after that Great Milestone 10 years from now! What the calculator tells you is that in 9.6 years the interest from the money you will have stashed away will be equal to 40% of x per month. Which means, that you will be able to spend exactly as much as you are spending now, but without working at all.

But the overall goal here is to have an enjoyable life anyway. So your first priority would be to get a job that you like and arrange your life in such a way that it is comfortable right now. And then do the savings thing in the background, without giving it much thought. The early retirement should be a bonus at 33, not the sole goal in your sight, to which all else yields precedence. And if you realize that you cannot save 60% and still live a comfortable life, then you must save less. Yes, the retirement will be later, but you will be happier, and that's the main point.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 02:16:05 AM by Vilx- »

Mike

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 02:30:12 AM »
Find some hobbies pronto.  The more things you have going on in your life, the less opportunity there is to dwell on the time it takes to hit FI.  Then hopefully it will sneak up on you; one day, you'll wake up, glance at your account balances, and exclaim, "holy shit!  I can retire!"

I have about ten years left as well, only I'm 34 instead of 24 - so count your blessings, young'in!  :P

arebelspy

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 07:07:49 AM »
Switch from active mode to passive mode.

Stop worrying about FIRE, and let it happen in the background because you've designed a lifestyle to save 60-70%.

Then go out and kick ass and enjoy life.

You'll be FIRE very quick. And stuff will happen in the meantime - clearly you understand that, as you're planning for a much larger budget than now, because with a current expense rate of 0.4x - I.e. saving 60%, spending 40% (however I'm not sure how you're calculating it, as networthify doesn't have separate spending now and in ER, which is why I switched to a more accurate spreadsheet) and savings of 21x, your SWR on current portfolio would be only 1.9%. I'm assuming you don't FIRE today due to wanting a larger budget than you're currently living on.  Still, 9 years seems excessive if you truly do have 21x right now and live on 0.4x...

Anyways, I got sidetracked. Bottom line: your FI date is a watched teakettle.  It'll never boil at this rate, and it's going to feel so long to you.  Put it at the back of your mind and start a new hobby now that you've mastered the "improve spending and saving to FIRE early" hobby.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

momo

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 02:40:32 PM »
Agree on putting the early retirement goal in the background of your mind. I also share this same goal with you, however, as others have suggested find things and causes you enjoy now! Retirement isn't just a goal it is also part of a journey and along the way hopefully you discover what really matters to you.

To me by just focusing on the goal it is no different than a person saying I want to find my true love! Well that's a wonderful life goal. But, should someone wait for their soul mate before their life starts? Of course not. The same idea applies to early retirement.

For myself I choose to volunteer a lot. I dedicate time to create shared memories with loved ones, traveling on a tight budget, learning new skills, making last connections and a lot of self-reflecting.

So, find somethings you are passionate about. What is the fire in your belly? What drives you and inspires you to do your very best? Consider focusing on those pursuits while slowly creating your wonderful life and the time will pass faster than you can imagine. :)

Alternatively if that does not bring any ideas to mind, imagine what kind of legacy you want to leave the world and create it. Wouldn't you agree, our time is finite so it is our responsibility to make our time count?

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 05:06:26 PM by Stashtastic Momo »

Apocalyptica602

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 09:54:15 PM »
Feeling kind of similar to you OP.

I'm 24. I make a very nice wage as a Mechanical Engineer, I already completely max a 401k and Roth IRA. I'll finish paying off ~40k in college debt by the end of next month after only a year and 9 months of working full-time, after which I'll have another $1500 extra a month to invest in spillover taxable accounts, either more index funds, REITs, etc.

I still feel 'stuck' and can't wait to become FI.

My job is 'okay', although I'll be transitioning in June to a different position / location within the same company that may be 'great' or still 'okay'.

Like you, I don't know what's my deal. I feel like a huge complainypants sometimes since I know I'm doing dramatically better off than the majority of my friends, and have excellent career prospects, a wonderful relationship, no major health issues, etc.

