I want to take a moment and express how I feel about this modern day 9 to 5 system, and just the system in general. Before I get started, I want to make it clear that I do not necessarily hate my job.

Past few days I have wondered about the what ifs. What if there was something more to do than the usual 9 to 5, and still have the other areas of your life unaffected by it? What if there is more I can do with my time rather than the 9 to 5 and the grind thereafter.

I realized the underlying problem I have is how mostly everyone is following the same path, over and over again, without thinking about what is it that they really want. The modern day slavery is all inclusive. There is no one race, gender, and or a religious group that faces this.

You may be from a different culture but we all do the same things. Well most of us. From finishing our high school diploma, to college/university education, than maybe a designation and or a Masters program.

In the process we end up taking a lot of debt (if your parents paid for your university/college education, consider yourself lucky and make the most of it), only to find ourselves slaving away for the system for another 4-8 years by working a job. Why 4-8 years? Well thats how long it would take us to pay out our debts. Even out of those few lucky ones, a significant percentage of the population would end up taking a job.

The problem is conformity. Do I have to get the degree, job, marry, kids, etc, just because? Is there no other way out of it? If there is what can be done to get there faster and be content with what life has to offer. I don’t mind doing the above but I want to do it on my terms, because I want to. I want to be doing it on my time.

So what are the options here?

Obviously being financially independent helps you live your life on your terms. However, when you are starting from scratch, that financial independence seems like mirage. This means, you are trying to plough your way out of the system by staying inside the system.

Another way to be more content is to travel more. To see what the world has to offer. Enrich ourselves by immersing in other cultures, try and learn and or experience their way of life, or life in their “world.”

Become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial ventures will certainly help you achieve your financial independence faster. However, it has to be the right opportunity. It should not be a “buy a house, because the real-estate would be too pricey later, or buy a house because everyone around me is doing the same.”

Find your passion. If you have found something that you are passionate for, you would not mind working long hours, and giving your best shot day in and day out. However, is it that simple? I mean, this is the area where I think the tradeoffs are huge. I am passionate about investments, but am I willing to take up an advisor job? In the end, it is still a job, and the nuances may be different but the nuances would be an extension of the older ones.

Note: I do not know if this is what a mid-life crisis is. I don’t think of this to be a crisis. But I want to make a mark, and am still in the process of figuring this out. I want to escape this rat race. Money is a commodity not in abundance. To achieve this independence, money needs to be taken care of first. However, one can certainly multi-task, ie be on your path to achieve financial freedom, and travel.

The end goal is to live a fulfilled life, a life lived to the fullest without any regrets is the most beautiful present you can ever gift yourself. Appreciate it – the good and bad.

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