Retiring Youngish

If you ask someone what they want to do with their life they’ll tell you instead what they’re going to do which ironically will be something they don’t actually want to do.

It usually goes something like this…graduate high school, attend post-secondary to study something you don’t like, find a job doing that thing you don’t like until your’re 65 and then retire. Sounds crazy for this to be your intention but fear and conformity drives people to do crazy things. The reoccurring theme is that it’s acceptable because mostly everyone else is doing and thinking the same thing.

A fellow blogger turned me on to Mr. Money Moustache, a blog made popular by the story of a guy who retired in his early 30s. How is that possible? The main idea involves receiving passive income through investments and living frugally. After reading through a few of his posts I think it is possible for many to accomplish but you would have to commit a few sins against the religion of conformity.

For me, even in hindsight I don’t know if I would have been able to achieve early retirement through the MMM method unless if all the stars aligned for me. You need that decent paying job at a fairly young age. I know several guys who could have done it but they were too concerned with the idea of conforming and no woman wanting to be with them unless if they could provide them with a certain lifestyle and security. Life can be such a dirty trick.

If I had believed the MMM method was credible when I was 20 years old then things would have been different for me. I always quit my job hoping that I would one day land that cushy, union-type job that I would work for 30 years. That was such antiquated thinking. I watched too many sitcoms when I was a kid. Little did I know that my beliefs far outweighed the tolerance I had available. If I had believed differently I might have kept chipping away and been willing to take the necessary risks.

There’s still hope for Mr. Johnson though. The stock market has been more than kind to me for the last 2 years and I’m hoping to transition to MMM-type status in the near future with similar methods. I’m not there yet and it may not even happen but the fact that I’m even this close when I was so far away just 2 years ago means it’s possible for many people out there if they believe and start early.




The Road to Average

20 years out of high school can allow you to see the paths that people chose which led to their current circumstances in life. Probability being probability, most ended up somewhere in the tier of average. Wherever their position on the scale of average lies has more to do with circumstances rather than merit.

The few that became successful did what the average didn’t. They separated themselves from the herd. I don’t believe their actions were rooted by this philosophy. Their ambitions just forced them away. Herd mentality will keep you in the herd where the main objective is to not be left out of the herd.

The herd leaves high school unaware of their anxious intentions to sign the rest of their life away to a mundane average. To them it’s what you’re supposed to do. Perhaps “average” should not be the term used but instead, “uninspiring.”



Reviving the Dead

When I don’t sleep a full 8 hours it’s enough for me to put off everything which was what I was going to do today.

David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and former USAF Tactical Air Control Party member who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and world record holder for the most pull-ups done in 24 hours.

I thought I’d listen to a Joe Rogan podcast while laying in bed and the outcome was motivation. I’m not going to wuss out today became the mantra. I was so fired up I couldn’t believe it. After breakfast I was at the park doing pull-ups and chin-ups. I didn’t break records but I did them until I couldn’t do another rep.

-Walked the dogs(there’s another one staying with me right now)
-Did the laundry
-Did more laundry

I want to include that I took a shower after jogging but it doesn’t sound very impressive. Then I took a nap like someone had knocked me out cold. Afterwards I watched an hour of business television where some guy in a suit talks about stocks. I’m blogging right now and afterwards I plan on practicing piano.

History shows that the motivation will fizzle out by the time I wake up tomorrow. The mind decides whether to do something or not, and it is really good at making up reasons for taking the currently easy way out. After listening to the podcast my thoughts are that the only way to keep going is to not give yourself a choice even though you have it. Nike said it best, Just Do It. What if all I have to do is listen to something or someone inspiring every day? I might even employ some stretching before I go to bed tonight.

How to be Less Successful in Life

The driving force behind the daily routine comes from the consequence of not following through. Take away the consequences then you’ll need to compensate with discipline. Other than my couple of weekly appointments, I can put off everything anywhere from a few hours to forever.

I could brush my teeth once I wake up or I could do it at 3 PM. I could wash my clothes today or wait until I’m on my last pair of semi-clean underwear. I could read that book I said I was going to read or never do it at all. No one is going to give me shit for anything I don’t do and only I lose.