Only I can't actually complain, since if I tried to I'd be met with 'You're kidding right? I wish I was in your shoes' most of the time.

I'm definitely happy with my life, but sometimes I get apathetic and feel like another 10-15 years is too much still.

There's some great advice already in this thread. Just wanted to chime in to say that you're not alone in your feelings.

marty998

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 10:24:40 PM »
Yup...I feel the same way. Especially when you do start running on autopilot.....mortgage interest silently reducing, stocks purring along, expenses quietly holding steady.

Maybe just stop for 10 minutes a day and be content with how things are going. Then do a bit of life planning/dreaming. You might come up with 20 crazy ideas, but then find one of those is not so crazy after all.

Jamesqf

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 10:46:01 PM »
Quit worrying about FI, and especially about retiring early, and do some living in the moment.  Find things to do that you enjoy doing, and which don't cost a lot of money.  In my experience (gained the hard way, since I didn't have money back then) there are plenty of things that cost comparatively little, or are free, that give just as much pleasure as the spend-beyond-your-income sort.  Then the money you don't spend will accumulate, and one day you'll realize that FI has snuck up on you.

Likewise, if you hate your job, or even if you're just moderately bored by it, find something that you enjoy doing.

Adventine

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 11:37:39 PM »
Thank you for all the replies. The thoughtful responses are what keep me coming back to this forum.

I guess I'm feeling so angsty because I've made FIRE my main "hobby" for a couple of years now. I guess it's time to put it on autopilot and start new projects... like perfecting my own "I'm a financial badass" dance :D

You'll be FIRE very quick. And stuff will happen in the meantime - clearly you understand that, as you're planning for a much larger budget than now, because with a current expense rate of 0.4x - I.e. saving 60%, spending 40% (however I'm not sure how you're calculating it, as networthify doesn't have separate spending now and in ER, which is why I switched to a more accurate spreadsheet) and savings of 21x, your SWR on current portfolio would be only 1.9%. I'm assuming you don't FIRE today due to wanting a larger budget than you're currently living on.  Still, 9 years seems excessive if you truly do have 21x right now and live on 0.4x...

To clarify my Networthify calculations:
  • I have a stash of exactly 21.4x, meaning my total net worth is exactly 21.4 times as large as my monthly salary.
  • If I resigned tomorrow but maintained my current level of expenses (40% of my monthly salary), my stash would last me 53.61 months before I spent all my money.
  • I used the default Networthify values in the Annual return on investment (5%) and Withdrawal rate (4%) fields. However, I did put my total net worth in the "Current portfolio value" field. If I left it blank, I would be FIRE in 12.4 years.

arebelspy

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2013, 11:51:37 PM »
That was my mistake - 'staches are generally quoted in years of expenses, and my brain auto-kicked into that, rather than months.  So I was figuring you had 12x what you do.

You are correct.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2013, 11:57:54 PM »
Yup, it sounds like you need to blow off some steam. Go wild and do something unexpected every now and then.

Talk to ten strangers and see what you can learn from them.
Rent a motorcycle for a day.
Learn a new language.
Put aside the restaurant menu and tell the waitress "surprise me".
Get lost in a neighborhood you've never been to before and take pictures.
Set things on fire.


Adventine

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2013, 12:41:39 AM »
That was my mistake - 'staches are generally quoted in years of expenses, and my brain auto-kicked into that, rather than months.  So I was figuring you had 12x what you do.

You are correct.

It was my bad too; should've calculated it in years in the first place :)

Set things on fire.

You know what, I just might. ;)

Vilx-

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 02:27:56 AM »
And last but not least - let's not forget the power of music. Here - close you eyes and enjoy 4 minutes of beauty and inspiration. :)

brewer12345

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2013, 07:45:34 AM »
Think of it as a gift to your future self that you are saving now.  Then figure out what gifts you can give yourself today.  There is no guarantee you will be alive in 15 years, so don't postpone life.

