There is more to life than financial independence, why I’m now pursuing “FILLS”

Over the last 12 months I’ve been obsessed with the concept of financial independence (FI). Essentially FI allows you to design a life you want without taking money into consideration. For me, embedded in the goal of FI are concepts of freedom, self-reliance, optimism and the sense of endless future possibilities. At its essence, the path to FI is realtively simple – spend less, save more, and optimize the difference. I’ve realized though, it isn’t all about money.

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“The Biggest Little Farm” reaffirms my belief in simplicity, purpose and sustainability

Last night my wife and I watched a fantastic documentary called “The Biggest Little Farm“. The film chronicles the 8 year journey of John and Molly Chester from small LA city apartment to 200 acres of biodiverse farm. They have a dream of coexisting with nature and “traditional” farming, where over time they transform a barren landscape into a lush paradise. The cinematography is beautiful and their story is hopeful, often emotional, and inspiring.

I don’t suddenly want to become a farmer, but The Biggest Little Farm got me thinking about what constitutes sustainability, purpose and a good life.

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A simple and meaningful life by focusing on the essentials

Is your working day characterized by endless meetings and an equally never ending to-do list? Do you lack the time to think and are you just in a cycle of doing?

I know the feeling, which is why I was excited to be given the excellent book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by author Greg McKeown.

Sitting down to read Essentialism with a cup of green tea

To my surprise, the applicability of lessons outlined in Essentialism extended far beyond the work context and time management strategies. At its core, this is a book about focusing on what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so you can concentrate on the things that really matter. For me, the book reaffirmed my belief that a simple life can be fulfilling, productive and meaningful.

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The Pursuit of Happiness and Meaning

Have you ever felt a bit aimless, unmotivated or wondering what your purpose was in life? Maybe, like me, you’re working in a job that can sometimes feel a bit pointless and meaningless. Are you looking for something bigger than yourself or trying to forge a life that truly matters?

Finding purpose in life

There is an excellent book called “Man’s search for meaning” by Viktor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, which outlines three ways one’s purpose in life is uncovered:

  1. By creating a work or doing a deed;
  2. By experiencing something or encountering someone;
  3. By the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering
Contemplating life’s purpose
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