If Your Life Were A Movie…

Would anyone want to watch it?

Beep-beep! That’s the sound of the alarm clock at 6:30 in the morning. After hitting it harder than I should, I shuffle, slowly, into the bathroom to wash up and get ready for work. A quick breakfast goes down the hatch and then I’m off to the bus stop, or a quick hop on my 49cc scooter if the weather is nice.

Then it’s almost 11 hours of work. Answering phone calls, filling out estimates, putting out proverbial fires and taking care of clients. At some point in the midst of the hustle I try to get time for a quick lunch. Mainly, however, it’s moving and adjusting; fixing and filing.

Then it’s time to go home. I get to finally do what I want to do! Great, right? Well, sort of. I only get about three hours of such freedom, and I’ve been awake for over 12 hours already at this point. So after the day is almost done and the sun is on it’s way down, I get to work on projects that I’m passionate about, such as this blog. Soon thereafter it’s a warm shower and then off to bed.

This is my life. At least from Monday-Friday it is.

What if this were a movie?

It could be titled A Life Less Examined, or Freedomless. I’m sure titles like that would sell millions of tickets!

While I’m exaggerating a bit here, this quick glimpse of my life looks a lot like a glimpse into many other people’s lives. It’s filled with repetition, a work-life balance that leans way too hard to the work side of the scale and a sense of exasperation.

Except for one big difference.

I’m doing something to change it all.

I’m living well below my means, saving more than 60% of my net income by sharing a cheap apartment, living without a car, avoiding frivolous spending and keeping perspective. The power of saving this kind of money is not to be underestimated. Saving most of my free capital and investing the surplus into high quality opportunities means that I’m slowly, but surely, buying freedom.

And freedom is everything. It means there need not be any more repetition. It means life can be lived on your terms. It means that that work-life balance can tilt all the way to life if you want. You can break that damn scale!

What if you could travel the world indefinitely? Would a life like that be exciting? Would that be something people would want to watch? Would you want to watch it? You could be a nomad who meets people all over the world, forming lifelong relationships in countless countries. One year in Thailand, seeing some of the greatest beaches and Buddhist temples in the world. The next year it’s Ecaudor where the U.S. dollar is the national currency, English is widely spoken, the cost of living is cheap and the people are friendly. Or maybe you travel throughout the U.S. for a year or two on the most epic road trip ever. Great cities like Chicago and San Francisco beckon, and so does Small Town U.S.A. Your movie could be called The Infinite Adventurer. That has a nice ring to it. This movie might be the best one of all!

What if you could wake up when you want? Be who you want? Spend your life creating things that bring value to you and others around you? You could build, tinker and invent. No longer a slave to project deadlines placed upon you by forces who care not for your input, you’re free to work at your own pace. Maybe this movie is titled Life Reinvented. I like it!

What about spending time with family on your terms? Maybe you have young children you want to raise, rather than allow them to be a little too familiar with day care. You could play with your young ones; nerd out on board games, cuddle up to movies or go for long walks. You and your significant other could also spend more time with each other without needing to decompress after long days at a stressful job. At this point, life is about encouragement, learning, sharing and love. It’s about spending time with loved ones and enjoying the little things in life. This movie is a blockbuster, because it’s a story we can all relate to. It’s called Magnum Opus: Mi Familia. I’d love to watch it.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you spend your time. Because it’s your time. But the key is getting to the point where it is your time. As long as you’re chained to a desk and longing for freedom time is not your own. And that doesn’t make for a very exciting movie or a very exciting life, for that matter.

I’m not saying life should be, or needs to be exciting. What I am saying is that life should be what you want it to be. It should be the life you’d want to create if you could write your own book, with you as the title character. Your life is a collection of little, seemingly insignificant decisions you make every single day. But these decisions aren’t insignificant. Grains of sand don’t seem very special until you have millions of them lining a beautiful beach. And pennies don’t seem to add up to much until you’re spending more of them than you make. Every decision is important. Every dollar adds up. And every day, once gone, is gone forever.

Be the you you’d want to be if you could star in your own movie. Because you are starring in your own movie! And every sound of “Action!” from the director (you) is a chance to make the right decision, to chase freedom and make this life the best damn life you can possibly make it.

What’s the title to your life’s movie? Would you want to watch it?

Thanks for reading.

Photo Credit: digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

  1. says

    You paint a great picture DM. If you needed a few more ideas you could always read up on that Tim Ferriss fellow. He’s a quirky fellow but always seems to be pursuing something interesting. Good for you man, you know what you want and you actually have a plan.

    My life is getting dramatically more interesting now that I’m working from home and have a little one on the way. Now I just need to spend more time on the boat…..and get out surfing again. Cheers

    -Bryan
    fastletter.blogspot.com

    • says

      Bryan,

      I’ll have to check out Ferriss. I know of him and his 4-hour products. He seems like a bright and determined guy. Right up my alley. :)

      Your life definitely sounds interesting! Congratulations on having a healthy and happy family. I hope you get time to focus on your passions, your work and your family. Having balance is really important. Best of luck with the addition to the brood. :)

      Take care!

  2. says

    I think some people (for instance me!) are just programmed to not like work in the conventional sense. There isn’t a single job I can think of that I would be interested to go to for forty years. It seems that a lot of people I know either don’t mind this arrangement, haven’t thought about it critically, or they genuinely love their job. Me…I love my time. I will keep chipping away at early financial independence with you DM.

    • says

      Neo Thoreau,

      I’m completely with you. I’m also just not programmed for the 9-5 till’ 65 mentality. It’s just against every thread of my being.

      I, like you, also wonder if it’s really the fact that so many people love what they do, or more of “ignorance is bliss”? I’m willing to be it’s more of the latter.

