Viewing Financial Independence From A Philosophic Angle
As physicians we are blinded by how others perceive us, by what’s expected of us, by this amazing accomplishment that we have supposedly achieved. I am certain that most of us don’t even have a clue what a big deal this ‘medicine thing’ is. Imagine if you weren’t a doctor, didn’t have the slightest idea how you could even become a doctor, never thought in a million years you could make it through the schooling and get the grades. How then do you think you would view the achievement of becoming a doctor? I believe that most individuals act the way they are treated.
We as docs are treated by others a certain way and have certain expectations projected on us. We are put on a pedestal and our achievements are seen as impossible accomplishments. As the recipient of these feelings we ourselves change a little. This happens as early as residency and we are so inundated with work and so drained of emotion and free thought that we don’t fully realize that these thoughts are projected on us.
What Society Projects On Us
We are expected to live lavish lives, to spend money, to have gorgeous homes, amazing cars, to have traveled to some of the most amazing destinations and have tasted some of the best foods. This is because we are thought to be sophisticated, we are known to have stable jobs and the luxury of getting a lot of respect from society in general. All these characteristics make us the ideal candidate to experience the finer things in life. And people expect this of us; they project this on us daily… and with time we internalize it. It’s our norm which in time becomes a part of us so that we cannot even recall what we were like before.
When I tell people that I don’t own a car and that I rent a tiny apartment I frequently hear “But you’re a doctor…”.
Getting back to the title of this post, financial independence could be a way to defy society’s expectations. In this world financial independence can afford an individual freedom to do what they wish with their time. It gives a person free time that can be spent doing what matters to them most instead of reporting to a job.
Whichever Way We Choose, We Should Do It With Conviction
The reason I’m writing this post is because I think it’s important that we question our ways, that we question everything that society expects of us and expects from us. In doing so we may reach the conclusion that everything we have and want is right for us. But what if instead we realize that we don’t need all this mess (cars, home(s), toys, vacations, expensive clothing and luggage) that we have surrounded ourselves with…
A Good Book To Read On The Subject
I’m going to recommend a book that is more philosophical in the way it’s written but still very easy to read and understand. It’s not so philosophical that it’s impractical. The author, in my opinion, succeeded in making the reader question everything they are doing without dictating how it should be done. It talks about financial investing in a broad sense, talks about living, exercising, eating and working.
The book is called Early Retirement Extreme and the author, Jacob L. Fisker, who also used to write a blog at Early Retirement Extreme.
I don’t want to assume that most of us docs fell into a life trap that we didn’t even create for ourselves. So with this post I just want you to perhaps reconsider what’s important to you. If you make a written list that reads in importance in this order: work, family, friends, free time, cars, clothes, electronics and you are spending your money and time in that order… then great, you are living an intentional life. If however your list goes like this: free time, family, friends, peace, work, food, clothes and you aren’t spending your time and money in this fashion then I believe you could be headed towards a dissatisfied life.
What does your list look like?
What could financial independence afford you that you don’t currently have?