Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Frita
Posts: 671
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Frita »

Good for you in using this time to further envision what would and would not work for you in early retirement! The isolation of COVID19 definitely limits options one has.

I found that my spouse and I had very different ideas of ER. It actually takes better communication due to the increase in time together. During these last two months, it’s been more stressful simply because there are no away from home outlets.

Hang in there, better times are coming!

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Frita wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:29 am
Good for you in using this time...
Thanks Frita!

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

May 2020

Due to low spending, the $1200 government stimulus check, and Google finally deciding to cut me a check for some money they owed me I had the best month since 2018 in terms of total spent, SWR, and years to FIRE.

Also, if you add the money that a 4% withdrawal rate would result in plus my internet income for the month you get about $20 more than I spent (see the chart with the red, yellow, and green lines below). I'm going to take this to mean that in May I was financially independent. ;) This has happened a couple of times before but the income and expenses this month are the most realistic that they have been. It would be great if I could do this all the time.

Due to some gains in the market my assets are close to where they were before the covid crash.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 78.06 (high spending, trying to keep local brewery going)
Bills & Utilities 108.21
Business Services 72.32 (a couple sites renewed)
Charity 50.6 (donating to food bank)
Clothing 21.34
Gas & Fuel 19.23 (low)
Groceries 230.61 (low)
Gym 46.95
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Sports 44.8 (bike maintenance)
Taxes 200
Total -FI 1662.83

Income
Paycheck 2590.81
Amazon 61.87
Google 402.36
Internet Ads 64.48
Checking 2.77
457b 1500
Stimulus Money 1200
Total +FI 5822.29

Savings 4159.46
Savings wo 457b 2659.46

% Spent 29%
% Saved 71%

SWR 6%
SWR with Internet Income 4.4%

Years Remaining 3.8
Years Remaining with Interest 3


A quote that feels tailor-made for this moment in time:
After it has been so long manipulated, chopped up, habituated to intense stimuli, and jerked around from one lurid but empty object to another, our attention is so fragmented we cannot sustain it long enough to create anything independent of the programs that surround us. We lose our capacity to sustain thought, understand nuance, and put ourselves in another person’s shoes, Susceptible to any simplistic narrative with immediate emotional appeal, we are easy targets for not just advertising, but for propaganda, demagoguery, and fascism. In various ways, all of these serve the money power.
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

June 2020

For June spending was higher than I would like it to be. $250 of the excess spending was on fixing up the house which is a good investment. I also had to spend $236 to cover my cell phone plan for another year (if you pay ahead with Republic you get two months free).

I'm halfway through the year and continue to be on track to meet my goal of saving $30,000.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 60.88 (Still trying to support local businesses instead of buying cheap beer at the grocery store)
Bills & Utilities 92.97
Business Services 33.98
Charity 60.6 (Food banks and NPR)
Clothing 42.66 (bought some summer clothes)
Entertainment 16.5
Gas & Fuel 60.3 (got gas twice - should have waited until July to fill up again but it was very low and it is good to keep the tank full these days)
Groceries 364.54 (high)
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 250.78 (working on the house)
Internet 23.73
Mobile Phone 236.77 (once per year payment to Republic - get two months free for paying ahead)
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Restaurants 32.5 (trying to keep local businesses going)
Taxes 200
Total -FI 2313.88

Income
Paycheck 2545.11
Amazon 66.08
Internet Ads 44.7
Checking 2.84
Gift 35
457b 1500
Total +FI 4193.73

Savings 1879.86
Savings wo 457b 379.86

% Spent 55%
% Saved 45%

Years Remaining 10.7
Years Remaining with Interest 5

SWR 8.8%
SWR with Internet Income 8.4%


Compassion is the keen awareness of the interdependence of all things.
Thomas Merton

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

July 2020

A three paycheck month resulted in a some good numbers with a savings rate of 68% and a withdrawal rate of 7.1%. The bulk of the spending above the fixed costs was due to home repairs and donating to political campaigns. The house spending continues to look like a good investment.

Not shown in the numbers and charts below but I am a few thousand away from having a net worth of a half million dollars. :shock: I can't use all of this for early retirement though, as much of it is tied up in a house and pension. I have about $335,000 in FIRE assets as shown in the last chart below.

