3# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 51 %

This month leverage: 100 %

Rolling savings rate since February 2016: 55 %

Total value of portfolio: 550.000 DKK (84.000 $)

Years till I hit a 7 % SWR: 2.6 Years

% Change since last month: 1.8 %

So What The F*** Happen This Month

I think we all know this month has been a rowdy one. Stock wise. Excluding this day (where everything seems to go up) my portfolio is down 25.000 DKK (3.800 $).

I have been quiet excited about the market drop. I have taken this quote from Warren Buffett quiet serious.

Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful – Warren Buffett

All stocks has pretty much only gone up for a long time.

The Shiller PE 10 were at the second highest ever recorded.*

So I can have a hard time justifying buying stocks. And because of that I have decided to have some of portfolio in cash. Around 10 %. There is several reasons for that:

  • By having some cash I can rebalance if the market should take a big dive.
  • And I think it is a responsible thing to do when I leverage my investments by 50-100%. It means that I can afford the leverage. If everything tanks, I still got some cash reserves to make sure that everything is good.
  • Plus I would like to have a 1-2 years of cash when/if I quit my fulltime job. And this resonates very well by having 10 % cash. So if I end up with a portfolio of 2.500.000 DKK (380.000 $) I would have around 250.000 DKK in cash. Which is equivalent to two years of my spending.

BUT!

When the market did drop this month, I could finally justify buying some stocks. And Morningstar begins to call that the general market is undervalued**

I don’t practice market timing. So I will buy whatever the market does. But I would lie to you, if I said that I didn’t feel an inner resistance when everything just goes up and up and up.  And that’s where my 10 % cash allocation feels good.

Just Bring Another 2008

I think this month would be similar to something that happen back then. We just need to experience them for 9-10 consecutive months.

But this month has just proved that my portfolio can decline 4-6 %, and still be able to make the portfolio rise. 

*http://www.multpl.com/shiller-pe/

**https://www.morningstar.com/tools/market-fair-value-graph.html

The Minimalistic Way of: Eating

I have decided to make a series of different articles with the topic of minimalism. They will be called “The Minimalistic Way of:” and then I will dive into different topics.

This article is about how we can have a more minimalistic approach to our eating habits.

We all know that eating three meals a day is the most healthy way to eat. So the only thing we can discuss is what we are going to eat in those three meals.

WRONG!

Eating three meals a day is only a western cultural norm. There is an avalanche of studies showing up these days how NOT eating is can be healthier for us humans.

How can fasting makes us healthier?*

  1. Reducing Insulin Resistance
  2. Fighting Inflammation
  3. Hearth Health
  4. Boost Brain Function
  5. Boosting Metabolism / Weight loss
  6. Increases Growth Hormone (getting buff as fuck)**
  7. Longevity***
  8. Cancer Prevention

These are “only” the benefits fasting can have to our physic.

But fasting can also benefit us in our daily life.

Different Ways of Fasting

Fasting can be done in many different ways. But one of the more popular one is called 16/8, 8 hour diet or time restricted eating.

This means that we will be fasting for 16 hours (including sleep) and eat for 8 hours. The benefits of fasting already occurs when we have not eaten for 12 hours. But the sweet spot is around 16-24 hours.

Some of the most popular fasting patterns looks something like this:

16/8: This where we eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours (including sleep). This can be done by skipping breakfast, and only eat lunch and dinner. This is often done daily, or every weekday. When you get used to it, it is not that hard to do daily. This is also my favourite, because you save time daily.

OMAD: One meal a day. There is not much to it than that. It is one of the more extreme regiments. We could also call it 23:1. Fasting for 23 hours, and eating for 1 hour. I have heard some rumors about that Jakob Lund Fisker from earlyretirementextreme.com should eat this way.

5:2: Is more extreme the days we do fast, but we have more “normal” days. It suggest that in two non-consecutive days we will eat 500 kcal/day for women, and 600 kcal/day for men. For the other five days we eat normal. The fasts are typical done in Mondays and Thursdays.

How Fasting Can Save Us Time

If you decide to do the fasting I prefer, which is the 16/8. You will end up saving time each and everyday. 16/8 means that you fast for 16 hours (including sleep) and eat for 8 hours. And we can do that by only eating lunch and dinner, and skip breakfast.

