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6 Habits for Very Early Retirement

By The Contender @The__Contender

6 Habits of Very Early Retirement

Perhaps a leaflet instead..

MUFF is on a Scrap in the Savannah! - he is only fighting a has been in UP.TO.HIS.EYEBALLS.IN.DEBT so needs something to hype up the fight. Unfortunately Rhumble in the Jungle has been done.... shame:(
Africa's heat, humidity, local culture, dance, song and animal instincts fuel MUFF's ambition to coax THE FUTURE to getintheringwithme after putting away this lightweight. Pounding the watermelons for the camera was satisfying but MUFF's wanted to prove his killer instincts to the world. He headed out into the Savanna in search of some prey.
Following on from the 30 Rules of Very Early Retirement MUFF thought it would be fun to list 6 Habits of very early retirement he has developed down the years......
MUFF came across the idea of embedding habits in your daily routine from Steven Covey. He is world renound for his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People see summary here. MUFF highly recommends his follow up book the 8th Habit as well, it includes a brief description of the other 7 - time for a trip to the library?).
  1. Emotional intelligence - Stalking the springbok his head is turned by a rhino - surely that would be the ultimate trophy for his first outing? Very tempting... focus MUFF, smell the roses! Its too big, too precious too stupid!
    The early retiree does not have his head turned by the latest marketing campaign easily (unless it is half price consumable offers in the supermarket - we like those). He stalks his prey for the best deals and he ignores the glitzy, shiny gizmos that cost a fortune and "need" upgrading every year - to whose benefit is that?
  2. Financial Intelligence - All those years of training. The prey does not stand a chance .
    Statistics, PE (Price to Earnings), PEG (price to growth), balance sheets, rental yields, mortgage rates, you name it it is all in his arsenal along with the ultimate weapon of choice A SPREADSHEET*.
    The early retiree has put the hard yards in (New Zealand rugby saying for working really hard as a team to move very slowly forward up the rugby field) he spends time learning the basics, then the ins and outs of finance. What is money "money doesn't grow on trees" todays fiat money is trees - as much paper printing as you like and electronic entries on the computer called QE (quantitative easing) i.e money printing, debasing the currency....more for another day. The early retiree understands the rules of the game and learns all the tricks to get check mate.
  3. Determination - Slowly moving forward through the savanna he has his prey it in his sights... getting closer and closer as it twitches its ears can it hear him.  It is still a long way in the distance. Getting closer, getting there, getting there...keep going your time will come.
    Patience is a virtue and planning for early retirement will take time and will power to stay the course. You need to get things done and be bloody minded in this time. Our fledgling hunter eyes the goal of master early retiree huntsman, nothing is going to stand in his way!
  4. Mental agility - thinking on his feet he spots some big rocks in the landscape ahead. They are in his way what does he do? Good job he thought of packing a few sticks of dynamite!
    Thinking and planning ahead to avoid the big rocks. The early retiree has developed the planning habit. He has worked out his retirement needs and how to deal with any challenges THE FUTURE holds...probably. He regularly checks his progress and changes course if needed. He learns on is feet (actually getting stuck in, not just reading a book or this blog;) He can critically evaluate an opportunity or pitfall.
  5. Continuous Learning - last time the prey ducked left behind a bush and then bolted to the right. He was not expecting that. Now MUFF will move carefully to the right ready, waiting, listening and alert.
    Embedding this habit into your daily life opens doors. Amazing opportunities that you would never be aware of present themselves. Opportunities to live more cheaply at the same standard of living.  Opportunity to spot an idea for a business and set it up for success. Opportunity to get a promotion in work because you are the best person for the job. Opportunities to meet new people to socialise with and enjoy life.
  6. Human Communication - waving at the jeep to sweep around to the left to flush out the springbok the driver turned right, beeped his horn and flashed his lights... it all went horribly wrong!
    What happened to the lost art of listening attentively to someone, understanding their point of view, what motivates them? Do you like it is someone is not listening to you - why should they? What about conveying your ideas effectively to them and getting them on board?
    The early retiree lives in an ever changing and sometimes challenging world. Without varied human contact are lives would be much poorer. People are a source of friendship, help opinions, fun. Get away from the gadgets computer games and forge some strong relationships. Help everyone prosper.
  7. Enlightenment (nice idea but that would be one too many) - Sitting on a rocky outcrop our hero surveys the shimmering savanna under the brick red setting sun and ponders - "is the universe round or square, what is the meaning of life? have I found happiness and financial freedom...." suddenly the sun is full in the sky beating down on him, I know! I know!.... perhaps not, but it is damn hot!
    That's enough publicity for the day, did MUFF learn something, a silly sales pitch is plain outright stupid. In Africa at that - a world away what was he thinking? It was not early retirement; the trip was costing him and the world a fortune!
Habit building
MUFF had to develop all of the above habits. He procrastinated a little. At times he could be undecided when decisive action was needed. Eventually it was forced upon him causing a stressful situation. He was wandering through life with only some vague ideas of what he wanted. He put too much emphasis on "perfect" work instead of good enough. The important part was spending time working with the people who mattered.
For instance MUFF is a realist, but can be overly optimistic at times. Muff expected miracles from other people on one project. He underestimated the time needed for some development work, it had been moved off shore making communication much more complicated. MUFF had promised a working solution in three weeks... it took six.
Unfortunately expectations are best set low and over delivered on. A lesson learnt and it never happened again!
Bad Habits, Good Habits
6 Habits for Very Early Retirement

