måndag 20 oktober 2014

The top one recommendation on how to save money and enjoy life more

Know Thyself

That's it, but do keep on reading if you desire some personal elaboration on the theme.

Conspicuous consumption is for second-handers that live for others

I have to admit I have spent a fair bit of money in the process of getting to know myself. On the other hand, the money was mine to spend - and I did get some fun for it. Mostly, I just learned the lesson that money doesn't necessarily buy happiness, unless you are sure of what you want.

What I mean is that I could have just thought it through instead, gone to the bottom of my own desires, and approached "fun" head on. That way I would have enjoyed life even more and without unnecessary spending.

Instead, I did what most people do, I bought expensive things (convertible cars: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, watches: Omega, Hublot, a center-of-the-city penthouse) and paid for expensive services that really didn't add any extra value. It's a bit sad, since I came from humble beginnings and already knew what activities made me tick. My detour into conspicuous consumption, however, cemented the lesson about mindfulness:

Pay attention to who you are and what you like,
and focus on that directly,
and you will be so much better off in life
- without the need to earn and spend so much

It will make room for much more living 

Be mindful - You know what you like, you just have to think about it

When I think back, I know what events have stuck in my mind, and how I feel thinking about them. With a little effort I can almost remember how I felt during those events as well. Forget for the time being that our memories are deceptive, since they are all we have anyway.

Even if you are still in your 20s, you should already have enough life experience to know what makes you happy or excited - both short-term and long-term.

Personally, I like the feeling of heights, of big things, of open spaces where you can feel the gigantic dimensions (mountains are good for all of this, as is some scuba diving). I like acceleration (bungy jumping e.g.). I like being tired after a workout. I like setting personal records (in computer games when I was young and in weight lifting now that I'm older). That should have been enough. No, not just enough; that was better than what I tried in the interim that followed when I started earning serious money.

Real-time social media posting is for suckers

For a while, I let commercials and other people lead me along to buying fancy clothes (expensive but poor quality), ridiculously expensive watches and sports cars. Maybe even my penthouse apartment is a testament to my vanity (it is practical and comfortable though and I enjoy it a lot without people seeing it). I even fooled myself into thinking I had bought the cars for enjoying the acceleration - by myself. Gradually I realized I actually enjoyed looking at my Lamborghini (or other people's cars) more than I did driving it. In addition, bungy jumping was way more fun than track racing or illegal speeding on public roads. 

Now I know that if I have to put an activity in a Facebook status while I'm doing it, it's not worth doing. Think about things you enjoy just experiencing or doing by yourself without telling people. No, not that; don't you know you can go blind..., not to mention the added shaving trouble? Go for those things: dance, swim, travel... Hell, buy a car or a watch if you want but think before you do it: Is it for you or for somebody else?

Ask yourself this: Do you purchase the car for its driving specs that you want to utilize, or is it for showing off its shine to strangers?

Live for you

Wear comfortable and durable clothes that make you feel good. Buy furniture to use - not to show off. Buy a sofa you can be comfortable in even when you have the influenza - not a show piece you can't have your feet or fever-sweaty head on. Travel to places you want to experience, not that you want to brag about on social media. Get a tan if it feels good in the sun, but don't expose yourself to additional cancer risk if it's hard work only to make your friends jealous (or appalled for that matter).

You can of course still invest in a suit or other appropriate business attire for your situation, if you think it will accelerate your income and target acquisition. Just don't buy or do stuff for the sake of other people's admiration without getting paid.

Expensive fun in the sun - almost smashing my Ferrari

This video of me driving my Ferrari 360 Spider is from 2005 (the one I bought from Zlatan Ibrahimovich, if you know details about Swedish soccer). That was one of very few times I had a really, really good time in a car. Fortunately, other things make me much happier than driving:

It cost me 85 000 USD to own the Ferrari. I could have done way better things with that money than one single high speed (>100mph) spin on a track race.

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