A bad thing sparked my desire to subconsciously work towards F.I.R.E.
It was not a pleasant time in my life, but the one thing I promised myself throughout that moment was never to be dependent on another person ever again.
I would always have amazing people in my life. I would cherish every moment that I would spend with them. Still, I would never ever get into a situation where one person could hold the key to my happiness and financial well-being.
That was the catalyst for me to start a journey towards FIRE. I did not know at the time that this was the journey I was on. I just knew that I was never going back to that stressful situation.
I was just saving money like mad. I was spending money on the things I was being forced to spend money on but to counter that despair, I was saving money at the other end like a crazy f*cker.
I had no plan, just a passion for saving and never regressing into the terrible financial way of life I was determined to leave.
This was part of my awakening. You will have yours at one point, that is, if you have not already had one.
An awakening will come in the form of the most challenging times in life, and it will sweep the legs from right underneath you.
From that sweeping movement, you are down on your ar*e.
That is the moment you have to start to make choices. I wallowed for too long when I was on my a*rse. That is one of my takeaways from that period in my life. But there is no right or wrong length of time to be down there, and if anyone tries to manage that timescale for you, they will get your wrath.
So if you are supporting another person through an awakening, then give them space.
I took the corrective action at the time, and some of it was extreme, but it was the right choice back then.
Since my awakening, I have been getting fresher and fresher on my journey to where I want to be. I have clarity of focus because I sat down back then and worked out what I wanted to do in years to come. Once I was clear, I built backwards and then pushed the go button.
It has been a hell of a ride so far, with highs and lows, but the long term vision keeps the fire in me burning.
This is my tuppence worth for anyone that is struggling and looking for a way forward.
- Know when you are in trouble and call for help.
- Allow people to support you but recognise that you have to do the work.
- Time is always on your side. Take the time that you need because the change has to be on your timescale.
- When you are ready, you will see clearly, but always look for the moment that the fog is lifting.
- If it is there, identify the moment of awakening and frame it as a reason for motivation. Use it as fuel for your fire.
- Draw out a long term vision of who, what and where you want to be. You decide how far out, but paint your own picture.
- Work backwards in big, bold action steps from your vision of who you want to be to the point in life where you are now.
- Work forward a few months in small baby steps. (cliche, I know, but it works)
- Set a date and a time as a start point – be exact. On the 12th of May at 11.35am….
- Write out what will be your first three steps – be exact. On the 12th of May at 11.35am, I will put £30 into my investment account.
- Countdown to that time.
- Take action and make it explosive.
- That same day when you take action, write out the following three steps, take action and be explosive.
- See your self as a surfer trying to catch the wave back to the shore – visualisations like this help.
- Write out another three steps and take explosive action. Stick with three at a time.
- Rinse and repeat until you build this automatic habit.
- Look at your long-term vision for yourself every single day from now on. Keep that front of mind at all times. That is your why.
This is what lit my fire back then, and day by day, this is how I pulled myself back from where I was.
Every single day since then, I have looked at my long term vision for who, what and where I want to be, and that image has kept my F.I.R.E burning.
I will get there, I know I will, and it will be with the help and support from everyone around me…
But getting there has to be on my own timeline and by me taking the actions.
At the end of the day, it is always down to you.