Trailblazer's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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theanimal
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Location: Gates of the Arctic
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Re: Higher Quality Sleep/Dreams

Post by theanimal » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:29 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:17 pm
I can't say I enjoy this part. Being more aware of [dreaming] yet not fully lucid, it's like having to watch a damn movie every single night. I think I prefer being mostly blanked out like when I was working.
I find the worst to be when you are aware you are dreaming and try to wake up to snap out of it. But instead of waking up in real life you only wake up in the dream. Those ones leave me really confused.

Mustermann
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Location: Black Stump, Australia

Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by Mustermann » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:04 pm

LOL, in my last lucid dream I did an internet search for a passport sleeve and found exactly the design I needed. While dreaming I thought "I really need to remember the brand name". After the dream I woke up briefly, wrote down "karamaback" before sleeping some more.

Very handy indeed if dreams allow you to unearth existing information from you subconscious.....

Next day, although it hadn't occurred to me before that I needed one, I looked for karamaback passport sleeves online. It made sense, I just had gotten a new passport and the old one was falling apart after nine years of use ....

Of course the brand "karamaback" didn't exist at all.
Damn you subconscious!

So I went with the ERE solution of having no passport sleeve at all. They expire after 10 years anyway, and getting nine years out of them is pretty alright.

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chenda
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Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by chenda » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:46 pm

karamaback sounds like a good name for some high end business :)

trailblazer
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Re: Higher Quality Sleep/Dreams

Post by trailblazer » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:26 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:17 pm
I deliberately try to go to bed as late as possible to make that [awake] period as short as possible, but maybe I shouldn't.
You could try it a few times and see what happens. For me, it ends up being a useful period of clarity. I get out of bed, say "well i'm awake now" and sit in a chair. I'll read, maybe get up and do an easy chore.

When I was still working, I found it was a good time to draft emails that I had previously been stuck on . . . once or twice sending them at 3 a.m. for fun. In general, it's a good time for getting unstuck on decisions.

I try to avoid anything too random - like checking headlines or something that isn't substantive (like listening to music). I will have a few sips of coffee. I usually think to myself "I'm up for good now" but after a few hours the fatigue hits and I'm back asleep. Maybe 20% of the time I don't fall back asleep - usually I can explain it - too much coffee, got too involved in reading messages. I then fall asleep earlier the next night.
Mustermann wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:04 pm
Very handy indeed if dreams allow you to unearth existing information from you subconscious.....
haha. that's about as useful as my dreams have been so far, too. But there must be some reason we have them, right?

trailblazer
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Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by trailblazer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm

I’ve decided that my ideal life will be:

1. 3 to 6 months extensive travel
2. 3 to 6 months sit home and do nothing
3. 3 to 6 months intensive work
4. Repeat over and over

I’ve just checked off items 1 and 2. That means . . . it’s time for #3. As a result, I’ve joined a start-up!

The subject matter itself is somewhat meh [a lot meh], but the underlying business model is disruptive to established companies in my prior industry. I happen to know that my former mega corp employer is aware of what we are doing, has expressed concern/interest, and that they are not in a position to rapidly adapt. All of this makes my contrarian heart feel happy.

The role itself will be a stretch role - building on existing skills and requiring development of a range of new ones. Sadly not true renaissance skills like carpentry or wilderness survival, but it will build and broaden my business acumen, making it all the easier to get interesting gigs down the road.

I will receive a modest salary - it will cover ongoing living expenses and benefits with room to spare. Most of the surplus will probably be spent on purchasing consumer conveniences to make the intense workload easier, though I may dabble in a few riskier investment strategies I've been wanting to try but can't justify within my existing retirement nut [microcaps, options, and a bit more crypto when prices dip].

Within 3 to 6 months, it should be clear whether this has any legs, both the business itself and my personal involvement. I know the team well and it will be fun to work with them. Lots of start-up horror stories out there, so hopefully we all survive intact. But bottom line is I’ve been getting the urge lately for a “give it all you got/be all you can be/[insert other cliche here]” opportunity.

wolf
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Location: Germany

Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by wolf » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:11 pm

trailblazer wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm
2. 3 to 6 months sit home and do nothing
I’ve just checked off items 1 and 2.
Although I understand the idea about a balance in lifestyles, I am somehow afraid by sitting at home and doing nothing. If it wouldn't be meaningful, I wouldn't do it again. But I would try it at least one time.
So, how was it?

And I wish you good luck at your new job at the startup! (also something I wanna do once in my life)

trailblazer
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by trailblazer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:40 pm

Thanks Wolf - I'm excited to try being on the start-up side of the fence.

Of course I didn't literally do nothing at home. :D More that it was a nice contrast to the unsettled feeling that creeps in after traveling. It was a good time of 1) generally doing whatever I felt like; 2) resting up (both from the travel and to some extent my prior job); 3) getting diet/fitness on the right track (a very big priority); 4) tons of time for reading and reflecting, local trips/hikes, etc.

Probably the biggest outcome of my time at home was a good sense of both future priorities and also building "core" personal disciplines (especially health) that I want to maintain no matter where I am in the cycle. I'm on a good trajectory now and am relatively confident that I can keep doing the right thing even while working.

