Finishing a book leads to the bittersweet feeling of success, and also not being able to turn one more page describing the characters’ thoughts you’ve been eagerly keeping tabs on. Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s plight to end the evils of their world through bravery with quick thinking finally ended after reading page 4,100 out of 4,100; Lord Voldemort lost and their future was up for us to create. It certainly looked bright, but outside of fan fiction or another book in the series, we can only imagine what becomes of the triple threat we rooted for over the years.
The Inheritance Cycle ended with isolation far from what I looked forward to, keeping me anxious for Chris Paolini to revisit Alagaësia to tell us what happens with the new Dragon Riders! Hours spent imagining, learning, enjoying, and reading the story woven by an author who dedicated years of his life to tell it. From farmer to legend, Eragon’s character developed into a hero we all can look up to.
_If only the Neuralyzer allowed us to recreate that first time reading excitement again.
But alas, the technology hasn’t arrived…_ Thankfully, blogs are a bit different compared to books. Their content creators continue to create for their communities, although their effort to do so could wither. I will acknowledge again that I had been reading Joshua Kennon’s blog every chance time let me the last couple of months; months you ask? The guy has over 769 public articles, many with over 5,000 words! This is after making 2,000+ posts private as he purged the site of personal information. Joshua’s blog started as a way to keep his aunt informed of what was going on in the family, developing into quite the community of successful income earners throughout the world. His view was well respected, questioned, and shared. His ability to research then teach, all without ever taking a side (on the blog he looked to only find the truth) reminded me of our Intro to Philosophy debates in college. Many question the validity of spending time pondering our world; I find that it is truly an underrated activity.
Unfortunately for me, I began reading after the purges occurred - losing out on the wisdom of those now private posts shared in the past. Fortunately, Josh didn’t delete his blog thanks to his husband. His 769+ blogs that live have truly helped to shape my thinking in so many ways. I’m thankful as someone who has been taught the value of an important person’s time; I appreciate the time taking to write unquestionably a few top blog posts on the internet.
I look forward to new posts that Mr. Kennon or his husband write, in the meantime, I’d like to share in summary some of the perspectives and lessons learned from the duo so far.
- The Importance of Reading
- Joshua’s Recommendations - He lists a few of his recommended readings. The list isn’t close to the amount he sprinkles in various posts and I’d be remiss not to share how he reads: Books are not to be digested then forgotten. Instead, they are to be read, analyzed, and used to make your life better. Whether it’s information on how to better eat, workout, or understand the Great Depression, we can read and think about how to apply a new idea into the lives we live. It coincides with the “latticework of mental models” Charlie Munger speaks of.
- Case studies
- Who would have thought that Dolly Parton demonstrates many key values of a successful investor? Joshua has case studies on investors like Charlie Munger or Peter Lynch. Histories of businesses like Johnson and Johnson or Colgate-Palmolive. Even on working citizens leaving behind 8 million dollars
- Learn from mistakes
- GT Advanced Technologies went bankrupt - causing many to lose their entire net worth. Lessons from those who lived and learned; teaching us in the process. Mistakes happen, it is part of life. Warren Buffet sold Disney shares and lost upwards of 12 billion dollars of opportunity for Berkshire. He didn’t give up or quit, instead learn from mistakes to grow a little wiser and move an inch closer to your purpose each day.
- Role Models
- Idolizing the character values and perspectives from the right people leads to better results in your life. Imitating Johnny Depp’s wealth management strategies will lead you to pennies, but Warren Buffet may teach you a thing or two.
- Thought Experiment
- Using scenarios to solidify your principles and how you think about them: Thought Experiment - The Disappearing Dairy Queen
- I’ll let you peruse the expert’s articles on this one: Joshua’s Investing Articles
Be the executive of your life
Purpose / Goals / Priorities / Time
- Where you are today results from the sum of all previous decisions in life. Define where you want to go and start making the decisions to get there. Life is fine with letting you do nothing - it is on you to become the person you want to be! You’re the driver who inputs the destination; start your car and get there!
- It is a tool to wield as you obtain the life of achievement desired, nothing more, nothing less.
Ask why and how
- The complex state of the world in the technology age has led us to too much false information. A person of rational thinking will ask why and how to discover the truth based on facts, instead of believing any news article from the first page Google results.
Find factual based information
- By using unbiased, true factual based information (like the US census data), one can look into claims made about citizens in America. Believing everything at face value doesn’t work. Joshua teaches that Independent thinking (even on his posts) should be used to decide on one’s view.
Unbiased decision making
- Mental models, such as cognitive biases, influence our decision making and our society. By recognizing them when making decisions, we can help to reduce our own biases and make those same decisions better by utilizing data.
- Joshua has made his family the priority of his life. What does that mean for him? It means trips to Disney World with them to enjoy time together. It means stock certificates as gifts along with toys for the young. It means managing the portfolios for family members. In other words, supporting, enjoying, and loving the people in his life. There are many people who “change” the structure of their family tree by going to college or starting a business. What an incredible way to impact your family for generations to come (if you structure it in a way to beat the 3 generation average).
Charities and the World
- Do you think another billion dollars matters to Warren Buffet at this point? Building wealth for only your benefit doesn’t promote the capitalistic view of the world. By becoming a highly productive citizen, I believe it to be a civic duty to give back to society. Kingdoms are not build to only benefit your family (although it should be a top priority in my eyes), they are also to benefit the world. How else will I be able to help save the cheetahs? Money is a requirement for many of the causes in the world - by creating wealth you are given the unique opportunity to change the world. Joshua has donated to causes he cares about via charities since college; he plans to give most of his accumulated wealth back to the world upon passing.
- Keep everything you need within easy reach, in a specific place, giving you increased time to do more important things in the world. Said in another way - for tasks you regularly complete, making them easy and quick through design. This saves you small amounts of time over your life, letting you enjoy the things you love more! An example being your morning coffee, keep the pot and grinds out in the open to save the minuscule time of retrieving them from the cupboards.
- Joshua had a library to store his books. Files and folders to track projects or thought experiments. He’s given me the inspiration to better track and measures my life from seeing the benefits of the order. It has changed my perspective on it. He makes notes, creates case files, and revisits them when needed. He highlights and systematically marks important passages in books, making it easy to review later. It all makes sense for someone going forward as a life long learner to adopt (in their way of course).
Life’s a gift!
- Have you always wanted to have a master closet in your bedroom? Once you have assets providing you the wealth required, build it! Life is a gift. Live like it is!!
Give yourself permission to be disliked
I have only just touched the surface of the depth of knowledge gained in the last few months. The next step for me will be to utilize this knowledge in my life, requiring a few re-reads and time to think about implementation. Joshua enlightens on his thought processes when determining answers to morality questions, or tips on constructing investment portfolios. Questions in the comments sometimes lead to discussions and responses longer than the post they belong to (giving more insight into how he approaches questions).
There are many more compliments worth giving the essays on the site, so instead, my final advice for any of you interested in becoming an achiever - read it! I promise it is worth the time!