He took advanced classes in a public high school and graduated with good grades. He then went on to earn a finance degree from a public university.
Upon graduation, Joe moved to a metropolitan city and played the corporate game, working for two different mega banks and earning several minor promotions/pay raises/bonuses for his efforts.
Joe bought a starter home, met his wife, and settled down to live the American Dream – just as he had been “educated” to do. He contributed the match rate to his 401(k) and he maxed out his contributions to a traditional IRA – just as he had been “educated” to do.
Joe was doing everything the “right” way and a storybook life appeared to be unfolding before him.
But then something strange happened.
Joe started to see that the rat-race had no light at the end of the tunnel and no rewards worth reaping.
He began to realize that the ‘American Dream’ was at best a myth and at worst a means of control. He began to see how the monetary system itself worked against him. He began to realize that his annual wage increases could not possibly keep up with inflation over the long term and therefore he was stuck on a perpetual tread-mill despite doing everything the right way. He began to realize that the stock market could not possibly go up exponentially forever no matter how many talking heads swore up and down that it would.
So Joe started to do a lot of independent research and he started to do a lot of introspective examination. He quickly came to the realization that he had to build a more self-reliant lifestyle if he wanted to have a chance to create a Mindful life for himself and his family. So Joe made the decision to seek financial freedom. Over a period of time, Joe was able to eliminate debt and needless spending and redirect his income to a carefully constructed asset allocation model. This enabled him to end his career in corporate America and spend his time pursuing entrepreneurial projects of interest.