I started ketogenic (after reading Gary Taubes’s book), but the more I started reading and discussing this with my smart friends, the more I drifted towards more mainstream low-carb diet (I try to eat mostly veggies, fish, eggs, nuts, fat dairy, poultry and non-sweet fruits). I try also to limit the red meat in general and processed red meat especially (cold cuts, sausages, smoked meat), because there’s high probability it’s causing cancer (of course not as high as tobacco and alcohol, but still). So, yeah, I’m trying now to keep my blood sugar low, while eating more mainstream diet (I’m not that obsessed with not eating pasta, wholegrain bread and this kind of complex carbs anymore).
Is FIRE demotivating you to work?
I realised I made a strategic error with FIRE. I convinced myself that my job is boring and I can do many other more exciting things after FIRE. This made me more miserable and frustrated with my job and my career than it has to be. I lost my motivation, enthusiasm and joy at work, and I stopped thinking about improving my career. This is really bad because I’ll stay with this career for at least next 10-15 years (until FIRE). Now, I’m trying to rebuild my focus and motivation on my career to make the way more pleasant and think less about post-FIRE plans, so that it doesn’t distract me from my current life.
I have definitely become less motivated. But not just because of FIRE. When I started my career in Poland I was in awe of managers at high positions and as frustrated at how I will probably never be able to reach this position. Then I moved to Switzerland and got a Polish manager salary off the bat. Then I moved to freelancing and I don’t need to climb any higher. With the current income I should achieve FIRE in 4 years, by the end of 2022.
So I’ve stopped to develop my skills, I just do my job in my niche and can’t be bothered to try anything else, because if everything goes right, pretty soon it will not matter.
I still haven’t figured out what I’m gonna do afterwards. I can’t really think of any job that I would do for free. My current job gives me eye sore and back pains, so when I can, I will greatly reduce. Also, if I leave Switzerland and go to, say, Poland, the salaries there will probably not convince me to pick up any work. And to top it off, I’m not sure what am I gonna do with all that free time on my hands. Right now I have some weekends where I have no idea what I should do. I hope there will always be some new exciting place to visit.
I’m totally in a similar situation. I think I’d have to become a team leader or a software architect or move to Google to earn more than my current salary. And since money doesn’t motivate me (that much) anymore, I don’t feel the drive to move to any of these things. (I’m considering applying to Google though, but that would require me to invest a lot into learning programming, data structures, algorithms, and theoretical stuff, that I’m not so interested in.) On the other hand, I need to find some source of motivation, because otherwise, the frustration with my career will be growing with each day. I’m already incredibly bored, demotivated and frustrated.
Wow, man, you must be earning tons of money if you are able to retire in Switzerland in 4 years. I consider my FIRE target in Switzerland to be minimum ~1M CHF, and that will take me ~10-12 years with my current portfolio and my 50% savings rate (if I’m lucky).
I have actually too many ideas and I’m constantly short on time. I assume that post-FIRE, I’ll allocate 50% of my time to family activities (teaching/learning, traveling and playing with my son) and 50% to work/hobbies/experimenting. I think that I’ll be looking for something that gives me a deeper sense of meaning and purpose - maybe it will be running an organization that somehow helps people (for example, cheap personal finance advice), or maybe it will be something else. I have to experiment and test a lot of different things to find something that will keep me going because money and career won’t be these things.
It’s actually quite terrifying perspective… What if I won’t find anything? What if I won’t have any motivation to get up in the morning and work hard on anything to end of my life? Will I be constantly bored with my life?
FIRE is liberating in many ways, but it’s also pushing a high psychological burden - you have to figure out a new script for life and find the motivation to execute it. Being a salary slave is in some sense comfortable psychologically - you don’t have to think about filling your time with purposeful and meaningful activities. It’s a weird paradox.
For me the perspective of FIRE in the next 10-25 years is pretty calming. I view my stash as opportunities that I accumulate religiously every month.
When something bad happens at work I tend to get less psychologically impacted than my peers and I do believe that my exit plan plays a role in my serenity.
Even though I know that I will FIRE in the future, I still want to learn eagerly as much as I can since for me knowledge leads to a higher performance which leads to a higher salary and thus this ultimately accelerates my FIRE.
Disclaimer: I entered the workforce for a bit more than a year ago and I am still pretty motivated. Let’s see what a couple of years working will do to my motivation You guys are probably older than me and went through additional life phases, which could easily explain this motivational gap.
