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  • Writer's pictureZachP

#37. Always Know Your Why

I started this journey wanting to keep the end in mind. I always knew I wanted to reach financial independence, but I wanted to make sure I knew why. My ultimate conclusion was that I wanted to reach financial independence to have more time to do things that made me happy and were healthy for me.

That is why I created the Top 13 List in early December, 2022. As you can see, number five on my list was coaching football.

As of this past Monday, I am now both a full-time attorney and a high school head football coach.

I do not believe I would have ever taken this second job if I was not on this journey. If I had not made a conscious effort to figure out why I wanted to reach financial independence, I would have still been chasing financial independence as an end goal.

Here is how I use to analyze decisions when I had financial independence as my end goal:

  1. Will this help me retire early?

    1. If no - do not waste my time.

    2. If yes - try to make it happen.

This was pretty much the entire analysis process. Emotion was a factor that I hardly considered.

When I had the Adam & Eve epiphany, I realized reaching financial independence alone was not the answer. I figured out that if I did not know why I wanted to retire early, I would almost certainly have an unhappy and unhealthy retirement. I may also miss out on opportunities to enjoy life more pre-retirement.

This is why my wife and I are not simply trying to reach financial independence just to retire early. We are now consciously making efforts to enjoy life more in the moment, while also making smarter financial decisions (Yes, both can be done simultaneously). This mindset is why I pursued this coaching position, and why my wife is actively working on opening her bridal boutique.

The goal of wanting to reach financial independence to be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, is great. But, if you do not actually know what you want to do more of, you may pass up an opportunity that may never come around again. This is the mistake I almost made myself.

I do not generally give advice in my posts, but I want to end this post differently. Therefore, my advice is such. Find out what makes you happy and is also good for your long-term health. Then, no matter where you are in your financial journey, start making legitimate efforts to do more of those things.

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