Get Better with Less

As I began to throw each item away I noticed a distinct pleasure in returning to each newly clear sideboard. The satisfaction not only of having less to worry about but also realising that with the less stuff you can’t help being tidy.

For a person like me tidying never came easy but as my wife noticed what I was doing she was keen to help with my new found enthusiasm for decluttering. Soon she began spontaneously sorting her and stuff and removing what she didn’t need.

Sometimes we can all feel trapped under the burden of our stuff. Whether it’s the guilt we feel with the arrival of each new Amazon package for the bi-yearly clear of the wardrobe that we dread.

We feel embarrassed to admit to our other half that the thing we bought they said was a waste of money has never been used and is now ready for the trash.

Fighting for Less

It can feel like an act of extreme self-control to limit our purchasing to only that which we really need. The advantages though could be massive.

If you’ve been living under a rock minimalism is going mainstream. If you’re unaware of the minimalism documentary or Matt D’Avellas podcast I strongly suggest checking them out.

Bringing minimalism home

Recently I’ve been on a one man crusade against stuff. I’ve been ridding my house of everything that doesn’t provide value to my life and consequently I’ve found that less has a value all of its own.

It first started as one of those spring cleans that we all hate, start trawling through the clothes right at the bottom of the cupboard that you haven’t seen since the last time you carried out the exercise. Having to make 100 decisions based on how much something costs how, much you use it and how likely you are to use it in the future. Arguing with Your spouse about that T-shirt you’ve had since you were a teenager,  It’s got sentimental value right?

Something this time was different,  I’ve been watching minimalism documentaries and listening to podcasts.  I bought into the Clean white apartments and the overall aesthetic of minimalism. What started with the Spring clean moved onto the miscellaneous drawer and then onto all the trinkets with no real place on the exposed surfaces.

Value

As I began to throw each item away I noticed a distinct pleasure in returning to each  newly clear sideboard. The satisfaction not only of having less to worry about but also realising that with the less stuff you can’t help being tidy.

For a person like me tidying never came easy but as my wife noticed what I was doing she was keen to help with my new found enthusiasm for decluttering.  Soon she began spontaneously sorting her and stuff and removing what she didn’t need.

Within a couple of weeks our house is spotless, friends come round and comment on how great it looks. There is an immediate sense of pride and satisfaction but this is only the beginning.

Anti consumerism

Once you begin transforming your home into a place where everything has a purpose you want to defend the situation. You’ll be into question purchases do you really need that thing from Amazon? Where will it go?

Suddenly the difficult task of placing your own purchases becomes easier you get satisfaction from not buying something that immediately occurred to you. This is the double advantage of keeping your house tidy and keeping your wallet fat. Not just like you feel a sense of control suddenly you’re great with money, you’re not the kind of person to make stupid purchases.

Your home feels Tranquil. This is further Backs up the sense of control. Without realising it you’re on top paperwork your emails are sorted and your life is more Orderly.

Keystone Habit

I’ve spoken before about keystone habits and minimalism is perhaps the easiest to implement.  No long-term commitment required just start getting rid of what you don’t need. The power to tidy up one thing Will soon spill over into other aspects of your life. It’s hard not to be frugal when you’re a minimalist.

Give it a go start with one cupboard, one draw, the boot of your car…

How much do I need to reach FI and Retire Early?

 

In this Video we go deeper on the 4%, safe withdrawl rates and how they came about.

Links mentioned in the video:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity…

https://monevator.com/how-to-improve-…

https://monevator.com/why-the-4-rule-…

For more Financial Independence and Motivation content check out: https://www.Improv-r.com

https://www.maxmccallion.com

Improving is a Moral Duty

J: Following on from the chat on Saturday night and the reading recommendations, this is an interesting read.

https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents

Max: Hmm interesting
Max: You read things with a very different slant to me J
Max: My main issue with thise kind of articles is thst even if hes 100% right about everything
Max: Basically all positive change comes from optimistic people
Max: So reading and believing it basically rules you out of doing anything about it

Hi Improvrs,

Today I want to share what turned into an interesting little debate between myself and some friends earlier this week.

Is it your moral duty to improve and win?

 

J: Following on from the chat on Saturday night and the reading recommendations, this is an interesting read.

https://newint.org/features/2019/07/01/long-read-progress-and-its-discontents

Max: Hmm interesting
Max: You read things with a very different slant to me J
Max: My main issue with thise kind of articles is thst even if hes 100% right about everything
Max: Basically all positive change comes from optimistic people
Max: So reading and believing it basically rules you out of doing anything about it

J: You’ve summed up why my lack of optimism trips me up from making positive changes to my life.. (JK)

O: I disagree with a lot of what Pinker says. He often seems to think that the fact we are not in mortal danger of being massacred by a rival tribe then that is a good state.
O: Captilism did not drag everyone out of poverty in the 20th century.
O: I would recommend Robert Tressel’s ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist’ as a novel which describes the perpetuation of the current system by the people who it keeps in relative poverty.

