From corporate drone to renaissance man

Where are you and where are you going?
jacob
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by jacob »

+1 ... (I was also partnered up before I put it all into the ERE system but I was already hyper-frugal albeit more at Wheaton3-4 when we first got together).

What I've seen elsewhere is also to get the partner in on the entire vision thing so it's not just about your vision or even what you imagine as our possible vision but their vision as well. The thing that got DW sold on FIRE was me making a spreadsheet that projected network for specific years (2010, 2011, .... 2029, ... 2050) including spending. Seeing a concrete date in a future-history sense made it click (dominant Si function) whereas my more abstract talks about "having enough to never needing to work again" or "withdrawal rate crossovers" (this is more N/T) fell on deaf ears. Usually people's sticking point or mental block is that they're so locked into Plato's Cave with the shadows that they lack the language/framework for processing non-shadow visions. Note, for example, how many FIRE neophytes mainly talk about their post-FIRE dreams/lives as just 5x'ing their usual weekend/vacation activities.

classical_Liberal
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by classical_Liberal »

Hail_Diogenes wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:51 am
at what point in a relationship do you typically bring up your ERE goals? This is something that i struggle to share. If anything, I've done the exact opposite.
Yeah, do this right away, but not directly. By this I mean, what does she think of you living in a truck? It's not directly ERE, but very representative of it. If she has a huge problem with it, you can get an idea of how she may react to other outside the norm lifestyle ideas. So, basically, don't hide EREesque behaviors, if anything do the opposite to make sure she knows about them. Edit: DO NOT suggest she does any of them, just let her see you doing them. Plant your flag of who you are and do it proudly.

At some point if she's interested in long term, she's gonna wonder what's going on. Hey Hail_Diogenes, why are you still living in your truck? I know you make good money. Great! a critical point here. Now this is where you have to resist, with all your might, telling her everything about ERE. Instead you need to highlight your more superficial goals, like travel, getting to live a life without full time work, maybe how it helps the environment. The key is to pick something she'll be responsive to, something that is also important to her. So, if you both want to travel, tell a story of saving enough to spend winters on the Costa Rican beach instead of shitty, cold NY. Get her involved in this story. Because this will be your building block to more in the future if you guys stay serious.
Last edited by classical_Liberal on Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by jacob »

Also respect the Wheaton levels! Now that the framework is largely filled out in multiple dimensions even and with very few gaps, take advantage of that. Never send consumers directly to ERE. Use e.g. millenial revolution for airbnb/travelers, frugalwoods for the frugal and homely/woodsy crowd, and MMM/collins for the techno-optimist upper middle class. Once adapted to that, send them on when ready. The map is well-known by now. Suggest things that seem inspiring rather than extreme or insane even if you're dying to tell them. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Hail_Diogenes
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

Edit. noob. pasted the wrong thing.
Last edited by Hail_Diogenes on Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hail_Diogenes
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

Whoa! You guys are dropping so much gold I can't keep up.

My replies below are all half baked ideas that I want to come back to later. I have a bad habit of losing ideas.




AxelHeyst wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:46 am

Regarding the partner issue, I got the partner before I got in to ERE, so bear that in mind. But I think a dynamic you'll hear related here more often than not is that it's best to communicate through actions and example, rather than words. Because this shit sounds insane to people who haven't drunk the kool aid or aren't already on the cusp of it making sense to them. If you just go from "normal" to rambling about living on 1 jafi, renaissance ideals, ascending the wheaton levels, and loosely-coupled homeotelic web of goals, they're going to think you're nuts.

You don't need to disclose your net worth statements. You can make qualitative, rather than quantitative, statements. "I have N years expenses saved up".
Hahahaha yeah man I would never say something like "jafi" out loud. I've seen other online communities make the mistake of taking their lingo into the real world and it can get borderline terrifying when they fire up in their cult speak in public.

I love the idea of leading with examples. I think I'm pretty good about doing that, for the most part, but after today's feedback I think it might be helpful to be more open about why I'm doing it.

