While I was in Amsterdam a few weeks back, a friend suggested I go visit her for a few days in a small Dutch city named Deventer.
This sounded like a great idea to me. I feel you don’t really get to know a country if you spend all your time in the one big smoke. Kinda like how visiting Dublin doesn’t give you a true sense of Ireland, and visiting New York doesn’t give you a true sense of America.
But as much as I would have liked to experience a different part of the Netherlands, I had to turn down that invitation. Unfortunately, I’m just not yet in a position financially where I can go off exploring random places whenever I want. Yes, I have visited six countries in the past eight weeks, but I’ve settled for a while in each place so I could get some solid work done and keep the money flowing in the right direction.
For example, the reason I chose to spend a week in Munich last month was because that city had the most work-friendly hostel I could find in the south of Germany. If I didn’t need to work so much, I would have chosen a hostel near Lake Constance instead, and spent much of my time frolicking in the surrounding countryside.
(Yes, frolicking. Tis a great word. Try use it in a conversation today, see what happens.)
But here’s the thing: I need to keep in mind that one day this will change. One day I will be able to take random day trips to random places without concerning myself so much with project deadlines and wifi access. My finances will be such that I won’t have to work 50-60 hours per week.
The trick though, is to recognize that day when it comes
To recognize it, you first need to know your enough. You need to have in mind the exact point you’re trying to reach, your definition of success.
I feel too many of us get caught up in the hamster wheel. We start working towards something, and then we can’t stop. We feel we need to work more and more, to earn more and more money. And in the process, we forget our enough. We forget to start living.
I’ve defined my enough as earning €1000 or more for three consecutive months. Once I get to that point, I should have things pretty well figured out. I’ll have proved to myself that I can earn a sustainable income online, enough to cover my monthly expenses. At that point, I should be able to start optimizing my workflow, spending less time in front of the computer, and having more frequent travel adventures.
And I should note that this doesn’t just apply to work and finances. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, learn a foreign language, or work on your flirting skills, it’s a good idea to define your enough. When do you stop working so hard and start enjoying the fruits and freedoms of your efforts?
I recently came across this great post and video by Devon Mills. She just quit her job and plans to travel the world for a year. As such, she’s answered my title question with a resounding “NOW!” Gotta love her reasoning:
My decision finally came down to what I can and can’t get back.
- If I quit my job and lose my income, can I ever get a job and an income back? Yes.
- If I stay with my job and spend the next year of my life feeling miserable, can I ever get that year back? No.
Devon defined her enough as having built up sufficient savings to allow her to travel the world for twelve months. Once she reached that goal, she quit the grind and started living her dream.
How about you?
Will you recognize “someday” when you see it, or will you just keep on working, oblivious, forgetting what you set out to achieve in the first place?