As I got closer to financial security, I found myself behaving a bit differently at work. I was far less eager to project my enthusiastic participation and loyalty towards any and every senseless corporate initiative or conversation. For me, dealing with people or situations that are toxic or do not make sense is a major source of stress. Being able to choose to focus on the productive part of the conversation and ignore corporate pressure and dynamics for the sake of control was extremely effective and lifted my productivity.
The corporate machine has a difficult time handling those that are not firmly and visibly enslaved. Questions started to come up … why are you so relaxed. You’re always smiling…. amusingly as if that was a bad thing. Finally the HR drone concluded that maybe I was ‘disengaged’. I took the trouble to point him to the fact that my output was good as ever. I did not feel like explaining financial independence as the real reason so we left it at that.
I can say without question that the freedom and options provided by having a financial cushion more than justifies any sacrifices made to get there. Being disengaged with a smile .. priceless!