If you haven’t had a chance to read any of Tim Ferriss’s work, I highly encourage you to check it out. One of my favorite books and one of Tim’s most popular is The 4-Hour Workweek. This book really set the tone for how I view work (jobs) and generating income. I see a job as only the initial way to generate income in your life so that you can save and invest to build additional income streams that can eventually replace your job as your main source of income. 4HWW doesn’t go quite to the early retirement extreme that is popular on blogs like Mr. Money Mustache, but it is does introduce the idea that work don’t have be viewed as required, but as optional. In Tim’s most recent book, Tools of Titans, Tim provides cliff-notes for how the most successful and high performing people approach their lives. One of my favorite aspects of this interview style book is that Tim often asks the contributors what is one message they would like to put up on a billboard for the world to see. The answers are quite inspirational and also give you a quick peek into the guest’s personality and purpose. I had an initial response to this question myself but I have a new one now.
My initial thought to how I would answer this question is to go to one of my favorite mantras:
“Smoke ‘em while you got ‘em”
It’s a slight twist on the popular World War II phrase:
“Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em”
Replacing the “if” with “while” reflects one of my views that nothing is permanent and anything can change at the snap of a finger.
I use this phrase to balance out my approach to life. I’m very dedicated to planning for the future and need a mantra to keep my focused on the present as well as the future. Sway too far to only living in the present and long term consequences could resort due to poor health and financial planning. Sway too far to only thinking about the future could sap the joy out of living every day. I feel that if you are consistent and rigorous in your approach to living a healthy lifestyle and building your financial independence, you get the option to indulge in a few “breaks”. These breaks can be a simple as a few drinks or bowls with a group of family or friends. Or something larger like a temporary (or permanent) break from your job.
But I have a new phrase now that is very similar but has some new added dimensions:
“Oh Why Not”
I’m stealing this one. I came across this mantra on a recent family vacation where the neighbors a few condos down used this phrase as their motto. One of the neighbor’s friends that had recently passed away always said this phrase (especially when asked if he wanted another brew). The neighbors now adopted the phrase and even had it on the license plate. It embodied the spirit of the vacation week as we got to know these people and now I’d like to bring it back to my everyday life as a way to focus on enjoying life at every possible opportunity.
Part of the process of lowering the stress levels in your life is to embrace the power of ‘No’. This lets you focus on what is important to you while letting the rest of the noise fade into the background. But if taken too far, as I’ve done at times, it can leave your life empty. ‘Oh Why Not?’ is a good filter question to ask yourself prior to engaging in something. It’s about centering yourself in the moment and trying not to worry too much about the future. Easier said than done, especially when you are used to the restraint needed to maintain discipline in your pursuit of your TurtleMode ideals of better health and financial independence. But it’s a freeing viewpoint to have. Being able to live in the moment and not fret about the past or worry about the future.
Do I quit my job?
Do I talk to the girl?
Do I have another?
Oh why not