Breakfast is the least social meal in our daily routine. Lunch is often spent at the job with co-workers, and dinner with the family.

But if we can skip breakfast, we don’t have to prepare that meal in the morning. When I have days like this. I can wake up at 7 AM, and be out on my bike on my way to training/work 7:15 AM. That is awesome. The only thing I spent time on will be:

  • Take a piss
  • Getting dressed
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Brush my teeth
  • Pack a gym bag

And if I’m super lazy this will take me 30 minutes. And if I’m in a hurry, it can be done in 5 minutes. No need to spent hours in the morning. Instead I can sleep for another hour, rather than sit crunched over a bowl of oatmeal.

How Fasting Can Save Us Money

Let’s imagine again that we decide to give the 16/8 protocol a chance. So we skip one meal, and we decide it will be the breakfast. Breakfast is not the most expensive meal. It is cheap to eat breakfast at home. That won’t cost us more than 2 $/meal. But if we are one of those types who grabs something on our way to job. It can easily cost us 10 $/meal, for a croissant, coffee and a juice. But I imagine that people who reads this site is not that stupid with their money.

So let’s go for the 2 $/meal for the breakfast.

Preparing and eating breakfast can take between 15-30 minutes, give or take. If we imagine that we can be 30 minutes earlier on work each day. Because we don’t have to think about breakfast each morning. This leaves us with 10 hours/month of more work. If we have a job where we can work overtime, of course.

If we earn 15 $/hour after taxes the equation would look something like this:

15 $ x 10 hours = 150 $ + (2 $/meal x 30 days = 60 $) = 210 $/month

210 $/month for doing absolutely NOTHING!

How awesome is that?!

But it’s getting better.

Because you are an avid reader of this page. You do some index investing. If you can form this habit for the next 10 years. And invest those 210 $ each month.

If we have an annual 7 % ROI for those 210 $/month, your portfolio is going to be about 37.000 $ higher 10 years from now.

37.000 $ FOR DOING FREAKING NOTHING!

I think it is insane.

We are not doing anything. Research shows us that we are likely to be healthy doing so. AND we will be 37.000 $ richer.

Not to mention CO2 emission. ****

What’s not to like?

Think about this. In the western society we have never been fatter than we are today. And we are causing to much damage on the world. Food is one of the major reasons for this. The equation look like this:

Eating the we way do now + We will get to fat and sick = To much CO2

It seem so obvious. Everybody will win in this situation, just by skipping a couple of meals each week.

Just try it.

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*https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits

**https://leangains.com/

***https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/longer-daily-fasting-times-improve-health-and-longevity-mice

****https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=325&v=nUnJQWO4YJY

Budgets. Don’t do them.

Still to this day I don’t understand budgets.

I have hated them back when I was young an idiot with my finances. But I still don’t like budgets.

I think they are boring, and a waste of time.

“But Loui? How can you save money if you don’t do budgets?”

There is a law called Parkinson’s law.

It states that:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”

Putted in other words. If you give a project two weeks, you are likely to come up with tasks that takes about two weeks to complete. And the same goes for our finances.

If we earn 3000 $/month and we would like to save the largest amount of those money. The traditional way of figuring out how much money we can save would go something like this:

  1. Do a budget in the start of the month
  2. Figure out how much you can save
  3. Save and invest that amount

What is wrong about that is that we focus on the budget first. Just like Parkinson’s law affects deadlines on projects. It effects the same way on our finances.

If we budget 400 $/month for groceries, that is likely the amount we are going to spend on our groceries.

If we however look at how much we want to save, and make that the first thing we put aside. Parkinson’s law is going to work its magic for us.

Lets say the we make 3000 $/month, and we would like to save 50 % of that (1500 $). That would be the first thing we do when a paycheck arrives.

From there, our job is just to live on whats left.

I have even done periods where after what I have saved and invested, my account balance would be zero. So I knew whenever I wanted to buy something, my account would go in debt. That of course was just an experiment to see if I could spend even less by doing that. And I did. But it was tough.