Phoebe

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 08:06:06 AM »
I can so relate to you.  FI has been my main hobby too and when I found there was no fat left to trim and only time that needs to pass, I felt extremely ressless.  I still do, and sometimes find myself dreaming of buying a house so that I can sit around and think about decorating and the like, but I think the above comments are correct, that FI needs to now fade into the background.

I'm working on this myself.  I'm trying to focus on other hobbies like music and I'm also trying to keep in mind that some major life changes (like have kids) will mostly likely drastically change my life and I'll start to wonder how I ever had time to sit around and think about FI.

Good luck!

smedleyb

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2013, 08:34:18 AM »
I know that the logical answer to a faster retirement is to increase my income and my savings rate. I'm doing both things right now. I'm looking for more sources of income (I currently have three) and I'm trying to find ways to increase my savings rate to 65% and beyond.

But how does one deal with the interim? With the rising feelings of impatience, dissatisfaction, restlessness, that come with "waiting for my life to begin", so to speak?

If you're "waiting for your life to begin," you're doing it all wrong.  I've always looked at Mustachianism as "starting to live my life right now, on my terms, fuck all else."

brewer12345

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2013, 09:44:54 AM »
Another way to stay motivated: envision the future if you do not keep up your good work.

I am pushing 40 and mortally sick of cube life and large organization bullcrap.  I am bailing after the end of this year because I cannot stand it any more.  If I did not have the option to do so, I might be thinking about trying to fit both barrels of my 20 gauge in my mouth at the same time.  Since I am a goddamn millionaire, I can simply shake my head and laugh at things like the following:

I work in a branch office of my organization where we are somewhat shielded from the politics and opressive 1950s culture of the head office. The wonks at the head office decided to start a mentring program which I unaccountably failed to volunteer for. However, a colleague decided to join up. She was paired with a young woman who does not appear to need mentoring, but hey. The head office flew an HR boob out to conduct a training on how to mentor people. This creature proceeded to instruct the mentors to make very sure that their mentees understood the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc. I am left to wonder if there is a toe inspector roaming the halls of the head office.

Jamesqf

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2013, 12:11:58 PM »
...the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc.

I think it needs to back up a couple of steps, and explain the difference between peep toe and open toe.  I mean, I understand about steel toes in work boots, and some of the finer points of athletic shoes and hiking & riding boots...

brewer12345

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2013, 01:30:31 PM »
...the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc.

I think it needs to back up a couple of steps, and explain the difference between peep toe and open toe.  I mean, I understand about steel toes in work boots, and some of the finer points of athletic shoes and hiking & riding boots...

Don't look at me.  I am probably a walking dress code violation.  My wife wears mostly hiking boots on a daily basis and I don't spend time staring at my female coworkers' feet.  You've got shoes on in the office?  Good for you.

startingover

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2013, 01:34:45 PM »
You are 24 years old!  Enjoy the fact that you will be there so much sooner then many of us!!

jrhampt

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2013, 01:35:30 PM »
I am pushing 40 and mortally sick of cube life and large organization bullcrap.  I am bailing after the end of this year because I cannot stand it any more.  If I did not have the option to do so, I might be thinking about trying to fit both barrels of my 20 gauge in my mouth at the same time.  Since I am a goddamn millionaire, I can simply shake my head and laugh at things like the following:

I work in a branch office of my organization where we are somewhat shielded from the politics and opressive 1950s culture of the head office. The wonks at the head office decided to start a mentring program which I unaccountably failed to volunteer for. However, a colleague decided to join up. She was paired with a young woman who does not appear to need mentoring, but hey. The head office flew an HR boob out to conduct a training on how to mentor people. This creature proceeded to instruct the mentors to make very sure that their mentees understood the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc. I am left to wonder if there is a toe inspector roaming the halls of the head office.

hahahahaha!!  As another corporate slave, I often wonder whether corporations understand that Dilbert is not a blueprint of how things should work at the office.  I think I can take another 3-4 years of this full time, but after that I have other plans.

babysteps

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2013, 01:51:49 PM »
...the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc.

