In our last blog post I wrote about our amazement of the positive development that has taken place in our finances since we embarked on our journey towards financial independence two and a half years ago. I mentioned that once we started paying attention to our spending as well as investing aggressively in low-cost index funds our path had shortened immensely. I also mentioned that Mr Becoming FI had discovered trading and that this discovery might be the game changer that could allow us to leave our employments much earlier than expected.
Well, it's time for some breaking news. For the time being Mr Becoming FI is enjoying his last vacation as an employee and as of August calls himself a free man and a real life trader!
How did this happen?
Three months ago none of us knew that we were about to make this life-changing decision. As all important decisions in Finland, this one too was made in the sauna! One beautiful spring evening Mr Becoming FI revealed to me that he felt less and less motivated by his job. For the first time in 15 years he didn't feel good about going to work anymore. He' d also realized that he had far too little time to trade the stock market and to learn how to become a better trader.
We might have gone for a swim in between but in less then fifteen minutes our mutual decision was made: Mr Becoming FI would leave his permanent position to become a professional trader!
The difficulty of change
To many people leaving a well-paid job to pursue a passion might sound crazy. Trust us, only three years ago we were those people. Mr Becoming FI told me recently, that a couple of years ago he was terrified about losing his job. Where would a German guy find a new employment in this highly specialized field in Finland?
"People would rather be unhappy than uncertain"
Four years ago I was stuck in a toxic working environment myself with a boss who harassed me. I was miserable, suffered from anxiety and both mental and physiological consequences due to the stress I was experiencing. Did I leave my work place? No, I did not and now I understand why. Because as humans we rather suffer than make a change or quoting Tim Ferriss „people would rather be unhappy than uncertain“.
According to a 2014 study in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, uncertainty disrupts many of the habitual and automatic mental processes that govern routine action. A 2011 study in the journal Behavior Therapy found that anxious people tended to opt for worse odds and lower money payouts in a gambling experiment — as opposed to improved odds and more money — if this choice cut down the amount of time they had to wait to find out their bet’s outcome. Meaning, the anxious people were willing to pay to avoid uncertainty.
"On the other side of fear lies wealth and happiness!"
It's now been almost three years ago since I stopped being willing to pay more to avoid uncertainty but rather learn to embrace it and with that, change our lives forever. On the other side of fear lies wealth and happiness!
The power of F-you money
Making decisions like ours requires a financial stable situation. You don't have to have a great fortune to make bold decisions but you can't be living paycheck to paycheck either. You should have your F-you money. Having F-you money means having freedom and allows you to try that new business idea, leave a bad working environment or a destructive relationship. Because you know you'll be fine even if it takes some time to build your new business, find a healthy working environment or cope as the only breadwinner in the family. Preferably you should also have more than one income stream or even better, several.
However it´s not all about the state of your bank account. Our financial situation has been stable for a long time and I could easily have said my former boss „F-you“. However in my mind it wasn't doable before I had found a new, at least as good job, and what was important to me back then, a permanent position. But our financial independence journey has changed our mindset. Hearing the stories of like minded people has helped us understand what we value and what's important to us. Discovering that there are millions of people like us, who value time and freedom more than status and career, made us understand that the only thing we actually wanted, except from good health, is a simple and free life.
What do you value most?