I would recommend people try out such an experiment. Start a month with nothing on your account.

There is two reasons why it is has some benefits:

  1. You are going to love just to have SOME money on your account the next month.
  2. You are likely going to save and invest more than you normal would.
Do you want to read some life changing books?

I have been asked a lot what I could recommend people to read. And because of that. I have made a “Shit I Love” site,where you can find all sort of things that I use myself, and what I think can benefit you.

As I’m writing this there is only a couple of books that I recommend. These books have been life changing for me, and that’s why I think you should read them to.

All of the links are affiliate links, so if you use on those links. You will support this site without it’s costing you a dime.

Check the books out here:

CLICK HERE

 

 

So You Think Your Workday is 8 Hours?

We think our full-time work is an 8 hour workday, which is a lie.

A workday for normal person would go something like this:

Sleep: 8 Hours

Work: 8 Hours

Free time: 8 Hours

Total: 24 Hours

While that is true on paper. It is far from how we really spend our precious time. To have some healthy sleep we need to sleep between 7-9 hours. The older we get the less sleep we need.

But how does our workday really look like?

How many of our daily activities is work related?

Let’s try to sum it up.

Our Job Hours/Week
(Before adjustments) 40
Adjustments
Commuting 7.5
Costuming 2
Relaxing at home 5
Talking about job 2.5
Escape entertainment 5
Job related illness 1
Job, with Adjustments 53
Hours/Day 10,6

If we count every minute there is job related we end up on 53 hours/week, and not 40. And this has several disadvantages.  (And this calculation exclude working overtime and in weekends.)

If we think we have an hourly rate of 15 $, we are more likely to have a 11 $/hour. But because we spend 2,6 hours more than we think on something work related and we only have about 5 hours of “free” time.

This free time includes all of the household chores as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, picking up kids and so on.

If  we on average spend two hours a day on all of the household chores, we end up with only 3 hours of free time. These can be used for family/friends/spouse, training, reading/writing or whatever that brings us joy.

But is that how we want to spend all of our 50 years of working?

I know how those 3 hours feel. I’m often super exhausted, and I don’t feel like doing anything.

And is that what we want?

Three hours of not feeling like doing anything?

Just looking forward to the weekends and the holidays three months from now?

That my friend is just sad.

Fortunately there is a solution to all of this nonsense we call “normal”!

Not Spending All of Our Income

It can be done in extreme ways, saving +50% of our income (Which is what I prefer). But saving “just” 10-20 % of our income can make a huge difference for a start.

Doing this has a lot of different advantages.

  • We can work for six months, and then take the next six months off.
  • We can work part-time. So we only have three workdays instead of five
  • We can save and invest for 10-15 years and quit our job for good

And this is something we can do this very day. It is just a decision not to spend all of our money, and maybe quitting some monthly subscriptions.

Living A More Minimalistic Life

Less is more.

And let me show you how.

Whenever we do/have less, we make space for the more important things.

And there is several ways we can do this: 

Skipping breakfast. Yes you got that right. Breakfast is not the most healthy meal of the day. There is several studies on if we decrease the time we eat everyday from 16 hours to 8 hours we will have several health benefits. One of them is longevity. In other words. Only eat lunch and dinner. This is called Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating.  This does not only free up the time we need to prepare extra meal, but we will also save some money since we do not need to shop for breakfast.

Having less stuff can benefit in SO many ways.

  • Less stuff in our homes makes it easier to clean and tidy up.
  • Having fewer parts of clothes makes it easier to laundry.
  • Having fewer parts of clothes makes it easier to decide what to wear.

Commute on our bike to work. By doing this we can skip the membership of our gym, and we exercise five times a week instead of a couple of times. Time and money well saved!

Let’s imagine that you listen to what I say. And you will start to:

  1. Skip breakfast.
  2. Wear the same dress shirt for a week.
  3. Cleaning and tidying less.

I think you are going to at least save 30 minutes everyday which you can spend on your free time instead of your workday!

Let me help you!

If you feel overwhelmed in your daily life. And you would like to have a more simple life, where you are in charge of your day and finances.

Then let me help you!

