classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by SavingWithBabies » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:27 pm

So how about for that three months you have a "don't break the chain" calendar[*] on the wall with nice big spots to X out each day and a list below with what you're working for? Kind of a daily ritual of looking at it in the morning and then checking off one more day in the evening (or after work whatever time that is) to reinforce what you're working for? I'm picturing putting one up at the beginning of each work period and then when it's done, taking it down and recycling it (and if you get fancy, maybe you can rip the reasons you were working for off and put them in your wallet or in a stack for later review).

I have a similar conundrum with the contract work I'm doing. The easy path is to let the client decide when work stops and starts. But if I do that, I'm having to live around their schedule. But I can't just work for a single day either. I could definitely push back though and do things as I wish to some degree[**] although it's easiest to do that at the start of the contract. So I'm hoping for a bunch of short term contracts so I can refine my approach and figure out a balance that works for me and my family.

* I'd just whip something up and print it out -- not suggesting buying anything commercial.
** Still unsure what would work and what wouldn't but I'm thinking more about number of hours per week or days per week worked. Software projects tend to be hard to estimate and if going well, can snowball so it's hard to negotiate an end date up front. But they do seem to have milestones in place where one can leave (even if the client would rather you stay).

bigato
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by bigato » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:44 pm

Maybe just settle at working 3 months per year until you have an additional, separate stash that feels reasonably comfortable for the more predictable, foreseable extras?

mooretrees
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by mooretrees » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:51 pm

Are you at all concerned with maintaining your skills as a nurse with big breaks? I worry about that with my job, and I feel it might be a reason to work longer stretches. Perhaps that is not a concern for you? It seems like you've been putting this time off to good use and some shifts in thinking are either here or on the horizon. Exciting to watch from the side line!

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:58 pm

I have been doing close to what SWB suggested to pay for the "extra" of my DD28's wedding. In my activity tracker, instead of assigning hours to "Substitute Teaching", I assigned them to "Fund Wedding." Mostly this is psychological, but it reinforces the path towards what I want and what I don't want in my own mind. I do not want to teach more than 2 days/week, but I do want to pay for my share of the wedding. It is moderately likely that I am going to get certified and teach full time (with summer's off :lol: ) for a few years, but I plan on continuing this practice of labeling the less than enjoyable hours I spend teaching with "Fund FITB." Of course, in my harum-scarum case, the "extras" will be stuff like "having an address, maybe...?"

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:05 pm

@SWB
I kind-of like that Idea. Have a "debt" to pay, and/or "savings account" of work days for extras. Like, I owe 3 working days for my recent road trip, another 1 for the next trip, 1 for gambling when I was in Las Vegas, etc. Once I burn through the "debts", I can make a savings work day list for future plans. Not sure if that will help on the emotional aspect of it though, but it's worth a try.

@Bigato
Sure, that number is 500k in total assets. I'm FI with many extras at that point. However, that doesn't really help me make up for the huge difference in time and space between a possible Alaskan cruise in 10 years and why I'm working today. I may or may not want to do the cruise, but I definitely would rather not be working today. If I do take the cruise in 10 years, it may or may not have anything to do with the work week I had 10 years ago. The connection is lost in my mind, both emotionally and even, mostly, intellectually.

Additionally, I really want to need to work at some point. Because the intrinsic motivation may not otherwise exist, and there are benefits in hormesis with this type of stress. I'm also a firm believer that it's very easy to constantly be stuck in OMY syndrome. If I get back into accumulation at-any-cost mode, it may be hard to break out again. Suddenly 500K for "extras", becomes 600K because "maybe other extras", becomes 750k because "long term care costs", etc.

@moortrees
Honestly, I hadn't even really thought about it. Although medical field changes, it does so incrementally. I've worked at hospitals, sometimes years apart, and have had very little isuse getting back up to speed with policies and best practice changes. However, I was still working, just somewhere else. As far as losing what I've got, due to lack of practice, you got me thinking... For a very short period this morning. I took my ACLS refresher today and we ran through a whole bunch of mock emergencies and the like. I rocked it! I did better than 90% of the currently active nurses in my group. This leads me to believe that my nursing skills are mostly unconscious competence, I don't think they will ever get too rusty at their core. Although most states do require at least a couple hundred hours of practice each license renewal period of 2-3 years. So, no matter what, I would get some hours in if I wanna keep my license.

