I had a realisation earlier this week and wanted to share it with you guys. I finished reading The Almanack of Naval Ravikant which is one of the best value-add books I’ve read in recent times, but this one line got me thinking:

Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow.

This got me thinking about what retirement means for me personally and I came to the conclusion that it involves two aspects:

  1. Removing “I’ve always wanted to…” moments.
  2. Never having to say “I wish I could…” statements.

The second part mainly comes down to financial freedom as well as time freedom to be able to get involved in any activity I wished for at any time I wanted. So, this isn’t quite tangible for me at this stage but let’s talk about the first part.

To remove “I’ve always wanted to…” moments is a pretty feasible goal for me at this point. It’s the route that I’m heading towards and something that I strive for in all that I accomplish. Here are three big “I’ve always wanted to” realisations I had at the start of the year:

  1. Create online content. ✅
  2. Write regularly. ✅
  3. Give public talks to large audiences. 🔜

There will probably be some much bigger “I’ve always wanted to…” moments in the future but these are my current small-scale young-man concerns. Here are two useful strategies I’ve personally used in removing my “I’ve always wanted to” problems.

The Bucket List

Just like a bucket list but a little different. Instead of making a list of anything and everything you’ve always wanted to do (still do this, I think everyone should have one), make a list of only things if you could remove from your desires or wants would get you closer to retirement.

“For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.” ― Marcus Aurelius

I’m not per se talking about materialistic items here but only careers, side-interests, hobbies, life ambitions, if you could accomplish today will lead to a feeling of satisfaction strong enough to consider retirement. Divert your focus to this list when you find yourself looking for things to do. Begin ticking off items.

The Coffee Challenge

I’ve always struggled with confidence and the fear of judgment. The book The Courage To Be Disliked has helped tremendously and the very act of putting myself out there has been the single best self-improvement action I’ve taken. But here’s something that could help you. If like me, my biggest barrier to completing “I’ve always wanted to…” statements was my fear and lack of confidence.

The premise of this challenge is simple, you walk into any café or equivalent. You order any beverage (coffee if you’re a legend) and then ask for a 10% discount when it’s time to pay. For no particular reason, just ask for a 10% discount off your bill and if they look at you like you’re a mad person, just say, “for no particular reason, I was just wondering if it could be possible.”

I tried this once; verdict: confidence kick > caffeine kick.

I was first introduced to this by Noah Kagan in his Deep Dive interview with Ali Abdaal. It’s something that I think anyone could benefit from trying.

The Take-Home Message

Your definition of retirement may be completely different from mine if so, thank you for letting me waste your time. But, if your definition of retirement broadly represents mine, start with your ‘Bucket List: but different’ and see what you can tick off.


What do you think? Let me know, hit me up on socials. 👋🏾


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