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My inspiration for the FIRE philosophy happened long before this movement was popularized.
My father was a physician, practicing Internal Medicine in the 70’s and 80’s. I remember how hard he worked throughout my childhood. Sure we would take family vacations but for the most part I always saw him working constantly, pulling double shifts and doing extra call.
My father had the mentality that if you worked hard now, you can enjoy life later.
Unfortunately that later never really came. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and within 6 months of that diagnosis he passed away at the age of 50 (I was 14 at the time).
Despite all the sacrifices he made throughout his life, he never got to enjoy his golden years as they were cut short.
My father was an inspiration to me and I entered the medical field because of him. (I’m including my original medical school application personal essay I had to unearth 25 years later, which attested to the kind of impact my father had at such an early age.)
I admit that initially I shared the same philosophy as my father, work hard, sacrifice, and enjoy life later.
As I am slowly approaching the age my father passed away (I was born in 1971) I am starting to learn the biggest lesson from him: time is not guaranteed.
There are many ways to earn money, but there is none to earn more time.
Because of this lesson I am currently focusing on ventures that allow me to generative passive income streams so that one day all my basic needs are met without me having to actively work to earn a living.
When I am fully financially independent, I can then reassess my life and make choices that would bring my family and me the greatest amount of happiness.
- This could mean decreasing my clinical duties, or even fully retiring early, so that I have more free time to spend with family and friends.
- Taking more vacations to fulfill my desire to explore various cultures.
- Or even choosing an alternative career path that may be less lucrative but more fulfilling (such as desire to write a book or teach).
There are so many choices that can bring happiness when you are financially independent.
That is the ultimate goal of any individual on the FIRE path. To have options.
Superpower Take-Home Points:
- Time is guaranteed for no one
- Try and achieve an appropriate and realistic balance between sacrifice and enjoyment
- Achieving FIRE will allow options to help you pick the path of most happiness.
Do you know someone who kept on saving for a rainy day but never got a chance to cash in?
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