Like living in the truck, she was so cool about it. Even offered to tag along on a few roadtrips. Or when she saw my apartment for the first time and saw that I had five outfits, a mattress, a desk, and a PC. That could have been weird, but I just joked that I was a minimalist and we laughed it off.

I love your idea about the positive/negative associations.
jacob wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:04 pm
Also respect the Wheaton levels! Now that the framework is largely filled out in multiple dimensions even and with very few gaps, take advantage of that. Never send consumers directly to ERE. Use e.g. millenial revolution for airbnb/travelers, frugalwoods for the frugal and homely/woodsy crowd, and MMM/collins for the techno-optimist upper middle class. Once adapted to that, send them on when ready. The map is well-known by now. Suggest things that seem inspiring rather than extreme or insane even if you're dying to tell them. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
My favorite go-to is a tongue-in-cheek "I'm a minimalist."

It usually gets a small laugh on the first date but then little details confirm it over time. My girlfriend even asked me "Other than your apartment, wtf do you even spend money on?" a couple months ago.

But yeah, your point about respecting the wheaton levels kind of blew my mind. I mean, that's how I got into ERE. It was a slow transition. Most of my heroes are/were either "old man in the woods" types or starving artists. It took me a while to realize there was a middle way. I think that's where your book stepped in. I kept having these tiny epiphanies but I could never connect the dots. They never developed into concepts or even full on systems. Half the time they wouldn't even become sentences.

Anyway -

Thanks for reminding me. If the topic ever does come up with her, I'll keep this in mind.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:54 pm

Yeah, do this right away, but not directly. By this I mean, what does she think of you living in a truck? It's not directly ERE, but very representative of it. If she has a huge problem with it, you can get an idea of how she may react to other outside the norm lifestyle ideas. So, basically, don't hide EREesque behaviors, if anything do the opposite to make sure she knows about them. Edit: DO NOT suggest she does any of them, just let her see you doing them. Plant your flag of who you are and do it proudly.

At some point if she's interested in long term, she's gonna wonder what's going on. Hey Hail_Diogenes, why are you still living in your truck? I know you make good money. Great! a critical point here. Now this is where you have to resist, with all your might, telling her everything about ERE. Instead you need to highlight your more superficial goals, like travel, getting to live a life without full time work, maybe how it helps the environment. The key is to pick something she'll be responsive to, something that is also important to her. So, if you both want to travel, tell a story of saving enough to spend winters on the Costa Rican beach instead of shitty, cold NY. Get her involved in this story. Because this will be your building block to more in the future if you guys stay serious.
Gold. Gold Gold.

You nailed it. I now have a decent idea of where I was going wrong.

I'm pretty good about doing my own thing, but I never shared why I was doing it. Like when my current girlfriend asked me why I'm considering living in a truck, I think I just said something about it being a fun challenge. That's great for a while, but eventually she'll figure out that it wasn't just some social experiment.

You know this made me realize something strange - every girl I've dated LOVED her job. I think that's where a lot of the disconnect lies. I never thought about getting a girlfriend involved in a story because I assumed that our stories had different endings.

I've always been a live and let live type, so I usually just let time take the wheel in relationships. I saw it as binary. Either we're headed to the same destination or we're not. If not, fantastic. We can keep each other company on this leg of the trip, but in the back of my mind I know we'll have to go our separate ways at the next stop.

It's definitely a defense mechanism I've built up over time. I think I just expect most people to not get it.

You not only bring up a good strategy, you also made me realize that I've been kind of a dick by not sharing at least a little bit about my plans.

And while I never want to change anyone, people change all the time. Maybe sharing an alternative perspective could help someone figure something out when life takes a tumble, and maybe you end up on the same path.

ertyu
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by ertyu »

prod below the "love your job" story. pretending to potential partners that you love your job and are fulfilled and satisfied with it has been featured on multiple "how to play the game" lists for both genders--because who would want to date a miserable sad complainypants who doesn't have their life together, amirite? "loving your job" is part of this package of "active joyful happy and ecstatic" that one is if one is good enough as per the calvinist american workaholic narrative. it's possible there are people who genuinely love their jobs and are satisfied with what they do. but for many others, somewhere there will be tension: i want to do a long cross-country trip but i can't because work, ah i wish i could have gone on that hike this weekend but alas there was no time we had all this shit to do saturday and sunday it rained, etc. those are all entry points to introduce the idea that full time work is not the only way.

