But what happens when a small change isn’t the answer? What do we do when we need to consider a big change to our lives?
Maybe the best way to get more balance in your life is to get a new job. Maybe the best way to save more money is to move to a different state with a lower cost-of-living. Maybe you’re considering going back to school to increase your earning potential. Maybe you’re debating whether to expand your family and have a kid.
These aren’t small changes. They aren’t easily translated into daily habits.
They’re also scary.
When approaching big decisions like these, how do you analyze the risks? How do you weigh the pros and cons?
In it, I recommended systematically going through every area of your life and analyzing each individually. Where are you right now in your financial life? Where do you want to go? Where are you in your relationship with your spouse? In your career? In your hobbies? In you physical health? Mental health and intellectual endeavors?
If you are trying to learn to be successful by looking at what people at the very top of their fields have done, my approach may seem counter-intuitive.
As someone who has read a lot of biographies of successful people, I have found that one of the defining factors of these characters is a singular focus and drive. They are obsessively focused on one aspect of their life and they use that focus to push them to the top.
I’m not going to tell you that that won’t work for you.
In preparation, I spent a lot of time imbibing a lot of different resources on life planning. Books, articles, videos, online courses…pretty much anything you can think of, I was there.
My original plan was to learn the basics and then find the best resource and follow it 100% A to Z.
The first problem I encountered was that most resources mixed up the questions of who you want to be and what you want to do.
Answering the question “Who do you want to be?” requires a very different approach to answering the question “What do you want to do?” They’re both very important questions when thinking about the big picture of your life. But they need to be addressed separately.
The second problem was that the resources that addressed the “What do you want to do?” question all took pretty much the same approach. There were variations, of course. Everyone has their own slightly different spin. But they all broke down to essentially the same three parts. Continue reading “Mapping Your Route to a Better Life”
Our journey to a better life starts with one of the more existential and abstract questions out there.
Who do you want to be?
If you are a long-time reader, then you know that this will go somewhere far more practical soon. If you’re new around here, (welcome!) I promise we’ll get to nitty gritty by the end of this article. Bare with me.
It’s easy to skip over the abstract, big-picture questions as we rush to the practical application. Life hacks are popular for a reason. We don’t think we have the time or capacity for the deep thinking and introspection required to address big issues.
I’m not judging! I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there most of the time. But we’re going somewhere else for January. We’re going deeper.
Way back in the glory days of October I started laying out a description of how I invest.
Previously, we looked at the different accounts that I use – the buckets that hold my investments. Now it’s time to look at the investments themselves.
What you’ll find is that I don’t follow the traditional advice here. I don’t think I’ve seen my strategy advocated by anyone anywhere. I’ve honestly been a bit hesitant to lay it out because it feels a bit odd coming from someone who is all about optimizing.
But here is where I will admit to, explain, and defend, my investing strategy.
FinCon is an annual gathering of folks that write and podcast about money. It’s four days of panels, talks, workshops, networking, and parties.
It was a lot of fun. I met some Internet friends in real life for the first time and I made a bunch of new friends. I learned a lot of new things, talked to a lot of great people, and drank a lot of free drinks.