On another note, going in for this ALCS class today was interesting from an emotional standpoint. When I was driving to the hospital this morning a sinking feeling came over me, how I used to feel when I was about to start a long run of shifts. I REALLY did not want to be there. But, after we got going, for the rest of the day and now afterwards, I feel like I kind-of miss being there. Fascinating.

Edit:
@7WB5 you posted as I was writing, sorry I missed it. Like I stated above to SWB, I like that idea. It's good to read it helps you, because I'm really looking for more of a "gut" or emotional connection vs purely intellectual. I can delude myself into thinking almost anything intellectually, but it's that damned limbic system that I can't fool.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:26 pm

@c_L:

Well, I would say that it only half works on the limbic level. It helps me evade the horrible stuck-in-a-rut feeling that is the worst for eNTP, but it doesn't fix my dysfunctional reactions along the lines of "I've worked 3 days in a row! I'm exhausted! Where are those cookies?"

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:21 pm

@c_L: I think you are coming at this the wrong way. Instead of thinking about what the most efficient way to earn the money is, ask what the best way for you is. What works best for your other systems? 7w5 has suggested that your personality type likes to either be all on or all off, which would suggest that you should do the 3 months. For me, I'd much rather be PRN. If PRN is something like 5% better (hard to quantify of course) then it's probably not worth it. But even if you think it's something like 25% better, I think it'd be worth it, because money isn't your most important factor anymore. Getting out of the mindset is hard though.

There are a lot of different ways to slice this. I think the most important question is, do you still like nursing? If you do, how can you make it the most enjoyable for yourself? If you don't, how can you suffer the least while you figure out your next move. No reason to suffer just to "earn" extras.

As far as skill loss goes, as someone who's taken years off between jobs, skills are surprisingly stable overtime. If your really at the cutting edge of some profession you'll lose your edge, and if you didn't do the job enough to internalize you might not be able to restart it, but occasional maintenance will keep you at 90% and then a week back on the job will get you back to 99% (in my experience).

The ACLS class thing is important, I think. I never want to go to work the night before or when I get up, but when I get over to the hospital (and remember, I actively dislike this job) I'm often happy to be there. The same thing happens with work I "like" or even do for free. It's important to honor both of those feelings, mitigating the dread while maximizing the pleasure of the work.

bigato
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by bigato » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:48 pm

In Daniel Kanehman's "Thinking Fast and Slow" there is reference to a research that explains this difference between the "you that remembers" and the "you that experiences". There are some simple rules to that. For example, a painful 5 minutes experience that ended right at the pain peak will be remembered as much worse than a 10 minutes pain experience whose first 5 minutes are identical but then the pain is slowly decreased until the end of 10 minutes. Memory is related to peak-to-end interval.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:35 pm

@J+G
As always, your comments make me examine how I think. So they are always greatly appreciated.

In my mind I have a much more detailed response, but I think I can simply summarize that earning money in an efficient way is the fun way, for me. I like efficiency, even when i'm doing basic household chores, with all the time in the world now available, It's still fun to me to see how I can get the most done in the shortest period. Do this while that is soaking, heat up water for that, while simultaneously chopping food, etc. It's fun to me. So even though I don't really feel the need to accumulate more, I still want to earn my extras in the "best" way. Hourly rate is simply an easy measurement in how efficiently I'm earning money. As you pointed out though, it's probably the WRONG measurement. This goes back to my hatred for SMART goals and how we become what we measure instead of actually reaching the intended goal. Maybe I need to find a new measurement that isn't completely subjective.

@Bigato
I understand Kanehman's ideas pretty well, even though I've never read that book in totality. Probably bit's and pieces from his lectures and others who use his theories. There are so many ways to "trick" ourselves from a psychological standpoint. Sometimes I wonder if all of the truths we hold (about personality and preferences) aren't just somehow delusions we've tricked ourselves into believing. In many people's cases, they've been trick by others or intritutions. On one hand it's nice to use these ideas to self author to some degree, on the other I wonder if sometimes we aren't just spending a lot of energy to brainwash ourselves into being something we naturally are not. The stoic in me wants to do the opposite. Deep thoughts, by c_L :roll:

