What is the typical American dream? It usually incorporates the following in this order: Graduate from college, get a good, steady job, buy a house, have 2.5 kids (I feel bad for that half a kid), work until you’re allowed to retire, go on vacation. Are any of these things even applicable? Is a 4-year degree worth anything anymore? What does having a good job even mean? Is owning a house a smart choice, realistically as well as financially? And what about kids? Should people have kids just because they’re expected to? Is the whole concept of work and retirement backwards?
All of these archetypes are simply boxes that you’re expected to check off in life. Boring steady job: Check. House/Mortgage/Financial Coffin: Check. Kids: Check. Work until you’re old enough to collect social security (if it’s still around): Check. Well then, you’re all done. You can stop living your life now and just sit back and insert the feeding tube. You’ve got it all. Time to take that cruise to Alaska.
I’d like to think there’s a different way of living your life; with an emphasis on the living part. Your golden years are right now. Not when you’re in your 60s, 70s or 80s, when you’ll be less active, less mobile, less able to do fun, exciting and interesting things. It’s all backwards. The most important piece in all of this is time. Time is intangible but invaluable. Once it’s gone, you can never get it back. And it’s our most wasted asset. It’s your time and how you choose to spend it is your choice. If you’re not spending the majority of your time doing the things you enjoy and that matter to you, do something about it. Time is worth more than money.