I've gone through a lot of cycles of expansion and consolidation. I make a ton of progress, but then I circle back and solidify it, making sure that the gains will stay with me and that I'm unencumbered enough to do the next thing.
Now I'm in the curious position of having reached all of the goals that actually matter to me. Sure it would be great to have more money or to visit more countries or have more adventures, but I'm self-aware enough to know that each of those areas will produce diminishing returns.
My ongoing campaigns like coaching, writing, and CruiseSheet don't require huge amounts of effort. I could certainly spend a lot more time on CruiseSheet, and I do plan on ramping up to some extent, but it doesn't seem clear that I can fruitfully fill up months with CruiseSheet work.
So I'm thinking about doing something totally new. Here are my two ideas and why I am considering. I may do one or both of them, something totally different, or nothing new at all. I often consider things with no pressure or prejudice, just to think about what it would be like.
Not every problem in life requires overwhelming force applied to it, but I find that the best way to resolve issues that keep cropping up is to go totally overboard and crush them completely.
I used to always try to post blog posts in the beginning of the week. Then that soft deadline slid to the middle of the week. Recently I've had a few too many weeks where I was scrambling to get something posted over the weekend.
This is only really a problem because it annoys me, but in my world that's enough to do something drastic about it.
My solution isn't to reset the deadline or to block out time to write blog posts. Those would be incremental solutions and would likely erode over time. Instead I have decided to write an entire year's worth of posts in two weeks and to queue them up.
I like and spend time in several cities which are very different from each other. Las Vegas, Hilo (Hawaii), Budapest, rural Halifax (our island), and Tokyo. On paper it would be hard to draw many links between those cities, which of course led me to think about why I liked all of them so much.
What I realized is that each of those cities has extremely low friction.
San Francisco is a very high friction city. Everything is expensive there, so unless you are wealthy, eating out for meals feels a little bit stressful. Is it really worth $25 for a non-Chipotle dinner? Getting places is stressful because you have to take ubers to most places and they are expensive and exposed to traffic. The homeless problem has grown so out of control that you are almost certain to be confronted with feces and heroin needles during your visit.
New York is also very high friction. The subway is swelteringly hot during the summer and has none of the efficiency or thoughtfulness of systems in other cities like Tokyo. Real estate is expensive, so your living situation is likely to have a bit of friction. Like San Francisco, everything is expensive. Getting to the airport can take a couple hours or $80, depending on whether you take the train or uber.
Over a year ago I was driving my Bentley in Las Vegas and a car ran a red light and drove straight into the side of it, sending it first into a sideways slide, and later to the body shop. The body shop repairing the car is extraordinarily slow. At first this bothered me and I was constantly checking in with them to see when it would be done. Then I bought a minivan and no longer cared. I still don't have the car back, after almost a year and a half.
I'd say that my family had a minivan since I was little, but really my dad had a minivan. He loved that thing. And then after ten years or so it died and he bought another, and another still when that one reached the end of its life. He was a carpenter, and his minivan could hold a 4x8 sheet of plywood in the back with the seats removed. I've followed in his footsteps in that I also do projects all the time, and being able to carry a 4x8 sheet is pure magic.
All minivans are pretty good, but the Dodge Grand Caravan, also known as the Chrysler Town and Country, or now the Chrysler Pacifica (not to be confused with the crossover they stopped making which was also called a Pacifica), is the best one to buy. The primary reason for this is a patented feature they have called Stow-n-Go seating.
Stow-n-Go seating means that every seat other than the front two can be folded flat into the floor in a matter of seconds. Lift up the cover to the storage area, pull a tab on the back, and the seat is flat. You can go from seven passengers to two with more cargo space than a truck in under a minute.