Frita
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Frita »

Just piggybacking on @ertyu’s observation of the working woman’s narrative...As I try to unravel my personal addiction to education work with the illusive lure of what could be while moving on to who-knows-what, I have tried to pay extra attention to others’ experiences. Note that this is based on a middle-aged (mid-30s to mid-50s), female demographic. These are some camps:
• The stuck: These women don’t (or no longer like) their work. They’d prefer to do something else but can’t afford the price. I also notice SAHMs can fall into the group with the deterrent of not wanting to go back to school or start at the bottom. These women show the most reciprocal interest in what I am up to but are most likely not ready to hear the particulars.
• The liberated: These women continued with a bad work situation, pretending to like it, until they could be done early. I find these ladies to have zest for living until listening more to discover they spent 30ish years being miserable. Now that retired life is like one big weekend, these gals are down for trips after COVID.
• The pampered: This group seems to buy their way out of what may be a miserable existence. There is no need to think of job fit when paying for a new luxury car and $500k house that need to regularly be upgraded. The plan is to work as long as possible and retire if they can afford it. It’s tough to have real conversations with these gals, even the ones who used to be close friends decades ago.
• The junkdrawer: These women are doing their own thing, however successfully or skillfully. (Actually enjoying one’s job or work is really rare the older we get; however, I wonder if it’s more of a symptom of the American workplace.) I fit here by default.

Hail_Diogenes
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

ertyu wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:14 am
prod below the "love your job" story. pretending to potential partners that you love your job and are fulfilled and satisfied with it has been featured on multiple "how to play the game" lists for both genders--because who would want to date a miserable sad complainypants who doesn't have their life together, amirite? "loving your job" is part of this package of "active joyful happy and ecstatic" that one is if one is good enough as per the calvinist american workaholic narrative. it's possible there are people who genuinely love their jobs and are satisfied with what they do. but for many others, somewhere there will be tension: i want to do a long cross-country trip but i can't because work, ah i wish i could have gone on that hike this weekend but alas there was no time we had all this shit to do saturday and sunday it rained, etc. those are all entry points to introduce the idea that full time work is not the only way.
This makes a lot of sense. I've seen similar advice to the stuff you mentioned, primarily the part about not looking like a complainypants. I know that I'm being disingenuous when I pretend that I love working, but I guess I just never thought that other people could be in the same boat.

I am loving this idea of highlighting parallels between lifestyle vs. work. I'm trying to think of examples of how I communicated similar situations in the past. Nothing stands out right now, but I'll try to monitor how I respond the next time work gets in the way of something. As far as I recall, I think I would just shoot down plans and give a really basic reason, not tying it back to work. Some thing like, sorry, can't hang out tonight because I'm tired or I'm just not feeling social. It makes sense to go a step further with the justification - ie "I'm just not feeling social because I've been on the phone begging strangers for money all day and pretending to like my coworkers who want to talk about sportsball and buying things in between calls."

As a professional complainypants, maybe context would be key in my future interactions lol.
Frita wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:35 am
Just piggybacking on @ertyu’s observation of the working woman’s narrative...As I try to unravel my personal addiction to education work with the illusive lure of what could be while moving on to who-knows-what, I have tried to pay extra attention to others’ experiences. Note that this is based on a middle-aged (mid-30s to mid-50s), female demographic. These are some camps:
• The stuck: These women don’t (or no longer like) their work. They’d prefer to do something else but can’t afford the price. I also notice SAHMs can fall into the group with the deterrent of not wanting to go back to school or start at the bottom. These women show the most reciprocal interest in what I am up to but are most likely not ready to hear the particulars.
• The liberated: These women continued with a bad work situation, pretending to like it, until they could be done early. I find these ladies to have zest for living until listening more to discover they spent 30ish years being miserable. Now that retired life is like one big weekend, these gals are down for trips after COVID.
• The pampered: This group seems to buy their way out of what may be a miserable existence. There is no need to think of job fit when paying for a new luxury car and $500k house that need to regularly be upgraded. The plan is to work as long as possible and retire if they can afford it. It’s tough to have real conversations with these gals, even the ones who used to be close friends decades ago.
• The junkdrawer: These women are doing their own thing, however successfully or skillfully. (Actually enjoying one’s job or work is really rare the older we get; however, I wonder if it’s more of a symptom of the American workplace.) I fit here by default.