At 7 PM yesterday I was just going to start watching a show on Netflix after a non-productive day then I thought to myself I could at least put in one hour of doing something I said I would do. If most people are suffering for 8 hours at work plus a commute then I can fight past the inertia for an hour.

I thought about how it was Thursday and my next piano lesson is on Sunday. I don’t want to look like a loser to my piano teacher. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t have practiced last night. I also decided to finally vacuum. I’ve been blaming the dog for the mess instead of my procrastination.

If I set a schedule and stick with it then I’ll be better off. I can make it a 3 hour work day. For example, 11 AM: exercise, 12:30 PM: practice piano, 1 PM: read 10 pages, 2 PM: talk to strangers.

I’m not sure if people are lazy or if it’s just a biological instinct to not want to use calories unless deemed necessary.

I need a life coach.



The Reality of Life

There might be no rule book to life but it’s apparent to me now that your degree of success is dependent on your grasp of reality and your willingness to surrender to it.

I spent most of life wanting life to cater to how I wanted it to be not because I was convicted in my beliefs but because I was uncomfortable with the alternative. Hope and time was on my side, so I felt, which led me to do nothing much. The truth always was that if you want something you have to make it happen and there’s always some kind of risk associated with it. Hope is completely imaginary when there is nothing behind it.

Life hasn’t worked out for an abundance of people out there and many of them opt for the road of excuses. You can blame immigration, family or some other external factor but in all likelihood there was something in your timeline you could have easily improved. There’s excuses and then there’s what really happened. To be forgiving though, sometimes you just didn’t know any better.

If you bring a baseball bat to a hockey game you’re either going to fail or not even be allowed to play. You can be as stubborn as you like but it’s highly unlikely the rules are going to change in your favour. Keep bringing that baseball bat and you’ll keep failing.

I don’t know how things “should” be but I have a better idea how I’d like them to be, and then there’s how it is.

1950s Tony Robbins

Based on your actions on their site, YouTube will recommend what it thinks you might be interested in. There’s motivational and inspirational type videos that I watch on some days. Not videos with spiritual gurus but more similar to TED Talk type videos where it’s more about information than pep talks.

On my YouTube homepage there was a recommendation where the thumbnail of the video was black-and-white with a guy in a suit and it was titled, “Why do you go to Work?” First thought was that this must be old. Second thought was I wondered what someone back then had to say about this subject.

Everything he said is still relevant today. Most of it is the same advice and ideas that many people think some 40-year-old person originally thought of today. Earl Nightingale’s content in the video is good but I’m also drawn in by the accent. What is it, a Transatlantic accent?…the way that a father would speak to his son about life and family. “You listen here young Johnny. A man is nothing without his job or family. Now be a good boy and go tell your mother you love her.”

I downloaded an Earl Nightingale 16 hour recording. “Stealing” digital entertainment is a grey area especially if the guy is dead. I highly doubt the pirate police are tracking Earl Nightingale enthusiasts. They’re too busy hunting the Game of Thrones thieves.


The Last Day at Work

It was the last day of my 2 week resignation notice and I was hoping to get away without many colleagues knowing about my departure. There’s a morning meeting every day when management announce what they think needs to be said and I guess people quitting fits into that category.

“It’s his last day today so wish him good luck.”

You could hear some gasps within the circle of people. A few of them rushed to my vicinity eager to hear what was waiting for me but hoping to hear I wasn’t going on to something better. People can cope with their dreadful existence if they believe no else around them can do better.

“It’s either quit or stay here forever,” I said.

Perhaps no greater words have been spoken before but it wasn’t promising enough to spark widespread envy. Having perceived to have opened myself to life’s fury soothed their souls. To many there that job was a godsend for the unambitious. “Put in your years and you’re golden.” That way of thinking should have expired at least 30 years ago.

Some people probably had the idea that I thought I was too good for the job and would be sorry once I realized how “life really works.” Company nerds can take offence that someone would leave for what they perceive as nothing.

“You just have to accept it,” one said.

“Sometimes acceptance is the same as giving up.” 


The words people will say to you depend greatly on the actions that have transpired. When the damage has already been done, thoughts on what you should have done go unspoken. As stupid as they might think you are all that’s left to be said are well wishes.

“Good luck, nice working with you.”