There’s a part of today’s consumerist world that drives us to want more, buy more, act on our impulses, hoard, spend to solve our problems, create comfort through shopping, seek thrills through travel, do more, be more.
What would happen if we broke from our addiction to wanting and buying more?
What would life be like if we didn’t need all that?
Here’s the method in summary:
Notice your dissatisfaction.
Notice your ideals that you’re holding tightly to.
Loosen your hold on these ideals, and turn to the present moment.
Really see the present moment with curiosity, find something to appreciate.
Accept the present moment completely, with love.
From this place of peace, respond, take action. It might be toward an aspiration, or not, but it’s a response from a good place.
This method takes a lot of practice, and I’m still not very good at it. I enjoy the practice, though.
The Bottom Line
If you want serious money, you have to get serious about money. You need to understand these fundamentals and never forget them. Don’t let all the garbage reported in the financial media you read, see, or hear confuse you about what money really is. Don’t consume more than you make:save! Don’t spend: invest!
But just because it’s a little harder for you to be an early riser doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The benefits are just too great and too numerous to ignore:
You will get more work done.
You will accomplish more important tasks.
You will advance your career more quickly.
You will be more respected at work.
You will make more money.
You will have more time to exercise.
You will be healthier.
You will be happier.
If you’d like to become an early riser but are having a difficult time convincing your body to cooperate, follow this 12-step program:
Early Riser Step 1: Stop blaming yourself.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL CHALLENGES, AND A CHANGE IN PLANS
When I signed up to do the Brooklyn Half, my body felt great. But the moment I started training runs, my hip started giving me trouble. So I stopped running, but continued my strength training: a 6-day-a-week barbell and kettlebell training program starting 2 months out from the Brooklyn Half. I never missed a workout.
My friend Passa had followed a strict half marathon program along with our weight training, so I determined I would get to the park entrance with her, and then let her go. At mile three, we entered the park and I still felt pretty good. Not wanting to suffer the long, steep, s-o-b of a hill halfway through the park alone, I decided to stick with Passa a little longer, until we exited the park.
9. The Three Most Effective Tips Are Also the Most Boring
I think that behind every cliché is a truth that’s so powerful that people feel compelled to repeat the phrase over and over and over. This holds true for productivity advice, as well.
Over the last year I experimented with integrating countless habits and productivity techniques into my life, but at the end of the day, the three productivity techniques that worked the best for me were:
Getting enough sleep
A 2014 research review found in Marketing Letters examined three studies that explored the relationship between diet and exercise for weight loss. Interestingly, the review looked at the association between people’s framing of exercise as fun and their subsequent food choices. It concluded that those who perceived exercise as a fun activity (and not just a ton of effort) were less inclined to compensate with junk food after their workouts.
In the first two studies, participants performed exercises that were either described as exercise, or as fun, and were later served food: an all-you-can-eat scenario with both desserts and “normal” foods in the first study, and M&Ms from a self-serve container in the second. The findings from both suggest that the people who felt exercise was “fun” chose less junk food during those meals. Similarly, runners that had fun during a race in the third study tended to choose the healthier option of two given snacks.
My dreams are coming back. Of course, they aren’t the same as the ones I had as a child, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy. In the next couple years, my family and I will travel to the Northeastern United States and spend months exploring the coasts of Maine, the woods of Vermont and Washington DC. Another year, we’ll spend the same amount of time in the Pacific Northwest. I dream of reading and writing. I dream of teaching my children to code.
Financial Independence has a way of taking the pressures and stresses of life away. I no longer worry about money. I no longer have nightmares about losing my job. I no longer care if the neighbors think less of me because my car was made in 2003. I’m a better person.
Best of all, I can dream once again.
Do you still remember the dreams you had as a child?
Tilting the Scales
Overall, this is a really good compromise that tilts the work/life balance very far toward “life”. It’s not quite early retirement but it’s also not quite full time work. We could fancy it up and call it “semi-retirement” or something like that if we really had to find a label.
Here’s a snapshot of the first day of the new working from home schedule:
Show up to work at 7:00 am
Walk to school to drop the kids off 7:45-8:15 am
A few minutes off around 11:00 am to make a salad and eat lunch with me while continuing to work and chat
Break for (home) gym time at 12:00 to 1:30 pm.
Return to work at 1:30 pm
Walk to school to pick up the kids 2:45-3:15
Work till 4:30-ish
That’s pretty close to ten hours if you round up. Her daily schedule will undoubtedly vary as the workload ebbs and flows throughout the month. The rest of her first week working from home followed a very similar schedule. So far it’s working very well.
What It Takes to Earn Passive Income
Before we get into the passive income ideas I think it’s a good idea to first clear up a couple of misconceptions. Although the word “passive” makes it sound like you have to do nothing to bring in the income this just isn’t true. All passive income streams will require at least one of the following two elements:
1) An upfront monetary investment, or
2) An upfront time investment
You can’t earn residual income without being willing to provide at least one of these two. Today, I have a big list of passive income ideas you can try regardless of the category you fall in.