I walk the talk. Trying to live my own life to the fullest. By ditching the shit that doesn’t matter to me. And making room for the awesome stuff.

Click on the link below, and let me know your story, and I will let you know how I can coach you.

If you are based in Copenhagen we can meet up, but I can coach you online aswell.

CLICK HERE

FIVE FIRE FAQs

There has been a lot of focus on the FIRE community from the media lately. And I get a ton of questions from people who have never heard about financial independence before.

So I thought a FAQ article was a good thing to post.

Why do you strive for FIRE? (Financial Independence, Retire Early)

I have reached a point in my life where I have realized that none external things is going to make me happier. If I can’t be satisfied with what I all ready have, then I will never be happy.

Because of that I end up with a lot more money than I need. And that gives me the opportunity  to reach for financial independence quiet early in life.

That is something I think I will appreciate more later in life.

What If you get hit by a car and die tomorrow?

This will take us back to the first question.

If we imagine that someday in the future I will declare myself as financial independent, that would be lovely. But. I’m not expecting that day where “I finally will be happy”.

Far from it. I will see it as an awesome opportunity to do more or less what I want. And I can’t see how that can harm me.

So I would be very sad if my last day will be tomorrow. But only because my life would come to an end, and not because I had money in my bank account that I didn’t spend.

Are you willing to mooch on your community because you won’t pay taxes?

The media loves to bring up the word “retirement”. And whenever people hear that word, we immediately think of a person who is laying in a hammock or playing petanque all day.

And that is not what I’m attending to do.

I love to do stuff. And I can’t imagine me going through a week where I don’t do something I enjoy, and not making some kind of money out of it. Maybe it won’t be much but I think I will keep working.

But let’s imagine that I manage to save enough to pull the plug from a full-time job at age 35 and NEVER EVER earning another dollar from manual labour. I would still be paying taxes from my investing. Which I gladly do.

What if everybody did like you? Then there won’t be no stock market you could benefit from.

And that is true. If everybody decided to only work on Saturdays and Sundays, and then do what they like on the weekdays. Mostly commuting by bike. And 80 % of their meals would be vegetarian.

Then yes, I think the modern way we see capitalism would have a hard time. But if everybody lived liked that, we would fix the environmental problem in no time, and I genuine believe that people would be happier.

And this is a price I’m willing to pay ten folded. If people read all of this and they think the whole point is for me to get rich (at all cost), they are misunderstanding the whole thing.

If we don’t take action about the environmental issues on our own, it looks like we won’t be here on planet earth for much longer.

What about kids, don’t you wanna have a family?

Sure I do. That is also one of the main reasons I’m doing this.

I keep hear friends and co-workers how tough it is to have kids. And I believe them. I love visiting my friends with kids. But it is just as big a relief to leave them again. Because it is awesome just to arrive home with some quiet time. But if you are a parent, you can’t just leave your kids.

It is more or less like a full-time job for the first 5 years of their lives, and from age 5-18 it will be more like a demanding part-time job.

And I can’t imagine how a full/part-time job (having kids) combined with a real full-time job is the most optimal to our wellbeing.

I think it is way better to give the kids the attention they need, without the stress a fulltime work can give to your child raising. Plus it can give myself some free time. Where I can do some work if I feel like it, or just let the day pass by as it suits me.

What If We Had Another 2008? (It will be fine)

As the avid reader might have read in my monthly FI updates. I write that I will reach my first big milestone of a 7 % withdrawal rate in about 3 years.

I calculate this very simple.

  1. I divide my yearly spending 110.000 DKK (17.000 $) with 0,07
  2. I look how big my portfolio is now.
  3. I subtract step one with step two. 1.600.000 – current portfolio.
  4. I divide the result from step three with the average amount I save in a year.

And that is how I end up with 3 years. Give or take.

I don’t calculate with any return on the investment. Just to make it more simple.

How would things look if the 2008 stock market started tomorrow?

Or what about if it happen the day that I would quite a fulltime job?

The picture below is how my portfolio would look like if I keep save and invest 24.000 DKK/month (4.000 $).

16.000 DKK of those money would be my own, and 8.000 DKK of them would be borrowed/leveraged.

From 1/1/2008 to 31/12/2010 I would end up with a 1.530.000 DKK (236.000 $) and with an annual return on investment of -3 %.

