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FI Weekly – March 1, 2022: Go Outside 365, Learn Anything, Extra Life from Computers

Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.

Going Outside 365 Days Per Year

I don’t usually go back and listen to our ChooseFI episodes after publication, but I made an exception for Episodes 364 & 365, which I think is our best two episode stretch in the history of the show.

If you haven’t had time to listen to them yet, download them on your podcast player of choice.

I got this great email from Greg which added on to a theme from Episode 365:

“Hey Brad, Loved the discussion on the latest episode, #365, about the magic of getting outside. I 100% agree, and I think it’s one of the easiest ways that millions of Americans can radically improve their lives. And the science agrees with me: more and more studies are completed every year confirming the benefits of nature exposure, from reducing anxiety and stress to improving creativity, and so, so much more.

I personally take it one step further and advocate for getting outside every single day. A few years ago, I set a goal of going outside and covering at least one human powered mile every single day. It took me a few tries to make it to 365 consecutive days, but now I’ve been outside and active every single day for the past 1,307 days without fail.

It is by far the best and most rewarding thing I do in my life, bar none.

The Outside 365 thing is kinda my shtick now-I write about it on my website, I’ve written a series of blog posts covering crucial tactics that will help people go from zero to 365 days straight. Hope you dig it, and thanks for all of your fantastic work on Choose FI!


How to Learn Anything

I found this wonderful Twitter thread from Sahil Bloom on “The Feynman Technique—how to learn anything.” Richard Feynman was a theoretical physicist and professor at Caltech who wrote one of my favorite books: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character).”

Sahil goes into detail on each of the steps of the Feynman technique, but in summary:

“The Feynman Technique is a learning framework that forces you to develop a deep, elegant understanding of a given topic.

It involves four key steps:

(1) Set the Stage
(2) ELI5 (Explain It To Me Like I’m 5)
(3) Assess & Study
(4) Organize, Convey & Review”

It’s easy to overcomplicate and intimidate—we all know people who try to do this.

But don’t be fooled–complexity and jargon are often used to mask a lack of deep understanding.

Be better.

Use the Feynman Technique. Find beauty in simplicity.”

Extra Life from an Old Computer?

I came across an article from the Washington Post on a new operating system Google is launching called Google Chrome OS Flex that should allow us to refurbish old computers to operate essentially as a modern Chromebook for web browsing.

The Post described it succinctly:

“On Tuesday, the company announced its plans to release Chrome OS Flex, a completely free offshoot of the Chrome OS operating system you’ll often find on inexpensive laptops and all-in-one computers. The difference? Instead of relying on new hardware, Chrome OS Flex is designed to run on PCs and Macs as old as about 13 years.

That means some of the computers collecting dust around the house can be pressed into service as Web browsing machines, this time with up-to-date security and some fresh features.”

Here is Google’s “early access” page for Google Chrome OS Flex if you want to test this out for free.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Andy said, “Three months ago I decided to do everything I could to increase my salary by 20%. I started by furiously applying to jobs in which I was having minimal success. However, my momentum and desire to achieve my 20% goal propelled me to give 110% in my current job, where I became so involved that I eventually had the courage to ask for a 30% raise and got a 25% raise three weeks later. I’m finally happy to be able to say that I have “supercharged” my path to FI!”
  • Meghan, “My 1% is earning the Southwest Companion Pass by February 19 this year, meaning we’ll get to use it through Dec. 31, 2023. We just learned about the pass in December from your “Families Fly Free” episode, and followed the advice on how to make it happen quickly, applying for and using both the Southwest Rapid Rewards and Southwest Business cards to pay our estimated taxes and other bigger expenses that we’d already been anticipating. After two years of barely setting foot in a plane, we’re so excited to make use of it this year and next to travel. Thank you for sharing that knowledge with your community – it’s been a fun challenge to get it quickly and we feel incredibly motivated after seeing it work for us!” (Brad note:  Now is a perfect time to take our free travel rewards course)
  • Lily said, “My 1% better is finally filled out the paperwork for my works 457(b). I am currently not in the position to max it out, but I can put the most I can while not over extending myself. Now to just mail it in!”
  • Zack said, “I listened to Ep 364 sitting poolside in Boca, and listened to 365 while experimenting in the kitchen (ended up with some terrific Chicken Parm!). I found it funny that 364 was all about doing what makes you happy. Since the beginning of the year, my goal has been to work less and enjoy myself more. I’ve spent that time reading, playing music, cooking, and now I’d like to start traveling more too. I had been driving myself crazy for years, worrying about things that weren’t making my life or anyone else’s better/easier, I’m so happy I reprioritized. I’ve met many financial goals (became debt free in September), but this is different.”
  • Bill said, “1%better for the week. My wife and I use Amazon Prime, and have cut out cable. To still enjoy TV shows such as ‘This is Us’ or the Super Bowl, or Olympics we have used the Amazon Fire Recast. While we don’t need to watch live TV often- this device lets us play these events across our house, and tune high definition over the air television. This has saved us at least $800/ a year for the last three years.”
  • Aaron said, “My 1% better this week is having a job interview! I’m actually in a mini-retirement right now, but months ago I applied for a company I absolutely love. I was rejected, but they kept my resume on file and emailed me to offer me an interview. I think I’m a strong candidate for the position and I love the company, plus the salary range would be about a 25% raise from my previous position, so I’m very hopeful. If you have to cut a mini-retirement early, I can’t think of a better reason to do so than to take a job you’re excited about!”

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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