I believe we have power. That deep inside each of us resides a unique purpose and identity that are unstoppable. That embracing this power leads to lifelong contentedness. Finding this well of vitality is complicated. Certainly it starts by telling ourselves the right stories about our lives. By becoming the protagonist of our own unique narrative, we dive deeper into ourselves. In the past I have even gone as far as suggesting we must have our own theme song. Whatever it takes to tap into this source of energy. In the financial independence community, we talk much of abundance and minimalism. I believe both these aspects are important to avoid the power drain.
Life, instead of increasing power, can drain it.
How do we avoid this trap?
The idea of financial freedom focuses on abundance. Between W-2 wages, side hustles, investing, and real estate, we struggle to accumulate enough. Unlike the arguments of our detractors, we don’t believe in withholding or sacrificing ourselves. We accumulate in order to embrace all that life has to offer. We want to travel, and play, and learn.
One cannot do these things if they are broke.
But the true meaning of abundance is actually somewhat focused on the opposite. Part of this journey is having enough money to avoid the power drain. If our true power comes from being our authentic selves, then financial independence allows us to remove unnecessary roadblocks.
Although I once thought that being a doctor was my true purpose, I now know that it is communicating: creating content, writing, and public speaking. But how can I focus on this if I have to spend all my time locked away in a nursing home somewhere seeing patients?
Thus by pursuing my half retirement, I am clearing the way to embrace my true energy. I am removing the power drain.
I couldn’t do this without abundance.
I am not a minimalist in the true sense of the word. I live in a big house, in an expensive suburb, with two cars and a basement full of stuff. These are not the trappings of this movement.
To avoid the power drain, however, I have had to learn how to use laser-like minimalist qualities to remove all the clutter that stands between me and my true purpose and calling. The first step was pulling back from those aspects of my job that were standing in the way of happiness. Dropping the nursing home is the first step.
But not only work, but other aspects of one’s life can be downsized. One must let go of activities and responsibilities that add to the power drain. Here are a few things in the last few weeks that I have decided to either let go of or hire out in order to move forward.
- news and political social media
- house work and laundry
- promoting my blog
While the first is something that I can totally do without, the other two are tasks that I can use my financial independence to leverage other’s expertise. If promoting this blog is a power drain on my creative time, why not ask for help and leverage someone else’s passion?
Sometimes being a minimalist, cutting out that which adds to the power drain, leads to an abundance of energy and contentedness.
I believe we are all born with a strong center of power and abilities. I believe we exercise this power when we align ourselves with our unique purpose and identity and avoid the power drain. The best way to do this is to embrace the abundance of financial independence and use laser-like minimalist skills to cut away everything else.
This is my best approximation of living the good life.
“DocG” is a physician who blogs at DiverseFI.
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