You Can Fear the ‘fire’ or You Can Become the FIRE

Today, Budgets Are Sexy featured a post on FIRE, from the “Primal Prosperity” perspective. How cool is that?!?! Let’s keep the conversation going…

Even if you don’t want to “retire”, you can still get FIRE’d up!

There is a saying: “You can fear the fire, or you can become the fire.”

Those who fear the ‘fire’ have a fear of…

failure. They are afraid that they might make mistakes without a formal corporate structure. They are afraid of setbacks and that their colleagues may surpass them.

insecurity. They are accustomed to steady paychecks and the thought of alternative means of making money scares them. They fear how they will have to ‘explain’ to society ‘what they do for a living’, if they don’t have a fancy title.

… restriction. They think that to have ‘enough’ and to live simply, means they will live in depravation. They don’t understand that chasing more than they really need, can restrict their creative freedom, and sometimes even restrict their happiness.

… escaping. Yes, crazy as it sounds, some people are afraid of escaping. They fear not knowing what they will do with their newfound freedom. They fear that society will think that they are ‘running away’ from being a ‘responsible’ adult, even if the stress is hurting them both physically and emotionally.

Instead, those who become the FIRE, have…

… Freedom: They don’t fear mistakes, but rather, they are grateful to have the freedom to make mistakes. They don’t have to follow the status quo. They can pursue their dreams.

… Intellect: Intellects tend to be very intrinsically secure. Instead, they fear putting security as a priority over intellectual freedom.

… Resourcefulness: They don’t fear restriction. They act. They know how to meet their basic materials needs, and then satisfy their inner musts, with non-material goods. After the basic needs of food, water and shelter, the things in life, that as primal beings, we need in order to thrive, are non-material and free… nature, movement, sunshine, creative outlets, community, learning, pondering, love, sleep, companionship.

… Enough: When you have enough, you can escape and pursue those things that light you up, spark you, and set you on FIRE. You relish in the freedom. You have escaped the people, places, things and emotions that limit you.


How about you? Have you redefined FIRE for yourself? Or, do you like the same old “Financial Independence, Retire Early”?

12 thoughts on “You Can Fear the ‘fire’ or You Can Become the FIRE

  1. great redefinitions!
    I am going to pass them on to a number of people that fear the ‘fire’
    ps. became the FIRE before it had acronym status :), but then I have never really liked labels

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  2. This is a GREAT POST!!!

    I love the new acronym. Being able to have the creative freedom to choose what I pursue and not having to worry about mistakes because I am financially secure is what I look forward to most in FIRE 🙂

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  3. LOVE this! Thanks for sharing!! I definitely have the “fear” part down. I really love my job, the work I do and the mission of the organization where I work, but I don’t always enjoy the stress or politics. Thanks for the reminder to think past that and focus on the life and experiences I’ll be able to enjoy once I’m FIRE’d.

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  4. I agree that things will probably change once you hit FIRE. I also think most people hit ‘financial flexibility’ pretty quickly, so it is good to remember that we may not always have to get caught up into the politics.

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  6. The freedom to make mistakes is a thing I love about my small business, which will get me to my version of FIRE. So much room to learn and grow in a mistake well-executed.

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    • I agree. Plus, I don’t really like finite labels… like “I’m an engineer” or “I’m retired”. I like labels that allow for constant discovery, change, flexibility and flow… “I’m an inventor/innovator”, “I’m a philosoprenuer”… These are hard to quantify.

      Liked by 1 person

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