Giving up often gets a bad wrap. But being individuals, we can only do so much.
And reflecting on my life, I spent time doing things that do not push me towards my dreams. There are toxic behaviors that have held me back for too long.
No, I’m not giving up on this site. 🙂
I’m giving up on all the bullshit lies that I’ve grown to believe, through my actions. I’ve known about some of these for a while, but I’ve decided to get serious about kicking them out of my life and changing my behavior.
There are as many opinions as there are blades of grass. There is no way that everyone is going to love you all the time.
Sure, it is great to try to make peace with people. I think when we try to connect on a personal level, most people can probably relate to each other in some capacity.
But there is a point where you start peeing up-hill. Making everyone happy is impossible.
I’ve decided to stop giving people the power to psychology control my actions. So what if this person doesn’t like what I do? If it matches my values and what I’m shooting for, who cares?
With our jobs, there is only so much we can do. When my boss says bark, I bark. But this is one goal of FIRE; getting to a point where we have full control over our time and what we do.
You are not responsible for other peoples feelings.
It is good to practice empathy and feel the pain others are experiencing. But when we try to control how other people feel, this becomes a form of manipulation, and it is not being honest.
Stressing About Money
Focusing on pursing the financial future we want for ourselves, it can be easy to get rigid fast, especially if you are married. “What do you mean you want to buy a $5 latte? That is going to ruin our financial future!“
But we can often be overdramatic. Sure, it is great to create a budget and do what we can to stick to it. But life tends to foil our best plans. Sometimes we will overspend our grocery budget and need to slightly reduce how much we can invest that month. And that is okay.
If pursuing FIRE is causing us to stress about every single purchase we make than we might be sacrificing the present for the future too much.
Chances are if we are too tight for too long, we probably won’t stick to the plan long-term, canceling out any hope we have in quitting our 9-5 job when we want (or whatever our goals are).
There is only so much you can cut back in the present. Sure, if we could save 100% of our income, we could retire earlier. But I wouldn’t want to live with myself being that miserable.
That is why I think the most important part of the FIRE movement is to learn what gives us ultimate joy. Not the temporary high we get, like when I eat ice cream. But the kind of stuff you are going to feel good about on your death bed.
Running Away From Conflict
On Saturday I have a post published that talks about why I hate conflict. But let’s just say my childhood taught me to avoid conflict at all costs.
Sure, there are some points of conflict that we should try to avoid. But there is a point when we have to face conflict. And some conflict is a good thing.
Conflict often happens when the truth comes out. It provides a way for everyone to get on the same page. It doesn’t mean we always have to agree with each other. But working through conflict can strengthen our relationships.
It becomes learning about how to effectively approach conflict. Not avoiding conflict, but dealing with it head-on.
Fearing conflict has caused me to hold my tongue. Granted, I need to be careful in how I word things, as what I’m thinking could be offensive (I’m a recovering asshole). But to get to a place where we are confident enough to gracefully share what we are thinking, even when we know the other person isn’t going to agree with us, is healthy.
It’s not about creating conflict when it doesn’t exist, or seeking to piss people off. That isn’t helpful. It becomes learning to be yourself around others, and express what you are thinking.
We might realize that we disagree with someone, and maybe we just don’t want to put in the energy to share our thoughts. This could because we don’t know the person too well, or we don’t have enough time. This is okay too. The point is, we shouldn’t let fear prevent us from being who we are.
Ignoring My Health
It’s interesting having a personal finance blog, where the priority is focusing on spending less money than you make.
But then we can turn around and easily eat many more calories than we burn.
Some of us might not have credit card debt. But I’m guessing there are a lot of people out there, like myself. who have a huge amount of calorie debt! My love handles are a testament to this problem in my life.
Each of us has different metabolisms, but I can tell you that is not my problem. The issue is that I like to eat ice cream when I’m starving, and consume almost half a gallon in one sitting.
I also don’t move my body around. It’s like I’m becoming those people depicted in Wall-E, where they never leave their chairs.
What benefit do we have pursuing FIRE if our health deteriorates so much that we end up dying before we reach our goal?
Of course, we don’t know when we are going to die. But we can control what we put into our bodies and how active we are. If we are going to build a nest egg that supports us indefinitely, then why not put our bodies in a position to last as long as possible? Do we want to risk not being able to do anything physical, because of our eating habits while pursuing FIRE?
I know when I am actively working out and eating healthier, I feel better. This makes it easier to control how much crap I consume (like ice cream). I feel stronger, which makes me feel more confident. This has a ripple effect and can improve every area of our lives.
It is also interesting to consider if we buy less processed foods and more whole foods, this not only is healthier, but it can save money. I’m beginning to realize that focusing on eating better is a great way to cut costs while pursuing FIRE.
Always Being Busy
When was the last time you just sat down by yourself and enjoyed the quiet? In other words, when was the last time you stopped “doing”?
Our lives are constantly filled with busyness. We are always going somewhere or trying to complete our to-do list. But in the process, we fail to “stop and smell the roses”. I know my life can get caught up in what I’m trying to get done, that I lose sight in what I am ultimately working towards.
It’s very similar to the idea of not realizing what you have until it is gone.
Being the “Yes” Man
This issue relates to people pleasing, but it is more about realizing our time is limited and we can only do so much in a day.
When we overextend ourselves consistently, we end up prioritizing other things. Which means other goals will have to be de-prioritized.
We need to learn to be okay with saying “No”.
This might come across harsh, but if we are going to pursue what matters most to us, we have to be good at this. No one is going to fight for your dreams as much as you.
I love helping people. I want to be a blessing to others. But there is a point where I have to decide what is more important, and there is only so much I can do on my own.
Sometimes you might decide to say “Yes,” but you need to free yourself from feeling like you have to say yes to everything.
I’ve been a spiritual person most of my life. I believe there is something out there that is bigger than all of us, and I believe they want the best for us.
If you have different views of the world, that is okay. That doesn’t bother me one bit. I too have a lot of questions.
What bothers me is that sometimes I try to ignore this side of who I am. I want to be a blessing to the world and my family, and thinking about the spiritual side of life gives me hope.
It reminds me that life is much bigger than ME.
Are there things you are going to give up? Can you relate to any of this?
Chris Roane is a financial blogger who loves to be transparent about money-related issues. He’s paid off massive amounts of credit card debt and is the blog author of Money Stir. His main focus on Money Stir is talking about how money relates to our relationships, personal development, and how to plan for the future we want. He’s been quoted on Market Watch, The Ladders, and other publications.