Learn to enjoy the moment for life and for FIRE (financial independence retire early)

Toby enjoying himself at Natureworks Park, PA

Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

As I watch the heavy rain coming down outside of our Airbnb apartment in Ellicottville (New York), I can’t help but feel completely happy right this moment.  The sound of rain hitting the windows, the deck, and the trees, is music to my ears.  It is absolutely one of my favorite things in life!

It got me thinking about how simple rain falling down can make me so happy.  It also got me wondering if this is why I’m able to fully enjoy my early retirement as well as the journey to get to early retirement and financial independence.

In this post, I’d like to discuss the importance of learning to enjoy the moment for life and for FIRE.

My love for simple joys of life started early.  I always remember enjoying eating and really savoring the food.  I know some people say they eat to live, but I’m just the opposite.  I live to eat!

I like smelling the food, taking little bites out of a food, savoring the flavors, then taking my time to enjoy it.  I’ve always been a slow eater and this never changed.  

Love for nature was another thing I always had.  I remember watching the rain falling and really be immersed in it.  I can stare at it for minutes on end just enjoying that…I would enjoy watching the snow coming down for a long time, with some good music in the background.  

I always enjoyed watching beautiful scenery like the mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans.  It gives me a soothing feeling and a time for reflection as I take in the scenery.  

During my accumulation phase to reach my goal of FIRE, what got me going was each payday.  Each payday would get me one step closer to reaching my goal to retire early, as part of my paycheck would automatically be deposited towards my 401k.  

I enjoyed every time payday arrived.  

One other thing that got me going was the feeling of accomplishment at seeing my retirement savings grow each time I would check my account balance!  

If I hadn’t enjoyed these moments during the accumulation phase, I’m not sure I would’ve made it this far.    If not for these moments of quiet reflection, of sensing the accomplishment of saving more, watching the balance growing, and just feeling better each payday, I don’t know if I could’ve finished this long journey…

These moments acted like a checkpoint on the way to the finish line, letting me know I’m doing all right.  The first checkpoint was when I put away measly 3% of my paycheck.  The last checkpoint would be close to 24% of my paycheck.  

I looked at each of these checkpoints along the way with feeling of accomplishment, for doing the right thing for my pack’s future.

Enjoying the moment, living for today, or be in the moment, are all similar things.  I watch our Toby enjoying himself whenever we take him to a new place.  I know when he hops around, or runs, that he’s living the moment.  Humans, can learn from how dogs live!

For dogs, there is no past and no future.  There is the now, the present.  If present is fun, then he shows it.  

Enjoying the moment makes a long journey to get to early retirement bearable.  It also makes every single day livable.

Imagine if you can enjoy your payday like I did as you get closer to your goal to retire early.  Visualize how better you’ll feel that day knowing your retirement savings account is now bigger than yesterday!

Savor these moments as this is the key to enjoying the journey as well as the eventual destination.

Remember, it’s not always about getting there, but also how you get there.  Journey to reach early retirement and financial independence is long.  You might as well enjoy each of these milestones as you hit them!

Here are my recommendations for enjoying the moment:

  • Enjoy the little things in life
This will be different for everyone.  Embrace what you enjoy and really savor that.  For me it’s enjoying nature, our family/pack time together, drinking a cup of coffee, listening to music, and reading.  For you, it’ll be different.  

Whatever it is that gets you in the ‘zone’ and really immerse yourself will be good for you.  

The more of these little things you enjoy each day, the happier you’ll be.  

  • Enjoy each milepost on your journey to reach financial independence and to retire early 
Because this journey is long, you need little jolts of motivation and feeling a sense of achievement along the way.  Whatever works for you to enjoy each of these little mileposts will work.  

For me, it was each payday and periodically checking my account balance.  Do what works for you!

  • Planning and committing to your future to reach FIRE will help you enjoy the present that much more!
If you’re like most people, you can’t enjoy the present if your future is murky.  Plan then commit to your future by putting away money towards your retirement!

As you see your future situation getting brighter and brighter, you’ll get to enjoy your present, the now, that much more!

In conclusion:

The ability to enjoy the moment is something that will go a long way towards your happiness.  Enjoy the little things and moments rather than always looking for the big things to make you happy.  

Usually, the little things and moments doesn’t cost much or anything at all, while big things tend to cost money, and usually lots of it!

Remember to enjoy each milepost along your journey.  Pat yourself on the back for job well done, then savor that moment.  As you accomplish more and more goals, enjoy each and every one of them, as you’ll be one step closer to reaching your goal…

Thank you all for reading!

Jake

Wandering Money Pig 


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