@1000000CHF your time horizon is more or less like mine (10-12 years based on current conditions) -> I think you have to look for another job (even in another field) to stay motivated, otherwise you won’t survive such a long time…
I’m doing the same right now and will begin something different with the new year (this motivates me, even if it means staying at least 3 days a week in another canton, away from family…)
just my 2 cents !
Thank you guys for your comments. Yesteday I thought a lot about this and I think I know what I’ll do. Since I’m planning to stick with IT until I’m FIRE, but I need some change, I’ll try to switch to programming. I’ll take an online JS full stack or Python data science bootcamp and look for a job where I can do both Linux system engineering and JS programming. I’ll see what I like more and either choose one path or try to keep doing both jobs.
On the other side, I’m going to continue learning finance (with Swiss Value Investing Club), languages (German, English, French), traveling (in Switzerland and Europe), and reading popular science books in a variety of topics (but especially - economics and psychology). On FIRE, I’ll dive deeper into these hobbies at the expense of IT/work stuff.
And above all - I need to focus on being a great dad and husband, which will occupy 90% of my time outside of work and sleep anyway. Family first, work & hobbies second - no matter whether I’m on FIRE or not.
BTW. Speaking of life priorities - here are two awesome videos on that topic:
My friend got fired yesterday. He has a car loan to pay off and obviously no savings, but he’ll still get two salaries for his 2-month notice period. He lived from paycheck to paycheck like there’s no tomorrow - and now he has a problem. He’s a programmer, so he won’t starve but he’s now taking the amount of stress that he wouldn’t need to, if he were wiser with his money.
For that occasion, it’s worth repeating classic in Personal Finance blogosphere:
"There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and work for whom you respect.
Those who live paycheck to paycheck are slaves. Those who carry debt are slaves with even stouter shackles. Don’t think for the moment their masters don’t know it."
Excellent career discussion on Hacker News:
"Emotionally detaching. I was a workaholic from age 16 until 33 and this was my primary identity. I used to always be proud of the work I did, no matter how lame the company or how many times I was screwed over. Then one day my father died, and I was fired from a company who I truly believed in and for whom I had sacrificed.
This sounds cynical, but it’s really peaceful. With the emotional energy and sheer time saved I am able to cultivate strong relationships, passionate devote myself to music, be a better father/husband/son, discover new interests that have nothing to do with the internet.
I frequently espouse the virtues of a “Fuck you, pay me” work attitude, and I recommend everybody examine their relationship with their careers and ask themselves if on their deathbed they will wish they had worked more."
"The deathbed perspective is highly effective at sorting out what really matters. I’ve struggled with health issues for a few years now, and I ask myself regularly, “If I were to die in 6 months, would I be satisfied with having spent the last 6 months of my life doing this work?”
Often the answer is yes. A job is a good thing. Currently, I work for a company doing meaningful work, with a decent team, and a product that is heading the right direction. I get a decent paycheck to support my family and let us have some fun, and go home and see my family earlier than most.
On the flip side, if the organization changes, the answer can flip to no and it becomes time to leave. Sticking with a place that used to be a “Yes” after it turns to “No” is a painful experience, and people frequently stick around too long because of how things used to be. This is where the emotional detachment matters – It is critical to your well-being to recognize when that answer flips."
Highly recommended discussion.
OMG, this discussion is so good - it’s on science of paleo-low-carb vs vegan-high-carb diets. Main conclusion: general lifestyle and quality of food is more important than whether you’re vegan or paleo. Everybody should find his own version of healthy lifestyle that fits his body needs (everybody’s body is different). Just focus more on quality rather than ideology.
PS. Ping @Bojack.
Ahah, yes I listened to it last thursday
Good content, as always with Howard Marks. I highly advised to read the memos available on the website of his company…
I followed your recommendation and installed Headspace. The guided meditation seems nice and I would like to continue, but after a trial set of 10 days, they say it costs 13 CHF per month or 95 CHF per year. Seems a little steep. Did you pay?
I tried headspace with a 1chf per month trial offer and canceled when the offer ended, their support guy contacted me and proposed an unlimited 30 or 40% reduction.
If I remember correctly, the Calm app has a slightly cheaper subscription price. Perhaps try both free trials before committing to one, if any?
No. Other exercises are very similar (I had them for free for International Mental Health Day), so I keep using the free one.
I found a lecture about something more important than low-carb vs vegan diet:
PS. Ping @Bojack
Are you going to fast? let me know how it goes.
I started skipping breakfast some time ago. Now I’d like to skip or postpone lunch to 15:00-16:00. We will see how it goes.