You only live once - help

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
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distracted_at_work
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You only live once - help

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 am

Howdy all. In my travels I've encountered numerous people that are traveling indefinitely (or attempting too) because any of us could die at any time and they want to enjoy life. I've met less people who are taking some time off work to visit a new country. The former always seem to look down upon the later, like we aren't "woke".

I need some help with this concept, I'm positive it was referenced in ERE but do not have my copy handy. As I like to bitch about in my journal, I've had a few brushes with injury and illness myself not to mention sudden death among family members (via cow in one instance). This has all led to a feeling that every day spent in the office or doing something otherwise unpleasant is a precious day wasted. In other terms, I've been putting a deposit down on my future my entire life by being good in school, going to the "right" school, getting the "right" degree and getting a "good" job. When does putting down the deposit end? It's not like I don't have fun in my free time or walk around depressed but I hope you get the idea.

ERE is a great answer to the above but, for now, I'm still putting the deposit down.

Seeing these people my age on the road, volunteering in hostels etc.. they all appear "happy"*. Of course, none of them have near my NW but that doesn't matter much if I get hit by a bus. Does anyone have advice for me? General advice? Thanks in advance.


*I doubt if it's even possible that "happy" can be a real, permanent state. Or even that the word has much meaning. Joyful might be better.

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fiby41
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by fiby41 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:06 am

Pfff... Only noobs (newbies) live once. Gamers simply respawn (rebirth.)

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distracted_at_work
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:18 am

I've been fluent in 1337speak for many years. Re-spawn set too long, someone call the admin

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Dragline
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Dragline » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:25 am

Take a look at life expectancy tables or calculators. Now, consider how much more it is likely you will live to that expectation than "get hit by a bus", assuming you are not wandering around looking at a phone all the time. You should plan for the most-likely-outcomes kind of life, not the "and monkeys might fly out my butt" kind of outcome. Meaning you can jack around now for a short time and work until you are dead for a long time or work a bit now and then jack around for a long time until you are dead.

Of course, YMMV based on your health habits and risk-taking propensities. If you are a base jumper, for example, you'd better get all your living done ASAP.

As for travelling, its vastly overrated unless you are an extrovert and new-experience junkie. Most of the things you can do on the road, you can do locally, and probably easier, especially if you are just hanging out in hostels. Pretend you are visiting the area you live from another location. What sort of exploring would you do? Go stay in a local hostel and pretend you are from somewhere else if you must.

A lot of this travelling hype is just another form of consumerism or status-seeking, which is just a form of base or unconsciously-driven human mimicry. In other words, a lot of these people are just trying to be "the cool kids" and to demonstrate their superior coolness (often via social media these days). And they don't even know why they think its important -- all they know is that OTHER people seem to think its important. So they mimic. It's really no way to live. You just end up replacing one hedonic treadmill (accumulating stuff) with another (following the cool kids around and trying to emulate them).

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Fish
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Fish » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:24 am

YOLO translates to "very high discount rate" consequently living it up in the present at the expense of the unknowable future. The "ergodicity and destiny" section of the ERE book provides a framework for understanding the consequences of consistently making such shortsighted decisions.

I have a balanced plan which addresses both present and future by accepting a job as a way of life and getting my kicks out of applying ERE thinking to solve the inevitable day-to-day challenges. Obviously, this won't work for everyone. If you have conventional definitions of "work" and "play" and insist on the latter, you must have low expenses or a large stash, or else go back to work when money runs out.

IlliniDave
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:27 am

I read The Three Little Pigs a bunch of times when I was a kid.

Happiness can be a real, ongoing baseline state (there will be occasional fluctuations, of course). Fun is not. At a certain point I realized there was a difference be happiness and "having fun". Mistaking the latter for the former caused me a lot of angst.

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cmonkey
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by cmonkey » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:43 am

distracted_at_work wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 am
This has all led to a feeling that every day spent in the office or doing something otherwise unpleasant is a precious day wasted.
I get this feeling a lot, especially as the weather turns nice. I just try to remember that 2-3 more years is not that long to wait for my own freedom. I don't know how long you have left, but maybe try thinking about all the free days you'll have, instead of focusing on the wasted office days. Also, realize that each day in the office does have a purpose - to give yourself freedom later on.