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:21 am

One rational argument in opposition to linear efficiency would be that life happens or is subject to cycles. For instance, consider the limitations of applying the measure of efficiency to tasks such as infant care, growing a pumpkin patch, or even relearning math topics at the age of 54.
Sometimes I wonder if all of the truths we hold (about personality and preferences) aren't just somehow delusions we've tricked ourselves into believing.
No. All you have to do is consider any humans you have known from early childhood into adulthood. Could you easily impersonate the writing voice of another member of this forum? How difficult would it be for you to sort posts without name tag and guess at writer, given reasonable number of previous examples of writing? Many people have physical presences that do not match their writing voices, but there is a certain consistency in this also. You have to read for what people directly say about themselves, because it is usually true, and also discern subtext. For instance, it would be pretty easy to discern that Riggerjack is a big guy physically without direct information revealing that fact, but it is more difficult to get a sense for how tall Jacob is from his writing.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:04 pm

@7WB5
Bad word usage on my part with the word personalities. Using it also implies that what I meant with preferences is related to personality function preferences. What I really mean is that we use psychological tricks to ensure we believe what we think we need to for survival and fit in socially (part of survival). Basically cognitive biases. Except the more understanding an individual has of physcology, the more that person is able to effectively alter personal perceptions, which is a double edged sword.

EDIT:
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:21 am
One rational argument in opposition to linear efficiency would be that life happens or is subject to cycles.
Rational argument or psychological trick? :lol:

Agreed. This is coming to a head now that time constraints are no longer a limiting factor in my life. That still doesn't take away the fact that I enjoy efficiency as a personality preference. So suggestions are always appreciated. I believe I'm coming to a realization though. Efficiency is dependent on maximizing use of the most constrained resource. For the past 8-9 years of my life (I now officially dub this the nursing period), time has really been that resource. Maybe emotional/social energy as the secondary, but I'm not sure how to quantify that other than the need for "recovery time". Now I have to decide what resource(s) is worth "effcientizing". This will require a different set of metrics, so I'm nowhere near understanding this process yet.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:52 pm

For the past 8-9 years of my life (I now officially dub this the nursing period), time has really been that resource. Maybe emotional/social energy as the secondary, but I'm not sure how to quantify that other than the need for "recovery time". Now I have to decide what resource(s) is worth "effcientizing"
Don't forget that you have also been focused on being extremely efficient with use of money during this time period.

Maybe I am missing something, but if you are off the notion of "smart goals" then it seems to me that you must be on the notion of "best practices." As in "It is my practice to take an hour walk through the woods most mornings." or "It is my practice to make broth with the carcass anytime I roast a chicken." Therefore, one problem with choosing workaholic efficiency plan to top off your stock of money each year is that it may wreak havoc on many of the other "best practices" you are attempting to establish or try.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jacob » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:20 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:04 pm
For the past 8-9 years of my life (I now officially dub this the nursing period), time has really been that resource. Maybe emotional/social energy as the secondary, but I'm not sure how to quantify that other than the need for "recovery time". Now I have to decide what resource(s) is worth "effcientizing". This will require a different set of metrics, so I'm nowhere near understanding this process yet.
I'm gonna quote that too. As an academic/intellectual in a non-useful field, the short resources for me where money and technical in kind. So that's what I focused on. Hence the priority of learning DIY and stretching dollars all the time.---Which then lead to my early journey. So you're maybe starting the ERE journey in reverse/from the opposite side. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how ERE was really a combination of the four quadrants of the ERE book that's relevant here. Google currently fails me though.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:31 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:52 pm
Don't forget that you have also been focused on being extremely efficient with use of money during this time period.
Not really, I was focused on accumulating money at a very fast rate. Although this was partially a focus on efficient use, it was also on efficient earning. This meant some compromises on the outflow side so that net total could continue to increase ASAP. Specifically housing costs, and somewhat on convenience costs to ensure my free-time was as free as possible. Tying back to my previous comment, maybe that's why I never considered the barebones idea before. Now that I'm settled a bit, baseline monthly spending is in the $800-$900 range, assuming no significant hobby/travel/entertainment expenses. Significantly lower. Although, I still haven't really worked out a way to remove those extra hobby/travel/entertainment expense yet. So I'm not sure if that is a fair "barebones" assessment, other than I could obviously live without those activities. This was part of the flaw in my accumulation web. Minor (compared to income) outflows to these things that allowed me to recover for efficient accumulation. I forgot to consider alternatives should have been built in when I didn't really need to "recover" anymore. Honestly, about 3K of my spending last year was on very embarrassing things that any ERE 101'er would chastise me for. Maybe I'll reveal them at some point.

