what will be important to you when you are free?

When you are no longer devoting your energy and the best hours of your life to your employer what do you think you could do with your life? Who will you be?

1: People

I will be someone who selects the human relationships to foster and then protects and grows those relationships.

People include friends, family, and the network of people who will be supportive or provide companionship, insight, or possibly opportunities for growth. As someone who has introvert tendencies if not required to socialise (e.g. in a work context) I am most deficient in this area. As the UK is my adopted home I do not have strong ties to any particular community and limited friends. The idea of spending every day inside my head is not too attractive to me, so I have a lot of work to do in this area. As someone who enjoys outdoor pursuits I think the easiest option will be to join clubs or groups. I have started off slowly and I am regularly going to the local parkrun event which is surprisingly motivating considering the limited communication involved up to this point.

2: Skills

I will be someone who increases their skills, especially those that strengthen a FI future and enables adding value to people and activities.

For those familiar with Jacob at ERE this will need little explanation. The skills and self-sufficiency that Jacob uses and recommends to improve life and reduce consumption can also be leveraged to add value to the people in your life, reinforcing this part of your FI life. As for myself, I need to work on discovering which of my current skills can be useful to others and what practical skills should be learned to be the most value to myself and others. At the moment I am happy to offer unskilled labour, but that is due to being lazy about discovering what other skills I have that can be useful to others. Of course skills that are in demand can be used to help others who may be able to help you in turn or perhaps simply to earn extra money if required.

3: Activities

I will be someone who chases the joy of physical pursuits, especially outdoors.

Everyone has sports, hobbies, activities and interests that they enjoy pursuing and thanks to the internet it is easy to connect with others who share your interests, no matter how obscure! However, if you can’t find a local group, probably you are in the best position to start one due to having more time than full time workers.

My interests are in outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, running, climbing, sailing etc for which there are plenty of groups. One possible issue for the newly FI is that you may not be living in the area you have been working in. This is important for people and clubs as these things are usually geographically fixed. I will be leaving London when I finish working so will be hoping to increase social connections using my sports and hobbies in my new hometown.

In summary, there are 3 very broad and overlapping categories that I expect I will need to prepare for a happy, healthy FI future: people, skills and activities. I will try to add value to myself and the lives of others within these 3 broad areas resulting in a more fulfilling and enjoyable experience.

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