How would my 100 year old self look back on my decisions?
What would he like my principles to be, for the rest of my life?
My grandfather died saying he had a fantastic life. I want to look back when I’m about to die and tell my grandchildren I had a fantastic life.
So what is a fantastic life?
A fantastic life is one that brings me closer to my goals, and helps me live according to my principles.
The principles are what you're reading below.
The goals are here.
(1) Think Long Term
My 100 year old self wants me to invest in things with provide joy on the long term, and in people who provide joy on the long term.
My 100 year old:
- Is fit and healthy and mentally at ease
- Is surrounded with great people
- Doesn’t depend on the government for retirement
At the start of the Ukraine war in 2022, I read a summary of Ukranian President Zelensky, who was quickly becoming a national here: When he became president, Zelensky asked not to have a picture of him in government buildings, classrooms, ... But instead for everyone to have a picture of their children on their desk. And to think about them when making decisions.
Naval makes an interesting observation about children on Twitter.
(2) Time is My Most Important Resource in Life
I don't want to waste it.
It's a cliche, but I will only live once, I want it to be a life worth living!
I want to treat my body to make sure it can live until a 100 years old (or older!)
(3) A Joyful, Adventureous Life
Life is an Adventure!
My 100 year old self wants me to have led a joyful, energetic life, where I'm always in a peak state. That’s why I prioritise fun.
I laugh violently, I make (bad) jokes.
I try to make other people smile.
It's easier to solve problems in a happy, playful mood.
I want to help people have fun. I want to make a business which is fun. That’s why I’m building in public. To have and ship fun!
I am opportunistic - My 100 year old self doesn't want to regret not doing anything I wanted to do.
I believe my mental health contributes massively to my physical health. If I am unhappy, my body deteriorates, so I better be joyful!
I want to become financially successful as a byproduct of fun. Not the other way around.
I want to see people smile as the result of an interaction with me or my products. I understand it’s challenging to see the smiles on your customers’ faces when building digital products.
(4) Financially Independent
I probably need around 2 million USD if I want to spend 5,000 USD monthly together with my spouse. Assuming we retire at 70 and die at 100.
Frankly, I never want to retire at all. Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet are prime examples.
But having a backup plan is nice.
The biggest potential return is probably in starting a business. That's what I want to do.
I believe the best business is the one you're passionate about, so the path I'm following is building according to my gut feel until I stumble upon something that people want to pay for while at the same time it's something I'm passionate about.
A "Throw until something sticks" approach.
Another part of that is taking risks, for example crypto or real estate.
Newsletter #39 - The Remote Life Plan elaborates on this.
(5) Everything has been done before
For most things in life, there is already someone who has been there before. I don't ask what I want, I ask who I want to become.
(6) Intentional Serendipity
Coming soon, here's already a link to my newsletter covering this. Long story short, it's important to keep meeting people to get new ideas. I'm training my personality to adhere to this principle.
(7) Children Are Amazing!
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, having children is worth it!
It can be hard, but isn't anything worth doing hard?
It adds to Principle 3, it makes life an even bigger adventure.
(8) Be Resourcefull
Having five items in your head even before reaching the Google search bar
There's always a way, I just have to figure out (See Principle 5: Everything has been done before)
(9) Spend time with your parents and listen to their stories
There will come a time when they are not there anymore to tell their stories.
- If there's a reason to dress up for a party, do it! It only has advantages: Costumes are the best, playing a role is great fun, it makes it easier to strike conversation, ... Also applies for suiting up for a night out!
- Be grateful. Donate to charity when you don't feel grateful, when you don't feel abundance. The secret to living is giving
- If I can make every day a great day, than I will always have had a great life!
- I try to speak in positive terms about people. It builds energy and enthusiasm in myself, people are attracted to people who bring positive energy, and it builds a positive image of myself.
- Be Curious. Read Surely You're Joking Mister Feynmann for a masterclass in curiosity and how it brings unexpected surprises.
- Share Winning Stories. After a hard day at work, I try to share what went well, what I liked, what I did and how it made for a better day. Everyone bitches about their work, but somehow we're still making progress, so we must be doing something right?
- It's ok to change my mind. As long as I can explain why. Consistency is overrated.
- I Sing and Dance whenever I can.
- Doing new things first provide fear, and then a whole lot of energy. The short term fear holds us back from the benefits lying behind it.
- I read fiction and (auto-)biographies. Biographies help me decide my goals (see Principle 5: everything has been done before). Fiction helps me relax, and inspires, it allows me to take on a different role and think in a different way (like dressing up for a party). Note: Sometimes it's time to stop reading and start doing. It's a difficult balance. If you're only reading and speaking to people you know the latest trends, ideas, on which you can build. If you're only building and never getting inputs you're probably building in a vacuum.
- I don't eat in airplanes