Finance Stoic 31 – Where have I traded away freedom? How can I get it back?

TheDaily Stoic Quote 1

The unrestricted person, who has in hand what they will in all events, is free. But anyone who can be restricted, coerced, or pushed into something against what they will is a slave.

Epictetus, Discourses, 4.1.128b – 129a

Daily Stoic Question

Where have I traded away freedom? How can I get it back?

Daily Finance Stoic Response

What I have given up

I traded away the freedom of time.

I work 50 to 55 hours per week, which is a reduction of what I used to be doing. Because I hired and helped build a great team, I am able to work less hours than I used to.

When I start a new job, if that is my path, I will need to work longer hours again. When you take on a new role, a new company, or a new team, you will generally need to work longer hours to be able to perform at a high level.

Starting the new role will likely require additional learning, and hence hours, for at least two years. I base this estimate on how long it has historically taken me to get up to speed and perform at a high level in past opportunities.

Let’s look at an example of how I have given away my freedom. Assuming no wasted time in a week, this is how I consume the hours in a given week:

If I stay at my current job and work 55 hours per week, and continue the activities I am currently doing, then I have an average of 4.5 hours remaining per day to spend with my boys and my wife. But, wait, that isn’t realistic. The hours that are consumed for many of these activities are consumed Monday to Friday, leaving the weekends for time that I could spend with my two boys. Consistently,I have not seen my boys during the work week, going weekend to weekend between our time together.

How I will get it back

How can I change this? An easy answer is to realign my priorities and to live my priorities. If I continue in the role I am in, I can get the hours closer to an average of 50 than 55+. When I set my SMART goals, as I keep intending to do, and measure them monthly, I will prioritize what’s important to me.

The most important way that I can take back my freedom is to achieve financial independence, which I plan to do in six years. Yes, until then, it’s hard to give up so much; however, I am always cognizant of what I am willing to do to achieve financial independence for me and my family.

Until next time,

FS

Finance Stoic

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