Month: April 2017

Spend more money to save more

Spend more money to save more

I read Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich a couple of weeks ago, and one of his advices has been resonating with me:

“Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”

Initially, this seems to be just solid financial advice. By spending only on the things you enjoy and cutting costs everywhere else, money goes towards the areas in life that provide the highest value for money. Subsequently, this will steer life away from the areas that aren’t providing value at all. Like most of Ramit’s advice, though financially minded, it is applicable to a lot more of life’s areas.

For example:

  • Friendship: spend most of your time with the friends closest to you, while avoiding toxic relationships with people who tend to drain more energy than they ultimately end up providing.
  • Fitness: do the exercises that provide you with the most benefit, like compound movements (squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows), while avoiding exhausting yourself doing just isolation work.
  • Nutrition: especially when trying to lose weight, ‘spend’ your minimally available calories on foods that you enjoy and keep you full, while declining on mindlessly eating the dense foods that do not provide the same satisfaction.
  • Time: since time is a non-renewable resource, use it wisely by only dedicating it to activities that provide value to your life. So read a book instead of aimlessly wandering around Reddit or Facebook.

By applying this advice to your entire life, you will guarantee that all of life’s resources are used optimally. That means being completely honest with yourself and sometimes making the most difficult decisions ruthlessly, in order to decrease every distraction to make the most valuable investment of all resources.

Consequently, by guiltlessly spending more on the most enjoyable area’s of life, it will in fact become a lot easier to avoid the value draining activities, therefore:

  • Increasing your savings while getting more for your money.
  • Losing more weight by actually eating the foods you enjoy.
  • Inceasing free time by doing more of the activities that provide value.

So start consciously making decisions with this advice in mind, in order to transform your life step by step.


If you liked this article, you can support my blog by purchasing the full book on either:
Bol.com: I Will Teach You To Be Rich on Bol.com
Amazon: I Will Teach You To Be Rich on Amazon 

 

Book Notes – The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

Book Notes – The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo

NOTES

  • Tidying mistakes: “it’s best to tackle one room at a time” or “it’s better to do a little each day” or “storage should follow the flow plan of the house.”
  • “If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set”, this is in line with the saying: “how you do anything is how you do everything”.
  • Tidying is no magic solution: “If you can’t feel relaxed in a clean and tidy room, try confronting your feeling of anxiety. It may shed light on what is really bothering you.”
  • The task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Or: keep your inbox empty, as the tidyness of the inbox will provide you with the rest to tackle more important problems.
  • When tidying: Sort by category, not by location.
  • Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first.
  • Make tidying a special event, not a daily chore.
  • (When you’re holding on to an item,) ask yourself “Why?”. And again, for each answer. Repeat this process three to five times for every item, and you will find the true reason for holding on. This also works for other areas in life where you are trying to distill true motivation.
  • Take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.
  • People have trouble discarding things that they could still use (functional value), that contain helpful information (informational value), and that have sentimental ties (emotional value). When these things are hard to obtain or replace (rarity), they become even harder to part with .
  • The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers , komono (miscellany), and lastly, mementos.
  • “It may sound incredible, but when someone starts tidying it sets off a chain reaction.” See: “How you do anything is how you do everything”.
  • To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
  • Tidying clothes: “hang heavy items on the left side of the closet and light items on the right.”
  • On keeping books: “In the end, you are going to read very few of your books again”. For example, limit the books you keep to the number that fits in your bookcase. Create a “hall of fame”.
  • There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway. So get rid of all those unread books.
  • On keeping studying material: “People often insist, “I want to restudy these materials sometime,” but most never do so.”
  • It’s paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang on to such materials, we fail to put what we learn into practice.
  • Presents are not “things” but a means for conveying someone’s feelings.
  • Discard or recycle the box your [electronic device] comes in as soon as you unpack it. You don’t need the manual or the CD that comes with it either.
  • No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.
  • Paring down to the volume that you can properly handle, you revitalize your relationship with your belongings.
  • By eliminating excess visual information that doesn’t inspire joy, you can make your space much more peaceful and comfortable.
  • Tidying is a way of taking stock that shows us what we really like.
  • “But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.” And ask why 3-5 times!
  • There are three approaches we can take toward our possessions: face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.

If you liked these notes, you can support my blog by purchasing the full book on either:
Bol.com: The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up on Bol.com
Amazon: The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up on Amazon
Check out this book on Goodreads. I rated it 4 out of 5.
Book Notes – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead And Win

Book Notes – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead And Win

Extreme Ownership

Rating: 5/5

Book notes:

