Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Art of the Good Life #38 : Mental Subtraction.

The concept of mental subtraction is not all that hard.

If you are feeling depressed, imagine what life would be life if you lost the use of your limbs followed by the loss of your senses like sight, smell and hearing. Compared to your current life, these scenarios would be truly depressing so naturally, after performing this exercise, you become a lot happier.

The actual reality is different from this mental exercise because we acclimatise ourselves to our good fortune and misfortune. Disabled folks rapidly become as happy as their non-disabled selves. Folks who win the lottery often find that their happiness short-lived.

I can't really say that tossing myself into workshop training fresh from being admitted to the Singapore Bar is an act that will makes me unequivocally happy. It's a highly risky act which flies in the face of common sense and goes against "doing the right thing". If done wrongly, it may even taint my resume. I get criticised a lot for not jumping into a legal career immediately with quite a bit of it coming from my own family. Personally, my logic is that once I get my workshop right, only my time beyond office hours are affected, and I can still get regular employment at a later stage. ( Sort of like  a portable alpha salary. )

As I get more folks second guessing my career moves, I find that I have developed a very unorthodox approach to towards mental subtraction :

I imagine what my life is like without my passive income and how desperate my life would have been if I was forced to pick up any IT project management job just to keep the mortgage payments running.

This establishes passive income as a hidden psychological asset and strength.

Capital becomes Psychological Capital.

Once you have a source of passive income, whenever you become depressed or down, you can imagine what kind of life you would have if this source of passive income does not exist. Hopefully, you can spurred onwards to grow your passive income further.

Of course, imagining the loss of passive income when other folks imagine the loss of limbs can be a little hubristic. We're now going through a period of rising interest rates and our investments have not done all that well as of late.

This is why even having some workshop revenue reinforce the margin account on some occasions is not such a bad move.

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