More Deadwood Philosophy

More wisdom from one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

In the buildup to Deadwood: The Movie, HBO showed all of the previous episodes of the show. In addition to the shocking amount of violence and profanity there are a lot interesting ideas put forward if you're paying attention. I watched a little bit of the first episode and the scene were we first meet Al Swearengen, he is serving whiskey to Whitney Ellsworth and Ellsworth has some interesting things to say. Cleaning up the profanity, this is essentially what he said;

I may have messed my life up plenty, but I sit here today beholden to no one, and working a paying gold claim.

So he's overcome stuff, pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, is debt free and by virtue of being self employed he owns his time which is a type of wealth. I think that lesson is huge and is very relevant today. I've been self-employed for many years now and while the independence has always appealed to me it is just recently where I've started to think about owning your time as a form of wealth.

Quite a few of my follows on Twitter despise the idea of being a salaried employee receiving a steady paycheck. The general idea is that by just staying in a job for the paycheck, never taking any risks and being beholden to someone else schedule that they set for you, your life is less fulfilling than it could be, you have very little chance of being wealthy; you're not making real progress to preventing or solving your own problems. In short you are not independent or free.

Preventing/solving your own problems is a big one for me. In a similar vein, Naval Ravikant Tweeted the following;

  • Doctors won’t make you healthy.
  • Nutritionists won’t make you slim.
  • Teachers won’t make you smart.
  • Gurus won’t make you calm.
  • Mentors won’t make you rich.
  • Trainers won’t make you fit.
  • Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.

All of the above are tools for us to use, to figure how to get the most out of in order to solve our own problems. One example I used many times is that everyone knows they should save some money but far from everyone does it. Saving money and living below your means makes every aspect of your life easier. I don't think too many people would argue against the idea but might have reasons why it is difficult to do. That likely applies to all of the above, not much disagreement with the idea but reasons why implementing the idea is difficult.

This morning I shared a screen shot on Facebook of a study where the takeaway was that skipping breakfast (a form of intermittent fasting which I do almost every day) and exercising regularly and vigorously will slow the aging process (research it and draw your own conclusion). A college buddy commented, doubting his ability to skip breakfast. That obstacle is either real or it isn't, not for me to judge but there is a partial workaround. You'd get some of the benefit of fasting if you avoid anything for breakfast that would avoid spiking your insulin like eggs, meat, cheese and black coffee (research it and draw your own conclusion). If something seems difficult, figure out a solution that gets you at least part of the way there.

Related to this is a Tweet from Michael Batnick;

The median balance in defined contribution plans at Vanguard is $22,217. The median age is 44.

Statistics can sometime not tell the whole story or an accurate story but either way, it is no secret that we are collectively undersaved. Solving that issue ties in with everything else in this post. No one cares more about your outcome than you whether that is financial, health or anything else. No one will do the work for you, these things are simple but they are not easy. Fortunately, the odds are you already know what to do, it's just a matter of figuring out how to do it if you have not already done so.

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