The danger of becoming comfortable

ComfortableWage addiction can consume your life

Well-known venture capitalist Fred Wilson said, “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary“.

I’m the first to admit that I don’t like stress. I’m a planner, a worrier, and I like to know where my next meal is coming from. Is having a job really safer and more secure than not having one?

I’ve read in many different places that ideally you should have multiple income streams, and/or your own business with multiple customers. Relying on one employer is a risky strategy – as those who work for Westpac will agree.

I enjoy reading about people who have the testicular fortitude to ditch the boss, go it alone, and follow their passion. I search out blogs of people who have location-independent income streams and can travel the world without needing to apply for leave from their jobs.

We are raised through the school system to “get a good job” as if that’s some kind of panacea in the search for a comfortable life. Is it?

With technology such as robots, and cheaper labour overseas (e.g. China), jobs are not secure and cannot be relied on to support you indefinitely.

I’ve had a wake-up call in the past couple of weeks when the job that I loved changed their software. Overnight my role changed from really enjoyable to less than enjoyable. Whilst not as tragic as it initially seemed (although we haven’t yet had the 20th of the month!) and I’m getting used to the new software, it has severely hindered my efficiency and job satisfaction.

As an employee, your boss can make any decision they like in their business and this can have a major impact on your life. This realisation hit me like a ton of bricks and I was disappointed with myself for having become comfortable with the job. If you are comfortable, then you don’t strive for anything better. I think perhaps the Universe (or insert choice of deity) is suggesting that staying in this role until retirement is unrealistic.

When we bought our first rental property 12.5 years ago, we had hoped to be retired by now (10 years was our very ambitious goal), but life kept getting in the way, employment kept being needed and sought, and our reliance and addiction to a regular salary/wage has continued to take up more of our lives than we’d like.

I know this is normal, but I don’t want to be normal!

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein.

With a big birthday looming, I find myself pondering my goals and where I am in relation to them.

I’ve also pondered the suggestion of taking on more hours at work next year and realised that whilst that would get me closer to our financial goals, it would hinder many other goals – such as this blog, and getting a puppy.

Life is too short to indefinitely sell hours of your life for a wage. Eventually you have to be kind to yourself and do what you love. The challenge is finding a way for your passion to cover the costs of your lifestyle.


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