Even with a -40 % in 2008 I would have reached my first milestone of 7 % SWR on my annual spending.

What would happen if three years from now, where I’m likely to hit that milestone and the crash happens then?

In this scenario where we have the 2008 crash right where I’m “supposed” to hit my first milestone. The portfolio will crash. Just before I hit those 1.600.000 DKK the portfolio is going to tank. But as you can see. Even with 40 % reduction in my portfolio, I’m going to hit that number if I keep investing, and work for another 8-9 months or so.

And that isn’t too bad.

I mean. The 2008 crash was one of the worst we have seen in this century. Not that I’m saying it won’t happen again. What I’m saying here is that even with one of worst scenarios, we are only postponing our milestone with a couple of months.

It is going to be a bumpy right. But sit back and relax. It is just a matter of a couple of months. Or maybe a year or two. (If shit really hits the fan)

How Imperfection Can Change Our Life For the Better

For many years I saw myself as a perfectionist.

I wanted to do stuff better than the average joe. So I did my very best to do so.

While this can be good to some extend. It can one of the biggest procrastination issues. We all the know the feeling of how we would like to do something when the time is just right. It could be something like:

“Whenever I have achieved (Insert achievement), I will start a blog about it”

Or.

“When I have just gained a little more information about (insert a craft), then I will open my business of my dreams”

Or.

“When the (Insert investment) will hit that low. Then I will invest”

Or.

“When I have just saved (insert amount) $, I will go on that trip”

Or.

“I will say hi to that girl/boy when I have the perfect outfit on”

The truth is there will never be a perfect time to do anything. The most “perfect” time to execute on something, is this very day. Being a perfectionist is just an apology to postpone our dreams because of insecurity.

I deal with this myself. Writing on this blog is often terrifying. English is not my first language, and my vocabulary is far from perfect. But that doesn’t have to stop me, or you.

Trying to strive for imperfection can be a relieving feeling. The feeling of not have to do something perfect is awesome. It removes the inner voice in the head that says what we are doing is not good enough. Because that is what we are striving for. Things that aren’t perfect, but they are there. And they will do the job way better than something that doesn’t exist.

The Binary Mindset

Not that I’m a computer engineer, but what I do know is that computers operates in 0 and 1. Which mean either it does something, or it don’t.

This can be a healthy way to look at taking action.

To either do it. Or not.

Let’s imagine that you meet that cute person you have been thinking about the last month. And boom. Right next to you in the supermarket guess who is there? The cute person.

Now we want to take that binary mindset, and tell ourself to go from a 0 mode to a 1 mode. The trick is to forget the inner monkey mind who tells you all sort of weird things like you don’t have the right clothes on.

In this situation we could walk over to the person, and just say:

“Hi (Insert the person’s name)”

Now we have just went from the 0 to the 1, and our mission is accomplished.

The next time we hear this voice of doubt in our head. Acknowledge it. And then move on, and do something imperfect. Just do it. No matter how bad it is.

In fact. Try to do it bad. What our internal voice might think is bad, can probably do the job. And maybe even do a good job.

Perfection doesn’t exist.

Things can always be better.

Spending 60 minutes “perfecting” a 1 minute action doesn’t mean it will be 60 times better. 

Far from it.

Quantity Perfectionist

“This year I’m going to lose XX amount of kg, and I’m going to do it by eating well and run four times a week!”

Does that sentence sound familiar?

Way too often. We think that in order to do something, we need to take major action. Yes, taking huge steps toward our dreams will help us faster than small steps. But taking huge steps for a couple of months won’t take us anywhere.

That is where the perfectionist mindset about quantity comes in.

Let’s use me as an example. I could tell myself that in order for this blog to “succeed” I have to write at least 1000 words a day.

There is two reasons why this is bad for my progress on this blog:

  1. I’m setting myself a limit of 1000 words. Everyday I will sweat about those 1000 words. But whenever I hit that number. I will stop. “Man! Those 1000 words were hard to write. I better stop now”.
  2. When I don’t hit those 1000 words I’m going to feel bad. There is nothing wrong by setting ambitious daily goal. But going from 0 km/h to 200 km/h in no time. Is a bulletproof way of failing. And no one likes to “fail”.

