“Find three hobbies: one that makes you money, one that makes you fit, and one that makes you smarter.” – Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList.
For the hobby that makes you money, I would modify that to include: but can’t make you miserable. If you think about the financially successful people that you know, how many would you say truly enjoyed what led them to much of that success? The beauty of Naval’s proposition is that it does not require your life’s passion or purpose to also be your money maker. Maybe your fitness pursuit is your biggest passion, or perhaps your knowledge building avocation fits into that category. It can take away the burden of finding the perfect blend of wealth-building and purpose. It cannot be something that you suffer through or despise. You have to feel a degree of satisfaction and accomplishment in your financial engine work. Otherwise, it will become all-consuming as all of your willpower and emotional energy around your wealth-building cycle are drained.
For those of you who find yourself in a business or career that you are successful in but miserable at, or for those of you who feel moderately satisfied but find yourself with no time to develop your fitness or knowledge-building hobbies, consider this: should you get out entirely, reduce your time commitment, or look for what is next?
Start with a simple time calculation. Take 70 minus your current age. Next, take that number and divide it by 45. What percentage do you get? For me, this comes out to 76% (70-36 = 34, 34/45 = 76%). That is the percentage of my prime career years that I still have in front of me. It means that I have the vast majority of my career still in front of me, even though I am dangerously close to ‘middle-aged’. So if I found myself in a miserable place, or one that consumed too much of my time and energy, I should and would start moving right away. I would consider going back for another graduate degree, taking an entry-level job in a different field, using some savings to manage the transition from my current lifestyle to a new one over the next few years. My point is this: at 36, there is way too much time left in the game to feel stuck or settled.
If you are 52 years old, with your career remaining years at 40%, do you want to stay at the same place for the second half?
Time is of the essence to reinvent yourself. To invest some real and honest time and money in developing a new path. Focus on developing your three hobbies with intent, and keep your financial engine hobby in its proper place.
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