Today, one of the key goals I hear from my peers is the goal to FIRE (Financially independent, retire early). There have been many proponents of it, and many detractors as well. Yet, one of the main reasons we hear why people want to retire is so they can wake up whenever they want, eat whatever they want, and travel wherever they want. See the world and chill.
Yet, we often hear from the other side that people who have reached FIRE find life to be dull, boring even, as if their life surmounts to nothing. They tend try to seek a better path, probably a better country club, or more friends who have similarly FIRE-ed, or other exploits. But, we rarely hear from those who truly enjoy the light at the end of that path.
I believe there’s another purpose to FIRE, and it’s this.
Running on the common premise that all we fundamentally want is to be happy. I believe then that true happiness is to seek what makes us happy. Yet, if we were brougt up in a financially lacking environment; with parents coming home tired and complaining about their work, then to spend the rest of their time watching TV; where social media drowns us with trust-fund kids who just spend their life on yatchs and first class seats; it’s easy to let that define what happiness truly means for us. When in fact, our definition of what makes us happy is subjective.
I believe, for me at least, true happiness is in doing what I want to do everyday when I want up. The feeling of being excited in building the next project, does not always lie in whether that project brings any utility to the world, neither does it solely depend on how much money it’ll make. Sometime it can be as simple as building a bench, scribbling, playing the guitar, meeting with friends, playing badminton, cooking, coding, building the next rocket, looking at sunsets, mastering tea-making, solving physics problems, working towards a PhD, playing video games, reading, etc.
Life is so exciting.