The Education of Axel Heyst

Where are you and where are you going?
AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

I’m doing a deep dive on my Skillathon project this Sunday. I’m posting my draft plan here.

There are five sections here:
The overall plan
The first three skill themes
The secret 13th theme

## Skillathon2024 Project Design
### Aim
To overcome activation energy for multiple skills/practices so I can fold them in to ongoing normal life/practice at a higher level of functioning than they were previously. Ideally each month leaves at minimum a wake in my life - something different in my practice, my day to day living, my character, my depth of experiences.

To clear out my closet/backlog of desired skills, and find out what things I actually enjoy and which I should forget about.

To improve my skill and speed at learning quickly.

To do something easily graspable that I can use to talk about / as an opener to post-consumer praxis. (“There’s this guy whose learning one new skill every month for a whole year…”)

### Why
I’m committed to the polymathy thing, and this project is a put up or shut up kind of thing to prove my dedication to myself.

As to why something organized/structured like this, it’s because I’m trying to improve my Show (show n tell) in order to attract potential allies, and something organized will do that better I think.

I’m ready to try something difficult again and work with this idea of devotion.

It sounds fun.

### Practice
Each month, beginning Dec15, has a different theme (cooking, permaculture, etc).

Within each month I’ll design different practices and pursue different Micromasteries, skills, deliverables, etc.

Regardless, the idea is to immerse myself as much as possible on the theme. So eg if I’m not actually cooking or reading cookbooks etc, I’m watching cooking yt channels or reading memoirs of chefs or history of different cuisines etc.

I’m also going to review my notes from ultralearning, top performer, etc and fold in to my practice.

Each month will ideally have a sort of graduation project / deliverable.

I’ll zettlekasten my reading - so doing smart notes method counts as part of Skillathon work.

Month: Theme. Graduation proj.
Jan: Cooking. A full on hedonic dinner for 2 or 4 or something.
Feb: Permaculture. QH plan.
March: Motorcycles. Do an overland on my newly fixed moto.
April: Drawing.
May: Consolidation month? “Bikepacking?”
June: Photography, or pause because bikepacking? Continue drawing?
July: Sewing. Multiple projects.
August: Stylecraft.
September: Bushcraft
October: Zen.
November: Bookbinding / Crafts (lamps etc)
December: RFT (NBC, local violence, food shortage, emp, bug out bug in etc)

(Anything past three months is a guess. I expect to change the themes, the order, and the way I execute the themes as I go, so anything past April is a hand wave at this point.)

——-

##Skillathon2024: Cooking
### Aim:
To feel competent cooking for others: bonus if I can get to the point of enjoying it.
Learn the principles of good cooking.
Learn how to learn about cooking (eg right now I don’t know how to learn how to make a good X.)

### Why
Cooking is schwerpunkt for social gatherings. people come together around food, and part of my purpose revolves around bringing people together.

Cooking is a source of devotion and skill I can practice the rest of my life, and it’s something I have to do anyway, so I can either do it as well as i possibly can or just muddle through.

### Practice
Start on the 15th of December.
Meal plan weekly, and review the plan the night before.
Have a goal for every meal (beyond ‘be not hungry anymore’).
Read all the books - I assume I don’t know enough to make a plan further than this until reading, so frontload reading.
Keep a cooking journal. Log everything I do, recipes, thoughts, meal plans, etc.

Do a feast, a hedonic dinner, as a graduation project.

Some things I should repeat every single day for a while, eg make pizza every evening for two weeks, make tortillas every day, etc etc until I master these. But it’s possible that the method is take the month to go broad, and then after it go deep on one thing at a time.

Breadth then depth. Cover a lot during the month then choose what to isolate.

### Micromastery goals
Omelette
Sourdough bread loaf, including rye
Salsa
7 ways to make rice amazingly flavorful
Mission burritos
How to make beans that taste fucking good on their own
Bannock bread (1:1:2 fat:oats:flour, plus stuff to taste, bake at high temp for ten minutes then super low temp for an hour to get all moisture out, make in batches and freeze)

### Continuation
I gotta cook every day.
Repetition of specific dishes I want to excel at - pizza, burritos, etc.


——

##Skillathon24: Permaculture Design
### Aim
Become familiar with the principles, memes, major patterns, and foundational skills of permaculture design.

