wolf's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:26 am

jacob wrote:Put it in other words, one can't become a permaculture gardener by throwing money at the problem.
True, but I am still contemplating throwing down some $$ for my very own copy of "Edible Forest Gardens" and variety of interesting nursery stock. And, there is still an outstanding violation of code with $100 ticket, to be followed by $250 ticket and/or time in prison causing me to fret :cry: Also, one of the Principles is "Obtain a Yield" which roughly equals "Create Value", and it's not like money isn't there in the mix along with every other flow or stock.

I've also been considering which essential input capital is most like in general economic system. For instance, is it like nitrogen in the sense that if a domain is over-capitalized, it is likely to run-off and result in unwanted algae bloom somewhere down stream?
wolf wrote:I, myself, have only little influence on systems. They do have greater influence on me. I‘m a small part of it. I‘d like to concentrate on elements which I can influence.
Yeah, watch out for black-holes and spreading yourself too thin or attempting to put too many balls up in the air at the same time, etc. etc. etc. On more positive note, even when everything comes crashing down, you can always go center yourself back at Principle One = Observation. Or Sub-Principle One-A = Oops :lol: !

2Birds1Stone
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:41 am

Always love your posts @wolf. I missed some of the conversation here during my forum break, but have gone through a very similar change in mindset over the past 6-12 months. Semi-ERE/ERE is much more appealing than traditional FIRE, yet I still can't seem to sever the chord on my job, despite having "enough" to test drive it for a year or three without major impact to overall financial life trajectory. Hoping my employer takes the decision out of my hands*, and severs the chord themselves. (*hint hint, if you're reading, big brother)

jacob
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by jacob » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:49 pm

@7wb5 - A certain minimum amount is required to pay friction costs. Liebig also holds for the money component. For example, it's much harder to be 100% self-sufficient---growing tomatoes and selling them to pay RE taxes---than 80%. Another feature of ERE is that conversion-losses between different values created are minimized.

7Wannabe5
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:35 pm

@jacob:

Right. Like it would make more sense to set up an English Language Tax Help Table with a cash donation jar in order to pay your property taxes rather than selling your tomatoes to pay your taxes, except for the fact that then you will probably get another stupid violation ticket.

classical_Liberal
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:43 pm

@jacob
Conversion-losses is a great term. They are essentially what I meant with money providing the optionality. Because money can buy more than just stuff, it can buy opportunities by it's mere presence. Living in Fargo, ND options for learning how to sail are limited (ie the soil is lacking nutrients to grow sailers). Which is fine, learning to sail isn't on my mind today. If it becomes a huge priority in 5 years, I'm still gonna have a hard time doing it where I grew my ERE garden. So now I need to modify the situation if I want to learn to sail. Having money to "fill in the gaps" while the garden is being transplanted for new goals provides opportunity.

For the more fickle minded people like me, how de we design a system for future outputs which are known unknowns? Outside of learning to adapt the system to minimize these conversional losses.

Jin+Guice
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:08 pm

@wolf, excellent post, thanks for the inspiration. You're beating me at my own game.

wolf
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by wolf » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:58 pm

@classical_Liberal
Thank you. I, too, think that adapting to systems is an important skill. Money, I guess, is some sort of energy, as you said by „stored life energy“. Altough money can buy you optionality to a certain degree, it cannout buy you wisdom, experience, mental and personal growth. I‘d prefer to have both. The first one (money) is easy to quantify and manage, therefore it‘s more convenient for me to control it in spreadsheets and bank accounts. But it doesn‘t provide me with the kind of wisdom I‘d like to learn and I‘d like to experience, e.g. living semi-ERE, part-time.

@jacob
Thank you for your feedback, I‘d appreciate it. From a money point of view I guess I‘m further ahead then deep ERE thinking, regards to Wheaton levels. I‘m hoping that I‘ll learn a great deal of more wisdom from „In over our heads“, because that‘s my real challange in life. To grow, to experience, to gain wisdom, to learn and to look beyond current knowledge. Like fish once said „Money is a saved problem“, I‘m kind of accepting that step by step. To be honest I can only say that now. In the past, when I had not clue about ERE and when I had a JAFI over 3 and almost no NW saved, money was indeed a problem. So, I‘m deeply grateful, that I‘m healthy (Prio #1) and that I‘v got some money saved to have that freedom to think about such topics.