Regarding the YOLO mentality, +1 on Dragline. It's definitely just a different form of Keeping up with the Joneses for many who practice it. Instead of trinckets collected, it's 'how many different locations/expereinces can I cram into my social media feed'. If the only reason you want to join them is because you feel like you're missing out on something/falling behind...don't give in to that.

On the other hand, if you are passionate about traveling/new experiences then go for it.
Last edited by cmonkey on Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:46 am

Even if you are an extrovert and a new experience junkie, travel is often over-priced. For instance, you could teach ESL to new immigrants in your own community, and then accept invitations to their homes for authentic FITB dinner. OTOH, there is something about very quick, total immersion in a new environment that is qualitatively different, and there is a strict limit to the extent to which sunlamp exposure can save you from the downside of another winter spent in Michigan.

More important point I would make is that the Stock on your lifestyle systems diagram that you might label Productive Financial Assets has many inherent differences from the Stock you might label Invigorating and Expanding Novel Life Experiences. The most important being the way it starts and continues to keep feeding back into itself through Flow labeled Investment Income.

There are many different Stocks and Flows you can have in your systems diagram that might be superficially seen as being very similar or very different, but a lot of this depends on exactly how they are described. For instance, there are a lot of necessary interactions with other people that are usually not included in Productive Financial Assets and Investment Income, such as your interaction with a crew of smock wearing Chinese women who operate the sewing machines in a factory sub-contracted by the sneaker company in which you invested $2000 for two years. A counter-example might be the year when my sister/business-partner and I decided to declare the expense of our full-time subscription to a hot yoga studio as the health plan for our business which required us to lift boxes full of books on a regular basis.

So, what you will have to do is figure out if it is possible to make your Invigorating and Expanding Novel Life Experiences Stock either feed back into itself OR produce an Income Flow, so that it will be inherently more like Productive Financial Assets, and, therefore, possibly as likely to benefit Future You. Since I used the word Expanding that is one clue. You just have to answer the question "How do novel experiences expand me?" The second clue is that you will have to link whatever expanded to money that is currently held by other people. For instance, you could speculate along the lines of "If I have a great many interesting life experiences, and I combine them with a charming social manner and some skills to be gleaned from a book on the art of effective oral story-telling, I might find other people who are willing to cover half of the beer expense of Future Me, and then assign some kind of rational probability metric to this plan.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by saving-10-years » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:20 pm

@distracted

+1 Dragline.

Speaking from experience, I am the older sensible sister who worked hard (perhaps too hard) at work she enjoyed (I moved jobs when that was not the case) and retired early. Its possible to do very interesting work and get paid (and travel) - these are not mutually exclusive. While I worked I had to fit things into a tight time budget and now I don't. I love my new retired life and feel very happy that I will never have to give it up for financial reasons.

My younger sister was the hippie. Not a saver but frugal and lucky in having several windfalls that helped her stay afloat (a developer once paid her £50k to move out of a rent controlled house). She lived her dream in many respects, but when she hit 50 she started to get worried about money and future finances in a way which was not pleasant. That is very late in life to try to address those problems. She died at age 57 so she did things the right way around for her, but even when dying money loomed large as a worry.

Here's hoping that you live a long life, retire very early and meanwhile find work that you get some sort of buzz from.

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ebast
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by ebast » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:22 pm

saving-10-years wrote: I've encountered numerous people that are traveling indefinitely (or attempting too) because any of us could die at any time and they want to enjoy life. I've met less people who are taking some time off work to visit a new country. The former always seem to look down upon the later, like we aren't "woke".
For a lens on that one, I might make a matrix of "At-home & at-work" vs. "Traveling", and "YOLO" vs "Saver/Stockpiler" and for each cell measure self-reported Pleasure and Purpose.

I'd just note then, that the (people fortunate enough to be born) YOLOs who are traveling are both enjoying high pleasure AND attaining their Life's Purpose ("enjoying life and invigorating novel life experiences and each other"). It seems like a cheat, but there it is.

On the other hand, Savers/Stockpilers engaging in money- and qi-consuming travel may (or more likely around here, may not) be receiving some pleasure out of the deal but more importantly are, like you say, "taking some time off" their Purpose.

The Matrix is a system...

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Sclass
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Sclass » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:32 pm

distracted_at_work wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 am
In other terms, I've been putting a deposit down on my future my entire life by being good in school, going to the "right" school, getting the "right" degree and getting a "good" job. When does putting down the deposit end?
I hear you. It really depends I guess. A crystal ball would help. Nothing like being helpless when you're too old to fight. But again how long do you sacrifice for a future that may never arrive?

