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What floats your boat?

  1. Mar 14, 2007 #1
    An assumption that arises periodically and many times recently across a number of threads is that we are all driven by motives such as wealth or power. Now I have no personal experience about being really wealthy. My income has varied between nothing and 350K/yr. The odd thing is that when I made the most $$, I was 1) driven like all get up and typically traded stocks at 4am, followed by a 10-12 hour work day during weekdays, and there was never a day when i did not work, even if that meant simply doing patient rounds on Sunday. My patients thought it was fabulous that they would see the same guy every day of the week. Nursing staff thought it was way hip, too, as thy never were put in aposition of guessing or consulting another doc. Heck i developed grandiose deluisions i was the MAN. But I was so busy making $$ and consumed with investing same that I had no life. I was completely uninformed (Russ W et al might argue nothing new there) but it was an empty materialistic fantasy world, ungrounded by anything of real importance/value.

    Likely I am still not a huge contributor to the betterment of mankind, but I have since discovered that working 2-3 days a week, and making much less $$ is way more satisfying. I can tutor a bit on this forum, exchange thoughts with the rest of you, and build some really cool rockets. Plus hang out at the Tattered Cover (great local bookstore), watch some good TV and stay tuned by attending to alternative media. I have time to do pro bono work, and serve a dozen or so Colorado School of Mines students where I spend more time talking engineering than about our crummy childhoods--its perfect in many ways.

    There are some things I would still wish for, like a passioante romance, sufficient wherewithal to do even more outlsndish rocketry, afford health insurance, and even see a dentist. I dine out like twice a month versus twice a week.

    This is all a long winded prelude to what stirs your own juices? For me its about problem solving--tremendous sense of satisfaction there--relationships, creativity, contribution, and variety.
    So what floats your boat?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2007 #2
    i have to say, its important to enjoy the good things in life that come without money, like the excitement of launching rockets which costs money, the beauty in a romantic dinner which also costs money, heck even good tv costs money; i generally go by the rule: Money doesn't buy happiness, but it can buy things that can make you happy.--my first quote :). Besides i think that money would bring me happiness propably because i'm still on the zero $ side of my life, who knows what happens when i get to 350K/yr mayb i'll change. but until then i want a million dollar to die for :P
  4. Mar 14, 2007 #3


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    I think Danny DeVito summed it up best in his film other people's money

    "Life is a game, whoever dies with the most money wins" :-)
  5. Mar 14, 2007 #4
    lool..i would go for that notion :)
  6. Mar 14, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm self employed as a consulting engineer and programmer for industry. For me, the really big bucks require living in Hotel rooms. I did this for a time, and most notably during the period between 911, and the start of the war, almost to the day. I was on one of the first planes to take off from Portland after the attack, and I got home just in time to watch the entire war on TV.

    One morning in March of 2003, I woke up at home, in my own bed, and I couldn't figure out where I was. For at least ten seconds I was thinking that this is the oddest damned hotel room I have ever seen! That was a shocker. I had been making up to 2K a day [if I went without any sleep] and I have never been more miserable. It is a lonely existence that often leads to alcoholism. I once met an engineer from Switzerland who hadn't been home in two years. I met another engineer who had lived at the same Hotel in Alabama, for over a year. Can you even imagine what kind of life that is?!?!?! So, I decided that no matter what it took I was going to do business at home. I would rather have less money, and a life. And it did take time to develop the local accounts again, but this year I was overbooked at times. Still playing catch-up though.

    Although it can be overwhelming, we enjoy our property a great deal. From there, I am always trying to make some sort of contribution to environmental causes. Presently, biodiesel from algae has completely captured my interest as it seems the best of all solutions. So I am working with that and trying to learn the ins and outs. Obviously I spend a lot of time on PF, and along with physics [my degree] and science in general, I enjoy researching the fringe stuff. Presently my goal for play is to go to Russia and fly a MIG. I was hoping to go this summer but didn't make enough money this year to justify the trip.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  7. Mar 14, 2007 #6


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    I don't need a lot of money, a big house, a new truck etc, etc. I have my Harley, a nice garden spot, a woodlot, a small house that is easy to maintain, and my wife of 32 years. We're not rich, but we'll get by comfortably.

    I'm thinking of selling a few guitars, etc and buying a nice digital SLR camera with a couple of killer lenses. Photography used to be so very expensive - now the cost is mostly up-front, except when decide to print some "keepers".

    For a while I made good money as a consultant to the Pulp and Paper industry, but once you have spent a few weeks at a time living in hotels and eating in restaurants, home starts looking REAL good! After a couple of years of that grind, I settled for wage-monkey jobs making a lot less money so I could stay at home. What use is money if you're miserable, homesick, and lonely?
  8. Mar 14, 2007 #7


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    My boat sunk a long time ago.

