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Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 08:51 AM   #1
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Wisdom from the experienced

George aka TiogaRV posted this today on his site. When I read this, I can't help but think that I have an awful lot to learn about living my life:

"How do I keep excited and happy, right to the end of being in this place that I love? I certainly do not want to feel regretful now. That would spoil things.

My goal that I made on my birthday for this, my 68th year works for me. I stay in the now, and do not project myself into the future or past. How I do this? Whatever I am doing, I try to hear what is going on around me. Also feel the coolness or the warmth of the air. I stay conscious of all my senses. Hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Maybe that’s why little kids are usually so happy when they are playing? Never worrying about tomorrow, little kids only live in today.

Impossible for me to be feeling regretful when living in the now."
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Words of the wise.

- If only I could do a portion of that I'd be a more fulfilled person
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 09:38 AM   #3
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

"Any morning that you wake up is a good morning"
-Granny Daisy Moses, the Beverly Hillbillies

Hey, don't laugh...sometimes when I'm having a really bad day, just thinking of that phrase really helps lift my spirits!
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345

"How do I keep excited and happy, right to the end of being in this place that I love? I certainly do not want to feel regretful now. That would spoil things.

My goal that I made on my birthday for this, my 68th year works for me. I stay in the now, and do not project myself into the future or past. How I do this? Whatever I am doing, I try to hear what is going on around me. Also feel the coolness or the warmth of the air. I stay conscious of all my senses. Hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Maybe that’s why little kids are usually so happy when they are playing? Never worrying about tomorrow, little kids only live in today...
If you really want a dose of that, try The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Not for everyone, a bit over the edge for some, but interesting reading. Also there are any number of books on meditation that go there, some without a specific religious tilt. Bodian's Meditation for Dummies comes to mind.

I regularly recommend these for selected, receptive patients I see, and have also personally benefited from at least some aspects of this approach to viewing life.

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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

The ability to "focus on the now" exclusively, or put differently, be "childlike" in one's outlook on life, is dependent wholly upon having your daily needs met by others (or other means). For example, a child can enjoy life to the fullest -- exercise his/her imagination as far as it can go -- because his/her parents are worrying about the mortgage, groceries, utilities, healthcare, etc...

FIRE shares many aspects with the life of a child. You no longer need to "work for the man" in order to pay for the foregoing expenses. In fact, you can even put such expenses on automatic pilot (e.g., automatic electronic bill paying, grocery reorders, etc...) Once you're FIRE and have automated your life, your mind is free to wander to its heart's content.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 11:04 AM   #6
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
George aka TiogaRV posted this today on his site.* When I read this, I can't help but think that I have an awful lot to learn about living my life:
Impossible for me to be feeling regretful when living in the now."
At least once a day, usually more frequently, spouse and I will look around and utter in a surprised tone of voice: "Hey, life is good!"

It gets a lot easier to do when you don't have to keep showing up for work...
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
It gets a lot easier to do when you don't have to keep showing up for work...
I hear you, but I also have come to realize that I can't wait that long. Might be dead before it happens, for all I know.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I hear you, but I also have come to realize that I can't wait that long.* Might be dead before it happens, for all I know.
True that.* I struggle with projecting too much of me/us into the future and not enough into enjoying the now.* Must be because I enjoy working, not having a job.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-29-2006, 10:26 PM   #9
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
"How do I keep excited and happy, right to the end of being in this place that I love? I certainly do not want to feel regretful now. That would spoil things.

My goal that I made on my birthday for this, my 68th year works for me. I stay in the now, and do not project myself into the future or past. How I do this? Whatever I am doing, I try to hear what is going on around me. Also feel the coolness or the warmth of the air. I stay conscious of all my senses. Hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting and smelling.* Maybe that’s why little kids are usually so happy when they are playing?* Never worrying about tomorrow, little kids only live in today.

Impossible for me to be feeling regretful when living in the now."
I think he is right if his goal is to massage his personal comfort, which is a reasonable goal at age 68.
Likewise this attitude is helpful for may people at specific times- when having a meal, when making love in a safe environment, when looking at paintings in a museum, etc. Also if a person is really at wits' end, find a safe place and do this as a meditation. But clearly there is a reason why humans tend toward alertness and even a degree of paranoia. Because it has paid of for them, over millions of years! Taken to an extreme, situational alertness becomes paranoia or generalized anxiety. But most people don't take it to an extreme, and it helps keep them alive to reproduce and bring their children to adulthood.

Imagine Tioga's prescription being followed by a parent. I have seen some of this; Valium Mom's they were called. It is laughable if you think about it.

Most people*i have known who claimed to follow the "Live For Today" philosophy were either dopers, nutballs, or predators who hoped to throw their prey off guard.

In a case relevant to an ER board, I know a woman who inherited $2,000,000 and blew through it because her spiritual advisor taught her to live for today. Well, OK, but myself I will pay the price of a bit of anxiety for not being an idiot.

Ha
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 07:23 AM   #10
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Ha, if we were talking about the average Merkin, I would be inclined to agree with you wholeheartedly. But I suspect that most of the posters/readers here are firmly focused on the future, sometimes to the exclusion of the present. I spend many, many hours strapped into a chair in front of a computer. I miss out on the stuff going on out there in the world, and it has become a habit to ignore the real world and keep my head down. As such, living in the moment has become a struggle.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 08:44 AM   #11
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

I made a major change in my personal attitude towards my career about 8 years ago. I made some addtional personal life choices 3 years ago and now I live much more in the present and in the "near future". Life is about balance and that includes how you approach your career, your business or your life. Too much emphasis on any one area will through you out of balance in another area. C-T has stated this many times on this board and I am in the same camp.