I had a lot of friends I grew up with who said, "what are you saving for? What good is money if you don't spend it?" The same friends went to the party schools and got degrees in fine arts. They had fun. I did not. They got jobs in museums...fun jobs. I busted my ass in industry and stressed myself to death starting a couple of businesses.

Then at 40 I get diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition. Worst case scenario I wouldn't last the year. I'm happy to say the doctors were wrong and I fully recovered (fingers crossed). That really made me wonder why I punished myself so much up to then. I'd been betting that I'd be able to enjoy the little pile of pennies I scraped up but I lost. Looking back at that point I saw this life of sacrifice, struggle and hope for the future. It was a horrible realization.

I guess my family encouraged me to be kind of a masochist. Hard work. Education. Frugality. Investment. All from a very young age.

Fast forward to today. I retired after recovering. It didn't matter that I was still good to keep beating on myself. I just quit. I had enough to just unhook and shut down.

Now I have time to hang out with my fine arts major friends. They are struggling. Debt. Work. And maybe the worst part - dissatisfaction with their current state. I am very happy to be me and not them. "Living the dream" is their description of my lifestyle. Well, that's how they see it I guess.

This morning I watched a short on ABC news about "Trimmers". People who manicure weed one month a year and make enough money ($20k) to survive the rest of the year somewhere else. One dreadlocked girl said she travelled South America. I envied that a bit. It sounds fun. Carefree. If I wasn't tied down with family responsibilities I'd like to wander like that.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/migrant-worker ... d=46578810

I'm not a big believer in YOLO but at the end of the day you do. It isn't an issue up to the moment that it is.

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distracted_at_work
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:21 pm

@Dragline. According to a number of online life insurance sellers, I'll be ticking until 85-90. I have an above average risk lifestyle but let's say I'm lucky and live another 65 years on earth. That thought alone actually does help quite a bit.

This latest trip has hit me with that hard realization about traveling. Many of my generation certainly seek to buy experiences instead of possessions. Realistically, most of what I've appreciated from this trip could have been done by hosting interesting couch-surfers in my condo and/or driving out to the west coast to surf for a week. I think I would have enjoyed it more and saved money doing so. The one thing I don't think can be replicated at home is how travel automatically pushes folks outside their comfort zone. This leads to developing relationships you otherwise would not have.

I, optimistically, have 4 years left until ERE. I'm aiming to be retired before I turn 29. I'm no fan of labels/personality tests but for the sake of the post, I'd call myself an extroverted introvert. I greatly appreciate solitude but I thrive in social situations. I do like to try new things.

@7Wannabe5. I'd be curious in knowing if the Chinese sneaker company is an example from your life and, if so, wow.

I think my desire to start a business stems from my desire to have a Productive Financial Asset that is also an Invigorating and Expanding Novel Life Experience. I'd say right now those two systems are completely decoupled, short of the joy I get from literally investing my money on the stock market. I'm concerned it's not a sustainable way for me to live, even for 4 more years. I'm working on it.

@Sclass. I'm glad to read you are recovered. That's a an exemplary example of what I'm talking about.

I've met many people like the "trimmers" in the last two weeks, whether they pick weed or are industrial electricians. It's an interesting lifestyle.

I have friends so deep in debt from taking low-paying degrees they say to my face that they don't expect to ever pay it off. They pay minimum payments and use any excess money to drink/travel/attend music festivals/whatever. Things that I would never spring money for. Different lifestyles for sure.

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distracted_at_work
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by distracted_at_work » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:30 pm

To add. I think the yolo people are professionals at kicking the can down the road. Whether that be health, finance... whatever. My concern stems from maybe not having another kick at the can and finding a balance.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by YoungAndWise » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:48 pm

As someone who has travelled a lot for family, school, and fun, the YOLO concept is dumb.

I always try to find a balance between enjoying life and doing shit I need to care of (i.e. student debt ATM).


