The Nine Month Update

This is the all important almost-a-full-year-but-not-quite-yet update. To recap, I spent all of 2017 traveling before getting a job and settling in Austin, Texas. I’m a salary man again. My ultimate goal is to build financial independence and in turn maximize my freedom while getting the most I can out of life. The worst case scenario and absolute opposite of what I want is to slave away at work, be miserable, and all the while build absolutely nothing. To avoid this and continue plugging along and live life under terms that I set for myself, I’ve set some goals or themes for this leg of my journey. While, I usually do life planning in five year cadences, I am aiming to accomplish my goals in three years this time.

  • File a patent
  • Add 250 thousand dollars to my investment account
  • Get to know this city and be comfortable in it
  • Read and write all the fucking time
  • Continue dancing
  • Live minimally

File a patent – Having a patent with your name on it is next-level badassery in a career in research and development. It also has the effect of making one more invested in one’s work because your name is going to be on it until the end of modern civilization. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get this done in three years but I’m as well positioned for this as I’ll ever be. I’m involved in pioneering work that if nailed, I can see it formalizing into a patent or two.

Add 250k to my investment account – I had planned to do this in the span of three years but due to some good decisions and no small amount of luck, I’ve hit this target within nine months. 2017 was an incredible bull market that tapered off in 2018 and the market has lost its exuberance. This means that if I want to preserve my holdings and continue to grow my portfolio I’ll have to adjust my strategy accordingly. I started selling covered call options to generate cash income from my holdings and I’ll be evaluating the results of this strategy. Also, since I blew past adding 250k, I’ve upped my target to 325K.

Get to know this city and be comfortable in it – I know four square blocks of downtown like the back of my hand but outside of this, the map is shrouded by the fog of war. I’m doing a poor job of making this place my home and I still feel like a transient. I’ve been able to make a few friends here (read, two) but I haven’t made the effort to explore outside of what is convenient. The comfort of routine has been too powerful. I’ll have to adjust even if it means forcing myself outside on a weekly basis.

Read and write all the time – Oh how I’ve been failing miserably at this. I’ve been able to keep up with my reading thanks to the nearby Central Library but my writing output has been abysmal. There is simply no excuse for this. I really do have to re-double effort at maintaining discipline. This means setting aside daily time to making entries in this blog or working on my personal projects.

Continue dancing – I still b-boy on a weekly basis. It’s therapeutic. I practice with other dancers outside of a UT dormitory. Listening to music. Exercising my body. Exercising my creativity. I’m blessed I can continue to do this. This is my one goal or theme that takes care of itself.

Living minimally – This one isn’t so much a goal as it is a theme but I’ve been doing a good job at maintaining minimalism. The picture is my minimal but beautiful living space. Save for a few books that end up on the window sill, I really do keep it that bare. I still rely on just a bicycle and skateboard for transportation, I’ve still got the same laptop from last year, I still use the library regularly, and my clothes still fit in one large luggage. I’ve fought off urges to buy a Nintendo Switch and build a new gaming PC. Likewise, I’ve resisted the temptation to buy a 1080p projector for a home theater. I do buy little things here and there as I need them. Most notably, I recently purchased a nice pair of headphones to replace my old broken ones that lasted two years. This lifestyle helps simplify my life and helps keep my economic and environmental footprint on this world to a minimum.

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