Create a permaculture / food forest plan for QH.

Enter the permaculture community / establish relations with the permie world

### Why?
Permaculture is the best design language I’m aware of to do what I want.
People recognize permaculture across political and social divides and are attracted to it without knowing any other specifics. As a meme it’s powerful.
I need a grounding or foundation with which to approach designing the systems I want to build.

.Principles
.Soil science
.Zone and sector analysis
.Patterns (Bane)
.Site planning
.Drylands patterns

### Actions
.Create v1.0 drawing set: conceptual, design, as built, details, diagrams. Settle on a sheet size, do a land survey, get a site plan and buildings outline I can use for tracing to other sheets etc.
.Create a project journal at permies
.zk many permaculture books
.get planting plan for spring/plant things/etc
.Study desert oases and food forests and think about how to generate a modified ecosystem here. Inside are my greenhouses, and outside are my food forests.
.Also think about making food forests up in the arroyos.
.pictures and studies of the verdant washes nearby. Isolate on map and then check out in person. Species, direction, watershed, soil moisture, etc.

——

## Skillathon24: Motorcycles
### Aim
To know all the parts of a motorcycle, what they’re for, and basically how they work.
To have a functional motorcycle again.

### Why
Motorcycles are fun.
I own a broken motorcycle and want to get that node active or removed.

### Practice
Bring the moto into the studio, take it apart and put it back together again.
Watch all the moto movies
Read zen and the art of moto maintenance again
Read other books
Ride bills dirt bikes if they run, mine once I fix it.
Develop a skills routine I can do with any bike and memorize it.

—-

## Documenting Skillathon
### Aim
To tell the story of my Skillathon year - how it went, what I learned, struggles, etc.

To use something easily graspable (learning 12 new skills in a year) to point to ERE/postconsumer principles and philosophy.

### Why
Attract more allies to ERE

A filter for finding the others.

To get better at video and telling stories online. (The 13th Skill.)

Accountability and motivation to continue.

### Practice
1mo delay on all posts.
Weekly short-form posts: IG, yt shorts, mastodon
Once a month video recapping the skill, blog post, etc.

At the end, I’ll make a longer video telling the story of the whole

berrytwo
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by berrytwo »

I feel excited about your journey in the skillathon! About mission burrito... @Bicycle7, @Mountainfrugal, and I talked at Fest for a half-hour about our burrito hacks and would be happy to share :)

Divandan
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Divandan »

Very excited about this and kind of serendipitous as I was just about to start reading Micromasteries tomorrow.

There are a few I am interested in but especially the permaculture and the zen one. Interested in what direction you will be going with zen.

Would it be possible to share the links where you will be documenting everything? Thanks!

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

@berrytwo yes please! I will hunt you down or feel free to dump any insights / hacks here. :D

@divandan If you subscribe at my website tylerjdisney.com you won’t be able to miss it as that’ll be the central location where I’ll link to my yt and other platforms, in addition to the writeups. But I’ll post all the links here too once I get them up and running.

Thanks to a workshop on YouTubing given at fest I’m going to be making an entirely new channel.

Looking forward to your take on micromasteries and what you get in to!

Divandan
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Divandan »

Sounds great! Really looking forward to following the journey/lessons learned.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

I had a great deep dive with my mmg and two guests from the other mmg. We discussed both my overall plan as well as my first theme, cooking. ERE people like to talk about cooking. :)

A lot of the benefit to me was the chance to refine my thinking about Why I’m doing this via explaining myself verbally.

For example, I refined the Why of learning cooking to a higher level: it’s one of the best ways to express gratitude for / appreciation of other people without spending money on gifts or experiences. I’ve found myself the recipient of generosity from people many times and I wanted to do something for them to express my gratitude that wasn’t just “here, I bought this for you.” Cooking would have been perfect, but I wasn’t confident in my ability to cook something for them that wouldn’t make them say “oh, you shouldn’t have” and mean it.