The reason I mostly travel to see new and interesting places, with friends. And making new friends is easier I grow up (introvert becoming extrovert). It helps one of my hobbies is landscape photography, which new environmental aspects is really cool.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:44 pm

Based on the brief description of your state above (and a brief skim of your journal), I think we may be near similar wavelengths, ages, etc. Anyways, my plan as of 1 year ago is as soon my wife and I hit 10x life expenses (which we just did), and have a child (slated for late summer) we will both take an extended leave of absence (fortunately she will also get 12 months of EI due to Canadian maternity laws) satisfying the YOLO inside of us as well as feeling financially secure with a large nest egg, zero debt (renters fo' life) and numerous other ideas for bringing in income along the way as well as 3x of those life expenses being in cash or real estate holdings that can be accessed in the short term so we have lots of wiggle room to fuck up.

This 1 year leave of absence will hopefully offer perspective on whether or not I want to go back to corporate dronedom (and non YOLO) to secure 25x or simply meander our way down the path to financial independence, building skills, working however we want (likely for less pay).

What I just wrote sounds like I am completely confident in the plan as it stands and don't waver on a bi-weekly basis on to YOLO or not to YOLO...This is not the case.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by BRUTE » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:41 pm

distracted_at_work wrote:
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 am
You only live once
citation needed

Did
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Did » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:59 am

@sclass +1 - Always enjoy your posts friend.

It's a tough one. I don't agree with Dragline that you can just travel in your own town. That isn't travel at all. You haven't been doing it right ! Whooping it up while young in different countries - shagging, drinking and the rest, is really a once in a lifetime experience. Why not do it for a year or two in your early 20s? You'll never get that youth back. It is nothing like having a couple of years off in your 40s. You're old then.

Perhaps the difference is those people who just keep on working as a lift operator at Whistler or as an English teacher in Vietnam and don't really get ahead at all and freak out at 40. Others of course manage to earn a good crust while living a location independent lifestyle and have the best of both worlds.

(Vagabonding Rolf Potts, T4HWW)

If I had my time over, I would be less serious in my early 20s and late teens. I would enjoy my youth as a priority, not be a mega nerd or too keen to enter the professional world.

http://princesskaurvaki.com/wp-content/ ... row-up.png

And after some wooping, I think I would try and have my cake and eat it too. I think if people put as much effort into the online, remote existence as they did their crap job within a couple of years they would have worked something out.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Sclass » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:08 am

Did wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:59 am
@sclass +1 - Always enjoy your posts friend.
Thanks Did. I need to stop telling the same old story over and over like an old man.

I guess the whole YOLO thing brings back the terrible memory of realizing I had just wasted what little life I had. It was enough to make me collapse to the ground pounding my fists and kicking screaming " why why why?" :lol:

I still believe in preparing for the future rather than living for the day. But there has to be some kind of balance. To optimize it we really need a crystal ball. But that takes the fun out of it.

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Dragline
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:24 am

If you are interested in your personal predilections and propensities as to past, present and future focus, Zimbardo's "Time Paradox" inventory is an interesting self-test: http://www.thetimeparadox.com/zimbardo- ... inventory/

The ideal balance in the modern world is supposedly a mix of present and future focus. I think this population is liked skewed heavily future just as we are largely INTJs on that matrix.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by distracted_at_work » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:44 am

What's the saying? "Plan like you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow". Pretty words but light on the key details that fall in between methinks.

@Sclas. Indeed. Finding the correct balance is the key. Having an uncontrollable disease or accident cut short a life full of potential would be one of my worst fears. I'll start working on the crystal ball.
Dragline wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:24 am
I think this population is liked skewed heavily future just as we are largely INTJs on that matrix.
Heavy future here followed by past-negative. Hm.

In terms of travel, my interpretation of what Dragline and 7Wannabe5 are saying is that certain experiences one has traveling can be replicated at home, which I agree with. I'd hedge that and say there are a number of travel experiences that cannot be replicated at home. It'd be up to the individual to figure out which type they value more. Yes?

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by jacob » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:19 am

distracted_at_work wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:44 am
What's the saying? "Plan like you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow". Pretty words but light on the key details that fall in between methinks.
You just have to readjust the range. For example,

Plan like you will live 10-20 years more, live like you will die in 2-3 years.

Here's an interesting metaphor. Most fighter planes have a radar gun sight that computes speed and bullet deflection to tell you where the bullets you fire now (in the present) will be by the time they cover the range to enemy target. Using that kind of sight, you put the enemy in the crosshairs and hope he stays there until your bullets have traveled the distance. You can also hold the trigger down and position the cross hair in a way so that the enemy flies through the bullet stream. Effectively .. if you yaw suddenly, your sight will yaw along with you.

