My journey of becoming financial independence by 35 years old
We grew up wanting to be far from our parents as possible as Americans, we get embarrassed by them, we think their thinking are too outdated and too conservative. However, they had lived their lives, they had great wisdom, and we should listen to what they had to say. My Dad gave me many advices including picking my career where after I graduated, I had no problem finding a job. So here are the advices this man gave to his son that I also find very helpful. And if you pay attention, people who have very high EQ, tend to do better at the workplace, and they do have these characteristic that this man trying to teach his son. Family, Wealth, Emotional/Spiritual Being, Expection/Responsiblity, and Knowledge and Skill Obtaining. His points are genuine to make a person become well rounded and well prepare for any unforeseen events.
I translate this from another language, trying to use similar idioms, and implement American culture so it won’t sound as weird, but it still doesn’t flow as well as I intend. 🙂
You will have your ups and down moments in life. Nobody knows what will happen and how long you get to live.
1. If someone don’t treat you nicely, don’t waste your time on the thought. In this world, it’s not anybody responsibly to treat you nicely, except your parents. If someone treat you well, on top of treasuring it, and being thankful, you need to give it a deep thought, because people do things for reasons and motives. Don’t be hasten to see them as best of friend.
2. You can make yourself to keep your “promise”, but don’t make or expect people to keep theirs. You can make/expect yourself to treat people nicely, but you can expect people to treat you well. You treat people a certain way, don’t expect the same from people. If you don’t fully understand this, you can suffer from uneasy feelings.
For instance, when I first start the job, I was promised to work every 4th weekend. Then my supervisor start scheduling every other weekend vs other people every 6th weekend. While I can’t control whether people will keep their promise. I’ve never called in on a weekend. That’s just my work ethics.
3. Nobody is irreplaceable, you don’t have to have everything. You should understand this point because if later in life, your life partner no longer want to be with you, or you lost something near and dear to you, then you should acknowledge: this is not big of a deal.
This is true, because one of my colleagues was very good at making positive changes. Management felt threaten by it, they were happy to see her go, and replace her with someone else. My job can be easily replace by a new grad, no matter how good I am at it. I might do something that make other people days go better, but the nuances like that mostly can go unnoticed.
4. In this world, there is no timeless love. Love is a feeling at the time. This feeling would go away. This feeling will change with time and place. If your lover leave you, be patience, let the time wash it out, let your soul calm down, the the pain will fade, don’t dwell on love.
I particularly didn’t have any skill for this. I went to the monastery to stay away from it all. When I was back, I asked my ex a question. Did not see any future. I was able to cut it off. Now, I had to thank my parents to introduce me to a religion that deal with suffering. When I needed a place to take refugee, I got one.
5. Life is short, if today you waste time, tomorrow you will understand that that segment of your lifetime is lost forever. That is why you need to learn to treasure your life as soon as possible. This way, you will enjoy life more. Instead of a longevity life, why not enjoy life from this point forward?
I’m much guilty of this, if talking about investing, I did not maxed out on my 401k when I started working. And I didn’t start an IRA until 2011. Had I started the Roth earlier, I would have been on better shape. Time is truly money.
6. You need to be responsible for your own life as soon as you enter your adulthood. You make it or break it, that is totally up to you. You get to eat stake dinner or ramen noodle, that is entirely your responsibility. You look into the mirror, you fix your clothes/image. You ready history book, you try to change history. You look at people, you change yourself. You are responsible of what come out of your mouth, how you speak and act.
7. Family and relative is only for this one life. Regardless of what happen in this life, you need to treasure the family gathering events. Next life, we might not get to meet.
That is why I support my Dad financially every month. Sometimes I feel like I support my uncle and his family. Even though, I’ve never directly give a penny to them. Anyhow, it’s probably make my Dad happy that he can use the money to help his brother, doing charity work.
8. Even though there are many people successful in life, however they might not finish school. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to go to school to be successful. The knowledge that you can obtain from school is your weapons. You can build a wealth from nothing, however you should not lack of knowledge. You should memorize this.
Education is an investment. That was why my Mom would not let my brothers and sister to quit school to help her out. I did not stop pursuing until I got my doctoral. Even after that, I’d still further my study with certifications.
9. Over the past ten to twenty years, I (the father) have always buy lottery ticket, but I haven’t even won a third place prize. That prove that if you want to get rich, you have to work hard at it, not to wait for luck to come to you. There is no free lunch. If luck comes to you, that is food, if not, it’s okay too, because everything is depended in yourself.
I, too, don’t like lottery. I think it’s a waste of money, and hard earned money are better kept and spent. Money come from sky, people tend to blow it off. There are documentation of professional athletes and lottery winner would go broke within 5-7 years.
10. You need to dream, but make your dream come true, don’t dream the unrealistic, don’t be delusional. You should always have faith. Not just from your own believes but also from others, and life. If you don’t have confident/trust in others, in life, you can’t do anything.
I found this particularly true, you have to set some goals. When you are older, you’ll look back and see how much you’ve accomplished. Whether it’s hiking on Himalaya or Rocky Mountain, etc. I don’t dwell on having 100$ mil that is just unrealistic.
11. Job and life, sometimes can be difficult, the obstacles require you to overcome and fight. To harvest the success, there won’t be lack of fighting and passion. Just remember, being successful is not your last stop, your goal, it is just a process. That is why you have to continue to dream, continue to believe, and continue to fight.
After I got done translate this article, I found the urge to call my Dad. He has given me many great advices. From the distance, he was afraid I’m not out going enough, so he always remind me to get involved. 🙂 Parents know best!