Jng said the three big ways to express generosity esp. to people hosting you is to Fix stuff, Clean or Organize Stuff, and Cook stuff. Not everyone needs or wants their stuff cleaned or fixed, though, but everyone needs to eat.

They also encouraged me to do a better job defining what happens to the theme after the month, and whether it’s a process aim or a goal aim. Eg cooking is mostly about getting me a baseline understanding of cooking that I can use to continuously improve my cooking (whereas rn I feel like I don’t know enough to effectively improve on my own), but the Motorcycle month is mostly about fixing my non-running moto and deciding what to do with it.

Also I’ll be starting officially on Jan1, not Dec15. Between now and then I’m going to do a final pass of tweaking the plan based on the feedback I got and start studying for cooking so I can hit the ground running with it.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 9:00 am
Approaching ERE as an exercise in penny-pinching or sacrifice is a complete misunderstanding of its principles. As per the engineering triangle, solutions can be either quick, easy, or good; pick any two but only two. ERE is quick and good, but it's not easy. It's unfortunate that it's sometimes seen as a magic solution to freedom-from [personal problems]. The problem with that is that ERE requires fairly substantial surplus of mental energy to acquire this self-education in post-consumer thinking, which is what it really is. It requires the same amount of "hours" as getting a master's level professional certification. Figure 1000-3000 hours of concentrated effort to make it to the WL6/7 ROI skill level respectively.
This comment fit nicely with some observations I've been having about my path, now that I'm back home after 1.5months away and looking at my projects and the state of my situation.

There's a big delta between where I'm at and my vision for where I'd like to be - primarily a skills and processes gap. I chose the rip-off-the-bandaid approach as opposed to the easy-does-it approach, which mostly means that I got close to my CoL goal quickly and am catching up to my "QoL" goal slowly, as opposed to the opposite.

Image

Image
(I need to edit this graph. I think more accurately the dips in QoL always recover to baseline. This graph - with QoL eroding steadily until some point of CoL is reached - is more representative of a middle approach between Rip Bandaid and Easy Does It.)

That's not quite right, because my QoL is fantastic - much better than it was pre-2020. I'm not quite sure how to articulate it. My subjective experience of my life is that it is wonderful and interesting and only getting better.

Maybe it's something more like style? Savoir faire? I am immensely pleased at the lack of 'bad' things in my life due to EREpraxis, and am now eagerly yet incrementally gaining competence in increasing the good in my life.

My life *works* now, as in, it is functional in ways where previously it was dysfunctional/heterotelic/high friction. But now I'd like it to be not just functional but also beautiful, elegant, crafted, like the difference between a drawer that opens and closes just fine and a drawer that is finely put together and opens and closes with such perfect fluidity of force that it's actually *pleasant* to open and close, the experience of opening and closing the drawer is aesthetically meaningful.

The point isn't to obsess over trivialities like drawer pulls, and the point isn't to fall into the abyss of my own navel. The point is to increase in skill and competence at the craft of living. The personal sphere, the scale of one's own life, is I think the proper and most ethical sandbox to develop this skill so I can work out the failures and lessons learned on myself before attempting to bump up in scale to friends, family, community, etc.

This ties in to what Skillathon means to me, the Why of it. Learning how to not spend very much money was simple since I took the brute force approach. Learning how to operate a highly crafted, beautiful, elegant, etc lifestyle (at multiple scales beyond my own household) while not spending much/consuming more than my fair share of resources is the longer path that requires more hours of dedicated study, practice, experimentation, etc.

Divandan
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Divandan »

I love this and am excited to read along the journey.

This is a question I wanted to ask, and I could be projecting a bit of myself asking this.