There's another kind of sight which is IIRC is called a "historic sight". This kind of sight will tell you where any bullet you fired in the past will be now at the range of the enemy aircraft. So, e.g the bullet velocity is 3000fps and the target is 1500ft out, then the sight will show where bullets fired 0.5 seconds ago are NOW. (The previous one would show where bullets fired now are 0.5 seconds in the future). To hit with this one you would arrange your aircraft in a way so that the enemy will fly through your sight in short order and then fire before he moves. Effectively .. if you yaw suddenly, your sight will stick for 0.5 seconds and then catch up.

There are thus TWO different ways of being future oriented. One is to make projections and think of the future as a time where one will eventually be (the future sight). The other is to live in the present but do so in a way that prepares and accounts for the fact that the future will eventually become the present (the historic sight). THAT is how I understand the quote above. You're not planning for the future. You're living today in such a way that when the future eventually arrives, your past actions were such that the future they resulted in are now good.

IOW, where you are today are the combined outcomes of choices you made 5-10-15 years ago.

I think that's the difference between YOLO .. that's what YOLO is lacking. There's rarely if ever any concern for future impacts .. so YOLO actions while always positive in the present are randomly positive and negative in the future. This way no momentum is built .. and eventually YOLO people run out of energy in their 40-50s ...

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Dragline
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Dragline » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:22 am

distracted_at_work wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:44 am
In terms of travel, my interpretation of what Dragline and 7Wannabe5 are saying is that certain experiences one has traveling can be replicated at home, which I agree with. I'd hedge that and say there are a number of travel experiences that cannot be replicated at home. It'd be up to the individual to figure out which type they value more. Yes?
Yes. Beautiful sunsets/sunrises and cheap wine with friends may be had in many places. Grand canyons and geysers not so much. I do like to see things like this -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDJ8XUghYXw

On the other hand, bear in mind that most places in the world are better not visited -- like the rest of Turkmenistan and various polluted and crowded cities in China and elsewhere.

Did
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by Did » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Dragline wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:22 am
On the other hand, bear in mind that most places in the world are better not visited -- like the rest of Turkmenistan and various polluted and crowded cities in China and elsewhere.
Wow. No, not my view at all. But then everyone is different, and has different skills. I think if you enjoy (and are good at) exploring and having new experiences then most places in the world offer something. Bangkok for example is a wonderful place to visit, and it is extremely polluted and crowded. Paris is also crowded.

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BRUTE
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Re: You only live once - help

Post by BRUTE » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:35 am

Dragline wrote:
Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:22 am
On the other hand, bear in mind that most places in the world are better not visited -- like the rest of Turkmenistan and various polluted and crowded cities in China and elsewhere.
lol, "interesting" view.

brute would also say the complete opposite. almost all places in the world are, in their own way, unique. now what they have to offer might not be what that individual traveler might be looking for at the time of visit, but so far brute has found every place somewhat unique.

the grand canyon is nice, but only cool to look at for 2 minutes. there's more to see on every street corner in Bangkok. and even within countries, different cities have very different vibes to them, just like the US. big cities have different corners, just like Lower Manhattan is hard to compare to Brooklyn or the Bronx - there are many cities much bigger than NYC, where the contrasts are even starker.

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Re: You only live once - help

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:14 pm

I tend to fall closer to Dragline's perspective. I've said before that I was born without the wanderlust gene, so I've only got to find the different environments I like once. Seeing another riff on the same theme 5,000 miles away is not an urgent need.

Jacob, as he has more than once, brings up the key piece so often overlooked--that where you start today is highly likely to have a substantial dependence on your past choices. YOLO cuts both ways. You can't go back in time and prepare for your future, so if you YOLO too long there's a certain amount of breathing room you may not be able to achieve later (time is your best friend when it comes to building wealth). The right kind of past choices will leave you with increasing future freedom.

I suppose it comes down to what a person truly values. A common sense approach might be to include all the things you value throughout you life. I value my recreation/adventure pursuits (modest in the context being discussed here), my hobbies and creative endeavors, but also value future financial independence. That forces me to moderate a little in all three areas. I don't think I'll lie on my death bed bemoaning the fact that I sacrificed somewhat in one area of my life for the sake of another area in my life I value just as much.

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