The Big 100: Reflections on the Journey
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Sometimes I keep my nose so close to the grindstone that I momentarily lose touch with everything going on around me. This ability channel tunnel vision and focus my attention is good at times and burdensome at others. It leads me to accomplish many of the goals I set into motion, yet it often stifles my ability to switch gears.
I have been in two primary gears the past several weeks: school-mode and real estate-mode. At times, my real estate side hustle has been the equivalent of a second full-time –albeit, a very fun, second full-time job which feels like anything but a j-o-b.
As you may imagine, I’ve lost focus and time on the blog during that same stretch. Posts have been a bit more sporadic, and reading and commenting on my favorite blogs has been sparse. Yet somehow, I find myself siting here ready to publish this post, number 100, and marveling at how far this little website has come in only 7 months.
Any blogger will gladly tell you that maintaining your own blog requires tremendous commitment. The hustle and bustle of life fight to test that commitment. They challenge a blogger’s resolve. Today, as I enjoy time to reflect upon the goals and mission which inspired my creation of this site, I am reminded of its value.
If the use of my time were simply a matter of achieving the best financial outcomes, I would certainly cease devoting time to such a relatively low-income hobby and funnel all of my available discretionary time toward my real estate business. In the grand scheme of things, increased efforts in this area hold the highest probability of increased returns, mathematically speaking.
As I reflect, it is hard to envision where and how commitment factors into the equation. It’s been over a decade since I last studied calculus, and I don’t think basic arithmetic will get the job done in this case, so let’s distill this down in the only way I know how:
Personal finance has surprisingly very little to do with figures and a lot to do with feelings.
Many financial writers argue that separating feelings and money is vitally important. They speak as if a consistent level of stoicism is the solution to all financial woes. I used to think in this manner.
Other writers feel that some emotions and feelings – namely peace, joy, and contentment – should not be separated from our financial outlooks, while some – fear, jealousy, and embarrassment, among many others – have no place in a healthy financial outlook. I agree with many folks in this camp.
The more I write and reflect upon the role of money in my life, my vision for “Restoring Order to the World of Finance” becomes simultaneously clearer and murkier. (It’s no surprise to me that it has taken 100 posts to reach this level of clarity; truth be told, I consider myself to be a rather slow learner.) Rationality, logic, and planning are constantly at war with personal biases, behavioral tendencies, and the chemical/biological processes which influence them. In short, personal finance is complicated stuff.
So what should we do about all of this? Keep thinking, feeling, experimenting, testing, discussing, and growing, for starters. Continue learning from others. Challenge patterns and long-held assumptions.
As for me, I will keep writing. My thoughts and feelings on personal finance have changed more in the last 7 months than I ever could have imagined. I’m looking forward to learning more as this journey continues to unfold.
Here’s to another 100 posts and a continued resolve toward Restoring Order to the World of Finance,