The Ten Factors

There are 10 factors in my life journey that I see as integral to a meaningful and successful life, and net worth is only one part of it.   Each of these factors directly or indirectly contribute to my financial and well-being goals.   I hope to share my experience (both pains and pleasures) and learn from your comments on each of these areas.  Here we go:

  1. Accumulate wealth sensibly to reach $10! net worth

By saving diligently, investing wisely, avoiding behavioral traps and following sustainably frugal living. This means no extreme frugality in lifestyle like some bloggers have.   Sensible accumulation means avoiding ‘get rich quick’ schemes and financial weapons of mass destruction (like derivatives/options etc) – they are more like get-poor-quick schemes for the salaried class.  Get rich slowly is a religion here at TFR!     

  1. Thrive in, but rise above, the corporate world

Since I have no side business and no hope of inheriting a trust fund, all my active earnings come from the corporate world.   The paradox of seeking success in the corporate world and yet ‘hovering above’ it makes life challenging and interesting.  The corporate world will be relevant to me for a long time.

  1. Focus on passive income from investments

Though I am entrenched in the corporate world, I understand my income from it may stop unexpectedly.   Since the bills don’t stop, I need to generate regular passive income to cover all our family expenses and to pursue my ‘search for meaning’ – no search is free (except on Google).   Since I am too far away from Social Security, passive income is important when the corporate world decides to throw me out or vice versa, whichever comes first. 

  1. Understand the ‘oddities’ of life and make them ‘even’.
“The world does not run on reality, but on the perception of reality.” Ben Kingsley, from the 1992 movie Sneakers.

“The world does not run on reality, but on the perception of reality”, Ben Kingsley, from the 1992 movie Sneakers.

Many ‘professionals’ in business, financial and political worlds seem hell-bent on wanting us to see and feel what they want us to, often masking the underlying reality.  Part of it is our own biases in perception.   By calling out each perception bias, I hope we all are less influenced by all the bullshit around us.

  1. Stay healthy sustainably.

Take the ‘middle road’ is the idea here. Eat vegetarian but enjoy diary and egg-based products (we love milk, cheese and cakes!). Stay fit by daily simple exercises but no gym religion and pursuit of six-pack abs here. We like being chubby. Focus more on health, good eating and overall well-being rather than extreme fitness. Avoid lifestyle diseases.

  1. Help TFR Jr. learn what they never teach in school

Mark Twain told us to never let school interfere with our education.  Since nobody taught me this when I was in school, I want my son to learn important things they never teach in the modern schooling system.  I hope this website remains a legacy for him, for learning and building on all that is here.

  1. Teach underprivileged children and learn from their lives

This is a goal for the TFR family.   Mrs. TFR does the heavy-lifting here, volunteering to give free tuitions in math and science.   We teach 2 kids in our home for free in the evenings after their day at an inner-city school.  In return, they teach us about life.

  1. Make charity an integral part of life

While many of us contribute to charities at one time or another (it is heartening to see many ER bloggers include charitable giving in their budget), the commitment to do this regularly has been a challenge for me.  How do I motivate myself to give sustainably? 

  1. Travel, live and learn from the world’s many cultures

Visited 10 countries, and spent the most time in good ol’ USA.  We are currently living closer to the equator in Asia, where extreme wealth and extreme poverty can often be found on the same street!  The learnings here are many.

  1. Learn and grow from spiritual truths and insights

Relax, no religion here!  As I was raised in an inclusive faith, I was fortunate to learn many beautiful insights from the world’s vast, varied spiritual faiths and simple practices with deep meaning. Like the spin doctors and manipulators in various professions, spirituality has its share of charlatans who confuse and cheat many people.  This is a lifelong discovery of true ancient wisdom and how it applies to modern life. This contributes to the ‘find meaning’ part of this website.

Lollapalooza – Achieve the Ten Factorial effect!
This reflects our core belief that if we progress on all the 10 factors above, the benefits will accumulate nonlinearly. Just like the math operator factorial, I hope this will contribute disproportionately to overall life happiness than any one individually can. Hey, the pursuit of happiness is enshrined in the U.S. constitution!

See why ten factorial rocks?!

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5 comments on “The Ten Factors”

  1. By earlyretirementnow

    Congrats on being featured on Rockstar Finance! Setting the 10 commandments, uhh, factors, right at the beginning is great as guidance on the path to FIRE. Sometimes we lose the focus on what really matters. Great work you do here!

  2. By Kurt

    Your ten factors strike me as wise, prudent, and nearly foolproof. Congrats! I aim to better emulate two or three where I’m less than diligent today.

    • By TFR

      Thanks Kurt. Appreciate your kind words. It’s a journey for both of us.

  3. By ZJ Thorne

    I’m glad you are pro-chubby! I want to take care of my body and leave it warm and cuddlable! Non-linear growth is definitely a wonderful result of living life according to your values.

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