To your other point... Don't worry, I'm missing some things myself. This is all a work in progress. I look at my goals as vague generalities that need focused actions for me to find. Like, I need to get outside more, get exercise, and find a cheap hobby. So I got into the habit of daily biking. I do see the power in developing positive habits, but I like to experiment with them. If biking hadn't been enjoyable, I probably would have tried something else. It's important to look at the goal more than the habit/action though. I think SMART goals only focus on the "plan" to reach goal, which usually measures the wrong thing(s). Like measuring how much I biked, vs how much I exercised, got outside, or enjoyed my new hobby. If I measured biking, suddenly I may own a stationary bike to max bike time. That's missing most of the point.

I agree that the workaholic, replace money strategy may not work with everything else I'm trying to accomplish. Vague as those things may seem to me at this point. Until I have something more concrete, or a better way to do life, it seems like I should at least give this way a try for Semi-ERE year 1.

@Jacob
Here's the post? viewtopic.php?p=199075#p199075
and my attempt to wrap my head around it. viewtopic.php?p=199081#p199081

It was, indeed, very helpful. Maybe I am opposite? Maybe I was working towards a freedom from vs a freedom to. Now I have to figure out the "to" and create some defined purpose for my days. Maybe just the opposite, and I need to get used to having less exact direction in my daily activity. Or maybe I'm moving into the creating "C" for my version of your template ERE.

All I know is that I have many loose threads in my mind at the moment. I wish they would tie up into something.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:45 am

Another consideration would be that you are likely somewhat caught betwixt and between for the time being given the fact that your GF is still working. So, for instance, you can't freely choose to optimize your outdoor exercise by choosing to tent camp down south for the worst months of the winter while also simultaneously optimizing your cyclical desire for sexual interaction and/or cuddling, etc. This is, obviously, a dilemma shared by many of us. Unfortunately, in relationship, it is often the case that lowest degree of freedom or functioning in any/every realm becomes the de facto reality.

Radical suggestion would be that you might consider throwing the funds you generate from next workaholic cycle directly at your GF's freedom fund rather than towards expensive compensations for fact that she is still working. Of course, other option which is very frequently chosen by older retired men with younger still-working wives or girlfriends is to offer support more in the form traditionally offered by competent homemakers, but in somewhat more muscular manner. For instance, retired BF would be more likely to take care of car stuff for working GF. Like if you are not working, and there is a blizzard, and you don't do something to help your GF with her commute to work, that might be near deal-breaker. The fact that you worked hard to save money in some past where you were not in relationship with her does not count and will not compute.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:48 pm

@7WB5
I really appreciate your contributions to my journal. What you have to say always gets my mind going in different directions. Your last comments are intuiting the situation pretty well. I do need to tread a bit carefully in my response, because I treat this journal as public record. IOW I don't write anything here that I wouldn't tell my GF directly or write to you anything I wouldn't tell you IRL. I know others use this an an anonymous sounding board for their relationships, so forgive me if I'm not as specific as others.

My GF is an ENFP and tends to have a ton of ideas, plans, and people that she throws herself into, but then stops or reverses course very quickly. I've actually come to adore that about her, and she has definitely helped inspire my creative side when I let go of the "reality" of her latest scheme. I've learned to embrace them when they are fun, and if they are annoying I kind-of just ignore it knowing it will likely pass. I've learned she needs her space to do her own thing, at best I can only allow myself a supporting role, otherwise I end up taking over and trying to bring the whole scheme back to reality and form real-life, executable plan. Which annoys the piss out of her. :lol:

To address your later point, the idea of me giving her money (which I've considered before) will mean that I feel justified in getting into her business. Which means I'll tell her wasting it on her latest unrealistic scheme is a bad idea, which will result in resentments and conflict. She hates conflict. Besides, she has become very frugal in her adventurous waste, so I have to respect those boundaries. Given my personality type (which you know so well), that means I have to keep my pocketbook out of it. They can actually be pretty fun for me when she gets on a role with something. Which is saying something, because I rarely like supporting roles.

Your first point is on target. Although I knew this would be the case. I also knew, from others on the forum, that I'd likely need a detox period before getting into something too grand anyway. This seems to be true, and will likely be the topic of my next official update. I do have concerns that some of the things my GF and I want to do, are things that she may not actually enjoy doing once we try it out. That my dreams are just another scheme of her's she will tire of, and end up wanting a more traditional life than I'm willing to give. For once in my life though, I'm not going to jump to conclusions and am going to let this play out. Even if my worries are confirmed, maybe there will be some form of compromise I'm willing to make that I hadn't previously envisioned.

Like I wrote above, there are a ton of loose threads in my life right now. In a way it's frustrating, but in another way it's really exciting because I'm not sure what type of hat it's going to sew for the next phase of my life. This is probably why the ramblings in this journal have been all over the place (even worse than normal) the last couple of months.

