Freedom Isn’t Free

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15 June 2007

answer to the most frequently asked question “When are you enlisting?”

For the next 2 years, I would see myself repaying a debt that has kept me a free man for the past 20 years.

Despite vicious rants from locals who have already walk this accursed path, or so they claim… I harbor no ill feelings towards National Service or the local government, yet. But if I ever start complaining like they do, remind me again that real men don’t whine.

With 9 remaining days of freedom, I’m not rushing to accomplish things. Once I’ve done my deed, I’ll spearhead myself to Art Center, hopefully.

Rat Race

credit - IStockPhoto.comThe Rat Race draws image from the typical lab mice struggling to escape a maze or wheel. Like them most of us are or would be victims of this cycle just like most of our parents who have slogged their guts out to support the needs of our family.

More often, the rat race is just a perception, one which would not bug those who are happy about their jobs and those who’s not working solely for money. But let’s get real, how long can all that bliss in your dream job last until it starts to take a toll on your relationships and your health?

What if you’re not so lucky to land on your dream job and work is just draining all that life from you slowly… piling workload… the boss from hell.. crazy customers. Little by little you’re less happy than you used to and you reminiscence the days of your carefree childhood. You wish you could turn back time, but you can’t. So what’s next?

If you’re one who’s dreaming about leading that carefree life you once had as a child, you’re definitely not alone and by no means is that a silly thought because the fact is you don’t have to work till your fifties if you achieve Financial Freedom.

I remember being introduced to the concept of Financial Freedom when I read my first business book Rich Dad, Poor Dad a couple of years back. It is simply a state, where one is not required to work as passive investment income generates enough returns to cover one’s expenses. Be it you’re generating income from financial instruments like bonds or unit trust or having a business that’s self-managing such as E-Commerce, real examples that have already made someone out there retire early.

credit - IStockPhoto.comHowever, its only human to think that retiring early is simply not enough and retiring rich is even better. So we bet on the lottery and buy stocks clueless-ly and more often we feel heaven is making sport of us and we end up very disappointed every time chasing our dream of riches.

So we work hard to impress our boss and outshine our peers. Collect degrees and bag honors just to prove our worth in this world. But as Lily Tomlin would put it, “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

Thankfully, we do have a choice and we’re very much in control of our lives. What you are today is simply the by-product of thoughts and decisions you have made in the past. Similarly, what you are tomorrow would be the views you have about life right now and the decisions you’re about to make for your life.

So what is riskier? Slogging 20 years of your life for an MNC (Multi-National Corporation) hoping to enter their Board of Directors? or Taking control of your life by moving out of your comfort zones and start making smart money decisions while you’re still young?

Life’s no longer about working hard as cheap labor is abound with third-world economies catching up. Its all about working smart and the least you could do for your future is start arming yourself with the knowledge that will see you through life without too much sacrifices, because life’s just too short to get tangled.

credit - IStockPhoto.comAnd despite all that mad rush for fame and fortune, there’s still a place in this world for love and humanity. As Suzie Orman would reiterate, “People first, Then money, Then things”