      At any rate, I’ll join you in chipping away at the chains that keep us bound.

      Best wishes!

  3. says

    DM,

    Great post! Like most people, I’m not living a very interesting life since the majority of my time is spent in a cubicle or lab at work. Many times, I wish I just had a fast forward button so I could just jump directly to the weekends.

    I long to reach early FI and am literally now counting down the days. If everything falls into place, I could potentially walk out the corporate door for good this time next year.

    I’m tired of the rat race. It’s time to flip the script and film something actually worth watching!

    Cheers!

    • says

      FI Fighter,

      I’m also ready to flip the script. I don’t think what I’m currently filming is worth watching either, but that will be changing soon enough.

      I’m really happy for you. I’d love to see you exit the rat race in a year. That would be truly phenomenal progress. I’m rooting for you!

      Keep up the great work!

      Take care.

  4. Spoonman says

    The first part of this post reminds me of the movie “Wanted”. The beginning follows the depressing routine of a guy that hates his job to the tune of Nine Inch Nails’ “Everyday is Exactly the Same”. The song and the movie definitely speak to me. I love it how later in the movie he makes a dramatic exit from his hellish job.

    Anyway, once I hit FI I think I will want to do all the awesome things you outlined in your post. I may not end up having children, but I hope to mentor some younger people.

    August is almost in the books now, which means I have around 15 months left in the accumulation stage. When I hit FI the first thing I’ll do is take one long nap…

    • says

      Spoonman,

      Haha! I wasn’t thinking of that movie when I wrote this, but that fits perfectly! I guess I’m just lucky I don’t need anxiety medication. And I love that NIN song. I think my life’s movie, right now at least, could be titled the same…but that will be changing in a few years. I’m hopeful I’m going to draft a totally new script in 5 years or less. I’ll be scouting for new filming locations! :)

      Looking forward to seeing what FI looks like for you. You seem to have a great imagination and a thirst for change.

      Keep on truckin’!

      Best regards.

  5. says

    When I was in my midtwenties I began to read books by Andre Kostolany about money investing. Andre Kostolany was very famous in Germany. I don’t know if someone in the U.S.A. knows him. With his books he wanted the Germans to bring closer to the stock exchange. You must know that Germans are very konservativ and do not like the stock exchange.
    He quoted in his book a german poet called Hoffmann von Fallersleben (he wrote the lyrics of the German National Anthem). I liked it so much that this became my credo. The original words are:
    “So ist es gut, so ist es recht,Niemandes Herr, Niemandes Knecht.”
    Translated: So it is good, so it is right, No one’s Lord, nobody’s servant.
    This would be the title of my movie.

    Regards
    ZaVodou

  6. gibor says

    Jason, I have similar boring life, the only difference , I’m at work 7.5 hours and no 1 minute more…. generally, living from Friday to Friday, from vacation to vacation, (I have 20 days per year). Working in the same company more than 10 years (changed owners 3 or 4 times) , don’t care to get laid off, as I will get not too bad package.
    I like your idea of long-term travel, however, in Canada to keep provincial health insurance , everyone needs to be in Canada at least 6 months per year, so I’d like to go for mid-term vacations up to 6 months…

    • says

      gibor,

      I think a plan where I was able to live six months somewhere and then come home for six months would be great. I wouldn’t mind living for six months in an exotic locale, and then come home to spend time with family and friends, catch up and swap adventure stories. That would be pretty awesome!

      I don’t have to worry about such a plan because our healthcare situation is different here, however.

      Cheers!

    • says

      Seems like government controlled provincial health insurance lures you in, then they change the law to make everyone stay 6 months out of the year in the country, while other competitive insurances skyrocket in their rates. Thus a middle class person has no other affordable choice but to be in the country every 6 months (when it could be cheaper elsewhere).

  7. Anonymous says

    The Joneses would be appalled with my simplistic lifestyle. It would be a horror movie for them seeing me riding on my bicycle with plastic grocery bags hanging from my handle bars or shopping in a Goodwill store. Even some of my co workers think I’m some destitute person because I ride my bike to work or walk. Well, I could care less what they think about my movie, because part II will end with this Nomad doing things they can’t do because I was willing to do what they wouldn’t do because of what the Joneses’ might think.

    Truly,
    Nomad

    • says

      Nomad,

      I hear where you’re coming from. I imagine it’s strange to see a guy who works at a car dealership go to work via the bus or a scooter! :)

      By the way, based on your name I’m guessing you enjoy traveling. Any particularly favorite places?? I’d love to travel one day!

      Best regards.

  8. Anonymous says

    I think you must have had a bad day.I think you must get satisfaction when someones car goes out the shop running great.I hope I didn’t miss your point(I often do)You are going to make it.

    • Anonymous says

      Actually, I was paraphrasing another quote I had heard in the past from I believe was Dave Ramsey – “if you do what others won’t today you’ll be able to do what others can’t later (something to that effect”) LOL – no hostility, but thanks for the concern.
      Nomad

    • says

      Anonymous,

      It’s not about having a good or bad day. It’s about spending days how you want to. It’s about freedom of choice and spending your limited and dwindling time with purpose.

      Cheers!

  9. says

    Hi DM,

    Well put! I hope that you continue to pursue writing after you become FI. You’re really good at it and it inspires me and I’m sure many other people. Thanks for the great blog!

    • says

      The Kechi One,

      Thanks for stopping by! I see you around here every once in a while. Hope all is well for you.

      I’m glad you find inspiration here. That’s the main reason I write. I hope you continue to read and find inspiration in the future, and I’m just as hopeful that I’m able to continue writing and inspiring! :)

      Cheers to our pursuit!

      Take care.

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