What can we do instead?

Start being imperfect about what it takes. 

Instead of telling myself I need to write a 1000 words, I can say:

“Just write 50 words everyday, if you feel like more, do it. If not, don’t”.

If we imagine taking action as floor and a ceiling. If we make big ambitious daily goals. We are more likely to create a ceiling for ourself. But if we make small daily goals we create a floor.

By focusing on the floor (small daily goals) the ceiling becomes infinite. 

If I feel like writing 2000 words one day, good for me. But if I don’t feel like it the next day. I can just write my 50 words, clap myself on the shoulder and move on with a good gut feeling.

This can be applied to every area of our life.

If we want to eat healthier, we can just eat 1 piece of vegetable everyday. Forget about spending 30+ minutes everyday on shopping and cooking those salads. Maybe some days we will. And maybe it will be so life changing, that it doesn’t feel like a burden anymore. It is just a habit.

Or if we want to exercise more. Just run for 1 minute or take the stairs. Don’t even think about that you have to change to the sporty outfit. Just do a tiny thing. Maybe when we start to do so. It feels kind of nice, so that one day we feel like changing for to the sporty outfit and run for 30 minutes.

It can also be applied to investing and early retirement. Yes we would like to have +50 % savings rate. But just start with 5 %. That is what I did.

The beauty about taking small steps everyday is that we adapt. Running for 1 minute everyday ends up being super easy to do. Suddenly we will find ourselves running for 10 minutes, and that might end up being easy to.

Plus it is very rewarding to make progress everyday. Even small ones.

It will make us feel like doing more, instead of beating ourself up not accomplishing the big glamorous goals.

Almost 10 years down the road as an elite athlete I have seen a very clear pattern of the athletes who is world-class, and the ones who are not. And what the world-class athletes has is consistency.

We will do way better in any area of our lives by showing up at 95 % each day, rather than going 105 % when we kind of feel like it.

2# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 20 %

This month leverage: N/A

Rolling savings rate since February 2016: 56 %

Total value of portfolio: 540.000 DKK (84.000 $)

Years till I hit a 7 % SWR: 3.1 Years

% Change since last month: 3.2 %

So What The F*** Happen This Month

This month has been the third worst month according to my savings rate since I started this journey back in February 2016.

I have been away with the national rowing team for six weeks. First we were on a four-week training camp in Austria, and then we left for the world championships in Bulgaria for about two weeks.

Even though we did terrible at the world championships, I’m still grateful for the experience.

Because of the six weeks away from my day job, I ended up with almost no money this month. That is not moving me closer to my FI goal. But I do love rowing. So getting the opportunity to eat, train and rest for six weeks where I don’t have to pay for it, is even more awesome!

After my last update, I ended up buying more stocks and leveraged more than I wrote. So the comparison to last month is a bit off. In the future I will do all of my savings, borrowing and investing before I make this post. So I don’t end up doing other stuff than I what I have written here.

Due to the bad savings rate I’m not going to invest, or leverage anything this month.

I would like to have about 10 % in cash. As a buying opportunity if the market will crash (Which if think it will soon). I do not believe in market timing, and the only reason I’m not investing this month is because of the lack of my saving. It doesn’t make any sense to buy a low amount of shares, because of the fees it will cost me on the transaction.

I have invested this month though. I maxed out a tax-advantaged retirement account with 5100 DKK (800 $) with funds from my account where I borrow my money.

The money of that retirement account is not included in my networth. Because I won’t be ale to use those money until I hit the “cultural retirement age” of +65 years.

Hopefully I will have a better savings rate next month.

Comfort Is for Wimps

How many things have we purchased, done or said because we thought it was a comfortable thing to do?

I think that comfort is one of the biggest killers to a life we really have a deep desire to have. What we need to do is know what is a necessity and what is a comfort.

Let’s take an example.

Whenever I travel I see people with noise reduction headphones, a laptop, decompression socks and some sort of neck pillow (what the fuck is that anyway?!).

How many of these things is a necessity to our three-hour flight? Or are they just comfortable to bring with us?

