Now I do what's important and don't waste my time with other things. I don't try to "life-hack" or make myself as efficient as possible because if I'm only working on my most important things I know I'm spending my time well.
I cut my working hours down to one or sometimes two days a week, sometimes more when they need me more. I don't need more money than that -- and I live in Manhattan (no kids).
And my life is better than ever.
Nothing special about me. Anyone could do it.
(I recently had an idea I'm passionate about and may put in long hours for it, which will be following my passions. Making your time your own lets you.)
EDIT: to dragons' question of what I do, I work at the company I founded. My compensation is no higher than anyone else's. Working one-fifth time gives me one-fifth pay.
The more valuable question is how low are my expenses. I've found much more freedom in needing less than in having more. Cutting out what doesn't add joy to my life creates freedom and joy. That's what I meant by nothing special about me. Anyone can cut waste. Not many seem to.
Having less stuff: http://joshuaspodek.com/less_please. By this point I cringe when someone gives me a material gift, knowing I'll want to get rid of it soon. Most friends have learned I prefer a bottle of wine or scotch as a gift to anything to stick on a shelf.
My exercise regiment has me in as good physical shape as I've ever been (including when I ran marathons and competed at Nationals level in Ultimate Frisbee). Here's how I work out every day with no gym membership, cost, or equipment, enjoying it: http://joshuaspodek.com/how-begin-workout-routine and http://joshuaspodek.com/knew-minute-day-workout
Personal development for free, the equal of any multi-thousand-dollar seminar: http://joshuaspodek.com/vipassana-meditation
Lots of other examples if you dig through my blog.
What do you do for your income?
After all, the number one piece of advice was "spend time with the right people". But maybe it applies for introverted people too. For me, top of the list for right people is my wife. We can be "alone together". Perhaps curled up together on the couch reading.
And introverted doesn't mean that we don't enjoy the company of good friends -- it just means that we need some alone time after to regain our energy. Good friends are often significantly energy draining but are significantly happiness increasing.
I also had a long commute. I've never felt as poor as I did living in Manhattan. People on HN keep saying that you can live there for next to nothing but that is not what I experienced.
It all depends on what you value. I could live frugally in Wichita, KS, but I'd probably prefer living frugally in NYC instead.
Manhattan is weird in that even a six-figure income doesn't guarantee you a moderately nice apartment in the trendy neighborhoods, but when incomes are adjusted for cost-of-living, New York is actually relatively cheap compared to many US cities. Part of it is that New Yorkers are incredibly idiosyncratic in terms of what purchases we prioritize.
For example, New Yorkers value location and environment/surroundings over material possessions, like cars (which we rarely own) and even the size/quality of our living space. We spend far less time at home than our suburban counterparts, so we're willing to settle for spaces that might seem less desirable to non-New Yorkers. So if you try to buy the same basket of goods that you'd buy in Wichita, yes, you'll find it very expensive - but most New Yorkers allocate their disposable income very differently.
(Also remember that uptown and/or the outer boroughs are always an option - Harlem is cheap and surprisingly accessible, especially if you live near an express stop.)
> Living in Manhattan turned me into a horrible person.
Living anywhere that doesn't suit your lifestyle will make you miserable. I'm sorry that Manhattan wasn't for you, but I hope you don't hold it against my city, just the same way I wouldn't hold it against wherever you're currently living that I'd likely be unhappy there as well.
I have friends and business associates who thrive on long work hours.
We all need to figure out what we need out of life.
To think in terms of "well, at least it was quality time" is to admit that we in fact suffer from a poverty of time. In a world where we had enough time to satiate demand, we genuinely would not care whether we spent it well.
Ditto for happiness. This may not be the forum for a consideration of the Hedonistic Imperative, but you might give a few moments of thought for the serious vision aimed at optimizing some measure of happiness and pleasure, rather than some measure of wealth or a count of seconds.
"This manifesto outlines a strategy to eradicate suffering in all sentient life. The abolitionist project is ambitious, implausible, but technically feasible. It is defended here on ethical utilitarian grounds. Genetic engineering and nanotechnology allow Homo sapiens to discard the legacy-wetware of our evolutionary past. Our post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish suffering throughout the living world."
Though it has to be said that I'm firmly in the count of seconds camp - until you get a decent supply of those queued and flowing in a pipeline, you're burning your candle at both ends. Crazy to be playing the game like it's ten to midnight on Doomsday when you could instead be helping to fund ways to turn back the clock though biotechnology:
In short, debating the value of time spent is the mark of humans who are gnawed inside by the knowledge of their own lack of time. Those humans should give more of their money to the SENS Foundation - that would be the unbendingly rational thing to do.
Better to be realistic and expect that we probably will die, instead of constantly worrying about death and hoping for some miracle cure(IMO).
Most people think science is done with eureka moments by geniuses, but actually what is needed is a "systematic" exploration.
People in the deathbed are worried they didn't demand enough "mass industrialization of scientific discovery"?
Talk about a dumbass idea, especially in an era where 99% of our life is colonized by the industrialization of scientific discoveries.
Death is a solvable problem. There are species and cell types that are essentially immortal. It exists in nature. We have the capability to manipulate things at the cell/molecule level.
I'm not sure what you mean by "colonized by industrialization". If you think things are too industrialized, maybe you should give up the laptop you're writing from and go live in the jungle without any plastics r metal. I'm sure after a day or so you'll come to realize the error of your thoughts.
Really? Last time I checked, the statistics were pretty clear. 1 out of every 1 people die. That seems to be pretty damning evidence. :)
People in general (as in "humanity") no. But individual people, as you and me, yes, we should definitely "just suck it in by spending more time with the families/friends in the few years we have". As in, don't waste your life for pie in the sky ideas...
>Death is a solvable problem. There are species and cell types that are essentially immortal. It exists in nature.
Lot of things exist in nature. It doesn't mean they also apply to us, or that we can achieve them in a timespan of 100 years or less. Speed of light also exists in nature. But I doubt we'd see a spaceship approaching 80% of it in the next couple of centuries...
Also, that "solvable" part. As it pertains to humans, citation needed.
>We have the capability to manipulate things at the cell/molecule level.
>I'm not sure what you mean by "colonized by industrialization". If you think things are too industrialized, maybe you should give up the laptop you're writing from and go live in the jungle without any plastics r metal.
Right, because thinking that something has gone too far implies you have to go to the limits of the exact opposite direction, eh?
Actually, I would love to. I've actually lived long stretches of time without internet, or even a laptop.
I like programming, but with a beautiful landscape or a nice beach, friends, women, food, good books, and something to keep me warm, I could care less if I never saw another line of code or another tweet or another phone call.
Which is kinda like 60% of the world's population lives, with the exception that lots of them lack food and water. They could care less for the rest. Take a look at the (subjective but that's the purpose) index of world happiness: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index
Given the essentials (ie. no lack of food, water etc as in parts of Africa), it seems the less "modern" life, the better.
I completely disagree. Happiness is a consequence of your outlook on life. It has very little to do with choices, and everything to do with how you perceive yourself, and whether you believe that you should be happy.
This TED talk by Brené Brown on the topic is particularly relevant:
Basically it would force you to hang out with people you know.
HN discussion here:
Time is the ultimate luxury
It's an hour but well worth a listen/watch
It's what I try to do and it's really awesome because it gives you both plenty of free-ish time and plenty of money to enjoy that free-ish time with.
But is Hacker News an empty subsitute? It pushes the same buttons, but is missing many of the components that are only available in face to face conversation.
Your time isn't worth so much, if poor health precludes you from doing what you want/enjoy.