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September 26, 2023: Internal Energy Audit, Wisdom from Munger, Daily Routines

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.

Positive and Negative Energy Audit

It’s rare that I find something so good that I paste it here in its entirety, but I found this exercise on Twitter from Tim Ferriss and I think every one of us needs to implement this for a better life starting today:

1. Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.

2. Go through your calendar from the last 12 months, looking at every week.

3. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.

4. Once you’ve gone through the past 12 months, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”

5. Based on the answers, take your “positive” leaders and schedule more of them in the next 12 months.

Get them on the calendar now! Book things with friends and prepay for activities/events/commitments that you know work.

It’s not real until it’s in the calendar.

That’s step one.

Step two is to take your “negative” leaders, put “NOT-TO-DO LIST” at the top, and put them somewhere you can see them each morning.

These are the people and things you *know* make you miserable, so don’t put them on your calendar out of obligation, guilt, FOMO, or other nonsense.

And just remember: it’s not enough to remove the negative. That simply creates a void. Get the positive things on the calendar ASAP, lest they get crowded out by the BS and noise that will otherwise fill your days.

Wisdom from Charlie Munger

One of my favorite books is ‘Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Essential Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger.’  An updated (and much less expensive) version is set to release later this year, and I already preordered.

The book is filled with Charlie’s essential speeches and you can learn more about human nature and investing from this one book than just about anywhere else.

David Senra, the host of the excellent ‘Founders Podcast’ turned his notes on this book into a list of 28 Munger maxims.  Here are my favorites:

  • Don’t work with anyone you don’t admire.
  • Incentives rule everything around you. Look for them.
  • Make friends with smart dead people. Adam Smith, Darwin, Cicero, Ben Franklin —whoever interests you. Read their writing. Steal their ideas. They don’t need them anymore.
  • Find out what you are best at. Then pound away at it. Forever.
  • Use money to buy freedom.
  • Self improvement has no end.

Daily Routines of High Performers

I came across a fun site called that all the optimizers out there in our community will love.

They go through all the podcasts and writings of famous optimizers and put together a comprehensive list of the “daily routines and rituals of interesting people.”

The site currently features some of my favorites including: Andrew Wilkinson, Rhonda Patrick, Andrew Huberman, Peter Attia and Tim Ferriss.

This is the best curated site I’ve ever seen, and I know part of my frustration in following some of these people is they drop these little nuggets in across so many episodes that it’s hard to find anything comprehensive.

That problem is solved.

ChooseFI Community Taking Action This Week

  • Karen said, “My 1% better this summer was convincing my teenage kids to have a “podcast club” with me. The kids are 18 and 20 years old; one is in college, the other starts this year. We listened to two ChooseFI classics (Pillars of FI and Simple Path to Wealth with JL Collins) by my choice, and two kids’ choice episodes about finding purpose in life and buying your first home. Each of us took notes as we listened to the podcasts, then we met to discuss the information. A couple of times, we met for pizza or ice cream to increase the fun factor. The kids actually took good notes, asked questions, and were interested in the information! Sometimes I’ve worried that my kids need more “adult” financial training just at the point that they’re leaving home, so this was a great way to introduce some potentially new ideas. I did have a proud-parent moment when my daughter decided the Pillars of FI information was “kind of basic”—obviously, for many folks, it isn’t basic information, but I felt happy that she had absorbed some of the lessons we’ve tried to model! The podcast club is on hiatus now that school has started, but I hope to continue next summer.
  • Laura said, “My 1% this month was finally paying off $25K of student loan debt. I am now debt free and there is no greater feeling! I will use the extra money to fund my Roth IRA.
  • Alicia said, “I wanted to share our hotel redemption story with you: I am running in the NYC Marathon on 11/5 and since I use ice baths as a recovery technique, my husband pushed us to find a hotel that had a separate tub from the shower. Marathon weekend brings 50,000 runners and their families to NYC. Unbelievably we were able to reserve Saturday and Sunday nights at the Park Hyatt for 27,000 points per night! The rooms were going for $1,270 per night. Very excited to not have to go far after I cross the finish line.
  • Bill said, “The good 1% news this week is that my family and I are staying on track with not spending money frivolously and yet creating more memory dividends than ever. Over the last 4 weeks we have added $2500 to savings, we are playing more games with our kids, biking, exploring, kayaking and just being better people. I truly believe after doing it the only way to change your world is to change yourself.
  • Rakesh said, “I used to run and did not pay attention to the run summary. After listening to you a couple of episodes back, I started looking at the summary. I am running intentional in Zone 2 now. And once in a week I push myself to Zone 5. I did my cholesterol check and it’s down 50 points since June. I am finally under 200 pts after 2016. It’s amazing to see the results when you exercise regularly. I did a challenge for no sugar August so I avoided processed sugar. I lost almost 10 pounds in 7 weeks. Life is great.
  • Ethan said, “My 1% better this week is asking for three weeks off of work next summer for my honeymoon! We are planning on going to Japan for a dream trip and I was nervous to ask for this much continuous time off. To my surprise, my boss approved it without issue. A reminder to everyone that it’s worth it to ask the uncomfortable questions – the worst that can happen is that someone says no. The cherry on top of this is that my boss has been impressed with my recent work and awarded me with a $1,500 bonus that should hit my next paycheck! This will help with wedding and honeymoon funding so that I can still max out my 401k and ROTH IRA next year without feeling a strain on the day to day budget.

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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