Fishing For A More Meaningful Life

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Lao Tzu

Many people wander this world without much purpose.  Some scrape by and barely manage to live day by day, while others live extravagant lifestyles filled with excessive luxuries.  And yet they both require the same thing: Money.

Money is one of the few things that provide an answer to the Five W’s (and one H) in our lives: the What, Who, Where, When, Why, and How.

For example: What am I going to do with my life?  Who, if anyone, will help me?  Where should I go from here?  When can I retire?  Why did I end up where I am?  How come I’m not rich?

The truth is not easy to swallow, but money is the answer to everything.  It’s always about money.

It is not, and should not be, the source of your happiness but it can greatly affect how fast you will be able to achieve your goals and dreams.  Consequentially, achieving these goals and dreams will then lead you to a more productive and satisfying life. A happier, more meaningful life.

“That’s all nice and dandy, but how do I get more money?” you may ask. We can solve this by answering the questions mentioned above.

What am I going to do with my life?  Make the most money as humanly possible in the shortest amount of time by accumulating enough wealth to achieve early retirement.

Who, if anyone will help me?  No one but yourself.  You are the only one that can ensure 100% returns on your investment.  However, social skills and connections to folks who ‘know folks’ can go a long ways.

Where should I go from here?  Statistically speaking, most college graduates make more than high school graduates.  Education is the key to unlocking a higher income.  Most professional degrees (MD, DDS, PhD) out earn those holding masters and bachelors.  And school allows you to build your network.

When can I retire?  As soon as you earn 25x your yearly expenses.  This is also known as the 4% rule, which we will cover at another time.

Why did I end up where I am?  Because we weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths.  Work hard, dream big, and never stop believing.

How do I get to early retirement?  Save a ton, invest, diversify: primarily stocks and bonds, but possibly real estate if the price is right.

I know it sounds bad.  Money, money, money.  Many of you are probably shaking your heads and saying things like “Mo’ money, mo’ problems” or “Money is the root of all evil.”  And, to be frank, I agree.

But despite all of that, I can tell you with 100% certainty that a rich man that chooses to not buy a loaf of bread (because he’s on the paleo diet) is far better off than a starving homeless man who cannot afford that same luxury.  Think that over.

Money gives you options.  Money buys you security.  Learning about money and accepting it for what it is, is learning how to fish for yourself in this unpredictable and unfriendly world.