We all develop habits, good and bad down the years. New year resolutions seldom banish the bad habits due to the delayed action point of the 1st of Jan. Your Determination habit needs to come to the fore NOW. You need to improve your Mental Agility understand what you need to change and what you need to learn to make it happen.
Ideally your early retirement habits need to consider the micro and macro world around you and your place in it. In business it is classed as Look Inwards, Outwards, Look Up, Look Down and Look Behind You
Develop a habit today!
Pick a habit you would like to nurture today. How will you encourage yourself to work on that particular skill every day until it becomes second nature?
Perhaps you can copy MUFF and have a WHITEBOARD in prominent location in your home with the habits listed on it?

6 Habits for Very Early Retirement

Our Whiteboard with the kids meals, activities, to do list and habits in a prominent position right next to the bottle warmer so we view it more than once a day

 Another place could be a regular reminder in your calendar (on the wall or in your computer).
What activities can you participate in to develop the skills? get a piece of paper write you habit on the top and brainstorm what comes into your head however silly it may be write it down until you cannot think of any more (usually 7 minutes does the trick:)
Are there any on the list that take your interest but are a bit vague? Perhaps take that interest and place it in a circle in the center of a piece of paper. Around it add related / actions words skills in their own bubbles and so on until you have your very own mind map - hopefully lots of new ideas to build your new habit?
Hunt down some of those Bad Habits today and replace them with some GREAT HABITS they are a darn sight harder to catch, accompany you for life and work on autopilot!
Disclaimer: No animals have been actually used in this post. Scientific research has been carried out on MUFF only. He has assured us that he has no long term effects of the learning process other than developing some gray hairs due to "I get it now" light bulb moments. To us he seems in full control of his senses and faculties ... although his wife has said he acts a bit strange at times...
MUFF says make financial freedom a habit on the way to life long happiness. Until next time.......
6 Habits for Very Early Retirement
*You may be wondering what is happening with Project Muffler? The last few posts were required to fill in some of the introduction gaps to the PERL- Planning for Early Retirement and Life concept. A few topics are still outstanding and will be covered off in the coming months.
In the next few posts we will be looking at the first edition of the PERL planning spreadsheet. This will be broken down into 4 key areas, strategy building, short, medium and long term planning
Just to recap MUFF is still determined to keep to this blogs principles:
  2. 4 key planning rules
  3. 10 key career skills for early retirement
  4. The habits and Rules outlined in several of the posts.
Is this too much stuff? Never in MUFF's opinion! Plato said 80% of results from 20% of the work so all these topics and concepts CAN BE simplified and condensed into one spreadsheet tool, a calendar, whiteboard and notepad. Take away all of the jargon, waffle, explanation (linked to the information sources will be provided:), sales pitch, you name it, you will only have the raw, bare bones left. They will get you 80% of the way to where you want to be. It can be done. MUFF has seen it and experienced it.

Finally a point on the need to tie together personal development, life planning and looking to the future.  As mentioned in the above post, in my opinion, you need to cover the micro view of your world with the macro view of the rest of the world. You will then be READY FOR ANYTHING and THE FUTURE will not catch you with a low blow.
Thats all for now. MUFF sincerely hopes you have enjoyed the last few posts before we get down to the BIG IMPORTANT BUSINESS of making things REAL. Bring it on!
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Muff recommends ERE (Early Retirement Extreme), A Good Day To Live and MMM Mr Money Mustache

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