I think it needs to back up a couple of steps, and explain the difference between peep toe and open toe.  I mean, I understand about steel toes in work boots, and some of the finer points of athletic shoes and hiking & riding boots...

Don't look at me.  I am probably a walking dress code violation.  My wife wears mostly hiking boots on a daily basis and I don't spend time staring at my female coworkers' feet.  You've got shoes on in the office?  Good for you.

Long before they went bankrupt, c1993 or so, I worked at Lehman Bros. when they were owned by American Express.  Someone decided that we needed a dress code when we introduced business casual Fridays.  It included what I jokingly called the Connecticut rule:
'socks must be worn at all times unless it is appropriate to the outfit to not wear socks' or some such double-talk ;)

brewer12345

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2013, 02:01:23 PM »
...the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc.

I think it needs to back up a couple of steps, and explain the difference between peep toe and open toe.  I mean, I understand about steel toes in work boots, and some of the finer points of athletic shoes and hiking & riding boots...

Don't look at me.  I am probably a walking dress code violation.  My wife wears mostly hiking boots on a daily basis and I don't spend time staring at my female coworkers' feet.  You've got shoes on in the office?  Good for you.

Long before they went bankrupt, c1993 or so, I worked at Lehman Bros. when they were owned by American Express.  Someone decided that we needed a dress code when we introduced business casual Fridays.  It included what I jokingly called the Connecticut rule:
'socks must be worn at all times unless it is appropriate to the outfit to not wear socks' or some such double-talk ;)

Unfortunately, I was the cause of the creation of a dress code at one of my prior employers.  It was a 12 person hedge fund doing business in cheesy old offices above a bank branch.  They said no dress code and I took them literally.  The day after I showed up in extremely well-used shorts and a t short that had a prominent stain and "The way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly" on it, the dress code came out and we were business casul.

Adventine

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2013, 06:33:26 PM »
...the finer points of the dress code, how peep toe shoes are acceptable, but open toe shoes are not, etc.

I think it needs to back up a couple of steps, and explain the difference between peep toe and open toe.  I mean, I understand about steel toes in work boots, and some of the finer points of athletic shoes and hiking & riding boots...

Don't look at me.  I am probably a walking dress code violation.  My wife wears mostly hiking boots on a daily basis and I don't spend time staring at my female coworkers' feet.  You've got shoes on in the office?  Good for you.

Long before they went bankrupt, c1993 or so, I worked at Lehman Bros. when they were owned by American Express.  Someone decided that we needed a dress code when we introduced business casual Fridays.  It included what I jokingly called the Connecticut rule:
'socks must be worn at all times unless it is appropriate to the outfit to not wear socks' or some such double-talk ;)

Unfortunately, I was the cause of the creation of a dress code at one of my prior employers.  It was a 12 person hedge fund doing business in cheesy old offices above a bank branch.  They said no dress code and I took them literally.  The day after I showed up in extremely well-used shorts and a t short that had a prominent stain and "The way to a fisherman's heart is through his fly" on it, the dress code came out and we were business casul.

Oh Lord. Best dress code story ever.

Part of why I like my job is that the dress code isn't stiffly formal, even though I work in a foreign embassy. In fact, I'm wearing jeans right now.

englyn

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2013, 07:24:57 PM »
I'm 24. I make a very nice wage as a Mechanical Engineer ...  I know I'm doing dramatically better off than the majority of my friends, and have excellent career prospects, a wonderful relationship, no major health issues, etc.

Problem = Life Too Easy. Don't laugh, and I'm not criticising you for being complainypants. I've been there and still am sometimes.

After struggling through an engineering degree (HARD) on a student budget (also hard) work can be such an anticlimax. Learning about money only keeps you occupied for a while.

Go do something hard. Travel on a shoestring budget. Have kids(!?). Run a volunteer organisation aka herd cats. Learn to create something beautiful by hand, preferably something that you're bad at (mine's sewing). Get really fit.

