It's 6:45 Monday morning and I'm woken up by my alarm clock. Time to get up and get ready for work. Yet another work-day, yet another work-week. It is still dark outside and temperatures are barely above freezing point. While thinking about all the good times I had in tropical, far-away places the thought off having to go to work fills me with a great sense of gloom.
Working as a Linux engineer really isn't all that bad. As a matter of fact, it's actually very interesting and a lot of fun. However, working in an office all day, dealing with the same shit, the same people and the same routine every day is something that will make any sane person go crazy. And like at many companies I have to work in an 'open' office plan (also known as an 'office garden' in The Netherlands). Which means I have to share the room with two dozen co-workers at the same time. And a radio. The collaborate noise they produce is beyond comprehension. Often, I hardly get any work done, simply because of all the noise, distractions and annoyances. Even when I'm using my noise cancelling headphones. It's absurd!
I spend at least eight hours a day sitting in an office chair behind a computer screen. Physically, I don't get much exercise at work, but I'm exhausted by the time I get to go home. And after a full week of early mornings and dealing with office politics and unmotivated co-workers, I need my whole weekend to recuperate. So my work doesn't cost me 40 hours a week, it actually costs me considerably more time than that. The topic of how much your time is actually worth is discussed in the book Your Money Or Your Life. Buy it, read it. You'll love it.
Often, I have a lot of fun ideas I want to explore, like travelling, learning Spanish or reading books on NLP (1)(2), but I simply do not have enough time or energy for it. And when I do have the time (and energy), I see myself stuck at the office with my co-workers who talk about how they saved money by buying an electronic gizmo they don't really need on some shady Chinese website.
At the moment it's a cold, but sunny day. However when a single ray of sunlight hits the office building, the blinds will automatically go down. Depriving us from getting any natural daylight whatsoever. I'm not being held captive here, but it still feels like a prison and I'm not too thrilled about most of my fellow inmates. Some people will call this hell on earth, but the sub-zero temperatures in the office tell a different story.
These working conditions are far from ideal and I feel sorry for the long-term employees who seem to have given up and settled for this life. Or perhaps they are too tired to realize (or research) that there are other, better, options in life. I'm sure there is other work out there that is much more enjoyable. However, for me, being a Linux Engineer is what I do best (and I like it) and being self-employed means it pays well. Very well.
The current work-life situation I described here is what motivates me to become financially independent. FAST! To get out of the office world and enjoy life more without having to worry about money. Doing something I love and becoming a better version of myself. At first I thought that I needed to save enough money that could pay for all the bills indefinitely, but I realized that once I quit working I will most likely need less money than I thought and I will probably start other small businesses and generate some extra money from that. Adding more money to my nest eggs. So, even when I'm not yet completely financially independent I can still quit my current office work and not worry about money. I do have to admit that I currently have no plan for exactly what it is I want to do when I reach financial freedom, but when I'm nearly there I'm sure I will have a list made up of all the things I want to try out. Suggestions are also welcome! Write me if you want to share some of your thoughts, dreams and plans for when you are financially independent.