Lmao the "junkdrawer." That's a harsh sounding name for a life that sounds pretty cool imo. I have a feeling that I'm headed to the male junkdrawer in good time.

This is a fascinating perspective though. I only know women in the age ranges you mentioned through work settings, so I've never had a chance to ask about this stuff. I've wondered, but it always seemed inappropriate to ask so I just filed the thought away. I appreciate you breaking it down. It's a post that I'm going to have to think about and return to periodically.



Oh, and the part about enjoying one's job or work being rare with age.... I'm in big trouble if that's the case :lol:

ertyu
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by ertyu »

*shrug* for me it's gotten harder and harder to "put in one more year." it gets old fast, and as time goes on, it goes old faster. but note that i am a professional complainypants and i have a really hard time keeping a full time job, way above than what i observe is normal for people around me. and that's not just because "well you don't know how they're on the inside," i physically deteriorate. sometimes my grooming slips. etcetera. have had long and profound sessions of self-recrimination trying to figure out what's wrong with me, but i assume that's for my journal not yours :lol:

Hail_Diogenes
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:45 pm
*shrug* for me it's gotten harder and harder to "put in one more year." it gets old fast, and as time goes on, it goes old faster. but note that i am a professional complainypants and i have a really hard time keeping a full time job, way above than what i observe is normal for people around me. and that's not just because "well you don't know how they're on the inside," i physically deteriorate. sometimes my grooming slips. etcetera. have had long and profound sessions of self-recrimination trying to figure out what's wrong with me, but i assume that's for my journal not yours :lol:
Lmao, god damn it dude. We have way too much in common in that regard. Thought it's mostly my liver that deteriorates :oops:

ertyu
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by ertyu »

just that my drug of choice is caffeine by the bucketload and refined sugar :lol: but yeah, idk if it's this particular line of work or full time employment in general, but at this point it's immaterial. i'm better off putting 1-2 more yrs and pulling the plug vs. trying to climb a whole new ladder

Hail_Diogenes
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A familiar feeling

Post by Hail_Diogenes »

I've been dreading a conference call that was supposed to happen in an hour, but it just got canceled.

My motivation cycles on and off depending on the day. Last week was great. I had a lot of momentum (or so I thought) but fast forward to today and I can hardly remember how to do this job. Days like this remind me to get out of sales.

I should be busting my ass to find new deals because my boss warned me that people are starting to ask questions about my performance again. But for some reason, all I can do is think about how to reduce my spending to soften the blow. This makes me envy the "make a ton spend a ton" types that frequent the sales role. They like the stress that consumerism brings because bigger bills motivate them to work harder. Stress makes them find deals, stress makes me find ways to live in my car :lol:



ERE Book

I'm starting to see why the book takes a more philosophical approach instead of a how-to. Now that I'm interacting with you all, I've been monitoring my behavior and looking a little closer at how my choices impact my entire lifestyle, not just my finances. This has lead me to a more disciplined approach. In the past (prior to joining here), I was satisfied to know that I saved some money each month. That was it. No strategy, no goal, just save.

I've been digging into the numbers a bit more and it's lead me down some strange rabbit holes beyond just the financial.

Numbers don't lie

I was bullshitting myself in my earlier posts. Turns out I was overlooking some expenses that bumped my burn rate beyond my initial estimate. Shocking, I know.