@7Wannabe5
Thanks yor the comment! I‘m gonna watch out for „black-holes“ ;-) I‘m risk-averse, so my problem is that I have to many balls up in the air, but maybe the opposite. I feel very comfortable in my comfort zone, but like to go more into my stretching zone, especially when it comes to socializing. That‘s a continious challange I‘m trying to get better. I‘v experienced in the past that I can learn many new things when I accept new roles (partially and time-bound), e.g. project management. That, go to the end of my comfort zone and try to enhance it, I‘ll try to do more often in all areas of my life. And if I did a step to far, I‘ll center myself and become the observer. Observing is so easy, that it‘s a challenge for me (INTJ) to not do it. Anyway, always appreciate your optimism, wisdom and funny way to describe things!

@2Birds1Stone
Thank you very much. Yeah, there was some really good conversation going on, especially in black_son_of_gray‘s journal. And your journal is also very inspiring to me. I‘m looking forward to every post in your journal, because it is happening so much in your life. And it is great that you share that with us. Moneywise you are ahead of me. So I can learn many things, how you handle the transition from fulltime work to … who knows. :-)

@Jin+Guice
Thank you. I doubt that, that I can beat you at your own game. :-) You are playing the semi-ERE-game too well in real life. When I‘ll decide to change my fulltime work to a semi-ERE-lifestyle, I‘ll let you know. Till then, please don‘t stop posting about it! One must become semi-ERE and that takes time, courage and practical application in real life. Any story about that, either success stories or lessons learned, is very much appreciated.

fingeek
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by fingeek » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:39 am

Great to see this update wolf! I love that you're focusing less on the money/tracking side of things in your journal (It appears it's a solved problem to you now), and now you're onto the hard stuff - What to do with your life. Ha ha!

I too am having a realisation that money isn't all that important (a bold statement, I know) and in many ways it's the easiest part of FIRE/ERE to solve for. I think I'll take a leaf from your book and track money less, so that my attention can be directed into more important things - Meaning, purpose, hobbies, part-time job (eventually) etc.

Keep up the good updates please, we're all learning a lot from your observations!

Family father
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by Family father » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:42 pm

Hi Wolf!

Yours is one of the journals I follow so.. thanks for sharing!

I found this:
wolf wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:33 pm
I measure my mental well-being quarterly, by using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale
Very interesting!

I used a custom made "happyness indicator" before.. I'll check the numbers to see what I get from them..

I read the paper and I found particularly interesting the validation data the paper provides: it allows you to put yourself in a context and that looks nice.. I'll give this indicator a go :)

The paper talks about evaluating the last two weeks, but I'll prefer to track more often by now.. I feel I'm not capable of making a good avaluation of two weeks.. maybe I start every day, or twice a week (friday for workdays and sunday for weekends?)..

I wonder how often do you track it..

Anyway.. Thanks!!

matt0533
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by matt0533 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:32 am

Really useful analysis on ERE from both yourself and black_son_of_gray. I had gotten caught in a bit of a rut thinking becoming FI was the solution.

I just used the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale and scored much, much lower than I was anticipating. I will dig into this more myself but are there things you do after your quarterly analysis if you score low on this scale yourself?

wolf
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by wolf » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:17 am

Yes, I try to connect the good, neutral and bad results of my Mental Wellbeing-Scale with past, present and future.
To understand this better, I'll give a short description of my quaterly review, status and outlook (called QURSO).

It consists of three parts.
Part 1: review and status of important areas in my life (see list below)
Part 2: Mental Wellbeing-Scale
Part 3: outlook of important areas in my life (see list below)

To each of these areas of my life I collect/brainstorm at least ten events, issues, ideas, possible improvements, weaknesses, lessons learned, etc.
- highlights/lowlights from the last 12 weeks (I do track them weekly in a few short sentences)
- work
- health, fitness
- relationships, social life, family and friends
- ERE & finances
- discipline, habits
- leisure time, play, hobbies, interests
- spirituality, transcendence
- satisfaction with life overall

So, usually I get a good idea of the good, neutral and bad results from my Mental Wellbeing-Sale. And I try to improve things, if necessary, meaningful, etc. and if it would align with my web-of-goal.

wolf
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by wolf » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:29 am