That problem would only get worse once you are FI so better start working it out now!

prosaic

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2013, 09:25:01 PM »
You're 24, single, no kids and on a path to retire in 10 years or so?

In your off time, search out your personal black swan. (Yes, I know that's a contradiction -- you can't "create" a black swan.)

That said, for instance, are there highly improbable, but low-cost, ventures you could dabble in? Write a novel and self-publish, start a shoe-string web enterprise, take a major trip as an eco-volunteer, or do something speculative, low cost -- but that might have a huge (emotional or financial) payoff?

Do it. Now.

DirtDiva

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2013, 05:50:54 AM »
And last but not least - let's not forget the power of music. Here - close you eyes and enjoy 4 minutes of beauty and inspiration. :)

I'm a wannabee mustachian lurker, but...wow, that was beautiful and haunting. 

Vilx-

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2013, 06:05:01 AM »

Adventine

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2013, 06:43:15 AM »
For some reason, I can't listen to the music on my smartphone! But I think the picture does say it all.

Vilx-

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2013, 06:57:06 AM »
The music is a link to Grooveshark. It uses Flash to play it. Rare are the smartphones that can do that. Hmm... Ahh, here's a Youtube link. Most smartphones can do that. Lyrics too. :)

uspsfanalan

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2013, 09:02:47 AM »
One exercise that helped me is I made a list of things that I enjoyed doing as a kid. I made a second list of things that I enjoyed doing in college. I looked for similarities and things that were on both lists to see if there was something that I liked but just got out of the habit of doing. Now when I get bored I pull that note card out and see if anything on there strikes my fancy. I'm 31, so college was a good while back by now. Its interesting to see things that I've been interested in and things that were only a passing phase.

By doing that exercise, I realized that I missed hanging out with my friends. After college we all moved to different parts of the country and don't see each other anymore. Being thrifty tends to include a lot of solitary activities. Maybe you need some time with your friends or to make some new friends. I took the initiative to make friends with two couples in my neighborhood. Which was really cool in itself, but they were also able to watch my dog for a weekend when we went home for Thanksgiving. So a double win in my book.

KGZotU

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2013, 11:33:51 AM »
I have sometimes felt like I've got the "cheat codes" to life: anything is possible and nothing has meaning. Struggles are what have given my life meaning.

Right now I'm a brand new teacher in the lowest performing school district in Alaska. That is an awesome struggle. I'm fortunate to be working with great kids, and I get to bring in a lot of unique life experience to bear on the problems here. It's incredibly fulfilling, much more so than my previous lab job.

I know that you're near the peak of what people would consider elite professions. And I could imagine that making it difficult to re-imagine your life. If that's stifling, then I guess you have to learn to embrace your position in life or change it.

A lot of my thinking on this has been framed by Industrial Society and Its Future, also known as the Unabomber Manifesto. Specifically, his description of "the power process" and "surrogate activities".

Mrs MM

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2013, 11:40:59 AM »
Stop thinking about it!  Live in the moment.  Focus on other things (health, fitness, education, etc.).  Develop a fun and frugal habit that you will enjoy in your eminent retirement.  What do you like to do?  Start doing it!  You'll need those skills in retirement anyway.  You don't have to wait for that day, you can enjoy today! 

tongzhi

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2013, 12:12:42 PM »
The whole point of "Mustachianism" is that it's supposed to create clarity and room in your life for the important things while cutting out the pointless stuff that most people focus too much on.

It sounds like you're seeing Mustachianism as a form of sacrifice that you take until such time as you're retired, at which point you can enjoy life.

Paradoxically, you probably won't have more money to spend when you are retired, just more time - which means that you'll likely feel even more bored and restless than you are already.

So the problem is probably that you need hobbies, interests, and a passion/cause to pursue.

That's a separate issue from Mustachianism, which is really just to help facilitate and enable that focus on the things that are actually important to you.

