Part of successful living is identifying your weaknesses, creating a plan to defeat them, and executing.
- I suck at tennis.
- I’m going to take lessons and practice regularly.
- I will work had and be tenacious. I will hit lots of balls.
That was lean on detail. Allow me to elaborate:
Example 2: Writing
- Acknowledge the weakness: I’m not a good writer but want to become better.
- Create a plan:
- I will enroll in a creative writing class.
- I will write at least 500 words every day.
- Sign up for/attend the class.
- Start journaling or launch a blog. Type words in cohesive sentences. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
- Seek regular critical evaluation and guidance through the writing club at the library.
The first part, acknowledging weakness, is about ego, introspection, and self-awareness. If you think you have no weaknesses, that in itself is a massive weakness and I cannot help you. If this is you, click here to exit the blog now.
OK, you’re still here! Let’s move on.
While tennis is one of my real-life examples, verbal communication is better to talk about. (see what I did there?)
Example 3: Verbal Communication
- Acknowledge the weakness: I need to work on my verbal communication:
- On a mechanical level, I often talk too fast or mumble.
- On a confidence level, talking to others, especially new people in large social situations, makes me uncomfortable. This leads to more fast-talking/mumbling.
- Create a plan:
- I’ll make an extra effort to pay attention to my speech. I’ll talk slowly, thoughtfully, and deliberately.
- I’ll volunteer to speak in public as often as I can. Practice, practice, practice.
- I’ll start a podcast. More practice.
- Execute (WARNING! Shameless plugs ahead!): COVID permitting, I have volunteered to speak at the following three events this year.
- Camp FI Rocky Mountains (Colorado Springs, Colorado: 7/2 – 7/5): I’ve been to this one! Super fun event! Sign up!
- Camp FI Southwest (Joshua Tree, California: 10/8 – 10/11): I’ve never been, but Southern California sounds pretty great.
- EconoMe (Cincinnati, Ohio: 11/13): BIG crowd. Scary! But, growth comes out of discomfort. Read more here.
And I must tell you about my newest project…
Introducing The Mile High FI Club
My friend Doug Cunnington is a successful online entrepreneur. He invited me to be on his show a couple of times and we had fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0icHbdX3dk
I had thought about creating a podcast for a long time. However, I needed a cohost who would put up with my silliness and one that I had a rapport. The second one is especially difficult. Fart jokes and dinosaur humor? Anyone?!??
*** crickets ***
But, I had enjoyed my conversations with Doug. When talking to him, I felt like I could be my silly, juvenile self.
A couple of months ago, Doug asked me if I’d be interested in creating a new podcast with him. I said “yes” almost immediately. I knew that Doug and I would have fun conversations and this was the opportunity for improvement that I was looking for.
Now that we’ve recorded seven episodes, I know that I was correct. Doug and I get along great which translates to fun conversations. Our podcast isn’t heavily edited and outlined. The format is free-flowing. We may start talking about how to successfully navigate financial independence with an unwilling partner and then an hour later, we’re talking about venereal diseases (this happened). But, it’s real and I’d have it no other way. If you’re not true to yourself, you’re a sellout. No thanks.
How to listen to The Mile High Fi Club:
- Website: MileHighFI
- Email list: MileHighFiClub
I’m perfectly happy, so why expend effort trying to improve or reinvent myself?
Why is this worthwhile?
You never know when your efforts are going to help Future You:
Tennis: If I play regularly, I’m improving my physical and mental fitness. I’ll have a better chance of maintaining quality of life for longer as I grow old.
Verbal communication: If I become better with speech, I’ll be able to relate to my fellow humans more effectively which will create better relationships. This is priceless.
Self-improvement is an insurance policy for Future You. Even if you have no idea who Future You is. Cover your ass and cover your bases.
It’s a bit like saving for financial independence when you’re 24. You probably have no idea what the hell you’re saving for, but you want that money to be there so you can take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. Or, maybe that money will protect you from an awful curveball that life throws your way.
*** COVID ***
All of that aside, isn’t it a worthwhile goal to be the best example of yourself that you can be? You only get one chance on our beautiful planet. Why not make the most of it?
If I’m fortunate enough to live to be 90, I don’t want to be thinking this:
I wish I would have done blah blah blah. Sigh…
Instead, I want it to be thinking this:
Holy crap, I sure packed a lot in. What a journey.
