We humans spend vast amounts of emotional energy analysing the past in order to plan, predict and attempt perfectly happy futures.
Our current society spends much of this energy focused on money, with the belief that; “money solves all.” A logical extension of this is the fear that a lack of money necessarily translates to misery.
While this may be somewhat true I have the sneaking suspicion that it’s not as perfectly true as we are all lead to believe.
On a personal level, history would indicate that I shouldn’t fear losing my job at all because I have never been without. On a collective, social level, history indicates just the opposite. Intellectually I know I’m possibly (in all likelihood) over-fearful and yet I find it difficult to just throw caution to the wind. The logical planner in me says I have the future covered. The fearful sheep in me is swayed by the Woolly Masses and fears that the dream isn’t possible for me, only for other braver souls.
Somewhere in the middle there is my reality.
In my current life-phase I find myself unhappy with my past life – that of preparing more for the future at the expense of living in the now. I’m determined to change that and yet, unconsciously, I still fear that I’m going overboard and jeopardising the future.
Our current burn rate is unsustainable. Even though we knew it was coming and we sort of planned and saved for it, it all happened under a very different frame of mind. That of the standard work until 65 and then hopefully have enough for FI.
With the new drive for FI and to live more for the present, the spend sometimes feels totally contrary to the desire for freedom. It’s that whole balance thing once again. Live for now but have something stashed away for tomorrow in case you are forced by circumstance to start over.
Part of this is my inner need for certainty. After all, my engineering mind demands precision, my project manager side, the perfectly planned and executed tomorrow. In a very real sense it’s who I am, part of my genetic makeup. On the flip side though it’s also a given that it’s partly the cause of my inability to find total peace and happiness in the imperfect now.
The theory postulated in “Wisdom of Insecurity” is that many of our problems originate because of our propensity to try and separate the logical “I” from the visceral “me”. Watts proposes that the two do not exist; it’s only your current experience that is you. Not sure I fully agree that’s all I am but I do agree that ”’I” seems to spend most of his time living everywhere but the now. The key to more contented happiness is to stop overriding the “me” in the present.
The “I” has ruled for too long. Time for “me” to move ‘Blue !