In the eyes of many people, I am a failure. And worse, a failure by choice. I have a relatively fulfilling career that allows me to live quite comfortably while still saving and investing roughly the median household income of the United States. If that isn’t enough, I’m working on ramping up a fledgling side business that appears to have a reasonable chance to become a high paying, low effort semi-retirement occupation one day. My health is great and my physical fitness level is very high. I make friends and “more than friends” almost at will and have as many treasured relationships as I have time for. I got a good education from good schools and ultimately a world class university, I have wide ranging interests, and since I love to learn, my knowledge base is always growing. I am happy and healthy in almost every way someone could be and I do what I can to give back and make the world a little better place to live in.
So how am I a failure? In the “survival of the fittest” sense. I will never reproduce and thus, my exact set of genes will not be passed on to the next generation. Or from a more common perspective, my life will always be missing that fundamental checklist item; you know – a loving spouse, a house with a white picket fence, 2.5 children, a dog, a boat…
I don’t hate children or anything. I simply don’t want any of my own. As expensive as they are, I could certainly afford them so that isn’t my reason. There are plenty of other drawbacks in my view but again, no one is my reason to opt out. I won’t do it because it is an all or nothing decision. Children aren’t like a favorite board game you can take out and play with when you want to and then put it back on the shelf until next time. They are there 24/7/365 until the day either you die or they do. By deciding not to have them, I am simply being honest about the fact that there is absolutely nothing on earth I want to do THAT much. So I feel I owe it to myself, my unborn children, and the world they would inhabit, to not reproduce given my strong reluctance to make this most serious of commitments. After all, we have more than enough half assed parents in this world. If you don’t believe me, just turn on the news and watch for as long as you can stand to.
But just because I don’t want to go all in on reproduction, that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to contribute. One aspect of having kids I acknowledge I will miss out on is the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and experience in an effort to help someone grow up and become a worthwhile human being. And one day while we were talking, a good friend told me I should start a blog. I told him that’s become such a cliché and no one would read it. But he told me he would and that’s good enough for me. And it brings this introduction full circle. By doing this, I hope some folks will consider me less of a failure since I will be passing on the most valuable part of myself to anyone willing to read it. Just kidding. I don’t care what other people think of me. And you shouldn’t either. It is very difficult to be happy or successful that way. And that is as good a first lesson as any.
So anyway, why should you read this? I can’t answer that since only you are qualified to make decisions about how you spend your time. Are you sensing a theme yet? But to help inform that decision, here is a little about what you can expect to read here. I am a finance man by trade and most of what I write will be about that area of life either directly or indirectly. I consider myself a financial hacker in that I evaluate everything myself and reject anything that does not pass my standard of optimum. If you want to get rich, I can certainly give you the information you need to do it. Of course that information is widely available already and without adding time, effort, and capability to the equation, you will accomplish little with it. I enjoy sports, cars, women, several types of art, and learning about all sorts of things so I will probably work a little of everything in. But in general, I’m going to write whatever the hell I want about whatever the hell I want. Read it or don’t.
One disclaimer. I believe in tough love. I want to help people but coddling is rarely the way to do it. Usually if someone needs help, it is because there are changes that need to be made. If you want coddling, go talk to your mom. This blog is for people who want to do very well in life and understand that like anything else, that has a cost. Those who want to be comfortable at all times should re-evaluate that desire as it is very unlikely to lead to any form of success.