Live by Design by TREY KAUFFMAN

Issue #59 | JANUARY 11, 2024
This issue clocks in at 718 words — about a 3 minute read

In this issue:

  • Time Flies When You’re Not Anticipating the Future: How focusing on today helps tomorrow get here quicker
  • TRENDING: Last week's financial recap is striking chords
  • Finding Discomfort: Making progress when there's no alternative
  • A very happy birthday goes out to Debbie this week!

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Time Flies When You’re Not Anticipating the Future

When I was a kid, from the age of 5 until I turned 30, I would let the future wind me up like a spring-loaded toy. I found it impossible to focus on anything but what was to happen at school tomorrow or on vacation next summer.

It sucked the joy from today and it slowed the clock to an agonizing crawl. What’s worse is the story that would unravel in my mind about the future was always far more grand than the future itself. Not only would I steal value from the present, I would strip it from the road ahead as well.

I’ve had a lot of bad habits in my life, and breaking free from each of them has been no easy task. Finding a non-metaphysical way to return my focus to this moment instead of the infinite potential of tomorrow has been one of my greatest challenges to date.

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A Solopreneur’s 2023 Financial Story

In just a handful of days, last week's recap of my 2023 financial journey has become my most read article by a long shot.

I'm flattered and humbled to see how it resonated with you, with audiences on Medium, and audiences across social media. It tells me we're all looking for ways in which we can improve our financial habits.

Unsurprisingly, here's one of the more popular highlights from last week's post:

One of the most damning myths that makes me cringe every time I hear it is that eating healthy is expensive. If anyone ever tells you that, point them to this article.

I eat whole foods almost exclusively. I make all of my own meals, and I shop at Giant Eagle, which is no Walmart, but it’s no Whole Foods either.

At $4602.39 for 365 days worth of groceries, that breaks down to $12.61 per day. At three meals per day, that’s $4.20 per meal.

A couple of things worth noting. Inflation was a hot topic in 2023. Looking back at last year’s report, my average meal cost only went up by $.06. Not too bad considering what the media will have you believe about the price of groceries.

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Finding Discomfort

I've found growth to have the annoying habit of happening most substantially when forced to sink or swim. (If there were ever a more apt analogy, I've never read one.)

Reflecting on the process of learning that skill, only after my first open water swim in a racing environment did I realize I didn't need to use the pool wall as a crutch.

As a budding musician, I've found myself faced with a similar discomfort. I was asked to participate in a recital next month. Nevermind the unease of being a 38 year old in a crowd of children performing music in front of a group of parents, the fear of doing something in which my skill level is barely beyond absolute beginner terrifies me.

And that is exactly why I'm seriously considering committing to it. I'll have 30 days to learn to play a song that isn't terribly grating to the ear. Couple that with the fear of performing on stage in front of others, and I've managed to find a whole new way of making myself uncomfortable.

Here's to becoming a better person because of it.


Critical Thought

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present."
— Marcus Aurelius

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