With my recent move to the States, I am coping with tremendous amounts of stress. My initial problem with moving to the new continent was establishing my income streams, and so far with down economy in Chicago, it’s not an instant solution getting something you truly want. Hence while I am in process of applying for something better, I am doing something I never saw myself doing. But I guess you gotta start somewhere.
Even in lower paid jobs, companies here know how to maximize the value of the dollar they get out from you. And it ain’t pretty. You know you work for a low wage, and after a whole day of constant working, instead of coming home to relax, you come for more work.
When your goals are at stake, there are no breaks
Yep, literally no breaks. I invest in every single component of my life at the same time. Entire of my life became streamlined, every single movement utilized up to the maximum, and I believe, that in some certain masohistic way I am starting to like this. Because I consider this as a military, as a way of living, where you utilize your full potential. It’s a state of existing, not something that is temporary. Over time I will be able to consistently approach my goals, and make the most use of my time.
In this reality, my leisure time is used to expand. Resting in the evening watching Lynda.com tutorials, instead of Netflix. No rest for the weary. Twenties are the age to give out your all, so you can reap the benefits later.
The privilege to acquire new knowledge
Education, knowledge and intelligence are the things that are in demand. For the whole of my life, I took my education for granted. Now I hold a big regret that I didn’t invest fully and exclusively into it. Perhaps I gained a lot of life lessons out of the whole experience I’ve had so far, but ultimately I feel as if I could invested more into my education.
Obtaining education should be your priority. In terms of “early and often”. Education is allowing you and empowering you to move ahead in the society. And it is one of the smartest investments person can make. When I say education, I am not exclusively thinking about college. There is a lot of education you can obtain by yourself, and completely relying on your own free time, internet and careful selection of what you need.
Why am I praising the education?
In my new “work environment” I am surrounded with people who aren’t really educated. They are having really hard time moving ahead in life. They satisfy themselves with the little stuff, because everything starts to seem like a big of a deal. I’ve been listening carefully to their stories, and viewing this from a non-American perspective, I believe that this is a consequence of series of bad financial and educational investments they’ve made in their lives.
Financial mistakes Americans make. Every. Single. Time.
Mistake #1: Buying a house
There are mortgages everywhere, and buying a house is a huge dedication and an expense. Not because you are paying out a loan to the bank, and in the end paying double the price of the house. But the consequence of “being local” and tied to a single place, and all decisions in your life being determined by the distance the opportunity is further away from the house.
As a recent immigrant to USA, I believe that getting a mortgage is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, especially when you are young. Mortgage is impeding your mobility, and the main reason is the fact that it is preventing you from pursuing your interests and being truly location independent.
Mistake #2: Buying brand new car
Buying a car is a privilege in an of itself. But it is an additional burden to your income, that in return creates your dependency on the workplace you are in. Combined with mortgage debt, you are tying yourself into a position of work dependency.
Sometimes you need to have a freedom to pursue a new opportunity that will get you to your “American dream” a bit sooner, at the expense of not having something right away. For the time being, I take great pride in living debt free life, and I intend to keep it that way. There are other ways to go about obtaining the things you need, and life in Serbia has thought me a valuable lesson about that. These principles are pretty strong with me.
My solution to this: buy cheaper used car. And another thing that majority of people forget, is the fact that they will always need to maintain the expenses of car maintenance (such as insurance, car repairs and fuel). Both, new and old car will complete the same purpose: they will get you from point A to point B.
Mistake #3: Not investing in productivity capacity
A lot of people make this mistake. Once they get out of college, they stop investing into their knowledge. Personally I enrolled into a life changing desire to constant pursuit for knew knowledge.
People who don’t consistently invest in their skill sets, are bound to loose their value over time as people. And instead of being capable to grow and have more to offer to the markets, some of them are shrinking, and having less to offer as the time goes by… That creates fear and dependency on the work they choose. Dependency breeds fear. Fear shrinks mind… It’s a downward cycle, a frightening one…
The Education – Hard Labour curve
The more education you have, the less are you required to work. When you have a better job, your social mobility is moving up, allowing you better investment options, along with financial opportunities that uneducated people will never experience, nor understand. Education is powerful, as it is always in demand. Educated people are only handful out of a dozen. Takes quite a while to get used to that idea…
What is exactly Education – Hard Labur curve? Well in plain words it means the less education you have, the harder you work. That is why the education is the investment worthy of pursuing. When I saw this for the first time in my life, how some people are actually living, working and where are they located, I immediately got discouraged. Being surrounded by fear is toxic in an of itself. Even when you are exposed to it for a short amount of time.
Hard labour is inversely proportional to education. The more you know, the less you work.
How did I get motivated and how my day looks?
When you are faced with bad, and something you are completely not used to, you tend to get in the ultimate motion. I became streamlined. Every action, of every second has an ultimate purpose. A purpose of getting out of there. Every day, I am applying for new positions that could improve my chances and make it a little bit easier for me. It is the fear of getting stuck in the same place what motivates me.
When you react with pre-emptive fear and freedom of choice, you are in a far better position, as you can always walk away. The power of having a freedom to just walk away.
There is a tremendous power when you can always just pick up your stuff, and just move on. Working towards obtaining that kind of power over your life is something I will always look forward to. Every breathing moment of my life has been transformed for good. You can do it too.