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The Ultimate Question September 16, 2008

Posted by Who? in Career Planning, Health, Jobs, Lifestyle Design, Random.
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Randomly came across this post and it reminded me that I haven’t talked much about my “ultimate question”.  Although phrased differently, it gets at the same idea.  He asks, “If money didn’t matter, what would you do?”.  While that may help to shake-up hardwired responses, I prefer a slightly more practical question because, in this world, money does matter.  But the idea is the same

If you no longer had to “work” for your income, what would your life look like?  Where and how would you spend your time?

My theory is a blend of my own thoughts and ideas combined with various people, stories and books that have influenced me over the years.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a bunch of fluffy bs, but I like some of the general ideas the books promote.  For example, it helps to think about the different types of income; if you aren’t aware of the differences between Passive Income and Working Income, you might have a hard time taking action to move towards the former.  Tim Ferriss has the right idea with the philosophy he lays out in The Four-Hour Workweek– figure out what you want, determine what that is going to cost and figure out how to generate that money.  Pretty straightforward.

Hurdle No. 1 is trying to answer the question.  Hurdle No. 2 is figuring out how to fund the answer; generally, this is going to be much more difficult.  But as the author of that post points out, you could be unaware of your dream right beneath your feet.  In that case, all you have to do is ask yourself that question and make it happen.  You could have the opportunity of a lifetime sitting right in front of you and all you have to do is become aware of it.  That’s what The Ultimate Question helps to do.

So what does my dream life look like? 

Summer/Fall- My base for this time of year would be somewhere in Washington with a place on the water- Chelan and Tapps being at the top of the list.  My activities would include the following: water-sports, pickleball, weights, cycling, reading, eating, NAPPING, writing, learning and working on/maintaining whatever ventures are active or require my attention.

Winter/Spring- My base for this time of year would be somewhere near a great ski mountain- doesn’t really matter where as long as its got consistent snowfall- CO, CA, ID, Int’l…who knows.  Activities would pretty much be the same except the summer activities would be subbed for winter- skiing/snowboarding, racquetball… 

-My “home base” could be either of the previous locations or a different one- depends on what the money-train can handle at any given time. 

-I’d have the ability to travel for both quick getaways and what Tim calls “mini-retirements”.  Not a blank check to do whatever-whenever, but the resources that allow flexibility to get away every so often-planned or random; whether its a quick trip to soak up some sun in the winter or a 6-month trip to Spain.

-I’d have the financial resources to pursue ventures, hobbies and opportunities as they come up.  The goal is not laziness, but rather the resources to pursue whatever opportunities are present without being constrained by time, location, schedule or money.  Whether its launching a new start-up or getting into MMA, I want to have the resources that allow that.

-I want those closest to me to be able to enjoy my life with me as much and whenever possible.

It looks a little outrageous when I write that out, but if I had a magic wand, thats what I’d pick.  Now I just gotta keep my mind open, create and seek the right financial opportunties and seize them.  Easier said than done, but asking The Question and being aware of the answer is the first step.  Between now and then, my cubicle and I will continue our blossoming romance.

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