My goal is to reduce my spending to $20k annually. I'm hoping it's not too late to hit that number this year. I haven't crunched the numbers yet but I'm already doubtful. I've already spent over half that on rent (which I cancelled). If there's hope, it would make for a fun challenge.

$20-25k would allow a savings rate of ~50% at a salary of $55k. (I know those numbers aren't exact, but I left some wiggle room for variance. I'm too lazy to account for every variable like state income taxes if I move, overtime, time without income, etc).

At that rate, I could FIRE when I'm close to 45, assuming average inflation and two years off to learn a new skill.

Why $55k?

I'm trying to really sit down and figure out the type of job that I would enjoy rather than prioritizing high earnings. If I had the stomach for it, I could reach my goal a lot faster if I just stayed in my current career. I'm worried that my health will plummet if I try to do that, though. Plus, age discrimination is absolutely a real thing in my field/industry. If you're a decent performer you can make it through, but I'm not one of them.

This makes the semi-ere approach attractive. I think I'm okay with extending my time-to-ERE goal if it means doing a job that I don't hate.

To do: Figure out if I can realistically hit ~20k spend this year.

More movement, more problems

This idea is more in line with what I said earlier about the philosophical/behavioral vs financial dynamic. I've made a lot of lifestyle changes since starting this journal. I cancelled the lease on my apartment. I sold my motorcycle. I started taking online classes.

While dealing with each of those, I realized what a gigantic pain in the ass change can be. Maybe it's an ENTP thing, because I reeeeeally suck at working out details, but problem solving seems to create more micro problems like some kind of hydra.

Here's an example of how each change mentioned above splintered into several other micro pains in the asses (?)

Sold motorcycle --> left license plate on it --> dude has been riding around town racking up tolls on the plate --> I get billed for it --> I now have to spend several hours on the phone with the DMV trying to figure out how to fix this. I don't even know if I can. Maybe I have to pay this dude's bill forever now. I dunno.

Taking online classes --> tuition cost (duh) --> missed first class due to bad internet connection --> upgraded internet (+$20/mo) --> family bs pops up and have to manage that on top of internet going out and studying plus working full time

Cancelled lease on apartment --> packed all my stuff --> went to rent a trailer, found out my brake light wiring is bad, no lights = no trailer, threw away a ton of stuff and kept what I could fit in the cab of my truck (in hindsight that was a bonus).

Side tangent:
Looking at the above list makes me feel like a weak bitch. They don't seem like big problems when typed out, but holy fuck they set me off when it was happening. Especially when I tried to rent the trailer. Those guys were pricks. They openly mocked most of their customers, including me and a family of 5. The family reserved a particular trailer online but the guys at the store rented it to someone else earlier that that. So the family was stuck with what I assume to be a packed house and a deadline they could no longer meet. I thought about this for a while. It just motivates me to downsize even further and reduce my dependence on others.

Anyway.

I think this is one big reason why I procrastinate. I think I have some underlying fear that I'm going to miss a detail and fuck something up if I make a change.

I need to get better about letting go of that fear. As far as I can tell, all of the above choices were good moves and therefor worth the pain in the ass.


Guess that's all I have for now. Hope yall are staying safe during the second coming.

Frita
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by Frita »

Regarding what you describe as the hydra effect of solving problems, what a laugh! As an eNTP, I can relate to not foreseeing all the details. But my spouse is a detail-oriented iSTJ who doesn’t have any better fortune telling skills than I do. It seems that the Stoic approach of thinking of all the ways something could go wrong, especially with some research and asking others, improves the situation. If nothing else, it’s a relief that a worst case scenario didn’t happen! On the other hand, one can sure learn from unpleasant experiences and teach others as you are doing with your journal.

One thing that I like about Harry Browne’s “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” is the idea of there always being a price. I try to reframe that sometimes there are (unforeseen) installments to pay for that freedom.

ertyu
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by ertyu »

HD, are you more of a cognitive behavioral therapy person or more of a "fuck CBT with all my heart" person?