I'm still enjoying working from home. I work every day but it just feels a lot less burdensome than having to physically go to work. I get just as much done but I don't have to spend as much time working on it because there aren't pointless meetings and the time sitting at a desk doing busywork.

My personal life sucks but unfortunately I can't go into details here even though I could really use a place to vent.

Expenses
Bills & Utilities 129.54
Business Services 33.98
Charity 120 (Donated to Biden and a local politician)
Clothing 48.25 (New swim suit)
Gas & Fuel 52.13 (Filled car twice, had to do some driving)
Groceries 194.75 (Not bad)
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 339.41 (More repairs)
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Restaurants 18.66 (Helping to keep local places in business)
Shopping 23.73 (Kitchen stuff)
Taxes 200 (Annual taxes spread out across the year)
Total -FI 1998.12

Income
Paycheck 3968.66
Amazon 32.89
Checking 2.96
457b 2250
Total +FI 6254.51

Savings 4256.39
Savings wo 457b 2006.39

% Spent 32%
% Saved 68%

SWR 7.1%
SWR with Internet Income 7%

Years Remaining 6.1
Years Remaining with Interest 4


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I put some thought into my post in the recent thread "Which Lifestyle Problems Can You Not Solve?" so I think I will paste it here:

* I can't seem to escape some of the mistakes of my past.
* I like my family but they come with some issues.
* I am a good candidate for being carless but I still can't give up the car.
* I enjoy living in a relatively expensive area, though I would be willing to try something else.
* I have a desire to "win the game" by having a lot of money and being able to live the good life with various types of consumption (still moderate consumption by most standards). This is partly about comparison to peers, partly about being able to have experiences I really want without thinking about the cost, and partly about an impulse to win a game in a totally overwhelming, unquestionable way (I think MMM wrote about this somewhere with an analogy of playing Command & Conquer or a similar game).

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

ffj wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 11:35 am
Are your mistakes felonies or condemnable? Probably not, ha. One of your tasks in life is to learn how move forward after screwing up. If you have learned how to avoid the same mistake in the future and/or have become a better person as a result, then consider that the cost for maturity. There is no need to dwell on past issues if the debt has been paid.

All families are fucked up to some extent. ALL families. Accept this.

Don't apologize for wanting a car (freedom) or enjoying niceties in life. Some of the things I've had to learn is how to receive a compliment and how to receive help from others. I think truly enjoying privileges in life is similar in that regard. That you want these things means that you are normal, and as long as you follow your moral framework you should not feel remorse or inadequacy.

I've won the game and now acquiring "points" means much less than it used to matter. Enjoy the hunt, because once you've made the kill, your enthusiasm and motivation plummets. I remember fondly how I was literally on fire to beat the system and now I just don't make financial mistakes. Boring but safe.

Another side-effect is that once you've accumulated all of these resources, you understand that money is a tool meant to be used in your lifetime. And while it is good to put yourself into a position to have that luxury of thought and action, there is a second phase to this game that needs to be considered.

So maybe focusing on that second phase will alleviate some of the misgiving of the accumulation mode. There are thousands of possibilities.
I'm saving this space for a reply to you ffj but I'm still thinking about what I want to say regarding mistakes. I appreciate the wisdom (I really mean that word) in your post.
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

August 2020

I hit $350,000 in FIRE assets and $500,000 in net worth this month! :D I have a half a million dollars! It's funny, it doesn't feel like that much though since I am not spending any of it right now and it doesn't buy what it used to anyway!

