“Jim Bennett: I’ve been up two and a half million.
Frank: What you got on you?
Jim Bennett: Nothing.
Frank: What you put away?
Jim Bennett: Nothing.
Frank: You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something – fuck you. Boss pisses you off – fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level.”
This great scene from The Gambler summarizes succinctly the core tenet of Financial Independence (well except for the don’t drink bit. That is just crazy talk). The goal, the end game, is to establish for yourself a Position of Fuck You.
Are Good Reasons Good Enough?
There are many good reasons to establish financial independence.
How wonderful to know that you can be secure in your old age, when you will be at your most vulnerable. Yes, even more so than when you were an infant. At least then you had your parents at your beck and call. At the tail end of our lives we may well be alone, sound of neither mind nor body, facing down the Grim Reaper. If I have to go mano-a-mano with the Man with the Scythe, I’d rather do it from the warm comfort of my bed than starving and shivering under a bridge.
How nice to no longer need your job. You could decide to keep working, but to only dote on the projects that are important to you, the ones that matter, the ones that scratch the itch in your soul.
Or you could decide to quit that job you no longer need and open yourself up to all the possibilities this world has to offer. You can be an artist, but skip the whole uncomfortable starving bit. You could set yourself the task of counting the stars or learning about the secret lives of the bumble bees that frequent your garden.
How spectacular to be in a position where the amount of your children’s childhoods that you choose to miss is entirely up to you. Want to be a helicopter parent? Well, now you can. Always dreamed of being a tiger mom? Go for it!
How awesome to be able to work on your body for four hours a day if you are that special brand of masochist weirdo who thrives on sweat and tears.
How relaxing to know that if your roof springs a leak your stomach does not have to grow an ulcer. To know that you have the financial muscle to deal with those curveballs that life so enjoys throwing our way, just to keep us on our toes.
There is no dearth of good reasons to set yourself on the path to financial independence.
There are good reasons, but why settle for good? Why not go for soul satisfying instead?
A Soul Satisfying Reason to Pursue Financial Independence
While pursuing excellence and caring for your children are extremely worthwhile pursuits, can they hold a candle to the deep satisfaction of a good old fashioned fuck-you that arises from the depths of your very soul?
Can you begin to imagine how gloriously gratifying it would be to know that if life demands it of you, you will be ready, willing and able to produce a heartfelt fuck-you on demand?
I think just knowing that I am sitting on an arsenal of fuck-yous would make me a nicer person. I would rise above, steadfast in the knowledge that I have the nuclear fucking option at my disposal. How soul satisfying to know that I am choosing the higher ground because I want to, not because I have to.
Think back to every time in your life that you have swallowed your words and a chunk of your pride. Recall those times when you bent so that you would not financially break. Bring to mind those repressed memories of when someone made you feel a little bit smaller, a little bit less, simply because they had you by the financial cojones.
Remember your shame.
Remember that feeling of your soul being diminished.
Now replay that memory but this time square your shoulders, take a deep breath, reach deep within you, look the asshole in the eye and say fuck you, fuck off, blow me.
Feels pretty good doesn’t it?
Poetry, music and art are all food for the soul. The ability to say fuck-you is the fucking dessert.
That is why, boys and girls, we will chase after financial independence, we will surmount the odds, we will stay the course, and we will win for ourselves a position of fuck you.
And then we will live happily fucking ever after.