What about the brand new car we have bought to drive the 10 km for work? Is that a necessity? Or couldn’t a 5.000 $ car done the job? Or what about biking that distance instead? Then we would save money, being healthier and we can skip that mandatory fitness membership, and spend that time by doing something that we really want to.

All the things that we really NEED is quiet easy to obtain in most part of the world. While the things we WANT can be quiet hard to get.

What about that carrier/car/house/flat/achievements we have this very day. They were once something that we only could dream of a couple of years ago.

And are we that much happier in this present moment than we were back then? I’m not.

We are doing all sort of things today that people in the 1900’s couldn’t even dream of. And do you think that we are happier today, than we were back then? I don’t think so.

What if we started to be grateful for those things that is easy to obtain here in life:

  • Living wherever we want
  • Wearing the clothes that we want
  • Eating the food that we like

Imagine that we would leave for a one month trip. How much would you pack? There is often some sort of human logic when we are going for a long trip, we need to pack a lot of stuff!

But what if we just packed:

  • another t-shirt
  • a shirt
  • two pairs of underwear
  • two pairs of socks
  • passport
  • phone
  • a charger for your phone
  • cash
  • toothbrush

At first that might seem intimidating. Because there is not much comfort in leaving your country with a lot less stuff than we initially would have packed.

I have not yet experienced to go with the minimum. Or what we would call the necessities. Without it felt more free.

What I thought would be inconvenient not to have, was actually awesome.

The feeling of being able to do things easier, and way simpler than ever thought possible is relieving. We can do so much more, with way less. 

So whenever we make our next trip/purchase/decision we should ask our self the following:

And if you chose the “No” route. Give yourself a clap on the shoulder. We have now made room in our wallets and mind to start being happy about the stuff we already have and what really matters.

The Power of Gratitude, and Small Things

I have been practicing an elite athlete routine for almost a decade now.

The most important takeaway I have from that decade is that everything is made through consistency.

Consistency trumps everything. Not one single thing is more powerful than consistency. 

I have always been a really impatient guy (And I still am to some extend). But when I realised the power of small actions every single day instead of searching for big leaps every once and while. My mindset changed.

I have six things I will do every single day. And these six things is so stupidly easy to do, that there is no excuse not to do them. If I really want it. I can do all six of them in less than 10 minutes.

At the moment the six things are these:

  1. Write 50 words on this blog
  2. Meditate for 1 minute
  3. Come up with 1 article topic for this blog
  4. Read 2 pages of a book
  5. Stretch for 1 minute
  6. Acknowledge 1 thing that you are grateful for

And I have a 7th one. But this one does not require me to do anything. I can check this off if I haven’t spent any money that day.

I’m doing this with a free app called Loop – Habit Tracker.

After I have installed the app, I can make some widgets to the starter screen, where I can check them off as I’m doing them.

The most powerful of them might also be the easiest one. It is the daily gratitude. If we don’t acknowledge the things we already have, we will never do it.

Happiness is not around the next corner, purchase, investment or traveled to. 

If we expect happiness to arrive when we final reach some imaginary milestone we will be in for a huge disappointment.

When we start to embrace the stuff we all ready have, and start to be thrilled about living in the most luxury time of man kind. Where more and more people have a decent place to live and a super market packed with organic foods within five minutes on a bike.

For a couple of years ago I stumbled across how fasting can be healthy for us humans. And until that day I think that I have had breakfast, lunch and dinner for 99 % of my life. Isnt that insane?! I never in my entire life had to miss a meal.

No matter how happy we are, there will be a person out there who has way less friends, less food, less stuff and less money, and still being happier than we are.

But if we start to practice a daily gratitude of that prosperous world the majority of people live in. We can be happier within seconds.

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t buy to many things. Because I know that 99 % of the time it will not serve how I feel.

Where I like to splurge is to buy a good friend a take-away pizza and a bottle of wine, and then have a conversation that sounds like this:

“You are the bomb!”, I will tell my friend with red wine teeth.

“No! You are the bomb!”, says my friend while he is pouring another glass of wine.

And this conversation will loop until the early morning.

That to me is happiness.