Society Magazine

Tickling the MUFF Awake - Round 3

Posted on the 25 September 2012 by The Contender @The__Contender
Tickling the MUFF Awake - Round 3Round 3 - He hits the deck and is seeing stars - the power of the world wide web
Looking for Financial Freedom and Life Skills on the World Wide Web? Where to start? The internet is a  wonderful freedom tool but you can easily be affected by information overload! How do you quickly find the right websites \ blogs where ideas are expressed without censorship and hidden agendas so you can take informed action (Otherwise the website is just for fun and entertainment;).
MUFF has come across a large number of very clever people provide this concise, relevant information on key life topics for free. This took a lot of research and actually cost me some money:
  1. MUFF was drawn into one paid news letter on penny stocks. BIG mistake. We lost at least £10K on its recommendations.
  2. Whilst browsing MUFF inevitably saw all of the glitzy consumer goods and fell for temptation on numerous occasions.
MUFF would like to point out a few of the blogs listed on the left hand side of the screen as a starting point in my humble opinion.
Due to the vast amount of information, what do you need to know, how do you find it and is it unbiased? Often knowing what to look for is the hardest part. Maybe this site has intrigued you about early retirement. Now it is easy to run a Google search to get all the information you would ever need. About 10,900,000 results according to Google on early retirement!!!!
How can this vast amount of information be filtered and condensed into a usable format? This is critical in today's world where people are bombarded with "information" - surfing the web implies browsing, in one ear out the other and generally a lot of advertising. The web can actually be a distraction tool where you can just loose yourself like a soap or a good film. In order to find out what you are looking for how do you slow down, absorb the information and pick the best bits? Lets have a go at defining what to look for:

What is worthwhile investigating for a happiness goal?

Trying not to be distracted in life is an endless task due to the bombardment of advertising and other types of media on every street corner. So unless you live in a box and stay there, how do you know what information or good is of use and what is not?
Sometimes it is worthwhile standing back and pausing for a while. What do we really need to live happy? Is happiness in life, a gadget, exotic holiday, big house..... I am advertised these items daily as something that will give me happiness.
Tickling the MUFF Awake - Round 3
I have been to Africa a few times and the people there are smiling, chatting, cooking, playing, singing and dancing. I recently took part in some charity work in a rural part of Africa and their idea of happiness I would argue is very different that the average westerner. School followed by games a good meal and singing is an amazing sight. Their community happiness is truly evident. Yes they could do with better healthcare other than that would excessive material things in life (a huge wardrobe of clothes for example) really make them happier?

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I came across a review of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs presented by Chris Duane* of the u tube channel The Greatest Truth Never Told. I used this to really place the needs of life in perspective:

In Maslow's pyramid above consumerism does not appear at all? As stated above the African families are happy with food, water, companionship. They we happy without all of the thrills of modern society. So what is the happy medium between poverty and affluence. Is it worthwhile mastering aspects of Maslow's pyramid in the pursuit of happiness? Should we do this before being sucked into a materialistic, job orientated mindset and if so would we chase after these things having a different mindset of needs instead of wants. If so are theses the topics to get life balance right for first. These topics are a good starting point to use the power of the world wide web.
We live in a "real world" with real problems not a pseudo reality the mainstream media and marketeers have created for us. - MUFF

Our lives are so hectic that having time to reflect on what we really makes us happy is infrequent. It is amazing to reflect on Maslow's pyramid in our current lives and compare it to the balance of modern society. From a personal perspective dedicating myself to work and spending was impacting:
  • Family life - 60% work travel (27 weeks!) one year and exhaustion and stressed at weekends
  • Health - bad eating habits, too much stimulation (caffeine and alcohol), lack of exercise
  • Social life - Life was work and home and moving away from support structures such as family and friends. Work colleagues were friends and friends outside of work were limited
  • Safety - excessive travel is dangerous and very tiring
  • Morality - I was not happy with some of the work I was undertaking
MUFF was neglecting quite a few of Maslow's building blocks. Maslow's pyramid is a good place but there sure are other drivers in peoples lives. These are uniquely important to that person. Only they know what the really want - write them down, pause and reflect.

 Critical Analysis

A key theme of this website is planning ahead. The main topics are investing, education, health and happiness. Please bear with me on these topics while the blog develops.
So how will you find the right information you are looking for? One - you have found this website MUFF hopes he can provide some links to interesting sites :). Two - search what you are looking for on the web and make sure you go through lots of links. Some suggestions here when reviewing sites:
Does the information have a hidden agenda** - is it just to sell you something
  • Is the information overly biased \ misleading or flawed?
  • Is it providing information for your "pursuit of happiness"? 
If you are serious about buying a product / stock / house etc. related to the website:
1. Do not purchase it straight away
You can wait a few days. Impulse buying is generally a bad idea and you regret it after the event (e.g. why did I go for the top of the range computer at 2x the price of a comparable 3 month old machine)
2. What are your criteria for the action. Write them down. An example list could be:
- does it improve my health
- does it improve my happiness
- will it last
- is it the best option
- does it meet my financial independence goals?
- can I get it cheaper (e.g. secondhand or free from Craigslist?)
- is it manufactured ethically

Key concepts

Critically review everything
Take you time to get things right - everything requires effort
MUFF would like to now move onto what can be done with these sources of information and used in the toolkit that comes with the blog.
All the Best
MUFF says Try some American MUFF

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* Chris Duane is a prolific blogger with the site which he has several contributors providing vast amounts of alternative information.
His u tube channel The Greatest Truth Never Told hosts:
1. The Greatest Truth - Denial Series - a critical review of the deemed normal life we live and how we should all critically review our situation. I have found it a real eye opening series which covers a lot of ground and principles such as Maslow's Pyramid above.
2. Silver Bullet and Silver Shield series - a look at Silver as the ultimate store of wealth in an age of paper money. (As a primer a history of money - Paper Money Collapse Monetary Breakdown by Detlev S. Schlichter is a very good review of why money was introduced \ created and how it has developed into its current form)
He also has the sons of liberty academy and the silver shield report. Hats off to Chris for providing all of this information for free on the web.
** One note of caution most websites are there to make money so some are out to MANIPULATE you. Marketeers have extremely powerful tools and techniques to make you believe you NEED something. It all costs money!

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