The journey to financial independence ("FI") can be very lonely at times.
When you are doing something that most people are not, you will have your human moments of self-doubt and loneliness.
On this path, sacrifices will need to be made to have the lifestyle we want. This could mean spending less time with certain individuals from our past.
This may sound cruel, but I don't mean it to be. From a young age, we are told to be mindful of who we surround ourselves with. And as we get older, this is still the case.
A More Purposeful Life
We have a herd mentality. This means if we constantly hang around 9 other people who do "X", we will most likely follow along blindly.
Most people know this, especially those on the path to FI. The more purposeful we live our lives, the more we are aware of how others are living their lives as well.
So, naturally, many people on this journey begin to isolate themselves from others.
The Need For Community
Community is extremely important to human beings. With how connected our world is, that community can literally be one click away.
However, this is a double-edged sword. Sticking to the personal finance world, you can find a community, primarily online with the occasional meetup, that supports all sorts of beliefs.
If you want to start day trading stocks and have zero experience, you could find a group online that says, "Day trading is for everyone!"
If you want to buy flashy things, you can find a group that bases their spending habits on the "You only live once (YOLO)" mantra.
Then, on the other hand, if you want to find a community that loves proper budgeting, spending less than you make, and investing tips for the working person, these are easy to find as well!
This is why our connected society is a double-edged sword.
Don't Isolate Good Friends Who Are Not On The FI/RE Journey
While chasing FI, it is important to find these communities that support your lifestyle choices. These people will keep you grounded and call you out when you need it.
However, you still need to make efforts to maintain the current relationships in your life that you value.
About a week ago, I posted the following on my Twitter page:
Good friendships are hard to come by, and if we do not make efforts to maintain these relationships, they will not last.
Efforts to keep these friendships could include picking up the phone and calling them every couple of weeks, sending weekly texts, and actually scheduling time to do something together.
Always Remember Your "Why"
We are building our "work-optional" life. It's a lot of effort and does require some sacrifices.
But, we know we are building this life to be able to do more of what we want while we are still young.
If we hunkered down and went into isolation for a couple of years, we could probably become work-optional at a quicker pace.
This is not the life we are chasing, though. At the end of the tunnel, we still want to have the good friends we have now.
I am gaining new friends along the way who have similar viewpoints on finances, but I also have my friends that are genuinely good people who couldn't care less about personal finance and investing.
I am fortunate to have both types.
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