Slow Down To Speed Up

Slow Down to Speed Up - Beach View

Looks like palm trees… waves… sand… and FREEDOM.

Whew, sometimes a nice little vacation is all it takes to recharge the batteries, enjoy the company of a loved one, and realize that this life is truly worth living. As we each strive for financial independence, regardless of the path we take to get there, it is the small breaks from the grind that help us maintain perspective.

The Fight for Freedom!

Focus on saving. Check.

Focus on investing. Check.

Set and pursue goals. Check.

Now, stop what you’re doing, take a few deep breaths and look around. Che… wait what?

Slow Down

Everyone once in a while, we need for life to slow down. Once we step back and contemplate on who or what is important in our lives, we can pursue it with wild abandon. Here, not quite six months after getting married to a beautiful woman, I am spending a few days in the sun with her, relaxing, without focusing on work or any other distractions. The best part? Recognizing that this vacation will become permanent at some point. By slowing down, we are actually speeding things up. We realize just how desirable our future is, and how badly we want it. Any gaps in focus are now covered, and our motivation peaked.

“But W2R, I’m already motivated and pressing hard for success!”

Doesn’t matter. Burnout can occur for anyone making a lifestyle change, regardless of the success you’re seeing. So even if you’ve already shown long-term commitment towards financial independence, the road ahead will still be tough, and frankly, life will happen to interfere with the best laid plans. By being proactive in taking a bird’s eye view of life will afford you the opportunity to step outside yourself for a moment and take stock of where your life is heading and what challenges might be coming down the road. Often times when working on a complicated problem at work, it is getting out of the details that will help me figure out the solution to the problem, sometimes before the problem happens. It is the same way a lookout goes to the top of a mast on a ship to find the rocks and danger ahead. Perspective matters.

So take a day, take a week, take as long as needed, but always remember to recharge your batteries. The work will get done, the goals will get met, but life is something that can be lived just once. So slow down, and you will likely find it will speed things up. I’m a long ways away at this point, but I can’t wait to see you all at the finish line.

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  1. W2R,

    you are absolutely right. Experiencing for a little while how your dream life will be like will remember you why you grind in the first place.
    Recharging is also important and can be combined perfectly – like you do it.
    I found it were helpful to set certain time frames for taking a step back, take a breath and reflect. The best time in my opinion to do so is between christmas and new year’s eve.

    Hope you had a great trip!

    • I’m glad you have found your own time to step back and realize what is important to you. The Christmas/New Years time frame is fairly common given the resolution kick and time off from work that most people experience during that time.

      Find that focus and keep on grinding GI!

  2. So true. I wrote a similar post after our trip to South Africa in July, “Taking a Break”. I like yours because it gives proper motivation for taking a break, namely to recharge and to be able to speed up because of that!

    • Taking a moment to realize what is important and why we fight to move forward is crucial. I’m glad you were able to experience just that earlier this year on your trip (and what a heck of trip!). Even now, as I’m talking to my wife, we’re discussing about what needs to happen to make this a permanent reality. While it is still a good ways away, the focus is there, and the joint motivation is rejuvenated.

      Appreciate you stopping by FS!

  3. W2R,

    Great timing. I was actually talking to my wife just last night about potentially looking into a beach condo rental next year as part investment/part place where we can take the family and escape from the grind for a few days to recharge. Just an idea :)

    Enjoy the break!


    • While I’m not sure as to the viability of a vacation home being a strong ROI real estate play, I hope you can find a place that fits your needs. Escaping from the grind is important, and why we all seem to live for the weekends and the joy held when we have uninterrupted time with our loved ones and family members.

      Enjoy the weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

  4. Can’t agree more. It’s very important to take a break and be able to step back and look at the big picture.

  5. Great advice W2R. Buying the house was something that I knew would slow down my march to FI, but I can’t say I regret it! Expenses and all!

    Have a great vacation!

    Take care!

    • They say there is no place like home, and I couldn’t agree more. I think in the long run you will not only enjoy your home, but the intangible value it adds to your life through memories.

      Enjoy you weekend and take a break from those home projects!

  6. Still learning how to master slowing things down and not getting stuck looking at the details. Because being blinded by details is not the point of life – being able to live the moment and soak up small wins inevitably leads to the big wins and greater life satisfaction.

    • Very well said sir. Stepping back in order to recognize the progress that has already been made is important, and ultimately what will motivate each one of us to push further and harder than before.

  7. I think we miss out by not slowing down and reflecting. We push so hard to move forward that we don’t see our progress in life without taking time to look back from where we have come from.

    • Absolutely. I know I am guilty of this for sure. I’m constantly planning and projecting for the next step of life, but need to slow down and realize how great things are in the here and now. Appreciate you stopping by!

  8. love it! that’s exactly what life should be all about… even the day to day grind is better enjoyed at a slightly more leisurely pace. in the race to get independent, we often forget to live and enjoy the moment.

    • Perhaps we shall change the race to independence by adding some scenic overlooks to slow us down and give us an opportunity to take in the beauty that is our life and the accomplishments we’ve already made!

      Thank you for the comments Integrator!

  9. W2R,

    Absolutely. It’s important to enjoy the way there. After all, life and financial independence are both journeys, not destinations. Racing to get to FI without enjoying life along the way will leave you in a spot where you don’t really know how to appreciate it. Seeing those tidbits of freedom here and there keep your batteries charged and you’ll appreciate the end result even more.

    We just spent a couple of hours out at Siesta Key Beach this past Friday. Love watching the sun set on the horizon. Something beautiful about it. Plus, it’s free. :)

    Best wishes!

    • Well said sir! Good to see you too were enjoying the beach this past weekend as well. I am a sucker for a sunset and scenic views. The best part, generally they are totally free.

      Enjoy your week!

  10. roadmap2retire says:

    Good post, W2R. Its important to slow down and reflect on the important things in life. Too many people sacrifice too much only to realize later on what they have missed. Congrats on the recent nuptials, btw.


    • Thank you R2R, it has been a great six months! Reflection is an important part of maintaining our focus and drive, but it is often very hard to remember to take time to actually do so.

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