No I’m not talking about getting married. I’m talking about finding something that motivates you: Perhaps your calling, what you were meant to do if you did not have to go to work every day to support your … uh … lifestyle 😉
I found that once I found a free hobby, the more I focused on it, the less money I spent. The problem with our society is that we have basically been conditioned and programmed by marketeers to equate often pointless consumption with rewards or entitlements after hard work. It is simply the only sanctioned way feeling good. This can easily go to such an extreme that the preferred way of feeling good about oneself involves buying some needless stuff. To pay it off consumers go to work the next day to manufacture stuff for the next consumer that comes along and needs to feel good. This is the very definition of a consumer driven economy. It has little other purpose than building things for people to buy things so they will keep working.
The conclusion is obvious. If you want to stop working, stop behaving like a consumer.
I find the most engaging hobbies to be the ones that create value for others. Writing this blog is a hobby of mine and presumably it creates enough value for others to read it. The time I use to write, and respond to comments and emails (write me at jacob at early …. ) is time I don’t spend shopping. Hence, when filling all one’s spare time with meaningful pursuits takes away all the time one would otherwise spend spending money.
A frequent lament though is the lack of time and energy to pursue a high intensity hobby. It is sad when work sucks so much out of so many people’s soul that they have no energy to do anything else. If anything this is the death spiral of the consumer economy. People work hard. Consequentially they have no energy and thus they do the easy thing: They shop, watch TV, and eat junk food. This takes away their money and leaves them without money as well as the mental or spiritual energy that would flow from being engaged in something important. Bad food and lack of strenuous physical exertion also atrophies the body and makes it sick.
This consumer-work spiral thus have to be shunted and eventually exited all together. Start finding something you can identify instead of work. This is psychologically very important and it is one of the things that took me the longest to find out myself. Attaining six digit savings is easy compared to this! Anyway, when somebody asks you “what do you do?”(*), answer with your hobby. If you don’t have a hobby or a calling (which may be your job) answer, you are still a drone — I am Jack’s middle manager. If this is not the case, start identifying with something else and spend a few hours a day doing it.
(*) People in a consumer driven society generally identify with how they earn and how they spend. Rarely do you see anyone identifying with what they do outside of work or by what they believe in.