Awe

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Many years ago and many words, I started a Facebook account. As with Twitter, MySpace and Pinterest, it was during their early moments. But I knew then that I’d be able to use these free services to record my life. It would need to be open to the public so I could get reactions to my actions, honest reactions. Then using these reactions, I could understand society as a whole and its parts. Don’t get me wrong, I would never “just” reduce us all into a marketing experiment to gather big data. I feel emotion for the individual, but there is no place to pee along the road of marketing research. You just drive, look around and pick-up souvenirs in each town. I not the only one recording their life with social media, oh yes… I may go deeper than most with my emotions, but I’ve learned so much about all of you, good & evil.

When I joined Facebook, I came up with a statement that I wanted to strive for. “Look back in Awe.” A war was being fought by our brave soldiers, which I’m not. But the term “Strike & Awe” had become part of our lexicon. I thought that is what I’d like to do on Facebook. What better way to get reactions then to strike with such raw emotion and feeling and watch in wait for the response. Get the most out of the medium. Looking back in awe became my drive. We all need some motivation, thy was mine. I’m not a paid entertainer, so why? Because I care about words and feel they should be true. The truth is not always comforting, it is not always beautiful, but it always the truth. My truth to clarify or your truth for me to acknowledge, agree or argue.

These final days of work are tough because of the same thing. I think I’m supposed to look back in awe and smile. That is not how it works with me and work. The process was always the fun, not enjoying the result. So what I’ll do in “retirement”, and I only use that word so people understand I’m not working for money, is continue the processes. Then I’ll record those steps on social media. When you enjoy the process, the journey, you will do it over and over. If you know me, that is my life.

I hope in the last two blogs, I was able to sum up the emotion and process by which I’ll approach “retirement”. I’ll need to come up with another word.

Now if you think that this approach is a bit methodical and based too much on strategy, manipulation and research… You are not in advertising. You are on the other side, the side I hope to get to once I can put 25 years of watching people behind me.

I do care for you all, but you gave me such valuable data to help me retire.

My next blog will involve some of the data I was able to parlay into financial windfalls along with other positive gains in life. I left clues and hints. I hope all of you were able to profit from something I posted or said. Not just monetarily, but politically, morally, scientifically and socially.

I learned so much and have so much more to learn.

S’later.

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Creatirement

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When you’ve thought about something for a very long time, it can often become reality in your mind before it occurs in the physical world.  For creative thinkers, it can be borderline delusional. So when evaluating one’s wealth or should I say financial stability, it can be hard to separate what you want things to be versus what they truly are from an actuarial and accounting viewpoint. Why? Risk is the key.

Let me first start that as an artist, my mind is trained, from a lifetime of creation, to build manipulative ideas, word streams and imagery. These can be good or bad, beautiful or ugly, completely new or thoughtfully borrowed, truth or a lie. In my younger years, I had to often ask myself, “Are you merely trying to get an emotional response or do I 100% believe what I’m saying to be true.” Or is it something else, because the fact is, neither can be true as well. I could be completely wrong, totally delusional.

Finances are balanced from the other side of the brain. With a background in mathematics along with art, I needed to give my logical side a desk of its own without the whimsical colors and lines getting in the way of facts. I figured logic is brutally honest. It hurts sometimes, but it can set great things in motion.

So as I aged and became responsible for others, I figured I must become completely transparent and learn how to strip social defenses during conversations in hopes of getting others to be true to themselves too. By separating the “creative” defenses from the cold hard facts, I received more valuable relationships and information. Words I could take to the bank. Like putting relevant search terms into Google and wanting to get the top results, I hoped for a priori to pour out and guards to gone. The result has been a wonderful collection of friends, experiences and knowledge. I think we shared real emotions and tried to arrive at the facts of life. It helped me see clearly when I needed it most. 

Where I am going with this? After all that, can what I’m witnessing today involving a possible early retirement opportunity be possible with very low risk or is this just a molded creation of a future I desire that has a possibility of putting my family in grave financial hardship? A question leading to another question. I learned such is retirement.

I quickly realized, there are too many moving pieces to control, too many worldly factors that could change our risk. So I just looked at the number, our wealth and ran a hundred formulas. I looked at every “future” scenario I could think of and crunched the numbers. Then I did it again and again. Still more questions that needed solutions came up.

What I ultimately learned are three things:

1- Honesty, humility and respect got us here and will guide our future.

2- Letting go is what you do when you are truly in control.

3- Reality is art as well and I’ll put my retirement up near the top of the list of my greatest creations.

And though all 3 of these statements can be debated, what can not be argued is the path taken got me here and it truly is about the journey, not the arrival. You never really arrive.

Please look out for my next blog. It will be about my final days of work and what that feels like. I also expect to reveal some secrets that got me here.

S’later (see you later)