|The Hiker by Esao Andrews|
Does this environment make us who we are? Even if we don't care about it?
People react to different situations in different ways. If we have particularly difficult jobs that are generally thankless roles (let's say tech support for example, people only call when something has gone wrong) it's an environment that can be somewhat harsh at times to say the least. Some people react to difficult days by having a drink, planning vacations, and maybe some other people will go buy some fancy gadgets to remind themselves why they work.
But then there are people that question the idea of getting up every day to do something that you would never do if you had the choice. These people choose the idea of financial independence over anything else. They decide to buy all of their own time by saving their money so they don't have to do what someone else says anymore. They fast forward their savings to a point that they can be free from this rat race.
Did my environment make me this way before I started working?
In college I studied computer science. I'm not exactly sure why I choose it.... Okay, I lied, I choose it because I wanted to have a robot army. But once I took artificial intelligence and robotics I decided that I had made a mistake, and that none of my classes transferred to anything else... Anyways, I stuck with it because I didn't know what else I wanted to do, and I knew computers would at least make me money. But in all of my classes a common theme was to not re-invent the wheel. Re-use bits of working code and repurpose them for other things, or basically find the simplest solution (hopefully the most elegant simple solution).
So when I was in school did I just interpret the problem was work and that the solution was early retirement? Was this something I was taught all along? Maybe this is why so many early retirement bloggers are in the computer industry?
Let me rewind even earlier
Before I even had my first job at a grocery store I knew I wasn't a big fan of work. Perhaps it was seeing my dad work his ass off and miss my birthday one year when I was pretty young made me realize how much work got in the way of other important things.... Like life. Maybe it was seeing him work so hard that he actually gave himself a heart attack from stress (he's okay by the way). I saw how much work did not make him happy and I didn't want that, maybe my environments have been telling me my whole life that work is not what I really want to do.... I don't know.
Some people have a cozier work environment so they don't feel the need to escape it as quickly as others. I think that many other people just think it's a normal 35 year phase of life so they don't question it. But for some of us - our environment helps us focus on this goal sooner or more aggressively than others.