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I used to love my work. I loved the creativity of it, the challenges, the intellectual stimulation. What I didn't necessarily love were my jobs in that line of work (software programming). There was always something wrong with each of them, something that kept them at the "okay" or "good" level instead of the "great!" level. I'd always thought that the perfect job was out there somewhere.

Then I went through a rough period of my life that forced me to re-evaluate my goals and priorities ... And I met someone special. The combination of those two things made me realize the following about myself:

* I want to spend as much time as possible with the special people in my life.
* When I need/want to work, I want to be productive, make a contribution, and do a good job.

Those two personal goals are what gets me going, what makes me a FIRE wannabee. Once I'm FIRE'd I can spend whatever time I want with my loved ones. Once I'm FIRE'd I'd only work because I want to work, not because I need to as is the case right now.

The above goals not only provide the motivation but they'll also be my guiding principles after the FIRE stage. Seems obvious now, but I really needed to articulate them to myself and to know their truth.

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