“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprise? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple-tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer?”
– Henry David Thoreau
As I turned 27 last week, I’ve been having conversations with people around me and within myself about where my life is heading in the future.
The stuffs my mom was asking are practical – when I am going to get a new car? Is there someone in my life which I consider marrying soon? Would I consider buying an apartment or a house in the city?
The conversations I have with my friends tend to be more serious. We are talking about where we stand in our career and how our worldviews are going to shape the decisions we take in the future.
I realised, a lot of what I plan to do with my money will have to do with what I plan for my life in the long run, and in the past few days I’ve been trying to distill my thoughts to figure out what my life philosophies are and how they relate to my finance:
1. No man is free who is not master of himself – Epictetus. I own my body, my life, and my soul and it is entirely my responsibility what I do with it and how they react to matters external to myself.
I take responsibility of my own finances so I can independently decide what I plan to do with it based on my dreams and goals.
People can do all they like with their money and call it a success, but it doesn’t matter to me because I have my own set of benchmarks. The important thing is to own where I am and keep moving forward.
2. My work is not my life. My work gives me the tools and means to be with people I care about and pursue my dreams, but it’s not everything.
I love working, and I can see myself working past my retirement age. Nevertheless, I am aware that I am not defined simply by what I do.
At the same time, I don’t need a job which pays me $1 million a year. I don’t need a double storey house with a big yard or a summer country house. I don’t need nice big car.
I am simply going to work with what I have and manage and use them at the best of my ability in a way that is in parallel to my hopes, beliefs and dreams.
3. My life is now, not 30 or 50 years later. What I do and how I choose to live my life now matters.
If I choose to live in a dump or spend like there is no tomorrow thinking it’s going to change when my salary increases or when I receive my bonus or when I have more motivation 3 to 5 years later, it’s not going to happen.
If I say I would like to get into running or travelling or changing the world but I’m sitting on my bum day in and day out, it’s never going to happen.
No matter how little or big amount of money I have, if I have dreams it’s entirely up to me to make it real.
Umair Haque says ‘the “best” investment you can make isn’t gold. It’s the people you love, the dreams you have, and living a life that matters’.
These are my life (and money philosophies), what are yours?