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Retire Early, Find Purpose (Part 2)

Retire Early, Find Purpose (Part 2)

In Part 1, I talked about retiring early. It is a matter of planning, math, and a little psychology of delayed gratification. 

Now, the work of finding your purpose takes some introspective digging with questions like:

  • If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
  • If money was no object, where would you invest your time and energy?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?  How or where could you do that again?
  • What is the one thing you cannot NOT do?

Each of these questions is a variation on a theme of finding what drives you. 

My IT career was right on track but on the WRONG track.  At some point in my IT career, I was re-writing a program I had written several years ago and it hit me that nothing I did in technology would last.  It would all eventually be obsolete, upgraded, or simply deleted.  Poof, years of work gone.  I was trading days for dollars. 

The only lasting impact would be the relationships developed along the way.  So during my final years serving as IT director, I tried to make things the best I could for my team under incredibly stressful circumstances including a small global pandemic.  I helped them develop thier skills and certifications so they could move up or move on in thier career.  I also tried to remind them often “Family first! work will always be here.” 

Getting Unstuck

For those who know me personally, my faith in Jesus Christ has guided me since the 90s.  In 2018, I had three dreams in which the Lord was calling me to minister to the hurting, the lost, and their families.  I kept ignoring the dreams, but after the third one my wife asked “How long are you going to keep telling Him no?” 

Being a natural researcher, I read several books to guide me in the process.  I sought counsel from my pastor and others.  I took time to ask people in ministry how they got started in what they were doing.  Mainly, I took time for a three-day personal retreat of journaling, prayer, and listening.   That introspective work gave me the info and courage to follow a path to ministry, start seminary and focus on pastoral counseling.  Article Sponsored Find something for everyone in our collection of colourful, bright and stylish socks. Buy individually or in bundles to add color to your sock drawer!

The introspective work you do will be the compass that guides you as well as the emotional fuel to drive change.  I’m not going to lie, change is hard but worth it in the end.


Books I used making this decision and recommend:

  • The Art of Work by Jeff Goins.  In Jeff’s writing, a calling is the thing that you cannot NOT do.  This is where I found myself after three dreams of God calling me to minister to people.
  • Halftime, by Bob Buford.  An absolutely essential guide for a change of direction. 
  • Dream Big, and Love Does, by Bob Goff.  I met Bob at a church lecture and his books focus on following our heart especially when something sounds impossible.  His kids wanted to write to every world leader, so he said why not.  Some wrote back and invited them to come visit.
  • The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow.  This is about making every moment count because life is short.  Go watch the video.
  • The Bible
  • Go search for other articles about “Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE)”

I hope these ideas help, nudge you out of accepting the ordinary and move on to follow your passion in life.



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