Spending was relatively low this month for a good savings rate.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 58.17 (bought September beer in August, should have waited a couple days but I was out)
Bills & Utilities 140.27 (watering plants and air conditioning made this go up)
Business Services 33.98
Fast Food 7.8
Gas & Fuel 60.64 (had to do some travelling)
Gift 77
Groceries 278.37
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 15.03
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Restaurants 25.55
Shopping 6.27
Taxes 200 (annual property taxes spread across the whole year)
Total -FI 1740.75

Income

Paycheck 2590.82
Amazon 25.25
Checking 2.89
457b 1500
Total +FI 4118.96

Savings 2378.22
Savings wo 457b 878.22

% Spent 42.3%
% Saved 57.7%

SWR 5.9%
SWR with Internet Income 5.8%

Years Remaining 3.1 (this bounces around a lot, don't get too excited)
Years Remaining with Interest 2


It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
Hugh Laurie

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wolf
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Location: Germany

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by wolf »

congrats Gilberto de Piento for achieving two milestones. Your fire assets grew dramatically since the march lows. wow. I like your time estimation of years remaining. is it based on the current month/income or ttm or expectation?

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

wolf wrote:
Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:39 pm
congrats Gilberto de Piento for achieving two milestones. Your fire assets grew dramatically since the march lows. wow. I like your time estimation of years remaining. is it based on the current month/income or ttm or expectation?
Thanks regarding the milestones!

The Years Remaining value was built into the spreadsheet that I am using. It is based on the current month's spending, the current amount of FIRE assets, and the amount of money I saved that month. It's not a great way to do it for me since all of those numbers bounce around a lot, resulting in wildly different estimates for how many years I have left. I should calculate one smoothed out number but I have been doing it this way for so long so far I have just left it alone. If I remember correctly the person who made the spreadsheet had much more stable numbers (example: they were using dividends for future income) so it probably worked better for them.

Another downside to the above number is that it doesn't account for gains in the amount of FIRE assets over time, which is why I started calculating a second number. The Years Remaining with Interest is a way of trying to account for future gains in the market. Instead of just looking at the current month's spending, the current amount of FIRE assets, and the amount of money I saved that month, it includes a rough calculation for how much the assets will be worth in future years when 8% interest is accounted for.

Thinking about this more maybe I should spend some time figuring out a smoothed way to estimate how much longer I have to go since having these numbers vary so much isn't helping.

wolf
Posts: 1103
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Location: Germany

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by wolf »

fingeek, you and me have some similiar mid-term goals/milestone, around 3 to 4 years. I'd like to reach my FI goal (420k fire assets) until 2024. So I am looking forward to walk a similiar path with you two.

Zanka
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Zanka »

Ah nice work! I like that quote from Hugh Laurie!

Gilberto de Piento
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Zanka wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:58 am
Ah nice work! I like that quote from Hugh Laurie!
Thank you!

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

September 2020

Fairly low spending at about $1700 for the month. Covid has been good at keeping me from spending much.

My car is burning oil at a rate of about a quart per 6000 miles (about my annual driving amount) despite switching from synthetic to high mileage non synthetic. It came on suddenly a year or so ago and I'm not sure if it is getting worse or not because I drive so little. The next step is to switch to something a bit thicker. If you ever want to talk motor oil go over to the forums at https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/. There is a community for everything on the internet. At some point I'm going to put in the effort, take a chance, and buy a different car. This car was $4400 when I bought it and has been sort of a middling outcome. It has needed a lot even though it now has just 100,000 miles. I think I'm going to have to spend more to get something better. Unfortunately cars keep going up in price and it seems like there are fewer and fewer private sales on the market. They must all go to dealers these days.

My websites are finally losing money instead of making money after nearly 10 years of being ignored. I always intend to do something with it but life gets in the way. I need to be more diligent about not letting the no longer profitable sites automatically renew when they come due. I don't have too many left anyway, maybe I should kill all of them except for the one high quality one and then try to work on that. It will be less overwhelming that way.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 29.82
Bills & Utilities 130.9
Business Services 74.32 (websites renewed)
Fast Food 7.8 (while travelling)
Gas & Fuel 64.47 (traveled)
Gift 19.82
Groceries 222.35 (not bad, garden vegetables have helped a little)
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 42.34 (more painting)
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Restaurants 43.93 (got take out food a few times to stay sane)
Taxes 200 (prorated property taxes)
Travel 30 (camping fee)
Total -FI 1703.39

Income

Paycheck 2545.11
Amazon 13.13
Checking 2.33
457b 1500
Total +FI 4060.57

Savings 2357.18
Savings wo 457b 857.18

% Spent 41.9%
% Saved 58.1%

SWR 5.8%
SWR with Internet Income 5.8%

Years Remaining 3
Years Remaining with Interest 2


Actually fear is a guardian, holding us in a safe space in which to grow, the fears that were once protective become limiting; you could even say that fear is a gift. Eventually, as we grow, the fears that were once protective become limiting, and we desire to be born.
Sacred Economics

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

October 2020

This month was very similar to last month with low spending due to covid.

