theOrangeMango began when I caught myself drinking orange-mango juice (tangy but sweet) at breakfast in Georgetown right before my first day of work as a volunteer in Guyana. And I realized that I actually enjoyed this new life that allowed me the liberty of being a stranger in a strange land, drinking an exotic drink in an old wooden house for breakfast. It was far from the ordinary, but it was fun.
Rewind a month and I was a regular guy who introduced himself with the usual – I’m ________(name) working as a _______(job-title) at ________(company-name) in _______(city). Yawn…
So what went wrong?
I always harbored dreams of being paid to do my job while replacing my office with a beach in the Bahamas or with my favorite coffee shop. However, I never gave this a second thought and resigned myself to my reality where a fixed location was a factor of life beyond my control.
So, I attempted to travel as much as possible while on vacation. But with 15 vacation days every year (welcome to Singapore!!), there’s only that much you can do. What fascinated me the most about travelling was that it allowed me to venture out of my comfort zone. Meeting people with different opinions and cultures helped me question some of the assumptions I had formed (religion, non-vegetarianism, etc.). Life while travelling was exciting, much more exciting than going through the motions day after day in a big city. I decided to take things into my own hands and dealt with this wanderlust by working on projects all over the world – Kenya, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore.
Although this cured my wanderlust, I was still treating the symptoms and not the disease. I was still working crazy hours on inconsequential projects. Like most people, I attempted to fool myself into believing that I liked my job. The easiest way to resolve this is to ask yourself if you would do your job for free. If yes, then you’re one of the few lucky people around. If not, then you’re probably working for money or to further your prospects of earning money. The thought of doing my job for free was out of the question and quite hilarious.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with working for money. However, a common misconception that exists in today’s society is that an embarrassingly large bank account implies wealth and happiness. The cold truth is that money is just an enabler for your dreams and goals. I found myself asking a few questions. Other than basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, etc), what did I need the money for? What were my goals in life? And so…
There’s a clear theme visible from my goals – a more exciting life. Once these goals were achieved, they will be replaced by something just as ridiculous. The thought of working 12 hours a day just to earn enough money to help me achieve these goals seemed daunting, monotonous and pointless because I’d be trading 5 out of 7 days (71% of my time) on tasks completely unrelated to my life’s goals.
The biggest problem in this scenario is that I was being paid for my time and not for the value I created. This is because my employer would refuse to pay me if I didn’t show up at the office!! Compare that with a passive source of income where you get paid even when you’re asleep – for example if you’ve written a book, you put in a one time effort and you get paid for the value it delivers that doesn’t depend on whether you took 1 month or 1 year to write this hypothetical book. How about Elvis Presley. He’s still one of the highest selling artists in the World and the guy’s been dead for decades. The point is that time is a limited commodity and getting paid for the value you create is more logical.
Once I understood this concept, it soon became obvious that this 9am to 9pm lifestyle was a waste of my life. So I quit…
Quitting was just the tip of the iceberg. The next challenge that awaits me is being able to develop a passive source of income that rewards me for the value that I create. This is easier said than done. How long this will take and whether I’ll be able to achieve this, only time will tell.
In the meanwhile, I intend to publish two posts a week on Sundays and Thursdays. If you’d like to receive one email with an email excerpt and absolutely no spam, please enter your email in the “Subscribe” box on the right.
Thank you for reading and try and not do anything stupid….like quitting your job