So probably a more precise future cycle would be:

- 4 or 5 months slow travel
- 3 to 6 months home (leaning toward 3 months), generally doing whatever I feel like but also having some sort of "personal improvement project" that is best done while staying in one place
- 3 to 6 months some sort of work gig

thrifty++
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Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Thu May 03, 2018 1:56 pm

Hey awesome that you have retired early ! and take some time to relax. With a nice big FU stash.
I also have very much enjoyed reading about your startup opportunity coming up and you having the flexibility to take it up without worrying too much about money. Thats what its all about right, having leverage and freedom to pick and choose from options. I'd like to hope I will be in a similar situation to you at some point. Maybe in a couple of years.

trailblazer
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by trailblazer » Fri May 11, 2018 7:20 pm

@thrifty++ - thanks - really appreciate it! It's all about having flexibility. Cool to read about the sabbatical you are taking (I think I read that somewhere).

3 weeks in with the "full time" work. A few random observations in no particular order:

I was feeling very unconfident the first day. I still have trepidation about any number of tasks - especially things I’ve never done before, or things everyone assumes I can do but I have never actually done - but in general, a sense of momentum and confidence is returning. That had atrophied while I wasn’t working. The nature of the work I’m doing means I’m constantly being thrown into problem solving situations. It is very stressful but I think this is a good thing. I’m sure I would score far higher today on some sort of cognitive problem solving test than I would have four weeks ago. Quite a bit of politicking - uggh i just want to be alone and read a book - but it's good for me to get better at this.

I never did a great job when working full-time of managing anxiety/stress about work with maintaining a sense of balance outside of life. My goal with this current working phase is to learn to maintain a calm mental state while working and under lots of stress. I think this is going to be key to a successful life. People who are "successful" are essentially managing to function while in a high stress situation. Life will never be perfectly buttoned down, and if it is, it might not be the life I want.

I’d be perfectly happy to get this stimulation in a non-work situation, but I haven’t found an equivalent outside of work. I guess this is why people have kids - gives them friction they have to work through and thus builds character.

Although I probably sound stressed out based on the above paragraphs, I'm actually 100% convinced that I will never again work in a traditional corporate setting. So much more satisfying to be on the entrepreneurial side of things. I feel a real sense of ownership in what I'm doing now. Despite the above, I'm actually excited to see how this all plays out. Still feeling good camaraderie with my co-workers.

I don’t like having money in qualified retirement accounts. I do like the fact that I can trade stocks freely without tax implications. But overall, I like the money in my brokerage better. In theory there is the Roth pipeline, but I wonder how many low wage years I will really have between now and age 59. If I have a low wage year in the future I might just cash out the 401k and pay the 10% penalty.

I now have $40K of crypto - yikes. The modest income stream I'm now enjoying has made me more aggressive about buying on dips.

I’ve still had quite a few longer/deeper dreams since I started working again. I wonder if that will start to fade. Time spent reading has gone down dramatically.

For those wondering about whether they should take a year or so off, and what might happen to their career, I can assure you, it is no big deal. People think it's cool that I took some time off to "travel" (frankly, they don't really care, they say "oh cool a year off to travel"). It has not hurt me at all career-wise. I'm sure a longer gap would start to hurt, but i think a year off can be easily justified to people, especially if you are mid-career.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat May 12, 2018 7:24 am

I'm very appreciative of your journal. It's awesome to hear that your first 2 phases of an ideal life went well and phase 3 is off to a good start. So, do you still see yourself giving this up after another 4-6 months and repeating phase 1-2 again?

Seems like this approach will never have you tapping your portfolio, so long as you are able to replenish that "transition fund" you had lived off of before the new year.

trailblazer
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: Trailblazer's Journal

Post by trailblazer » Sat May 12, 2018 6:49 pm

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:24 am
So, do you still see yourself giving this up after another 4-6 months and repeating phase 1-2 again?

Seems like this approach will never have you tapping your portfolio, so long as you are able to replenish that "transition fund" you had lived off of before the new year.
A very good question. I think one of three things will happen:

1. We have one big customer right now. This is what makes us excited about what we can achieve, and this is also what is funding my salary. If it goes well, and if we can leverage our approach to other customers, I'd be a fool to jump ship in the next 6 months.

2. It's still very possible that things will die down with the current customer, and in that case, the decision will be made for me. Time to start booking some slow travel somewhere. Probably SE Asia since I've never done that, but I want to do another extended trip to Europe.

3. Also possible that things just go okay, in which case, I'm basically just working full-time again. In that case, I think I'd be looking to shake things up. Maybe find something else entrepreneurial. Maybe just another break. I like having something entrepreneurial in the works. I don't think I want to give that up completely. I also find that it's a really satisfying form of socializing. Be friends with the people in part because you are working on some sort of business idea together. I love the group I'm working with and hope I can always be trying some sort of business with them.

Financially, I feel like I have enough to have basic security. Anything in the mid- to low- 300K range is good enough in my book in terms of net worth. I could see myself replenishing my cash account, spending till I'm down to around 300K, then finding some more paid work.

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