I feel that sometimes I am always striving, doing stuff, and pursuing new ideas (guitar, reading, tennis, meditation, learning, getting better at various things) compared to the average person. One of the books you recommended was the Tao Te Ching, which I have been reading with the Tao of Pooh (slight tangent, but it was funny that I found this book at my parent's house, and I think I originally bought it like 15 years ago, so I am revisiting a lot of topics in my life again and again and finding them new).

I was trying to reconcile effortless effort with striving in my life and how, for the most part, it is effortless for me because I am doing things I enjoy but constantly trying to improve and get better, sometimes feels Un Taoist or un natural.

After typing this and re-reading it my question isn't clear but how do you feel you are pursuing flow, going with nature while improving your skill of living and quality of life?

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

1) I'm too much of a grasshopper for my thoughts to be worth much more weight than the huge salt crystal you have to ingest along with them, but with that said,

2) I'm going through my backlog of notes dumped into my gtd inbox over the past two months, and not 15 seconds after reading your post I came across a note "Everything is a sand mandala."

Everything.

The trick, it seems to me, is to be able to build the sand mandala with ultimate devotion, and to be able to smile when a gust of wind blows it into the air and start making another with no diminishment of devotion.

Slightly more specifically, at the moment I'm working with the nature of who I am that loves, *loves* doing hard things for the sake of *doing* hard things not so much *having done* hard things. In my mid 20s I embraced this about myself, but it got coopted and corrupted. I learned to reject this part of my nature and associate it being a sucker/capitalist stooge/etc. I'm coming back and learning to accept who I am without being a sucker about it and giving my power to those who don't deserve it, learning to burn hot but not ragged.

Divandan
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Divandan »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2023 5:03 pm
The trick, it seems to me, is to be able to build the sand mandala with ultimate devotion, and to be able to smile when a gust of wind blows it into the air and start making another with no diminishment of devotion.
This really resonated with me and thank you for sharing your perspective!

Jin+Guice
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Jin+Guice »

jacob wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 9:00 am
As per the engineering triangle, solutions can be either quick, easy, or good; pick any two but only two. ERE is quick and good, but it's not easy.
It's funny bc I've always found ERE to be very easy. The hack is that I enjoy it immensely. Coming from the lower side of the income earning curve and being raised by cheapskates helped as well, I think.



I disagree with your graph. I only found my quality of life went up as I started spending less. I think quality of life and spending are almost entirely uncorrelated in the first world. Exceptions are: 1) Programming by consumerism to only get pleasure from making a purchase, receiving that purchase and briefly marveling at our purchase before it's added to the pile. 2) People who outsource most of the basic tasks in their lives.

It takes a minute to deprogram yourself. If you're not cooking your own food or doing your own dishes, that does take up time and energy you are not used to expending, so there is real friction there.


I wasn't that into either of these things. I did have some consumerism to deprogram.

Consumers are also bad at consumerism. Perhaps it is just the aspirational archduke in me, but though we are surrounded by an abundance of stuff we are not surrounded by an abundance of taste.

Anywho, a long winded way of saying, I think QoL can pretty immediately go up as CoL initially goes down, due to the popularity of wasting massive amounts of resources for little to no purpose.


Or as you said:
AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2023 2:45 pm
My life *works* now, as in, it is functional in ways where previously it was dysfunctional/heterotelic/high friction. But now I'd like it to be not just functional but also beautiful, elegant, crafted, like the difference between a drawer that opens and closes just fine and a drawer that is finely put together and opens and closes with such perfect fluidity of force that it's actually *pleasant* to open and close, the experience of opening and closing the drawer is aesthetically meaningful.
My only point is that I couldn't have used money to eliminate the dysfunction, heterotelicity or friction in my pre-ERE life. I didn't know how to find beauty or elegance or appreciate most craftsmanship.




As for the sand mandalas, I think a lot of what matters is why you are doing something. Are you being driven by a fear of inferiority or is it truly your calling? Only you can answer that question and I think for most it takes at least one lifetime to figure out.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 11:10 am
I disagree with your graph.
I agree with your disagreeal. :lol:

I really need to redo those. I made them closer to the beginning of my ERE journey when I was assembling my mental models of ERE and trying to communicate them to myself. Now that I'm looking back into the past, I'd describe it very differently graphically.