Max: Interesting question for you all then: assuming the above article is right what should we be doing about it?
Max: If it takes the collusion of the relatively impoverished to maintain the system is it our moral duty to improve our own situation out of that?

J: Voting Corbyn! Haha.
I don’t know Max. One feels helpless as on an individual level, there’s not much one can do to help course correct or overturn a vastly unjust system.
We can protest, write letters, campaign on an issue.
But we’re ants under the billionaires shoes and the system they’ve created.

D: We can vote sane billionaires in
D: Or become billionaires and then run for priminister
D: You seen that Andrew Yang guy who’s running for president?
D: He basically wants to do everything that would lead us to a post capitalist society and he’s literally running for president right now
D: So things are already looking up
D: Obviously that’s America but it needs to happen there first really

Max: My thoughts exactly D, you gain power to change the game once your winning
Max: Nobody listens to the guy who wants to stop playing monopoly because hes losing
Max: Youve got to be in the lead to suggest chess

D: That’s the case now, but I think we’d all be agreed that winning at a game called capitalism is a prerequisite for enacting change
D: Feels a bit arbitrary
D: But it’s the best we’ve got now and you can still become a billionaire from nothing so it’s not _too_ far off the ideal
D: Shouldn’t be the prerequisite I mean*

Max: Even if post capitalism (whatever that actually involves) is enacted it will still be a game and you will still have to prove yourself in some manner before getting any real power

D: Yeah defo
D: But the game should be who’s the best person not who acquired the most money
D: We need a throwback to ancient Roman culture that was heavy on the virtue

O: *whose parents have acquired the most money

D: But less conquering and barbaric
D: True, inheritance tax is pretty brutal though
D: But I guess tax avoidance is the biggest piss take there

Max: Well i posit that there has never been a system enacted on a large scale that offers more social mobility and gives ‘normal’ individuals a higher possibility to make change
Max: Definitely including ancient rome
Max: So theres that

D: Yeah, just expect that we are the best we’ve ever been though, anything else would be a failure
D: We’re just saying it can be even better right?

O: I agree. But there is the argument that the people who decide how th system works benefit the most from capitalism.
O: So there is no will whatsoever to change it. Even if there are alternatives.
O: Eton, Trump, journalists etc.

D: 🙂 -> 😁 -> 😂 -> 🤣
D: That’s what we’re aiming for guys ☝️

Max: But again thats the case with any system? The people at the top always set the rules

D: There must be will to change it otherwise Yang, Sanders, Corbyn, and many others wouldn’t be anywhere near power

Max: Aye
Max: Its a slippery one for sure

D:Image result for slip and slide fat man gif

Max: Always leads me back to the same thing though – concentrating on improving and expanding your own circle of influence is best for you as an individual and provides the most opportubity for you to contribute to society at large
Max: 😂 D

How to Retire in Your 30s

A video based on my mission to retire in my 30s, how I intend to do it and how I will share my story going forward

To start with this video was insipired by the Guardian article “Can anyone retire in their 30s? Meet the people who say yes” by Stephen Moss.

Stephen interviews several of the better known FIRE (financial independence retire early) advocates including some the US based Mr Money Mustache and the UK based Barney Whiter of The Escape Artist.

Get Better.. Get Paid

You know that thing you really love? That thing you do whenever you have the time? That thing you secretly wish you’d managed to become a pro at?
What if you still can?

Right now you do something for enjoyment and you do it better than you think. You are an expert, maybe not an outright expert in the field but compared to someone who has just started you have a huge amount of knowledge. If whatever is springing to mind for you is an activity you only began recently, even better. Documenting your mistakes as they happen can be even more useful than discussing them after the fact.

Remember how long it took to get to the level of skill your currently at? Remember all the time you wasted doing something wrong? You can cut someone else’s learning curve in half. You can cut 1000 peoples’ learning curve in half if you just write down what you now know.

And here’s a secret… you can get paid for it.

class-classroom-conference-716276

Nearly everyone hates to sell, for most people it feels seedy and disingenuous but here’s the rub: how far would you have got without anyone else’s advice?

There is someone, online or in person, to whom you owe a lot for their advice in getting you a good proportion of where you are today. You have since taken that advice, added your own discoveries to it, removed some steps that you don’t think are necessary. This has given you a unique angle.
Whoever you got this advice from wrote or spoke in such a way that appealed to you at the time but they won’t appeal to everyone. There are people out there who would find you a more compelling person to learn from than your mentor.

You have the power to positively influence other people’s lives in a way that other people cannot.

Maybe your unique angle is that you started from a different position in life, a different geography, you took a different approach. Maybe you found a quicker way or just a more entertaining way to explain the method.
Your knowledge potentially has incredible value to others. Sharing that knowledge is a great way to improve your own understanding, get paid for what you love and help others at the same time.

Whatever your thing is find a way to coach others, write a blog, film a youtube video. In the War of Art Steven Pressfield explains that the professional just turns up. The professional does the work everyday and doesn’t worry about perfection. Become professional.

Get started. It will open doors down the road and give you the opportunity to maintain fair exchange by charging for your time and expertise either directly in person or just through ad revenue on your site.