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FIRE and conscientious people
Old 05-01-2014, 03:40 PM   #1
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FIRE and conscientious people

An interesting story in Business Insider about research that identifies “ conscientiousness” as a basic personality trait.Conscientiousness Predicts Success - Business Insider

Aptitudes of conscientious people:

Quote:
How do you know if you're conscientious? Conscientious people tend to be super organized, responsible, and plan ahead. They work hard in the face of challenges and can control their impulses.
Sounds like the same aptitudes that lead to financial independence and early retirement. It then goes on to correlate this to positive life outcomes

Quote:
Tough says that people who test high in conscientiousness get better grades in school and college, commit fewer crimes, and stay married longer.

They live longer, too, he says. And not just because they smoke and drink less. They have fewer strokes, lower blood pressure, and a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease.

There's a staggering amount of research linking conscientiousness with success. A National Institute of Mental Health study found that conscientious men earn higher salaries. The National Institute on Aging also found that conscientiousness is linked to income and job satisfaction. Other studies show that conscientiousness is the most important factor for finding and retaining employment.
One article, may mean nothing. If correct, though, it would imply that people who FIRE need to plan on making their nest egg last a very long time.


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Old 05-01-2014, 04:05 PM   #2
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Makes perfect sense to me. The article mentions 5 key traits (in bold). At my megacrop, those traits seem to correlate to the following:

Modest success <--- Conscientious, agreeableness
Good success <--- add extroversion
Wild success <--- add openness to experiment, neurotic, luck (right place at the right time), narcissistic (willingness to use others for his/her gain, aka a-hole)
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:42 PM   #3
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Heartening article. It makes a nice counterpoint to the oft-held belief that you have to lack a sense of empathy in order to succeed.
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Old 05-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #4
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I wonder how this correlates to having been a boy scout.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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I wonder how this correlates to having been a boy scout.
I've always been Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, and all those other good things. Never did well with "Obedient", "Reverent", and to a certain extent "Clean".

9 out of 12 was good enough for the review board to give me the eagle scout badge (one of my first steps to world domination bwahahahaha).
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I've always been Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, and all those other good things. Never did well with "Obedient", "Reverent", and to a certain extent "Clean".



9 out of 12 was good enough for the review board to give me the eagle scout badge (one of my first steps to world domination bwahahahaha).

I made it to Life rank, then discovered girls, sports, and beer...

Never did well with obedient and reverent, though okay on the others.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #7
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I made it to Life rank, then discovered girls, sports, and beer...

Never did well with obedient and reverent, though okay on the others.
There may or may not have been girls and beer involved in my later scouting days. Depends on whether the statute of limitations has expired...
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for the article. At first I was a little put off by it--seems obvious that people who set goals and truly work to achieve them in an orderly way will be valuable employees, especially if they also are good team members (e.g. considerate of others, etc). But I've known some people who were successful without those traits. Plus, there's nothing wrong with pointing out the value of these old-fashioned traits to an increasingly cynical population.

The thing about the "conscientious" person is that they've got a very good chance of being pretty successful even if they don't have good luck, exceptional talent, just the right job that happens to be a great fit for their personality, etc. And, they'll probably be happy in a wide variety of jobs--making things better is some reward in itself for these people.

On the other hand, a person who is not conscientious (e.g. an extroverted, talented salesman) might hit the ball out of the park and end up making a ton of money--but if things don't break just right he/she could have real trouble.

Income (by employment or portfolio withdrawals) has declining marginal benefit. Trying for consistent standup doubles and hitting 0.300 is way better than swinging for the fences and thereby batting 0.100.

Steady, determined, consistent work toward a plan is how most folks reach ER, so I'd guess this crowd is fairly conscientious. And, maybe that's also why the conversation tends to stay pretty civilized--consideration of others.

I'm not sure if I'd fit the bill as extremely conscientious. I've got most of the traits described, but I'm not naturally organized. I can inflict it on myself where needed, but it's not my default condition.

Scouts--Hmm. The 12 points of the Scout Law are a pretty good fit for "Conscientiousness." And none of them requires superior talent or any other special gift. I fail on the "reverence" part, and get "partial credit" on others.
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:20 PM   #9
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Many of thes traits are nothing more than having your act together. This reduces stress and probably helps your health. Note, while I've been moderately successful I've not toed the line of complete conscientiousness. Many years as a hard working, beer drinking bulldozer salesman involve many conflicts and contradictions. However basic honesty and not overextending myself financially kept me on the FI path. Saving and investing a substantial amount from each paycheck has been a habit from day one.
DW has been the other factor over the last 36 years which has led to success.
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