For starters QoL needs to be defined. The thing I was mainly pointing at with those graphs is that if you go full Crowbar on ERE and you don't already have a lot of skills, you might go from eating tasty flavorful but expensive food cooked by others to bland disasters cooked by yourself; you might go from a comfy leased Lexus to sweating your ass off on a bike being scared of traffic; you might go from a spacious 3bed2bath mcmansion to an apt with scruffy roommates you aren't emotionally equipped to get on well with.

And this is what I was taking from Jacob's point about ERE requiring time invested in competence at postconsumerism: it takes many hours invested in competence to go from the bland rice-n-beans level to the tasty flavorful and nutritious level at the same low COL. That's also what I had in mind originally with those graphs.

But that only tells part of the story, because my experience was that subjective well-being went up almost immediately and only had minor dips here and there. That's because I felt like I was gaining autonomy, was more aligned with my values, was engaged in a challenging but not frustratingly difficult mission, etc.

So the v2 of that graph might show Subjective wellbeing going mostly up to a new and higher level, and a curve labeled something like 'material luxuries' doing the dip and recover.

--

The elephant in the room is relations with family, though. Trying to crowbar ERE with a spouse who is Not Stoked on it would crash the subjective wellbeing, serving as a negative feedback loop to most likely force an Easy Does It approach, which could just turn into a moderate 'thing we fight about sometimes' without really making much progress.

Jin+Guice
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Jin+Guice »

Ah, your answer illuminates why this was perhaps easier for me than most...
AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:30 pm
if you go full Crowbar on ERE and you don't already have a lot of skills, you might go from eating tasty flavorful but expensive food cooked by others to bland disasters cooked by yourself; you might go from a comfy leased Lexus to sweating your ass off on a bike being scared of traffic; you might go from a spacious 3bed2bath mcmansion to an apt with scruffy roommates you aren't emotionally equipped to get on well with.
I never did any of the stuff you describe having to give up, except for food, and I was already into cooking when I found ERE.

However, my subjective well being did immediately go up. In the absence of losing material luxuries this was a HUGE improvement.
AxelHeyst wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2023 2:30 pm
The elephant in the room is relations with family, though. Trying to crowbar ERE with a spouse who is Not Stoked on it would crash the subjective wellbeing, serving as a negative feedback loop to most likely force an Easy Does It approach, which could just turn into a moderate 'thing we fight about sometimes' without really making much progress.
I am pretty awful at not being myself and that person has always been at least aspirationally frugal, if only a cheapskate in practice. Like when people talk about how hard ERE dating is I'm like "what are you talking about?" But, as ERE, for me, only enhances who I feel I am, it is a net positive... bc if you don't think walking around a park with a 6-pack and some limes I bring in a plastic bag is an awesome first date, then we were never even going to make it to "keeping it casual."


Anyway thanks for reminding me of the challenges of ERE and allowing me to brag in your journal.


As long as one chooses ERE out of some combination of dissatisfaction with their present life and intrigue/ attraction to its methods, I still think QoL would decrease less than CoL. In my mind, ERE leverages the cultural myth that QoL=CoL, where in fact QoL<CoL, often to a high degree. WL1-5 is aligning QoL to CoL. I believe in this strongly enough to suggest if QoL and CoL end up being a 1-to-1 correlation, that you are likely doing it wrong and should consider reevaluating methods or your path to freedom will also be a path to misery.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

In other words,
QoL(CoL,skills,mindset/attitude,KeganN,distance_theWay,...)

ETA oh hell with it, here's some imperfect not-even-wrong graphs because why not:
Image

Image

these were mostly beneficial for me to visualize how one intuitive tack of my thinking about this was either wrong, not sophisticated enough, or so narrowly 'sophisticated' it was useless.

disk_poet
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by disk_poet »

I'm excited to read about your journey! cooking, permaculture and bikepacking are all on my agenda for 2024. The other ones are more vaguely defined as enjoying life and healthy habits. They all feed into each other of course.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

Divandan wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 10:55 pm
Would it be possible to share the links where you will be documenting everything? Thanks!
I got the new yt channel up, and this is my instagram, and of course my website. I think I'm going to drop mastodon actually.

