"No One Is Sad While They're Deadlifting"


The title of this post is a quote from someone on Twitter who goes by @billyredhorse. I don't know what his story is but I love the quote. Save for a few interruptions, I've been lifting weights since middle school (late 1970's) and non-stop since the mid 1990's. I am fond of citing Nassim Taleb's idea that everything we need to know about personal finance we learn from our grandmothers in terms on not getting over indebted and making sure we set money aside for the future. So it is with exercising. There is no one who doesn't know that exercise generally is something everyone should do.

The benefits of resistance training with weight (weight lifting) are almost endless but they include promoting testosterone, promoting cardio vascular health, enhancing endurance and preventing or otherwise staving off sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and osteopenia (loss of bone density). Sarcopenia and osteopenia are what makes people frail in old age. And as alluded to in the title of this post, lifting weights helps with stress or other forms of emotional negativity.

Another way to think of it is that every aspect of your life will be easier if you exercise regularly and vigorously.

Steve Burns had a related Tweet which prioritized what he believes are the most important individual financial achievements as follows;

  • No credit card debt
  • No car payments
  • House can be paid off
  • No debt
  • Emergency fund
  • Big retirement account
  • Big trading account
  • Cash flowing assets
  • No financial pressure
  • Financial independence from a job

I retweeted it and rhetorically asked, how much easier would this be for people who live below their means? I think there is a tie in to the sentiment from Taleb both directly where Burns has several bullet points about debt, but arguably the lesson from your grandmother about no debt leads to the bullet points related to independence.

Where these are priorities for Burns, they might not all resonate with you, I am not concerned about labeling one of my accounts as a trading account but obviously plenty of people do some trading. We've not had a car payment in many years but at some point we may need to replace our Toyotas (one is a 2003 and the other is a 2006) and taking on a payment might make sense, especially if we can make 0% financing work. I've said many times before that you'll be better off if you can go 15 years at a time (more?) with no car payments. If we get 20 years out of each of our current cars, might technological improvements mean we can get 30 years out of our next cars? Maybe.

Burns' list also has a lot of overlap with FIRE, financial independence/retire early or as I prefer to call it (and live it), FINR, financial independence/never retire. When you can get to the point that Burns is talking about, or a similar list with your own inputs, you will have financial independence or another word I like is optionality, you will have more optionality to cover some epic emergency or less dramatically, optionality to take some sort of professional risk that might mean less pay as a trade off for a better quality of life or less pay now leading to much greater pay later.

When you can isolate financial priorities, set out to achieve them and then actually do achieve them, you make every other aspect of your life easier.