Posted on August 9, 2023
Working at the Disruptive Futures Institute for the past 2+ years has really tuned my brain in a couple interesting directions. Living with my very intelligent and always-critically-thinking girlfriend for the past 3+ years has also really tuned my brain up. I’ve been forced to rethink what I believe repeatedly, to really evaluate why I think things are the way they are – or why the assumptions I’ve made in the past were wrong. I strongly believe these experiences have gradually formed me into a “better” person.
I’ve recently been focusing on values-based living – values like not being a hypocrite, or not being a narcissist. I don’t want to say the words “dissolving the ego”, because nothing I’ve been doing has been that powerful or repeatedly intentional (I’m not currently sitting in a dark room for hours on end every day – or at all). No matter what you call it, the results have been promising. I feel pretty good about where I’m at.
What am I doing all of this hedging for? Basically, I’m trying to puff myself up a bit by tearing myself down a bit – I’m trying to prove that the “bragging” I’m about to do is not egotistical (like, by crediting my employer and my girlfriend, or by talking about values-based living…). I had pretty narcissistic tendencies in the past, so it’s hard for me to talk super positively about myself and feel like it’s justified. I don’t think I’m really bragging here – I just feel like what I’m doing in this blog post could be perceived as bragging. And, as stated above, I’m becoming more allergic to hypocrisy – and hypocrisy is exceedingly easy to engender when you’re giving life advice.
Let me cut to the chase: I recently got my first “award” on reddit. In fact, I got two awards on the same comment I made.
At some point in the past, I aspired to have passive income. Thus, I subscribed to the /r/passive_income subreddit. You end up seeing a lot of the same shit in this sub. Here’s what this post said:
23 years old with $500k, best course of action?
I am a 23 year old with an average job (~$80k/yr) but I am sitting on $500k from selling a sneaker commerce business. Currently I have this actively managed, mostly in ETF funds, averaging 8% over the past couple years.
Might there be a better path to create more passive income or grow my wealth faster, inside or outside of the stock market?
Should I employ more advanced market strategy (selling covered calls on my equities)? Or maybe real estate?
I plan to start at a state medical school next year with financial aid so my costs will be low and my future income will be high, but I would like to exit med school with a large financial head start.
Thanks for the help!
Then, in a top-level comment, someone responded:
Honestly I think the advice on this sub is so stupid sometimes. Why is everybody’s answer always ETF’s???
You’re young, take risks, you won’t move up in life with ETF’s, sure it’s safe but money is the greatest money making tool there is, a lot of people would kill to be in your position because to have that much money which isn’t an easy thing to acquire, would be the key to success for a lotttt of people.
…to which OP said:
That was my thought process. I do recognize this could be a rare opportunity to create real wealth. Any ideas on how to go about that?
And here’s where my current life advice for reddit came in:
Get debt free. Don’t lever yourself up. Quit your job or go 20 hrs a week. Free up your time. Read books, absorb everything. Develop an intense passion for learning. Then spend a year (ONE year) determining the right move FOR YOU.
Find out what you really REALLY care about. What lights the fire in you? Does med school get you there? If so, good. If not, what else could you do? ANYTHING. World of possibilities out there. You’re young, and it’s 2023. Very exciting time to be alive… and FREE.
Mess around, follow your interests. Don’t be afraid of “wasting time”. Wander, tinker, test. Stumble around and learn about yourself – learn about the world. Eventually, you’ll come across a big issue: a society-level problem you realize you REALLY give a shit about. A problem that YOU can work towards solving. Then throw yourself at that problem.
Sure you could be a landlord (boring!). Sure you could toss your money at a financial advisor or an ETF (snore). Sure you could start a laundromat (wtf why would you do that).
Or you could do something interesting.
You have a chance right now to take a step back and REALLY design your life. You could make it something huge. Don’t rush into anything you don’t feel is right.
It took me probably half an hour to write this. I really wanted to write it so that I didn’t sound like I was on a high horse (values-based living hahaha). This is all stuff that I’ve been doing in my own life recently, and I feel like, after a couple years of spinning my wheels after college (literally and metaphorically), I’m finally on a track.
[knock on wood] Now that I’ve published this, I fully expect things to go off track. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. [/knock on wood] But the overwhelmingly insanely positive response I got from /r/passive_income for my above comment makes me feel like this type of energy is wanted.
People want to feel excited about stuff. People want to do great things. But they also want to sustain themselves and feel secure in their futures. Doing both is really hard because it requires taking risks, or going against the grain.
The more that “going against the grain” gets talked about and normalized, the easier it becomes to do so… maybe. Or maybe then the old “going against the grain” becomes the new grain, and the new “going against the grain” looks entirely different and even more extreme. We’re not there yet, I don’t think (or at least I haven’t found my way there yet)…
Idk man. Whatever. I’m just really excited I got 19 upvotes on a reddit comment.