EDIT: actually, I think I'll have a go at daily mastodon posting. https://mastodon.social/@tylerjdisney
Last edited by AxelHeyst on Sun Dec 31, 2023 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Divandan
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Divandan »

Subscribed! Excited to follow the journey!

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

2023
Highlights, Takeaways, And Lessons Learned
  • .I was very solitary through the winter. I expected to get lonely at some point but never did.
  • .I did too much work for neighbors. I valued my own time too cheaply.
  • .However, I learned offgrid PV design and installation to a much deeper level, and proved that if I wanted to I could generate more than my CoL by working for neighbors.
  • .I really enjoyed my bikepacking trip. I learned a lot about UL and bikebased nav, and my experiences at the @mF's wedding and my friends in Bend was the perfect transition out of the solitary winter.
  • .Quadalupe and theAnimals staying with me for a month each were peak highlights, and taught me that it actually is sustainable for me to have co-residents in my space (when they're as cool as Quadalupe and theAnimals).
  • .I'm still so psyched that EREfest worked out well. I'm proud of myself for taking the risk to announce and then follow through with it, and I am SO grateful to everyone coming and making it the success it was. I can't wait for fest2024. Fest2023 was very stressful for me because of how much of an unknown it was, but now that I've got experience that it can be done and people will have a good time, I anticipate being able to have a lot of fun myself both in designing it and participating in it.
  • .I'm glad I went to Japan, both for the time with my family and the solo workaway time after, but I don't want to travel internationally anymore. I didn't want to travel internationally after Europe 2022, and wouldn't have gone to Japan if my parents hadn't hounded me to come along.
  • I had alcohol once in April on my birthday, during Japan, and two nights over the holidays. In 2024 I'm going to drink on my birthday again, once a month if I get hedonic dinners span up, and any alcohol that I make myself (I'm not planning on learning to brew in 2024, though, so this might turn out to be zero).
  • .When I look back at over a decade of annual reviews, a trend that pops out at me is that most of my unhappiness/stress/'do not want' experiences had to do with being in a long term relationship. And most of my stoke/happiness/delight/etc experiences had to do with things I did on my own or that didn't involve the long term relationships I was in. This trend extend through 2023: being single wasn't a source of any unhappiness whatsoever and I feel like my life was absolutely full of experiences I'm happy to have had. While I'd like to cultivate more physical and emotional intimacy in the future, solo appears to be my highest functioning relationship status.
### Money!
Image
My ttmCOL dipped as low as $7,027 but came back up to $9,759 by end of year due to Japan and some expensive components for builds (aka custom glazing units for my studio windows). Project TTM5k is still a ways off but I’m psyched for my first calendar year with a four figure cost of living.

Image
The low hanging fruit are transportation and shelter. Over half of that transportation cost was Japan, and a big part of my 'shelter' cost was building materials. I think I'll be able to get below 7k without much trouble, although if Skillathon means my COL stays above 5k I'm okay with it.

Image
If I stopped earning money right now and kept COL at my TTM level I'd have 3.3years of cash and 15years of NW. But if I keep earning the amount I made in 2023 my cash would last 12.5years and my NW would last 50years. That's still default dead. In 2024 I anticipate generating more than I spend from 3-5 sources, all of which are either incidental, interesting, or very efficient. More on that later.

### To double down on:
  • Making space for friends to visit/reside here.
  • Executing events like EREfest.
  • Bikepacking.
  • Writing.
  • Being solo.
### To pump the brakes on:´
  • International Travel
  • Working for neighbors, esp. unskilled/boring work
### To explore:
  • Dating as a solo
  • Ultralearning
  • More local bikepacking, climbing, and hiking, esp. with local outdoors people.
  • The permie and alt scene in jtree.
  • Maintaining full engagement in cool projects without burning out or getting badstressed, aka operating at a higher yet sustainable level.

