Humans have this wonderful capacity for making a simple thing wonderfully complicated (and typically charging for the process). For instance, consider the diet industry with its huge selection of various methods to lose weight or gain weight with complicated rules or formulae, like not partaking in the eating hotdogs on a Thursday, down to the easy rule-of-thumb rules that will most likely fit a given marketing segment like 18 year old dweebs who want to bulk up or 30 year old moms who want to look good in a bikini. It really all boils down to two rules

  1. First law of thermodynamics (energy is conserved). Any food energy eaten that is not used will be stored (as fat).
  2. Seeing that you are human, feel free to use any kind of complication of the above rule that excites you, but it really boils down to rule number 1.

Retiring extremely early is very similar

  1. Spend way less than you earn.
  2. Use any kind of complication that motivates your human tendencies 😉

You have seen my complications on the blog. In fact, I’m working on a bookI have written a book that is even more complicated (but also more cohesive) than that so I can make a profit [on my complications]. However, regardless of all these complications, meeting the goals of 1 really boiled down to 3 things for me; the rest is just my way of staying sane while doing those things.

  1. Live in a place as small as possible.
  2. Don’t own a car.
  3. Don’t buy anything you’re not going to use on at least a weekly basis.

(You will note that I did not have a “earn more money category in here. This is simply because I was in a career that I liked but where substantially increasing income is pretty much impossible for the first two decades.)

All the complications I disburse here is just a mental concept (faith, if you will) that keeps me sane and motivated just like advertising and career advice are concepts (or faith, if you will) that will keep you working and shopping until you drop.

Originally posted 2009-05-15 03:29:59.