Different Path, Self-Improvement

Bigger than Financial Freedom..

 

F U Money. Wake up and Cake up Money. Freedom Money.

For a good portion of my adult life I’ve been focused on getting to the mythical but oft-talked about land of financial freedom. I’ve consumed blog posts, books, and gone to seminars that are all aimed at getting me to a place where I can live life not ever having to worry about money and cashing checks from investments would be my biggest job responsibility.

I’m not the only one it seems.

There are a lot of personal finance blogs that cater to the idea of financial freedom and helping you to achieve it. I love them all. I love reading about how people who came from not-much are able to focus and create a life of abundance. One of my favorite pastimes is scrolling through the personal finance blogosphere during commutes or downtime.

My financial journey has been an interesting one in that it has shifted and transformed as I’ve gotten older. I started with an extreme focus on expense tracking and organization. Then I started to seek opportunities to improve cash flow by searching for assets worth acquiring. The last couple of years has been somewhat frustrating as opportunities to find

So I read this amazing post from George Tako on Medium..

This post was paradigm shifting for me. It really helped me to come to terms with the emptiness that laid behind my determination to live a life where I imagined living by the beach, drinking Pina coladas and watching checks roll in. Because, first of all, I don’t like Pina Coladas.

Second, do I really want to stop working? No.

The whole point of becoming financially independent was so that I could then, go on to discover the work that I love to do. smh. This is backwards thinking. Why not figure out how to incorporate more and more of the work I love to do into my life now. Why not figure out ways that I can help others and make money today. If I can’t solve this problem today then I must keep attacking this problem until I get to a solution that adds value to both my life and the people I’m serving.

I’m trying to make the shift from wanting the material wealth to wanting the internal changes that acquiring wealth would require from me. I think I want to be a better person. Who knew?

I am a self-improvement addict. I don’t need more money – I just need courage and the self-awareness to keep growing.

I hope to continually craft a work-life that speaks to my soul.

Fly or Fall

OFO

 

[picture from San Francisco Marina Playground]

View story at Medium.com

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Comparison Trap

By all objective measures, I had a great day today.

Woke up at 5 Am to work out with a friend. Grabbed a chai latte after the workout.

Had the day off of work. Talked to my girlfriend before she headed to work.

Went to an orthodontic appointment and got my retainer tightened.

And yet somehow I ended up at the end of the day a bit irritated and perhaps ungrateful.

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How did I get there?

I found myself in the company of a friend who has had one of those amazing lives. Someone who has followed their heart and dreams and had to create a life and meaning without the support of the pre-specified narratives that the world gives you.

She’s had to carve out a life even with Family calling her crazy & Friends being unsure of whether her path made any sense. As a result of these bets, she’s been able to create a life that is unheard of – a life that is rare.

She really highlights one of my only regrets/failings. I find that as someone who has followed the rules, and excelled at the “traditional” pathway for life and career – there is a part of me that wonders what lies on the path of higher risk. I’m wondering how I can take bigger risks and keep growing. I’m wondering what I need to do today to ensure that I have more options, more happiness, and bigger rewards.

I’m going to work on choosing happiness 1st and being grateful for the gifts I do enjoy. Then get clearer about what risks/options are available for me to take and get after them!

I know I’m easily frustrated by stagnation.

I gotta grow.

FOF

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“Pic’s or it didn’t happen”

 

 

After almost 8 months without posting, here I am posting twice in one week !?

Nuts, I know.

But I think I’m actually doing one of the things that they always recommend we do after completing tasks. So here I am trying to document my self-reflection on what worked and what didn’t.

I’m on the back side of almost 8 months of consistent time spent chasing a goal. I’m both proud of the consistency but deathly afraid that I’ll lose the lessons and habits that I rediscovered during this time period. I feel like if I can memorialize the habits that led to my best performance I should have an easier time getting to productive spaces and hopefully to my goals.

So, I’m taking some time to document the things that I think were most effective and also set some new ambitious goals that I can monitor via this blog. I’ve been reading this amazing personal finance¬†blog and one of the things that I was most impressed by was the drastic changes that he experienced within just 3 years and how the blog served as a witness to his growth.

