Philip Greenspun started and sold Photo.net and retired early at age 37. This article summarizes some of his feelings about it: The below is a paraphrasing of the section that really hit home for me..
People love to complain about their day jobs or wife and kids or whatever other excuse is holding them back from getting fit, being healthy, starting a successful business and achieving financial success.
“If only I was free of this job, I’d wake up at 6am every day and hit the gym for 2 hours. Then I’d take Chinese lessons and quickly become fluent. I’d write for a few hours every day and finish that book I’ve been thinking about.”
So why haven’t they done those things or made a decent start yet?
“Because I’m stuck in this office for 40+ hours a week.”
They continually lie to themselves by thinking that if they didn’t have these hindrances that there would be nothing stopping them. Infinite success and personal enjoyment would be theirs if not for this one minor inconvenience known as their career.
The perfect microcosm to dispel these irrational beliefs is in the retired.
The time all office workers look forward to their entire lives.. when they believe they will be free to do all of the things they’ve imagined.
And even if they are lucky enough to retire early, what do we actually see? He’s sleeping in till 10am, surfing online, golfing, binge-watching Netflix and meeting up with the guys for extended happy hours.
For most of us, it is not our jobs that are holding us back.
For most of us the depressing truth is that we are not that organized, disciplined or motivated.
Yes it’s true that time is our most valuable and limited asset and that a large chunk of that is spent at our jobs.
But it’s far more constructive to work on our productivity, focus and motivation to strengthen the pursuit of our goals instead of merely fantasizing about the day that we are free of the office.