7Wannabe5
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:17 am

Well, unlike the ENTJ/ENTP* pairing , the ENTJ/ENFP pairing is supposed to be quite easily workable. The two of you together are likely very comfortable in host/hostess role. ENFPs are not great with money, but like all NPs, they are happy with a frugal lifestyle and they appreciate nature. So, off the top of my head, resorting to some stereotype here, an ideal compromise sort of lifestyle for the two of you might be something like buying a private campground which you can run and where she will have constant inflow of new living things and people to care for.

*huge fights due to difference in essential world-view

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:19 pm

@c_L: I like efficiency too, but in order for efficiency in one area to be better, everything else has to be equal. Efficiency in money-making is not efficient for you if it throws other things out of wack. In our culture, we're taught from birth that money is the most important thing. If we become what we measure, making what we measure dangerous, measuring money is at least twice as dangerous.

Personally I try to make my system efficient. If I had a system where all nodes had quantifiable local goals that I could measure, this would reduce slack, but I don't so slack (inefficiency) remains. I think this is ultimately a good thing.

If you need money, having an efficient way to make money is great. If you think the most efficient way is the best way, then you might as well try it out. The concern is that you seemed really miserable before, so why is this time going to be different? As an external observer of your life, when you were focusing on earning as efficiently as possible, I didn't think you were making an efficient trade-off to maximize the potential (efficiency) of your system. I'm glad you pushback when you disagree because it furthers the discussion and makes me reexamine my own way of doing things.

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:14 pm

@7WB5
We have talked about campground hosting, purchasing/starting an RV park, and purchasing a small boutique hotel in the past. Spot on :lol:

@Jin+Guice
Obviously we agree on the measuring metrics. Money can't be the only one. I really think your post helped me in that I need to create and understand the idea of slack. I'm a baby wrt to purposeful systems design, although I've accidentally created slack from nonfinancial sources in my life before. I think the OCD/efficiency oriented mindset is really helpful in FI from infancy to mid-life (Wheaton 1-5?), past that it can begin to have negative effects. At least that's how I've experienced it over the past five or so years.

Wrt slack, the problem I'm running into is a measurement one, I think. How do I measure the slack I have in my life system? It's much easier for me to think in terms of individual things. Like, I want to do this, so how can I do it for cheap or free. Example, I went on my annual TG road trip, it cost $50 in gas (my GF paid for half, so another 50) and maybe another $50 in hidden wear and tear on the vehicle. Most of that time I ate for free (whereas at home I'd have paid for my food), plus I have at least a week's worth of free leftovers in my frig. I hung around family for entertainment, when I would have normally paid for some. I got the road trip bug out of my system for another month or so. The whole thing's likely a wash, financially, but definitely positive sum when it comes to familial relationships. Pretty easy to quantify an individual event like that. I'm just having a hard time scaling up this type of thing. How do I live my whole life in a net zero or positive sum way like this? How can I even experiment without a way to really measure any progress?

I just keep going back to the idea that the best way to measure progress is monetary outflows, which then cycles back into my accumulation of money addiction, which makes me want to earn it efficiently. :lol: fml

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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:11 pm

Monetary outflows is a good one that's pretty easy to measure. If you could reduce monetary outflows low enough you'd never have to work again right?

My metric is "how much time do I spend doing what I want to do" or "how much control do I have over my time." Like I've said before, I like working at a job in small doses. It helps add some structure to my week and I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting money and completing a task with other people. That's why I think it's important to figure out how you like to work.

No matter what your metric, it'll never accurately measure the efficiency of the system. In most circumstances, this will automatically create some slack. If you can take on the mindset of abundance, the slack comes pretty easily.

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:14 pm
The whole thing's likely a wash, financially, but definitely positive sum when it comes to familial relationships. Pretty easy to quantify an individual event like that. I'm just having a hard time scaling up this type of thing. How do I live my whole life in a net zero or positive sum way like this? How can I even experiment without a way to really measure any progress?
It really depends where you're trying to get. The situation defined your goals in the example you gave so it gave you a metric. Not as quantifiable as money in this case, but still quantifiable enough to know when you're ahead. Money is tantalizing because we're taught to fetishize it from birth and it's so easy to measure. I don't see how saving more money is going to help you though, so you're probably going to have to settle for a less easily measurable and less sexy metric. I think you have to let the situation define your metric as you did in your example.

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