It reminded me that what gets measured – gets managed. I think one of the things that is often missing in my life is the daily consistency and a clear link between the setting of the goal and the day-to-day efforts to make progress on the goals.

The other concept that I had heard of previously but hadn’t quite taken as serious as I should have was the concept popularized in “The Slight Edge”¬†. The book says that every day is an opportunity to move forward incrementally. The problem with incremental growth is that it can be very difficult to see how one day’s work leads to the big results that your looking for. The truth is that those tiny daily disciplines and consistent, small improvements over time can yield exponential results.

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Easy Choices. Hard Life. Hard Choices. Easy Life.

I think in order to really see the progress that I desire I’m going to have to implement a couple of mechanisms.

  1. Mechanism for self-accountability  = This Blog
  2. Commit to same deep work schedule for self-improvement that I implemented for pursuing exam preparation = committing to weekly non-insignificant periods of time in the private study rooms in the library
  3. Set SMART goals with clear timelines (Use blog to document progress and think out obstacles)

So first, some foundation goals:

  • Publish one blog post Q week
    • This is the cornerstone of the new goals. Having an accountability mechanism via either this blog or the blog at www.Escapingretail.com will serve as the mirror for me to see what I’m actually getting done.
  • Monthly updates on progress on goals (Net worth, Mortgage paydown)
  • Spend at least 2 days/week at Library on Deep Work

Right now the actual goals that I’ll be working on are fuzzy. However, I’m confident that with time and focused attention I can clarify and solidify my action plan.

I think right now the biggest goal will be focused around answering the question: “How can I work 1 day less and keep the same income?”

The first phase will include a lot of information gathering, opportunity cost measuring, blueprint building and then pursuit of action.

I think the most important habit will be committing to doing the deep work.

Here’s to growth.

Fly or Fall.

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One Down.

Hola! Long time no see.

I’m finally getting to sit down and reflect on the last 6 months and the completion of a goal that I’ve been putting off for probably 2.5 years.

I decided to finally sit for a board certification exam last year around my birthday. I’d been talking about doing it for a couple years but had pushed back against some of the things inherent in taking the exam that I wasn’t a fan of.

I looked at the exam as a means of professionally extracting money and not providing a high return on investment in terms of career advancement.

And while I think this still holds true, sometimes, in the pursuit of a goal there are redeeming qualities that make it intrinsically worth pursuing. I think that this is one of those situations.

My day-to-day responsibilities at my job require me to be familiar with a variety of different disease states and their treatment. The world of healthcare changes rapidly and much of the knowledge I gained during pharmacy school is quickly becoming obsolete. whole guidelines that used to govern treatment of basic disease states like hyperlipidemia and hypertension have been wholly revamped or scrapped and new structures erected. As a clinician its my duty to remain abreast of these developments in order to be able to provide the best care.

An unintended consequence of the preparations for the exam was the discovery of the study habits, environments, and techniques that allow for deep work.

I’ve read the work of Cal Newport and always wondered what and how I could incorporate his practice of deep work into my career.

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Previous to this exam I was trying to use a coffee shop that I loved as the base of my operations for thinking, studying, and planning. While studying for the exam I started to revisit a library at my old school. They have private rooms available for use + slow internet that drastically increased my ability to focus.

The new environment made ALL of the difference.

Being in a space where (as a professional people-watcher) I wasn’t distracted by beautiful passer-by’s and cool playlists helped me to find my thinking groove much faster.

One of the new habits that I think I will be instituting is making the trek to these private rooms to think, read, and plan at least once a week.

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I’m sitting on the back end of the completion of the goal of taking the exam, and while I’m still not certain what the result is, I’m pretty sure I liked myself more in the hot pursuit of a goal vs. enjoying whatever the day held while trying to make piecemeal advancements on goals I had written down somewhere.

I’m going to get more aggressive in both pursuing my goals and reflecting and working on goals that will move me forward.

 

 

 

 

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