    Now I have a small Japanese Chin dog (aka The Fruit Bat) that my older daughter dumped on me that is my closest friend.

    I currently have no life. When I *did* have a life, I drew portraits, gardened, enjoyed cooking, sailing, and world travel.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
  9. Mar 14, 2007 #8


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    :cry: :cry: :cry:
  10. Mar 14, 2007 #9
    The problem with this is that the winner can't take it with them. The family is left in disarray each member trying to get a better deal than the other on what was left behind.

    Was Anna Nicole Smith happy?

    As an old geezer I am in the process of spending down assets (mostly gifting to my children) and doing volunteer work. I wish I had started 20 years ago.
  11. Mar 14, 2007 #10
    its funny all of you speaking of how life without money can be good. u know i used to think that way, but now i changed what caused this dramatic change was the notion that money can solve a lot of problems, true it can cause others but u give some u take some. I changed my idea about money when i had a big accident, the first thing i thought off after the accident was that: damn if i had money i wouln't have felt sorry about the car and myself.
    Since then my goal was to gather enough money in any kind of job, so after that i can secure a calm and easy life...only pb is its not as easy as spoken
  12. Mar 15, 2007 #11


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    It's not that life without money is good - life without the treadmill of earning/spending to maintain some fantasy called a "life-style" is good. Living a simpler life frees you in so many ways, not the least of which is that if you spend less, you can save money at a faster rate without working yourself into the ground. Don't sacrifice your health, happiness, and well-being in your youth to make sure you have lots of money for "later". Life is for living NOW - "later" is not assured.
  13. Mar 15, 2007 #12


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    People to talk to, i work nights and do not see many people, i earn enough for my bank balance to keep gaining (more than i can spend) but i do not want much, i run a cheap car the cottage is cheap to run (apart from the chimney repairs), my bike is all paid for now, i just do not want anything more,
    oh, maybe a new laptop.
  14. Mar 15, 2007 #13
    Right now my favorite thing to do is drive down a lonely country road at sunset with the top down on my car and listen to http://home.comcast.net/~larkspur2020/frogs.mp3" [Broken], while searching for something to photograph when I come back through.
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  15. Mar 15, 2007 #14


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    They'll be hollering soon enough, larkspur!! We have a decent-sized pond in our back yard and a smaller one over near the garden, and we have frogs galore. The tree frogs alone would drive you nuts if you weren't used to them and didn't appreciate their calls. My wife and I like listening to them and don't mind keeping our bedroom windows open in the cool spring nights to enjoy them.
  16. Mar 15, 2007 #15

    I have three frogs in my tiny water garden out back that have been singing for the past few weeks. I wish I had a microphone to make a better recording than the one I posted. I only have my digital camera to record them right now. Spring is here for me. Our tulip trees and Bradford pears are in full bloom. I love it!
  17. Mar 15, 2007 #16


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    Right now, we have about a foot of snow on the ground (small potatoes for Maine) and may get another 9-12" this weekend. Spring will come soon enough, though. I waited to prune my apple trees because December and January were so warm that I didn't think that my trees had gone into dormancy. Now, I may have to wait until early April to lop them. The frogs will be hollering by late April/early May, so we'll have the birds by day and the amphibians by night. It's like a jungle out here, with hardly a second of silence. Love it!!
  18. Mar 15, 2007 #17


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    My boat is currently in the middle of a perfect storm. Work and various matters are coming at me fast and furious. :surprised :tongue2: :rolleyes: :eek: :biggrin:

    I can't wait for calmer waters.
  19. Mar 15, 2007 #18
    Thank you for the clarification--I'm not preaching extreme ascetisicm and self-flagellation, only that we are surrounded by so much noise demanding we buy more, and thus need to make more. Often at the expense of much more important concerns such as relationships and finding meaning, not just empty distraction or a means to an end, in both work and play. I have very few clients who take this to heart, they'd rather have the pill de jour. Thats alienation. If you have to take a pill to tolerate your life, one needs to rethink life choices. I did and grateful for having done so.
  20. Mar 15, 2007 #19


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    :rofl: I was thinking along those lines...what keeps my boat floating are good bilge pumps!
  21. Mar 15, 2007 #20
    I have two jobs. One at a grocery store and another job for an electronics company as tech support/webmaster/technician/anything else they want of me. The grocery store job is actually amazing. I get to walk around a huge store and talk to anyone I want to almost as much as I want. I have a ton of friends there and the environment is just amazing. My other job I work at home on my own time. I can work at 3 in the morning if I so please.

    I don't get paid a lot... With both of those jobs put together, I work around 47 hours a week and only earn around $350 (that should soon go up to $430) a week. I'm loving things right now because I almost never get bored at work.

    EDIT: For clarification, I decided to do this when I realized that having only 1 class this semester which requires no time outside of class leaves a lot of time...
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2007
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