I've realized that I prioritize in a pretty different way than others. I don't know that my way is the best way for everyone, but by sharing it I think I may at least expose a few ideas that will be useful for others.
One of my very top priorities is self sufficiency. Not in the prepper sort of way, but just that I want to make sure I can completely take care of all of my needs without imposing upon anyone else. By doing this I can ensure that I have a good life and also that I have the maximum capacity to direct my attention towards other people.
The obvious expression of this is having developed a very satisfying yet extremely inexpensive lifestyle (even with the "luxuries" in my life, I can easily live under $1000/mo) as well as enough effort-independent income to cover those costs permanently. But it also extends beyond finance. I am completely emotionally stable and happy without anyone else. That's not to say that I don't benefit from being around others, only that I don't lean on them for my own well being.
After self-sufficiency, my next priority is probably great relationships with great people. Three of my favorite people were all in Tokyo for the same two days, mostly by coincidence, so I went out for the weekend. Sometimes I fly to San Francisco for just a day or two to see my friends there. Even when I have very important work to do, I'll put it aside to have tea with my friends.
This is the reason that I travel so much. I've found that there's no better bonding mechanism than a trip with some great people, so I say yes to nearly every invitation and try to create many of my own invitations as well.
Ironically, this is also why I try not to meet new people. At this point I know so many people that I find it more valuable to deepen relationships with people I already know.
Another big priority I have is to only impact people positively. This is not possible to achieve completely, but I try. I try to impose as little as possible on others and to do as much as I can for them. This extends even to people I'll never met, and is why there's essentially no advertising or sales pitches on my site.
I also prioritize complete life experience. This one is a bit selfish, but I'd rather acknowledge a selfish priority than to pretend it doesn't exist. I figure that since I'm here in this incredible world and that it's all very likely to be ephemeral and futile, I may as well experience it all while I'm here. That's why I started traveling, why I take random classes like pottery and ballet, and why I strongly favor doing things that others rarely or never do.
Are these the best priorities? Probably not. It would be incredible if I happened to discover the Best Set of Priorities Ever. But they work well for me and they're flexible enough that I can modify as I go. And, most importantly, I actually stick to my priorities and live my life based on them. That gives me continuity (change priorities and watch my actions follow) as well as checks and balances (does this action line up with my priorities? If not, change one or the other).
If you don't know what your priorities are, it pays to figure them out. The best way is to look at your actions and ask yourself what someone would assume your priorities are, if he could see everything you do. If you don't like what you discover, then you can consciously choose your priorities and make sure that your actions follow them.
Photo is a path on the island. I took a lot of island photos while I was there by myself, and haven't been good about taking photos otherwise. I'll be on a cruise soon, so that should yield some good ones.
I've been impressed with this blog, Tynan. And I especially love this post. You're so genuine and forthright. I went through a serious pickup phase myself. I also identify as being highly disagreeable and unempathetic. I also love adventure and cultivating strong friendships. You do an excellent job communicating the realities of living life.
Does the under 1k a month cover insurance? House vehicle health insurance? You have no mortgage payments on any of yr places?
I was wondering the same. @Tynan: It would be interesting to see a rough roundup for your expenses (i.e. ~$X/month food, etc.) and how you manage to keep them so low. Especially with all the travel. Also I'm curious how much you're "cheating" here. You mentioned a few times your vehicles were under an LLC. Does that mean you count those expenses in a different category and they don't appear in the $1k/month?
Thanks for the post. We've been taught that success and money and work should be #1 or at least #2 goal and that we are judged by them. And it took me pretty long time not to feel guilty about the fact that I genuinely love being around people I care about and put work aside from time to time. It's weird but sometimes I felt that enjoying life and doing things that you like is a kind of wrong.
Now I live with my partner in beautiful Spain near the sea and earn around $1k per month doing the job of my dreams (movies' translations) and i've never been happier :) It's difficult to be happy when you have a lot and it is much easier to truelly feel and appreciate life when you have little :)
Has this always been true for you?:
"I am completely emotionally stable and happy without anyone else."
It's always better to look at actions than words. If someone says that they're committed to being healthy, but then they order a fat stack of pancakes... well, maybe they're not so committed after all. Recently I've been thinking about this truism in terms of goals and priorities. Your priorities are what they look like.
When you ask someone what his goals are, especially a young person, you'll probably end up hearing a bunch of talk about making money, traveling the world, getting healthy, learning some big skill, or contributing to the world in some way. Great goals. But if we examine people's actions, do they line up with these goals? Sometimes, but very often they're directly contrary to their goals.
The average person eats unhealthy food, spends a lot of time at a job he doesn't like, engages in junk entertainment like TV or video games, maybe drinks some alcohol, and then goes to sleep. Is he getting closer to his goals? Is he getting farther away from them? What can we conclude about the intent behind his goals?
Maybe the most interesting question would be: what goals is he moving towards? I'd say that he's moving towards comfort. Not decadent comfort like a hammock on a pristine beach, but the comfort of not having to think or exert himself. The comfort of mediocrity. And to be clear-- if someone says that comfort is his only goal, I'd have no criticism of these actions. I have different goals, but even I'm not arrogant enough to judge someone by my own goals rather than his own.
My life philosophy is "Don't be pseudo."
It can be applied everywhere--school, work, relationships, productivity, and health.
It may not be the key to success (this philosophy tends to rub the masses the wrong way), but it's the only way I can live with myself.
I'm not saying I'm any good at my philosophy. People constantly applaud me for being real, brash, and outspoken, but honestly, I'm still constantly pseudo.
I tell myself that I'll do the work today, or that I'm reading a lot, or that I'll start an exercise habit, or that I've been grooming myself daily, but the truth is, I'm not. I'm still a failure.