If you are a CBT person, you are one of those lucky people for whom just seeing that something makes no rational sense is enough to let go of the belief. If you are indeed one of those lucky souls, you might try:

1. Making lists of occasions on which you made changes or implemented a project and did not "fuck something up." Surely there was at least one occasion when you accurately foresaw a potential snag and warded off against it? Might need to dig for it because brains are generally a bitch and take those for granted while banging pots and pans about the times when we did fuck up.
2. Controlled experiments: deliberately design small projects where you can implement changes. Think carefully about how you will implement the change. Then implement the change and watch it work out alright. Pat yourself on back. Repeat until self-efficacy improves.
3. The stoic/hydra approach Frita suggested (always lots of wisdom from that corner): accept that some unexpected snags will always arise because life is a bitch. Thus, you only ever have two choices: the suck of things staying as they are, or the suck of making a change and having fate screw you over in ever-new, unpredictable ways. The belief that you can somehow avoid suck is a false belief. Transform the question of self-efficancy from, "I am no good, I didn't foresee a detail and screwed it up" to "lessee what BS *this* will occasion; bring it on, bitch, I'm ready, watch me deal with your bullshit" -- then proceed to feel self-efficacy about dealing with the snag.

If you are a fuck CBT person (which I am), you might try the above just for shits and giggles, on the off chance they improve something. Nothing will, however, better resolve the problem than some quality navel-gazing, identifying the original "trauma" that caused this shit, and doing a magical ritual to exorcise it (I am joking, but only a little bit: no one has any idea why techniques like EMDR work, only that they do).

Let me give an example with my own dysfunctional belief about myself: "if I dare to hope for better and for happiness, the universe will immediately punish me for any step i ever make in that direction." The key here is that "hope, excitement, and a desire for better future" form an emotional blob that overlaps with "you deserve your hopes smashed, and cruel punishment for it."

My first step here is to stay mindful in daily life so I can notice that, no, this belief isn't a law of nature, it's cunty parents (*) and envious friends that taught it to me. Idk why people in my end of buttfuck nowhere eastern europe think their dick will shrink if they ever utter, "wow, that's nice dude, hope you pull it off," or "neat that worked out, glad for you buddy," but they do. Any and all success by anyone other than themselves feels to them like an immediate attack on their ego, and so they retaliate: they punish you for making them feel bad.

(*) discussed in detail on my journal lol

The second step is just to sit with the two "blobs" - hope for something better, wanting a better life, on the one hand, and "you deserve to be cruelly punished for this" on the other. Can't tell you exactly what "holding the blobs" entails other than there is a physical sensation related to the emotions, and for me these two blobs happen in my chest and the sides of my chest. But there is something about holding them and sitting with them that makes them open and let off. I might need to hold a relevant memory in my body and move my eyes left and right EMDR style until I connect with my grief over being punished rather than encouraged; the disappointment that what i was wasn't enough because it wouldn't give my father an ego boner. The grief that I never really had a dad. Etcetera. You can see why the CBT people have it better lmao.

Anyway--good luck to you. I am now off to resolve a similar snag in my life: I got a pay-as-you-go mobile card a couple of years ago. I thought I'd lost it when I left for work abroad, but now it seems that the friend I was staying with on the night before my flight, who I have since developed strong suspicions deals drugs on the side, has started to use it for his burner phone calls. So I need to go cancel it. And hope he doesn't retaliate.

horsewoman
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Re: From corporate drone to renaissance man

Post by horsewoman »

Maybe a typical ENTP is prone to let some details fall through the cracks, but this "fault" is more than offset by the sheer willigness for change and the guts to shake things up - at least that is my opinion.
Even though my plans may be painted with a broad brush and I will invariably stumble over some overlooked detail, I still get done as least as much as other people who sit at the drawing board with their tiny brush, fleshing all out 100% before starting.
Like @ertyu said - you cannot avoid suck, some things will suck no matter your approach! But everyone has strenghts and weaknesses, and as long one is aware of them, the ill effects can be mitigated and strenghts can be played.

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