I'm posting this the morning after the US presidential election day. We're still waiting to see who won. I'll leave my thoughts out of this journal though.

This month is my seven year ERE anniversary. My FIRE assets are up about $50,000 over last year. I'm on the slow train to early retirement. It's already too late for it to be "extreme," that's for sure! :lol:

I've read The ONE Thing book a couple of times now and I've been listening to the podcast. For 2020 I set goals and did well on a few of them but didn't really use a method to achieve the goals beyond working hard. It was haphazard. For 2021 I'm thinking about going through their goal setting method to set up smaller steps to work on to meet the goals. That said, many of my goals can be blocked by other people or circumstances which can make it hard to be successful. I'm not sure what to do about that.

The last chart below now includes some projections. I think these are fairly realistic. They don't agree with the "Years Remaining" numbers below which tend to swing wildly with monthly spending and market changes.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 15.3
Bills & Utilities 131.15
Business Services 33.98
Charity 100 (Politics)
Gas & Fuel 30.07
Gift 12
Groceries 234.8
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 78.78 (Working on the house again)
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Restaurants 28.61 (Trying to support local restaurants)
Taxes 200 (prorated property taxes)
Total -FI 1702.35

Income
Paycheck 2590.81
Amazon 16.16
Checking 2.50
457b 1500
Total +FI 4109.47

Savings 2407.12
Savings wo 457b 907.12

% Spent 41.4%
% Saved 58.6%

SWR 5.9%
SWR with Internet Income 5.8%

Years Remaining 3
Years Remaining with Interest 2


The trouble is, you think you have time.
Buddha

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Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

November 2020

Not quite as good a month as the last few, but not so bad either. I had to spend some money on the doctor, charity, and groceries. I also have been working on the house again but that time and money is a good investment.

Both the house and the stock market are up by leaps and bounds. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop (covid, dysfunctional politics, etc.) and the economy to go into the tank but it hasn't. I feel like I sort of understand why it doesn't (I attribute it to people in the US collectively believing the stock and housing markets are strong) but the fundamentals are iffy in my opinion (not that I know anything but I am a skeptic due to my personality and living through 2008).

I've been having negative thoughts and feelings a lot over the last couple of years that I just want to throw out into the universe, not sure I want to talk about it in detail but it feels like it might help to say it "out loud." It is also good practice for me to practice sharing how I really feel. Don't worry, I haven't given up and I'm working on this stuff, though I'm doing it alone. I don't know that I really need a therapist so much as a life coach. I feel good when I am improving things or I get where I want to go, though some of this stuff is unsolvable so maybe a therapist could help with those issues though in the past they have only been somewhat helpful.
- I am unhappy with how big picture, life things have turned out for me and as a result chronically depressed.
- My life feels like it is in limbo and has for many years, not just because of covid.
- I have mostly wasted the last 10 - 15 years. It wouldn't have been that hard to do the things I wanted to do but I just never made the necessary moves.
- For a thousand different reasons things have not totally clicked with my partner. It still feels like we are two people not a team. It's at least 50% my fault but it isn't what I hoped for.
- I have focused too much on the day to day without spending enough time pushing toward the big picture. Sometimes because I didn't understand what the big picture was, often because I let other people derail me or because I derailed myself for them even when they weren't asking me to, sometimes because I didn't try hard enough, sometimes because I didn't focus on one thing at a time, sometimes because I focused too much on doing a good job with the day to day issues instead of working on the big picture, sometimes because I spent too much time and energy saving pennies instead of pulling in more dollars, sometimes because I did try to make moves and they didn't work.
- When I have taken smart risks they almost always have gone well (maybe because they weren't really very risky) but I am very risk averse anyway.
- I feel like I used to have some dreams and I'm too old now to make them happen or they don't have the same appeal any more or they are still blocked by others. I'm not sure what to do next, and even if I knew there are too many barriers now to realistically do most of the things I am interested in.
- It's been many years since I've had a moment where I felt right with the world and excited about that moment and happy to be alive. Things that should feel fun or exciting, even really big events, feel like nothing.
- My parents are getting older. It hasn't happened yet but they are probably going to start needing more help in the next five years and one of them is tough to work with.
- I have no friends. It feels like people at my age have completely moved on from hanging out or otherwise getting together (not just due to covid). I've tried some things but it hasn't worked.
- Even minor chronic injury and pain will grind a person down.
- The life I've chosen based in part on the philosophy of these forums has worked wonders in some ways (I have a half million dollars, holy shit, and have a lot of self sufficiency, can DIY anything) but has been a negative in others (avoiding spending money sometimes makes problems when you don't adjust your lifestyle and instead are just being cheap. For example, owning a junky car instead of having no car, wearing worn out shoes too long, etc.).