  • In a team, the sum of all members is far greater than the individual parts.
  • Do not become overwhelmed: “Relax, look around, make a call”.
  • The laws of combat:
    – Cover and Move
    – Simple
    – Prioritize and Execute
    – Decentralized Command
  • Preperation: 80% is knowing, 20% is effort.
  • Extreme Ownership: leaders must own everything in their world. No one else is to blame.
  • A leader is responsible for everything (that goes wrong).
  • Extreme Ownership includes the performance of subordinaties. When subordinates aren’t doing what they should, leaders should first look in the mirror.
  • Accept responsibility for failures, but attribute success to the team.
  • Take ownership of your failures and seek constructive critisism to improve.
  • There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.
  • Leaders should never be satisfied. They must strive to improve, and build that mind-set into the team.
  • When it comes to performance standards, it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.
  • As a leader you have to understand and BELIEVE in a mission, before you pass it on.
  • Leaders must understand that they’re part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.
  • Leaders must be able to detach, to take a step back and deconstruct the situation, analyze the strategic picture and then come to a conclusion. If they cannot determine a satisfactory answer, they must ask questions up the chain of command.
  • Do not explain just what to do, but WHY.
  • Asking questions will not make you look stupid. Not overcoming daring to ask questions will make you look stupid.
  • Leaders cannot let their ego’s take precendence over doing what’s best to accomplish the mission.
  • In a conflict situation, take the blame to disarm the other one’s ego.
  • A team requires every member to be able to depend on the other members.
  • Share success with every member of a team.
  • Make everybody part of the team and focus on the bigger mission.
  • Simplifying is critical to success, make plans clear and concise.
  • People generally take the path of least resistance.
  • Remember, even when everybody understands their plan, the enemy still gets a vote.
  • Focus on the first priority, execute. Then focus on the second priority and execute. Continue…
  • Relax, look around, make a call.
  • Allow for mistakes to be a learning opportunity.
  • Decentralized command means placing full faith in your junior leaders.
  • Decentralize your command. Manage a maximum of 6-10 people.
  • Every leader must know what to do, but also why they are doing it.
  • In the role of junior leader: tell what you plan to do instead of asking your senior what to do.
  • Battlefield aloofness: when leaders appear in control but have no idea what their troops are doing.
  • Decentralized command requires simplicity.
  • It is important to let junior leaders perform tasks, even though the senior leader may be more efficient.
  • Planning starts by asking: what is the mission?
  • Planning:
    – Analyze the mission
    – Identify personnel
    – Decentralize the planning process
    – Determine course of action
    – Empower key leaders
    – Plan for likely contingencies
    – Mitigate risks
    – Delegate portions of the plan
    – Check and question the plan against emerging information
    – Brief the plan to all participants
    – Conduct a post-op debrief
  • Ask your team members “test questions” to assess whether they understand the plan.
  • Let junior leaders make the plan.
  • A good leader does not need insight in the operational level jobs, just their roles in the bigger picture.
  • Lead up the chain of command: be proactive.
  • One of the most important jobs you have is supporting your leader.
  • – Take responsibility in leading subordinates AND superiors.
    – Look in the mirror if someone isn’t doing what you need them to.
  • Do your superiors want you to fail? Of course not.
  • Even impactful decisions can be reversed.
  • It is critical to act decisively amid uncertainty based on the available info.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive.
  • Counter resistance by explaining the WHY.
  • Discipline(d procedures) equal(s) freedom.
  • Weakness translates to more significant decisisons (how you do anything is how you do everything).
  • Being open to suggestions:
    – Be calm, but not robotic
    – Confident, but not cocky
  • Be close to your people.
Make life effortless for your future self

Make life effortless for your future self

Instead of simple sandwiches, my lunches usually consist of some type of salad or skyr/yoghurt with fruits. I do take my time in creating enjoyable lunches for myself. People sometimes ask me, ‘how can you eat so healthy?’ or exclaim, ‘I don’t have time to fix those kinds of lunches’. The truth is, once you have a couple of simple systems in place, the management of your nutrition becomes easy. The fun thing is, the better these systems become, the more leverage these systems create. The effects compound in such a way that fitness becomes increasingly more effortless.

For example, I follow these steps:

  • From experience, I know what meals I enjoy and are conducent to my nutritional goals. These meals contain the micro- and macronutrients I need, but are very enjoyable as well.
  • On saturday, I select the lunches I wish to eat the coming week from these staple meals. I do my groceries, and since I already know what I need, and made my list in advance, these groceries take up very little time.
  • I then prepare these lunches on the nights before, so I have fresh meals every day.

That way I can start of the day without having to spend time in the kitchen. I simply grab the food from the fridge and get to work. Saving a little time, I can start working early and start the day of productively, as I found that the morning hours are my most productive times. More importantly, I won’t have to expend any willpower or thought on my food choices that day, since I already made those. Since I also don’t eat breakfast, the rest of the morning is centered on getting things done, while I can look forward to my lunch.

By the time lunch comes around, I will already have put in a solid 5 to 6 hours of (preferably deep) work, allowing me to focus on more menial tasks in the afternoon. Doing low-stress work at the end of the workday provides the opportunity to wind down and clear the mind so that when I get home, I have all the energy/willpower I need to get to the gym and have an awesome workout. The cycle repeats itself, when in the evening I prepare my foods for the next day.

As I mentioned, the routine creates a sense of effortlessness that spreads throughout the rest of my life. Having my nutrition on point means performing better in the gym, having more energy to do all the things I want to do and being more healthy overall. By feeling better and having more energy I can get more done in a day. This then compounds as I create new systems in my life, further optimizing my activities, making life increasingly easier for my future self.