There is a lot of discussion, both in the FIRE community and the world at large about visioning and imagining what you want prior to attaining it. In the Seven Habit book, Covey’s 2nd habit is beginning with the end in mind. Many have also heard the phrase “if you can dream it, you can achieve it.” The whole idea is that you can help design a portion of your life, just by envisioning the result. Its one of the key parts of our FI community philosophy.
Over the last 15 years (and 3 job changes) I have used this method repeatedly to write up what I want in a job (job duties, corporate culture, etc.) and have been repeatedly surprised to find that what I write down ends up being pretty close (90%?) to what I documented. In fact, one of the things I’ve learned during this time is to make sure I write down everything that I want. When I fail to write something down, that ends up coming back to bite me – and I end up writing it down for the next job I’m trying to get.
Why bring this up? Well, I’ve been somewhat unhappy in my current role, though I do like the company. Like most situations, it’s the boss that is the cause. So what did I do? I went and re-wrote up the work/life summary/meditation that I review every morning.
Over the next three months, I work as an Engineer, providing leadership for continuous improvement and potential new business. In April 2019, I transition to a straight engineer position, with no management responsibilities. I work for a good company, and I have a positive effect on my peers and superiors. I am respected and “in the loop.” The company is well run, progressive and growing, with a good planning and budgeting process. My superior is good, friendly, and values my work and contribution. Travel is about 15%, and I work on interesting projects which stretch my skills and enable me to grow. We have fun, with little stress – though some significant hard work to accomplish large goals. The goal would be to lead/improve operations and the supply chain of the organization. I enjoy the work so much that I continue at it until I achieve financial independence at age 56
As you can see, I envisioned moving out of management and just doing my own work. So what happened in mid-January? My boss comes up with a new structure for the team, and puts someone over me, and pretty much details that I will not have any direct reports. The individual over me is someone I know who I can respect and work for. Oh, and the timeline for this is April/May of this year. Cue Twilight Zone music….
So what does this demonstrate to me? That a person should take the time to really sit down and figure out how they want their life to run, what they want in it, what sort of environment they want to be in – and then write it down.
Now I just have to decide if, come May/June of this year, is this working out, or do I follow the path to FIRE and get out. I guess we’ll see.
Other blog posts on the subject
What have you been visioning this year?
Mr. 39 Months