If you don't know what that is, well maybe just get out into your community and figure out where you can start helping people in a way that's meaningful to you and takes advantage of a skill/quality you can offer.

Adventine

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2013, 05:26:04 AM »
The music is a link to Grooveshark. It uses Flash to play it. Rare are the smartphones that can do that. Hmm... Ahh, here's a Youtube link. Most smartphones can do that. Lyrics too. :)

Finally got to watch all of it! Very relaxing to my neurotic mind.

I know that you're near the peak of what people would consider elite professions. And I could imagine that making it difficult to re-imagine your life. If that's stifling, then I guess you have to learn to embrace your position in life or change it.

A lot of my thinking on this has been framed by Industrial Society and Its Future, also known as the Unabomber Manifesto. Specifically, his description of "the power process" and "surrogate activities".

Whoa, I'm flattered, but I don't consider myself at the "peak" or as the "elite" of anything. Although it's true, I have been extreeemely lucky with my current position. I'm comfortable here. Doesn't mean my job is a cushy sinecure that I want to keep forever.

That Unabomber text is interesting. I do have that "overachiever" tendency.

Stop thinking about it!  Live in the moment.  Focus on other things (health, fitness, education, etc.).  Develop a fun and frugal habit that you will enjoy in your eminent retirement.  What do you like to do?  Start doing it!  You'll need those skills in retirement anyway.  You don't have to wait for that day, you can enjoy today! 

Thanks Mrs. MM (and all the rest)! I do have other hobbies, it's just that I've been neglecting them in favor of FIRE.

I have trouble opening up about my problems, but I think it was a good decision to start this topic.

All your support has given me the motivation to stop brooding so much and to ramp up my current hobbies:

Reading. I've read 17 new books since the start of the new year (a rate of 1.5 books a week). I think I can comfortably manage 2 books a week.

Exercising. I lost about 25 pounds over the past two years by working out daily, until I got tired of the routine. I want to make it daily habit again by introducing more variety. I also decided this is the year I will finally learn to ride a bike (!). I've counted exactly twelve bruises on my legs after my most recent effort to learn, which was a couple of days ago.

Travelling. Both local and foreign trips. Currently planning a mustachian Hong Kong trip in August (tickets already booked; all expenses my own) and waiting for confirmation for a family trip to Palawan (if confirmed, all expenses paid by family). Very excited for this one.

So yes, I've been doing my best to "live my life" without waiting for FIRE first. I suppose I'll regress sometimes but then I'll just have to return to this thread for more motivation :)

Vilx-

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2013, 07:23:15 AM »
    Wow, you sure have a lot of free time! Wish I could do 2 books/week + exercise. :)

    Anyways, on the point of exercise - this brought up two thoughts:
    • This article is really inspirational about exercise (and has some excellent frugal advice too!). It's aimed at men, but really there's not that much of a difference between genders here. It also suggests some good books to continue reading on the subject. The article is a bit lengthy, but I heartily recommend it.
    • Learning to ride a bike - I've got a 3 year old daughter and last summer we bought her her first bicycle. That's when I learned about balance bikes (I liked this video). They're quite popular for kids, because you cannot fall off AND you learn to balance the bike easily and naturally. MUCH better than those additional training wheels. I haven't seen them for adults, but then it's dead simple to make one yourself - just remove the pedals & chain from a regular bike. Extra costs - $0. Well, assuming you have the tools and are not afraid to get your hands dirty. Do this, and I bet you'll learn to ride a bike within a week, and WITHOUT any injuries at all!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 07:32:22 AM by Vilx- »

KGZotU

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Re: How do you stay motivated?
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2013, 01:21:31 PM »
Whoa, I'm flattered, but I don't consider myself at the "peak" or as the "elite" of anything. Although it's true, I have been extreeemely lucky with my current position. I'm comfortable here. Doesn't mean my job is a cushy sinecure that I want to keep forever.
Ah shit, I had you confused with somebody else on here. Well, take it as it applies, lol.