AxelHeyst
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Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by AxelHeyst »

2024
Theme: Devotion
Aim: Buildings systems and habits for refinement of the spirit
*“If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”*
— Charles Bukowski, Factotum

I am ready to load the plate up again. I’m ready to crank, to be organized and to work hard and smart and to generate momentum. I’m ready to be productive again.

And I’m ready to do it from a place of love, from a place of devotion to myself, to others, to the universe. I’m ready to learn how to love myself and my work and my effort and the struggle.

This is the biggest risk I'm taking in 2024. I could be totally wrong about a) my ability to do this^ and/or b) that the above is even a good way to approach things. I might be repeating an old mistake by dressing it up more cosmetically than I think I am. 2024 is about finding out.

## Desired Outcomes 2024
(My approach to desired outcomes is to work backwards from them to build systems and habits that will likely yield those outcomes, and then to keep my attention on those systems rather than the outcomes.)

### Overall
- [ ] Develop the skill of win loop cultivation.

### The Big Three
1. [ ] Publish book, start the next.
2. [ ] Execute Skillathon.
3. [ ] Spin up [......]

### Financial
- [ ] TTM5k COL.
- [ ] Generate >=1xCoL / Become Default Alive

### Creative, Intellectual, and Spiritual
- [ ] Ship the book
- [ ] Document/tell about Skillathon in writing and video
- [ ] Build out my Personal Knowledge Base based on Ahrens et al

### Physiological and Adventure
- [ ] Habituate a physical training system
- [ ] Learn about joint and connective tissue health and do a rehab program.
- [ ] Bike to Denver, ideally with others.

### Technical and Infrastructure
- [ ] Fix the motorcycle
- [ ] Build the burrow
- [ ] Build a prototype greenhole
- [ ] Build a TES for the Studio
- [ ] Build permanent insulated shades and curtains for windows.
- [ ] Finish studio interior (lighting, floor, trim, switches, curtains, etc).

### Social and Community
- [ ] EREfest 2024
- [ ] Explore jtree scene
- [ ] Build infrastructure for people to stay here at QH more easily


Howard Zinn wrote:"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory."
Sophie Scholl wrote:The real damage is done by those millions who want to “survive....” Those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe? From what? Life is always on the edge of death. I choose my own way to burn.
Gustave Flaubert wrote:Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

Jin+Guice
Posts: 1244
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: The Education of Axel Heyst

Post by Jin+Guice »

Woah, I just noticed that you roughly halved your ttm 3 years in a row from June of 2020 to June of 2023? That is really impressive. (Now I'll be impressed if you stop!)
AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 11:08 pm
.I did too much work for neighbors. I valued my own time too cheaply.
.However, I learned offgrid PV design and installation to a much deeper level, and proved that if I wanted to I could generate more than my CoL by working for neighbors.
I think proof of concept is important. That's why I talk about "theoretical cost of living" where you just meet your needs with the caveat that it's worth is directly tied to how in tune you are with what you give up to get there. If you haven't fucked around getting close, it's doubtful that you know how you'll feel and react.

Everyone has a plan until they do that plan.

AxelHeyst wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 11:08 pm
When I look back at over a decade of annual reviews, a trend that pops out at me is that most of my unhappiness/stress/'do not want' experiences had to do with being in a long term relationship. And most of my stoke/happiness/delight/etc experiences had to do with things I did on my own or that didn't involve the long term relationships I was in. This trend extend through 2023: being single wasn't a source of any unhappiness whatsoever and I feel like my life was absolutely full of experiences I'm happy to have had. While I'd like to cultivate more physical and emotional intimacy in the future, solo appears to be my highest functioning relationship status.
I think this is an important realization. I don't think traditional relationship structures work that well for the majority of people, though I think they work really well for a significant minority.

The challenges are the same as ERE. In theory the freedom-from shackles are pretty much all mental, but in practice that is the hardest thing. Then there is the issue of freedom-to without many examples or much societal support or cultural guidance.

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