It is already 2022. The Finish line of the Goal.
As I wrote the final goal review, this chapter closed. The next one hasn’t begun yet, at least I couldn’t define it or put a name on it. Or tie up another big goal to it.
It’s a common spot for many people in the FIRE community. They’ve reached some level of FI. Finances, investments, savings, ETFs are already set to run almost automatically. More funds don’t mean more anymore. The interest shifts towards lifestyle design a.k.a
What do I do with my life now?
I also found myself in this very spot. Now what?
As a start I allowed myself to float goal-less. For two months now.
I have mixed feelings about it. On one side, it’s liberating, and I can just relax and enjoy the flow of Life (which by itself can be quite turbulent with a toddler during a pandemic). On the other side, I feel like I’m floating aimlessly, and when the going gets tough, I don’t have a beacon to bring me back on track, to energize and excite me.
Slowly I started to look again into what my next ‘assignment’ could be, what appeals to my heart and tickles my curiosity. Two major themes appeared:
My desire and knowing are that at an older age I will be a fit, cheerful granny who climbs mountains.
I got this picture from older women who I have met on hikes. They have had deep and sometimes painful life experiences, still, they’ve kept their high spirit and body in a shape and have ‘raised’ above the mundane to higher grounds.
They inspired and warmed my heart. This became the vision for the sunset of my life.
You might think: well, you’ve got a lot of time, Kate. But this kind of health of mind and body, and spirit is something to be built habits around, to experiment with, and to find the working formula for me. There are so many books and science on slowing down aging, preventing major diseases, self-actualization that years won’t be enough to verify and test them out.
A few topics that are on the top of my list: fasting, improving my eating habits, more consistent meditation practice, float tank, further tweaking my daily schedule for optimal productivity and enjoyment.
Creating vs Consumption
The focus here is on sustainability and consistency.
I want to keep the creative bursts and maintain the afterglow until the next burst comes. I’ve noticed that my creativity is cyclical, there are ups and downs and I just have to follow the wave and be gentle with myself when I’m in the middle of a dry patch of inspiration and everything seems pointless.
A big element of creativity is sharing. Creativity under closed doors, that I keep to myself is OK, but I believe it becomes alive when I share the end product (or the process): may it be a blog post, an insight, a solution that worked wonders for me, something delightful and inspiring that will ignite (or not) sparks of inspiration in other human beings.
There’s a chance that these sparks then lighten up my fire when I need it, and we will create a creative loop: I inspire someone, they inspire someone else, and I myself get inspired from a completely unrelated 3rd person.
The ways of inspiration are unforeseeable.
Another aspect is how to keep my eyes on the goal.
Create Consume score
I need to measure and track it somehow. I need to see the progress as time passes. At the same time, I don’t want to limit the fluidity and magic of creativity. Not make it a chore and a score I need to meet. So I came up with a new metric: Create Consume score.
I’ll inspect my day and I’ll spot and sum up the creative and consuming activities.
Create: play with my kid, cook dinner, prepare breakfast, write a blog post, a social media post, a bug fix, or new feature, when I call a friend (creates care, and connection), share experience, coach, mentor, create a delightful outfit, create inner peace through meditation, donate time or money, find the awe in everyday situations (one of my 3 core values), etc.
Consume: eat, watch YouTube videos, read, shop, scroll the social media feed, etc.
Consuming is not always bad, it’s a natural game of give-n-take. It’s the balance between the two, the fine dance between “what the world needs” and what I can offer (skills, experience, effort, resources).
So far I’ve been looking at it from a selfish perspective: I am working towards my financial independence, I’m writing my blog as my creative outlet and for fun, I develop myself because I like it. How about I change the perspective to:
How can this serve anyone else but me?
How can I have my fun AND also create something for someone else?
It’s the key to connection, which is one of my 3 top core values. I’ll let you on a little secret – connection is in the core values of every human being, it’s not just me. Look deeper and you’ll see it in yourself as well.