Try not to quote the above in case I want to take it down. Thanks.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 38.05
Auto Insurance 9.14
Bills & Utilities 93.53
Business Services 33.98
Charity 56
Doctor 137.4
Fast Food 13.96
Gas & Fuel 24.29
Gift 60
Groceries 319.19
Gym 46.95
Home Improvement 113.5 (Working on the house again)
Internet 27.5
Mortgage & Rent 790.73
Office Supplies 9.91
Restaurants 14.09
Taxes 200 (monthly property taxes)
Total -FI 1988.19

Income
Paycheck 2590.82
Amazon 14.17
Checking 9.53
457b 1500
Total +FI 4114.52

Savings 2126.33
Savings wo 457b 626.33

% Spent 48.3%
% Saved 51.7%

SWR 6.1%
SWR with Internet Income 6.1%

Years Remaining 4.4
Years Remaining with Interest 3


By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Confucius

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wolf
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by wolf »

Thanks for your openness of sharing your thoughts and feelings. Why do you think you "have mostly wasted the last 10 - 15 years" ? I think the same sometimes, too. If I think about the last 10 to 15 years in my life, I am not really sure, if everything was good. And I'll fantasize, if I could have done anything different, which would have lead to a better life today. But the past is the past. And I'm almost content with all as how I live today. Brooding too much about the past isn't gonna help you in the present. I wanted you to know that you are not alone with such feelings. I could relate to those points as well
"
-My life feels like it is in limbo
-Even minor chronic injury and pain will grind a person down
-It's been many years since I've had a moment where I felt right with the world and excited about that moment and happy to be alive
-For a thousand different reasons things have not totally clicked with my partner.
-I have no friends
"

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Ego
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Ego »

Are you inherently risk averse or are you consciously so? Could it be that the risk aversion is the underlying cause of the other stuff?

I ask because I am consciously more risk averse than Mrs. Ego and find that I feel most alive when she's convinced me to take a risk.

I understand that you may desire to edit/delete this line of thought in the future. If so, let me know and I'll delete this as well.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

This might seem a bit off the wall, but I’ve been struggling with some similar issues, and I found that some step by step examples of how to apply systems analysis to even very personal problems really helped me gain some clarity. The book in which I found this advice was “Learn to Think in Systems” by Albert Rutherford.

For instance, draw a box in the center of a piece of paper which represents your Stock of Relationship Satisfaction. Next, draw some boxes to the left that represent other Stocks whose levels may seriously influence level of Relationship Happiness; like Time Spent Gaming, Angry Outbursts, or Neglect of Housework. Then to the right label some Stocks that are influenced by the level of Relationship Satisfaction; like Frequency of Affectionate Gestures, Bitching to Third Parties, or Drinking to Excess. Then determine whether any of the Stocks to the Right also feed into the Stocks on the Left. For instance, maybe Drinking to Excess also increases Angry Outbursts. Finally, narrow down which direct causes and which vicious cycle feedback effects are the worst and try to fix these first. This is called a Doom Loop diagram.

sky
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by sky »

Read a fictional novel. Watch a movie. Walk a mile. Organize and clean a desktop, tabletop, shelf, etc.

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