What are you doing to be the best possible human?
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High Fi podcast: MileHighFI
- EconoMe: Hey look, I’m speaking at EconoMe later this year!
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
Other resources I like:
- Camp FIs are amazingly fun! I hope to attend Rocky Mountain and Joshua Tree this year. See you there?
- Need to learn how to invest? The Simple Path to Wealth is all you need.
- New to FIRE? Need some FIREy guidance? Check out Fiology and the accompanying workbook!
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.
No More Weekdays says
Good luck speaking at your events this year! I could see those being the types of things that would be stressful to think about and prepare for but after it’s over your future self will look back and be glad that you did it.
No More Weekdays recently posted…It’s not what we do it’s why we do it
Financial Freedom Countdown says
Congratulations on the podcast and the various speaking gigs. Hoping CA restrictions are done by Oct so you can also visit Tesla during that trip!
Financial Freedom Countdown recently posted…Roth 401(k) Vs. Traditional 401(k) And What Is The Best Option
Mr. Tako says
Congrats on the new speaking gigs Carl. Honestly you are NOT a bad writer. Not in the least!
If I had even an ounce of the writing ability that you do, I’d have a far more successful blog!
Good luck on the new podcast!
Mr. Tako recently posted…Homemade Jerky Time!
Dave @ Accidental FIRE says
Nice dude, can’t wait to listen to your first episodes. And next time I see you let’s play some tennis!
Dave @ Accidental FIRE recently posted…T.G.I.F. Friday: Volume 42
Mr. 1500 Days says
Tennis is great! Let’s do it!
Am I the only one that clicked on that Ninja site?
Mr. 1500 Days says
I hope not! It’s pretty awesome. 🙂
BC | FrugalWheels says
Nice, I will have to check that out. I agree with self improvement and am always working on something on myself. But, I also think it’s ok NOT to improve some things. This has been my attitude lately for all things bicycle related. I’m a reasonably competent bicyclist in many aspects, a little stronger than most on hills, not terribly fast otherwise on a road ride or mountain bike, and that’s OK. I enjoy taking my bike out for some rides on a single track trail or two, but I’m OK with my pace and have no interest in going faster or really improving my skills much. Thus, I am happy with my current mountain bike and don’t feel the need to continually upgrade. I think there’s a balance between improvement and acceptance.
BC | FrugalWheels recently posted…The reality of creator economy side hustles
Mr. 1500 Days says
Yeah, I agree. Not all things are worthwhile. Another example is something that will provide no further value. I don’t want to spend a lot of time getting good at something when the skill won’t help me in the future. I hired out the drywall job on my basement. The drywall guy will do it much faster, so this is an instance when I’m OK trading money for time.
David @ Filled With Money says
Maybe one day we’ll play tennis against each other Carl. I haven’t played in 6+ years so I can’t imagine how rusty I would be.
Congrats on the podcast! Making things happen!
David @ Filled With Money recently posted…How Do You Define Success: 11 Definitions of Success
I enjoyed listening Episodes 2 and 3! FI is all about options!
FYI – Episode 1 is missing from the Apple platform.
Mr. 1500 Days says
Thanks! You should be able to see episode 1 on Apple now too.
I’m curious, most of the research I’ve seen shows that trying to build on your weaknesses is a losing game compared to strengthening your strongest skills. Some of this is from Gallop and their findings on weak points are to find work arounds or ways to delegate weak areas to others because there are some things no amount of effort will ever achieve much progress in. One famous example was Shaquille O’Neal, incredible post player, horrible free throw shooter. And that was fine, Shack worked on what mattered and not on a skill he lacked natural ability in. Is this concept compatible with what you are saying or is it an opposing thought? Looking forward to hearing your podcast.
Mr. 1500 Days says
I think the answer is: “it depends”
What are you trying to get better at?
Where are you now?
I’m not trying to be world-class at anything; just looking to improve some weak parts. Becoming better at Spanish, playing piano, and public speaking are all very low-hanging fruit.
Another way that I think about it is to understand my limits. For example, I know that I can speak well when I really focus. I’ve given some great talks, so I know I have it in me and I don’t regularly bump against my limits.