After I paid off my house a few years ago, I wrote about the experience (via the post: Stop Drowning in Debt, Start Swimming To Shore) using a swimming analogy. In the swimming analogy, I compared “being in debt” as being similar to being underwater and swimming straight up to get desperately needed air.
In the under water analogy, there were no complex choices, you had to swim straight up on the quickest and shortest path to get the prized air. Instinct practically took over so there was no thinking, just a constant and quick paddling to get to the surface. Much like debt, it makes the decision very easy because every movement up was a direct contribution to your end goal which was to breathe or reduce your debt.
Once surfacing (or getting out of debt):
- at first you catch your breath,
- rest a bit,
- then start looking where to go from there!
In a later post called (Getting Wealthy By Swimming to Shore), I wrote that I plotted a basic course to follow and that I started implementing my loose plan.
I’ve discovered that following that plan is hard because of so many other options that are out there once you get out of debt. I’m constantly wondering about the direction that I should be swimming and if current path is the best… I miss the days when every payment on debt was instant feedback on how my financial position has improved. The wealth producing opportunities are not anywhere near as predictable making debt payments.
The feedback can be false depending on how you act on your investments. For instance, 3 years ago I would have never guessed that gold would be as high as it is today. In a unsure economic climate and the increased consumption from developing markets on a scarce resource, it makes sense that gold would rise as it has but it’s hard to see this sometimes because of all the variables involve. To bad I didn’t buy any back then!
Interestingly (and not really related to the point of my article), I recently saw on TV that we can make gold out of lead. The process requires massive amounts of energy that make it too expensive, but it is possible.
Achieving financial independence and my swimming analogy:
So I’ve plotted a course to follow that I will try to achieve financial independence, but it’s a tough course and I’m constantly making small adjustments. I think as long as I don’t swim in circles or suddenly decide to swim the opposite way, I’ll be okay. I have learned that my journey won’t be a straight path as it was with getting out of debt.
There will be times when I go backwards because of the currents or I’ll have to swim around obstacles (like stinging jellyfish). I think the important point is to keep swimming, because after you stop swimming for too long, eventually you sink.
So in conclusion, it looks like I’m in for a long, hard swim until I develop a pace to swim/invest by…