Living only in the present is as dysfunctional as never living in it. Our personalities our views on living and our perspective of the world are mostly based on our life-experiences. As each major life experience rolls past us from the present into our past it becomes a part of the jigsaw puzzle of our thinking and perception of the world around us and our place in it. Balance is the modulation of these life-experiences into our every day living patterns coupled with our view of our future. We can affect our future by what we do today. Too much stress can shorten your life. Eating too much and excercising too little will create a number of physical and emotional issues. Working too many hours under too much stress with too few hours dedicated to yourself and your family creates a ton of life-issues that will affect your future. Failure to have a financial plan for your future living expenses will surely leave you underfunded and ill prepared. Too much planning with too much self-imposed and painful frugality can lead to dysfunctional thinking through excessive self denial. Too little frugality can also lead to dysfunctional living with excessive spending and high debt that creates the illusion of happiness but in reality creates guilt and dissatisfaction with one's life. Buying things to create happiness is short lived and creates the need to buy more to keep the rush going. Addiction to most things is unhealthy.

Live in the present but keep a keen eye on your future. Remember your past and use that as a rudder for how you live today.


Guess I am waxing a bit philosophical today.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 01:08 PM   #12
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

When I say I want to live in the now, I think about it not as putting on blinders and just enjoying today without planning for tomorrow.

I think more about it as being conscious about what I am doing, instead of letting my mind wander to worries, conflicts, anxieties not relevant to the matter at hand.* It means really enjoying the company of friends and loved ones instead of worrying about the to-do list...or really enjoying the bike ride with my BF, instead of worrying that I am not developing new tech skills.* Dealing with those nagging things would best be done at the proper place and time.* One project manager I worked with summed it as “Be where your ass is.”* Of course, it is easier said than done.* It is a continuing goal for me.

I especially empathize with Brewer’s feelings about having to spend a lot of time working instead of spending time with loved ones or doing more fun things.* I get impatient that I am not ER or even FI yet; I keep checking my balances and I am afraid I am getting sickly obsessive.* So, I have been trying to work at accepting that this is where I am at right now and try to enjoy whatever there is to enjoy.* FI is a long way unless I want to re-evaluate The Plan, i.e., the “adult”, “flexible”, “balanced” plan* ,* and make BIG adjustments (like get a second job, get a side business going, get a higher-paying job, etc.).* Either way, there is the need to really be in the now with whatever pleasurable activities are available to me.

Re: unpleasant activities, if I could, I would try to think that they are somehow part of whatever “adult” plan or life mode I have, so I will just have to get them done somehow, hopefully with focus and efficiency—alone with some motivators (like a “treat” at the end), with others (might make it more fun), or pay others to do them.* Or maybe there’s a way to make them more pleasant, or come up less painful alternatives.* Right now, I am thinking, how can I make my work more pleasant?* (It’s not bad really, but we all know I’d rather be not working.)

If I sound naive, that’s because I am.*

But really being here now is part of the wisdom of Zen Buddhism and several other* philosophies and spiritual practices.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 03:44 PM   #13
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Good post flipstress!

I have been reading a lot of philosopical books lately, especially as related to Zen Buddism and it amazes me how it seems to track with FIRE. Which is weird since most monks live in poverty. (I guess that was Jay's point, most monk's don't have to worry about the mortgage payment, etc)

Anyway, planning the financial part of ER to the point where you are confident in the budget lets you relax enough later to "enjoy the now" even more than you can while working. Just another good reason to ER.

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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 04:52 PM   #14
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

I guess I tend toward cynicism. Cynicism has never left me disappointed.

Still, I see the point you are all making, and I do practice it in limited doses. Like no multitasking when I am doing something inherently pleasurable.

I also use a meditation technique to put me back to sleep if I wake up during the night.

Ha
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 06:02 PM   #15
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
At least once a day, usually more frequently, spouse and I will look around and utter in a surprised tone of voice:* "Hey, life is good!"

It gets a lot easier to do when you don't have to keep showing up for work...
I think the practice of consciencely recognizing the good things in life on a regular basis is the essence of happiness.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 06:06 PM   #16
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

As the buddist said to the hot dog vendor:

"Make me one with everything..."
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-30-2006, 06:12 PM   #17
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr. Senor Cute 'n' Fuzzy Bunny
As the buddist said to the hot dog vendor:

"Make me one with everything..."
Argh! This post should come with a warning label, "joke best consumed with Pepcid AC"!
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-31-2006, 06:37 AM   #18
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I also use a meditation technique to put me back to sleep if I wake up during the night.
HaHa, can you please share this technique? Thanks.
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-31-2006, 07:08 AM   #19
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

I'm glad to see references to Tioga George come up quite a bit on this forum. His is a great story, and he is an inspiration to many. He is certainly a lesson in how to live life both as a minimalist and as an adventurer!

The "living in the now" advice is great stuff. It doesn't mean not planning ahead. It means being sure you pay attention to the present! So that you actually live your life instead of worry/distract it away.

Even if your life is hectic and stressful. Perhaps you can find a few minutes in a nice space where you can appreciate your surroundings and completely be in the present, letting go of all the anxieties, worries, concerns, angers, responsibilities....

This mindset is kind of like a "muscle" that needs to be exercised regularly - otherwise you lose it.

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Re: Wisdom from the experienced
Old 03-31-2006, 02:18 PM   #20
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Re: Wisdom from the experienced

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipstress
HaHa, can you please share this technique?* Thanks.
Flipstress, I will PM you with it.

Ha
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