Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fear & Permission

Chris Guillebeau is a well known blogger who writes about unconventional strategies for life, work, and travel.

This video resonated with me after the doldrums that we have been experiencing here lately.  The whole point of this change in our lives is to live without fear and not have to ask permission to do what we want.  I especially enjoyed Chris's points about how you cannot bargain with fear, or a crocodile, even if you play it "safe".

Life is unpredictable... 

...we should strive everyday to work towards our dreams.  No one but ourselves can give us the permission to go out and make these dreams real.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The "Doldrums" are an area around the equator in the intertropical convergence zone that are known to sailors for their light and variable wind patterns, often resulting in the boat having to motor through, or wait for a favorable wind shift.

While we are some 42 deg. North of the equator, that is what it has felt like around here lately.  We haven't made any forward progress on the sale of the house, and while we have looked at some boats we haven't found any particular one of interest.

So here we sit, seemingly adrift and waiting for a favorable shift in the wind...

What do you do to keep your spirits up when you get stuck in the Doldrums?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Always Wanting More

"I want to be a billionaire so freakin bad"

On my way to work today I heard a song on the radio with the above line as the catchy chorus.  The rest of the song went on about all the things he could do if he was a billionaire, and the fame he would get, though I should mention he said he would probably adopt a couple of kids.  Growing up, people always wanted to be millionaires, now apparently that isn't enough, you have to be a billionaire.

Immediately after the song, the DJ came on saying how times were rough but that was okay, you should enter his contest because you deserve a new car, and that would make you feel better!

This stuck in my head all day and got me thinking about how we are driven to always want more. The media, pop culture, our neighbors, family; all expect and push this ideal that everything would be easier and more glamorous with more.  More cars, more money, more house, more parties, etc.  We spend so much time thinking about what we could do and have if we had more, that we don't pay attention to what we have, or think about how great our lives could be with less!

What if you had less?

The Minimalist Path
If you had a smaller house (or a sailboat) it would cost less money to maintain, and you couldn't fill it with as much.  If you had fewer bills you wouldn't need as much money.  If you didn't need as much money, you wouldn't need to work as much, or stay in a job you don't care for just because the pay is decent.

The way I see it is that there are two options if you want to be able to enjoy your life and not work forever:  

You could become a millionaire (or a billionaire).  

Or you could choose to live a minimalist life with fewer possessions and fewer expenses and live on much less. 

In between these extremes lay the majority of people who are just trying to get by saddled by debt and the desire to always want more. I was on this path, and in some ways still am (the house hasn't sold), but am trying desperately to break free. 

To me, the easiest path is the minimalist path.  It is a path that you can control, that doesn't require you to win the lottery, or to be a movie star, or a Wall Street tycoon.  I think the odds are definitely in your favor if you have less.