I will start with the basics. I am a mid-thirty year-old with a wife, 2 kids, and my only debt is my mortgage. My wife and I currently work full-time, but are trying to embrace the ideology of FIRE (...not that early...) and frugality so we can cut the chains of the 40-hour work week and the 'working for a dying' lifestyle as soon as possible. I am new to the game and still struggle with the temptations of consumerism, but overall I am finding that removing and avoiding material things seems to increase my level of satisfaction more than when I was adding things to it. I am also struggling with the thought that I am dealing with a mid-career crisis. Most of my friends seemed to have excepted their fate of working until 65 doing a job that they don't love. I have not. I spend a lot of time thinking about work, what I like to do, and the amount of time I spend doing both. My pleasures are simple: spend time with my family and friends, play music, drink/brew beer, smoke BBQ, and do Web Design and Development.
This brings me to introducing the main point of this blog. To empower people to live life better by embracing 3 principles that I find to be at the core of my satisfaction and happiness. The first principle is "move". Yep... that is it. Move. Exercise. Be active. Walk or run as much as you can. Park your car in the furthest spot away from the door. Or better yet, ride a bike if you can. Mr. Money Mustache wouldn't have it any other way. Lift weights. Take the stairs. You can get plenty of exercise by just choosing to do things the harder way. Not only will you get a bit stronger, leaner, healthier, you will feel better as well. Endorphins 'are one helluva drug'. If you build muscle you can eat more of what you like and not feel super guilty about it or gain extra weight. Most people I know that are over the age of 30 think they will never be as fit or as strong as they were in High School. I challenge anyone who thinks this. I was stronger at 34 and had less body fat than when I was 18 after doing the 5X5 program for 8 months and I lifted 3 times a week my whole life. Next up, "Moderate".
Life has too many temptations. Be it dessert, fast food, beer, TV, naps, shopping, it doesn't really matter. Embrace moderation and give yourself a taste of what you want and cut it off once you have had enough. Don't overeat. Don't get hammered. Show some self control and will-power. I say work hard, but not too much. Don't work more than 40 hours a week. Drink beer, but don't drink 5 a day. Buy yourself something nice, but only when you can truly afford and it will actually improve your life. Exercise, but don't spend every hour of everyday at the gym. You need to have a social life.
Lastly, the final principle is "Motivate". Do things that motivate you to be better. To be better at your job. To be a better friend or parent. To be better at saving money. The only way you can truly enjoy work and do your best is when the feeling of progress is actually seen and felt. Progress, in my experience, is just as rewarding as completion.
I am not a writer. I suck at writing, but hopefully typing some of this stuff will help someone else out. Your 30's are tough, but they easily could be your best years. You are young enough to still have fun and smart enough to know what actual makes you happier. Avoid the B.S. and ignore haters. As for me, I want to be FI in 5 years and continue to work, but on my terms, when and where I want. I imagine sitting outside with my laptop, drinking coffee, smelling a low-and-slow brisket cooking while lake waves crash peacefully inches away from my feet.