She said: I think deep down, we all have a little middle school girl inside of us. She longs to be accepted, to be normal, to sit at the cool table. What we all need to remember is… middle school sucks! Seriously, the braces, bad hair, peer pressure, puberty, mean girls. It’s officially time to leave all of that behind, we have to get over the societal pressure of being cool and normal. We’re adults, so it’s time to tell that little girl to do what SHE wants to do, to be who SHE wants to be, and to stop caring what other people think.
Here’s the thing, when we announced that we were going to retire by the age of 40, we got a lot of different reactions. While some are supportive, many are surprised, most think we are crazy and it is impossible, a few are incredibly condescending, and plenty are judgmental. And guess what, we love it! Every time we hear criticism, we get motivated. Every time someone says we can’t, it makes us want to even more. When the condescension comes our way, we smile and wait to have the last laugh. We have built up our middle school girl’s confidence enough to not only ignore what others say, but to use it as inspiration to keep going.
What we have noticed is that most of the people who don’t like what we’re doing are dealing with their own esteem issues. They think because we choose to live small, to not spend a lot, to limit possessions and minimize, to be frugal and make sacrifices, that we are judging them for not doing the same. That’s absolutely not true, we are making lifestyle choices and ours are no better than anyone else’s. We have chosen to share them here because they’re not the normal choices, and we believe that many people out there would benefit from knowing that there is another way. We want to encourage people that want to save more, to live a freer life, to own less and experience more. We have the confidence to not need the acceptance of everyone around us; we know what we want, we have a plan to get there, and we’re happy to share our ideas with anyone that wants to hear them.
He said: Aristotle said, “To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” I think this quote alone drives the point home. If you aren’t being criticized you aren’t doing anything. I love it when people tell me my plans will never work or laugh that I even have these plans. Some might ask why I would love it…. Because I’ve just reduced the number of people I want to associate myself with. I’m not saying these people are bad, I’m just saying they lack vision. If you can’t see the possibilities I see, if you can’t dream big, if you cant dedicate yourself to outrageous goals then what is the point? Will Smith once said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” That is awesome! Why the hell would we want to be realistic? Realism calls for a 40-year career in a cubicle in order to spend the last 20 years of our lives in retirement. That means I’m practically in Depends by the time I get to stop working. I have a saying I’m known for at work and I think it applies here…Fuck that shit.
At the end of the day I know who I am and what I’m trying to do. That is all that matters and the same should apply for you. Maybe you have a goal of being the first person on Mars or inventing the flying car. I don’t know what it is but I do know if you work hard enough and never give up it will eventually happen. Shit, look at the Wright brothers or Thomas Edison. Will Smith also pointed out that we take it for granted but we literally have the ability to fly across an ocean in 8 hours or less and we control light with the flip of a switch. What would have happened if the people that created these things were realistic? What would have happened if they listened to the criticism instead of focusing on their goal? I wouldn’t have seen Scotland and you wouldn’t be reading this.
I guess to sum up my section, work hard and dream big. Yes it’s a cliché but most sayings become a cliché because of the truth behind them. Whatever your goal is you have to be willing to take it. It will not be given to you and all of the support in the world will not matter unless you are willing to take it. Don’t give in to societal norms. Just because 99% of the population does something doesn’t mean they are doing it right. The proof can be seen right here. By going against the norms we will trade 25 years of work for 25 years of doing anything our minds can imagine. You can do the same.
We said: Don’t get us wrong; we have many people that have shown us great support in our journey to early retirement. We truly appreciate every bit of encouragement we have received. However, even if we didn’t have that support, we are at a place in our lives where we have enough belief in ourselves that the criticism doesn’t concern us. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, we hope you feel the same way.
So tell the little middle school girl inside of you to go sit at the corner table with the weirdos, eat her homemade brown bag lunch and be happy about it! Some day she’ll realize what those people think and say don’t matter as long as she is happy. Tell her to pursue her own happiness, and do it to the best of her abilities.
He said: I have never been a middle school girl, and as far as I know I don’t have one inside me. But she makes a good point.