Every few weeks I pre-cook my lunch for work. That has become such a stable routine now, so I'd like to share it.
Typically I cook a plant-based meal, such as "chili sin carne". And I cook at least eight portions.
It is based on dried beans, that I buy in big bags. Therefore the price per kilo is very cheap.
I start with soaking those beans overnight. In the next morning I cook them for about 60 minutes. Parallel I cut onions and carrots and cook them in a pan. When it is all cooked, I mix it up and add a tomato sauce (made out of tomato paste and hot water) and add spices. I divide it into four food containers (containing eight portions) and pack it into my backpack, because I don't use a fridge or freezer at home. I go by bike to work (50 minutes). After arriving at work I store those 4 food containers in the freezer at the kitchen, which can be used by employees. I heat my pre-cooked food in the microwave. Usually I eat "chili sin carne" with tortilla-chips.
If I add up all costs, one portion costs approximately 2 to 3€ (depending). So I save at least >5€ per work day, if I compare it with eating out (what is pretty usual). That's my one big warm meal per day. Typically I budget for food and drinks (only green tea and tap water) with 80€ per month.
That pre-cooking routine feels normal for me but must look pretty weird to outsiders. What would they think, if they would know that I transport 8 portions of food by bike in my backpack to work. I suppose, that nobody else does this at work, because I know what food is stored in the fridge and freezer typically in the kitchen. But my routine for pre-cooking looks great to me :-)

RealPerson
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by RealPerson » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:57 am

@wolf Lunch routine

Impressive. This is really badass! And no fridge or freezer at home? My hat goes off to you. Jacob should have some ERE award for you (and for the animal). Your food cost is incredibly low.

wolf
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by wolf » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:01 am

Thanks RealPerson.
I do own a fridge, but it is used as a multifunctional cupboard :-)

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Becoming a Renaissance Man #01

Post by wolf » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:37 am

The title of this post is „Becoming a Renaissance Man #01“. As the sequence number 001 indicates it will be hopefully a continuous journey. I’ll plan to write several posts about it. For now I can’t say exactly when and with what regularity. Maybe you wonder what leads me to set up a program like that. Well, I’ll explain late. In addition to my own personal journey, I hope, that I can enrich this forum with this input.

So what’s the background of all this. Of course Jacob’s book inspired me a great deal of the Renaissance Ideal. I’ve read it in 2017 for the first time. Since then I re-read it every year (and I plan to do so in the coming years). Due to his input and the discussions in this forum I pretty much changed my linear life of an usual employee to a nonlinear life. So the groundwork for “becoming a Renaissance Man” has been made.

Just recently I finished reading “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. He made a great job in describing practical steps, which would lead toward a habit-based life. The book resonated very well with me, because I favour the result-oriented approach as same as the process-oriented approach. One main topic of his book lies in the beginning. He described two different approaches. He uses three layers (circles) with identity in the core, processes (habits) in the middle and outcomes on the outer circle. Usually people wishes for certain outcomes, but forget to define an identity. James Clear suggests a different approach, called identity-based habits. He suggests to start with the identity and then define habits (processes) around it, which would lead eventually to favoured outcomes. That made sense to me as well.

So I thought about it intensely and figured out, that I’d like to give it more than just a try. After some reflection I came up with the idea, that only the Renaissance Man as an identity would make sense in my situation and with the context I live in.

Why did I chose the Renaissance Man (or polymath) as an identity? There are several reasons:
  • First: ERE is an important part in my life. And as you know, ERE is based on the lifestyle of a Renaissance Man.
  • Second: When I think of the future (next few decades), I’m certain that the Renaissance Man would be best suited to deal with the challenges in life, work, etc.
  • Third: After several years in the work force, I’m certain that I don’t want to become a hyperfocused specialist. I’d like to be Generalist, aligned to the model of T-Shaped-Skills
There’s that: the WHY to become a Renaissance Man.

Next, I’d like to lay out the basic foundation HOW I’d like to become a Renaissance Man.
I start with a picture, which shows the four influencing factors of the To-Be-State. My Status Quo is a starting point. On the other side it’s okay to think open-mindedly with a greenfield approach. From where do I get ideas an inspiration? Of course from my personal experience, but also from Renaissance Man role models (dead, e.g. Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander von Humboldt, but also living, e.g. Jacob and others here on this forum)

Image

My second picture of today’s journal post shows the combination of James Clear’s identity-based habit approach with the modules of my Web-of-Goals. They are based what Jacob describes in his book as “human capital and personal assets”. So I got technical, social, emotional, economical, ecological, physiological and intellectual personal assets, defining modules of my Web-of-Goal. I added three more modules. I can learn many things from role models and dead/living examples of polymaths, therefore I added polymath skills. In addition to that personal development has been always a big part of my life. That includes topics such as ego-development and personality types. The third module could seem a bit confusing to you. I called it language (literacy). That includes (non)verbal communication skills, writing, reading, speaking, German, English and programming languages. A clear and precise language is needed to think, write and speak of ideas in general.

