Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. – Albert Einstein
Retirement is Worst-case-scenario insurance
Retirement planning is like life insurance, it is a hedge against the absolute worst-case scenario: becoming physically incapable of working and needing a reservoir of capital to survive (31).
Interest and Energy Are Cyclical
Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.
Aim to distribute “mini-retirements” throughout life instead of hoarding the recovery and enjoyment for the fool’s gold of retirement (32).
Less Is Not Laziness
Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.
Focus on being productive instead of busy (33).
The Timing is Never Right
Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually”, just do it and correct course along the way (33).
Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now (63).
Ask for Forgivness, Not Permission
If the potential damage is moderate or in any way reversible, don’t give people the chance to say no (33).
Emphasize Strengths, don’t Fix Weaknesses
The choice is between multiplication of results using strengths or incremental improvement fixing weaknesses that will, at best, become mediocre (34).
Things in Excess Become Their Opposite
Too much, too many, and too often of what you want becomes what you don’t want. This is true of possessions and even time (34).
The Power of Pessimism: Defining the Nightmare
Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty (40).
Uncovering Fear Disguised as Optimism
There’s no difference between a pessimist who says, “Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing nothing,” and an optimist who says, “Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine anyway.” Either way, nothing happens. – Yvon Chouinard