On my other blog, there was a discussion in the comments section on going your own way, with the key observation that if you stay single and don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses, you should be able to retire relatively early. I claimed that late 30s or early 40s are doable even on an average income. Of course, this leads to the question of what to do with the rest of your life. I think that this is a bit of an odd question to begin with as it seems to imply that your life is valuable only insofar as you provide value for others. Sure, if you do the regular 9-to-5, you may find your work meaningful, but if you don’t produce significantly more than you cost your employer, you’ll soon find yourself out of a job. This rule does not apply to diversity hires, but you’re not part of that protected class, with that sizeable penis of yours.
Having a wife and kids is what traditionalism tells you to do. Ignoring the issue of nagging wives, sexless marriages, and divorce court, it seems dubious that adding a bunch of other people to your life will fill that festering spiritual hole you seem to be suffering from. Kids will keep you busy, but they won’t be around forever. Thus, you will merely buy some extra time. Once they are 18, they can be expected to leave the nest. Maybe you have two or three kids. If you space them apart in a reasonable manner, it will take around 25 years until they are all gone, dropping by only once in a blue moon afterwards. How will you spend your time then? Your wife is still around, hopefully.
Well, as pleasant as it can be to have a great girlfriend or wife — good luck finding one! — it not the case that you will spend all your spare time with her. Let’s say your job takes care of the issue of giving meaning to your life during the day. Your girlfriend also helps you with not getting bored in the evening and on the weekend. That may seem like a great deal, but what if your girlfriend has a mind on her own and some interests she wants to pursue? No, I’m not alluding to chasing after Jamal and Tyrone. In the end, you won’t escape having to find your own meaning.
In my case, I spend part of my spare time writing under a few different names, which is fun and intellectually engaging. I also have a few intellectual interests I pursue, and a long to-do list of books I want to read and topics I want to study. For instance, later this year I intend to spend some time on studying non-standard calculus, based on hyperreal numbers. (Yup, that is a real panty-dropper.) Apart from that, I exercise, and I make sure I eat healthily. The field I work in is pretty interesting, but should I chose to retire early, I don’t think I would have any problem at all finding things to do with my time. I furthermore enjoy the company of my girlfriend. We want to start a family, but this will not happen with the purpose of giving myself something to do.
Pursuing a minimalist lifestyle is a good foundation for happiness. Once your material needs are taken care of, what else is there you need? Well, if it’s hookers and blows, fast cars and luxury vacations, then all your enjoyment is external. Instead, find ways to enjoy your own company. The more you are able to enjoy your own company, the less will you depend on other people as well as material possessions. I do not want to give you the impression that only intellectual pursuits are worthwhile. There is a countless number of skills you can attempt to master. Pick a dance, a martial art, some sport. As you get older, this will change, too, but you can certainly fill a few hours a day just taking care of your health. Then, educate yourself about food and become a great cook. This alone could take care of half your day. Some years ago I had a neighbor, a pretty old guy, who had a big dog to take care of, a Great Dane. If I’m not mistaken, his wife died. He seemed pretty happy, though (I’ll keep my wisecrack for myself). I’d guess that his dog filled at least four hours of his day.
I think the upshot of all of this is that a good way of finding a purpose in life, or just something to do to occupy yourself with is to think about how you would spend your last one or two decades on Earth. Your kids will no longer be around. Chances that your wife has been estranged or divorced from you will be high. You won’t care about getting laid either because your testosterone levels will be about the same as a millennial soyboy’s. So, what would you do? (Don’t tell me you’d watch TV and read the news.) With early retirement, you simply bring the time horizon forward. In any case, starting with yourself and your health seems to be a very good first step. Then you think of what you want to add. What I have observed among the few men who went their own way I know — there are some who retired early on a minimalist budget, others chose to work part-time — companionship seems to have a great value. They don’t like the companionship of women. Instead, they may have a few friends whom they stay in contact with, or they have a dog. I think that is not a bad outcome.
Did you enjoy this article? Excellent! If you want to support what I am doing, then please consider buying my amazing books or donating to the upkeep of this site. If you want tailored advice, I am available for one-on-one consultation sessions.