Image

And that is the end of my first post #01. I guess in a forum like this (NT-dominated) I’m not the first one to have such an idea/goal. So if you have any feedback for me, it is very well appreciated. I can’t say what it’s going to be, but “becoming a renaissance man” is important to me.

classical_Liberal
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:23 pm

Very nice post. I need to digest and reread what you've wrote tomorrow.

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fiby41
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Re: Becoming a Renaissance Man #01

Post by fiby41 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:44 am

wolf wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:37 am
The third module could seem a bit confusing to you. I called it language (literacy). That includes (non)verbal communication skills, writing, reading, speaking, German, English and programming languages. A clear and precise language is needed to think, write and speak of ideas in general.
Only one language cannot completely satisfy a person's requirements. When you switch languages it is as if you take up a different pair of lens to look at the world through. Which is why it's hard to empathise how dull knowing only one language must be.
One can learn languages at different levels of proficiency (read, write, speak or understand) to suit a purpose.
In Hindi, Marathi and English I can do all the four above. I can read in Russian and Sanskrit but may not understand everything. Can hold smalltalk in Russian but won't chose to willingly identify as a polygot. Language is just a tool. I wouldn't identify with a power drill or scalpel.
Why did I chose the Renaissance Man (or polymath) as an identity? There are several reasons:
While it is tempting to emulate the renaissance ideal, it is uneconomical for most. It'd be great to do my own plumbing, painting, woodworking, metalworking, tiling, be my own electrician, mechanic and what not, it's simply cheaper where I live to pay someone to do it for me.

My web of goals
fiby41 wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:32 am

Wealth of stocked food grains (food security)
Wealth of knowledge
Wealth of accumulated capital/money
Wealth of progeny (children)
Wealth of domesticated animals
Wealth of industry and courage (risk-taking)
Wealth of social relations
Wealth of primordial physical strength
Really enjoying your posts. Waiting for #002.

wolf
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by wolf » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:02 am

Thanks for the reply fiby41.

What you wrote is the reason I added language as one of my modules of my web-of-goals.

When talking about the renaissance ideal I'm aware that everybody imagine something different of it. At this stage in my journey I don't think of doing my own plumbing, woodworking, metalworking, etc. First, because I don't need to at the moment. Second, because I also count in the economical aspect of it. I have already insourced many activities, such as cutting my own hair, cooking and preparing food, repair my bicycle, fix my computers and counsel/reflect/advise myself.

You mentioned your web-of-goals and it's quite interesting to view. How did you come up with these areas/modules? And how do you deduce activities, habits, processes from those? I'd like to focus on the process, rather than the outcomes. So I gotta have the outcomes in mind and deduce processes (habits, activities, etc.) from them. What's your approach?

Jin+Guice
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:05 pm

I'm interested to see how you (or perhaps it's better to say your approach) to the Renaissance man lifestyle works out. I've been frustrated by my attempts, but I try to do too much, too fast, and focus on failures instead of successes. I think you have a more balanced approach and I look forward to reading about your forays into generalism.

Re: your previous post about cooking all at once.

I used to do a similar thing in grad school. I'd cook all my food, put it in bags and a backpack and then bike it to the bus I took to the city where my school was 80 miles away. I was also the only one using the fridge, which was good because I filled it with food since I was living in my student office half of the week. Unlike you, I really hated batching my food, so I don't to do it anymore.

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fiby41
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Re: wolf's journal

Post by fiby41 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:18 am

wolf wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:02 am
How did you come up with these areas/modules? And how do you deduce activities, habits, processes from those?
These are the eight types of wealth personified by the eight forms of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. At this juncture, only the first three levels have their altars open for my worship.
I'd like to focus on the process, rather than the outcomes. So I gotta have the outcomes in mind and deduce processes (habits, activities, etc.) from them. What's your approach?
Always be learning
Always be lifting
Always be earning

These are the ways that the Tridevi, Trinity Goddesses of knowledge, strength and wealth accept worship.

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