As an alternative of sharing the standard issues I am grateful for (well being, household, being Asian, and so on.), I assumed I would share some uncommon issues I am grateful for this yr!
2023 was presupposed to be a return to simple residing. Alas, I do not really feel very relaxed. The mixture of preserving Monetary Samurai going and being a dad is grinding me down.
By going by way of a listing of regular issues to be grateful for, even when a lot of them are unhealthy, I hope to really feel extra appreciative of all the pieces. That is what this time of the yr is for!
I hope you’ll carry out this private train as properly.
5 Uncommon Issues I am Grateful For
Regardless of how disappointing some issues are, I all the time prefer to look on the brilliant facet of issues. So right here goes nothing.
1) Grateful for native authorities corruption
When you have got a $14+ billion annual San Francisco finances, it is onerous to not have some corrupt officers. Cash and energy can carry out the worst in folks.
However let’s take a look at the brilliant facet of metropolis officers taking bribes. It means it is onerous to get issues completed resulting from excessive requirements and tons of competitors. If getting issues completed within the metropolis have been simple, we is likely to be jeopardizing the well being and security of our denizens.
Tough to rework or construct new property
One instance of authorized bribery is paying a “allow expediter” to get your housing allow accredited or accredited sooner. In case you do not pay for one, your allow might be held hostage for months and even years.
In 2005, once I was 28, I constructed a brand new full toilet out of a closet. My normal contractor suggested me to pay $1,200 for a allow expeditor so I did. He informed me, “That is simply how issues work within the metropolis.”
It sounded fishy on the time however as this was my first time transforming, I did not know higher. The allow expeditor I paid was charged with bribery a yr later.
By making it tough to rework and construct new properties, the town helps help present residence costs by artificially limiting provide. In consequence, present San Francisco owners have skilled larger residence value appreciation than cities with much less corrupt buildings and planning departments.
Additional, should you can full a intestine transform, your property must be rather more priceless since it is so onerous to get permits and move the rigorous inspection course of.
Let’s go authorities inefficiency and corruption!
2) Grateful to the Fed for creating boom-bust cycles
As an alternative of elevating and slicing rates of interest steadily, the Fed takes an aggressive strategy, which creates boom-bust cycles.
Throughout charge cuts in 2020 to counteract the pandemic, we made some huge cash in 2020 and 2021 with shares and actual property. As soon as the Fed began climbing charges aggressively in 2022, we purchased shares at a reduction. Now the S&P 500 is up ~20% and the NASDAQ is up ~45% YTD in 2023. What a blessing!
Because of aggressive charge hikes, I used to be additionally capable of purchase an exquisite property at a lower cost 17 months after I first noticed it in Might 2022. The Fed’s charge hikes purchased me 17 months of time to save lots of, make investments, and get better from my inventory market losses.
With out an aggressive Fed, the home would have gotten bid up past my household’s attain.
Thanks Fed for giving me the chance to raised deal with my household! As a father, one of many prime priorities is to offer a household a snug residence on a protected neighborhood.
Lastly, because of the Fed, we will now all earn ~4.84% risk-free revenue for as much as 20 years in Treasury bonds if we wish. Incomes such a excessive risk-free rate of interest with inflation heading again to 2.5% or decrease is a generational win. Tens of millions extra savers will expertise larger monetary safety in consequence.
3) The intense facet of OpenAI altering to a for-profit firm
OpenAI, the AI firm which created ChatGPT started as a non-profit firm to assist all of humanity. However the leaders quickly realized the money-making potential in ChatGPT, so that they switched to a for-profit construction. After elevating an incredible quantity of funding, hiring prime expertise, and innovating, the corporate is now value ~$86 billion.
When an organization is value $86 billion, it will get to rent much more folks, which is nice for cities the place OpenAI has places of work (San Francisco, Seattle, and so on.). As well as, the fast creation of an $86 billion firm will increase the need to create new rivals. Enterprise capitalists are funding AI corporations left and proper!
Anthropic, a detailed OpenAI competitor, for instance, got here out of nowhere and is now value ~$30 billion. Not unhealthy for an AI firm which can be supposedly not revenue pushed.
Inside a number of years, all this sudden wealth creation has created 1000’s of latest millionaires and dozens of billionaires within the San Francisco Bay Space. In the meantime, 1000’s of latest jobs can be created.
If OpenAI had determined to stay a non-profit and constant to its mission to assist humanity, all this wealth creation seemingly would have by no means occurred. Hooray for greed!
AI Is A Vacuum Cleaner Of Capital
Now there may be one other robust native financial catalyst for the San Francisco actual property market and economic system. I count on there to be much more AI corporations created because of 1000’s of latest financially impartial workers at OpenAI, Anthropic, and so on branching off. This occurred a number of years after corporations like Google and Fb went public. As soon as the shares totally vest, workers love to do their very own factor.
With a virtuous wealth cycle concentrated within the Bay Space, it is now tougher to go away San Francisco as a result of extra nice fortunes can be made. The AI revolution is simply getting began.
It is a lot better to stay at AI headquarters than be exterior the partitions the place AI can be systematically eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs over time. I hope this does not occur, however it’s an inevitability when an organization is attempting to maximise income.
4) Grateful for perpetual rejection
After I did not get promoted to Managing Director in 2011, after 10 years of loyal service to Credit score Suisse, I made a decision to plan a plan to get laid off. The concept to negotiate a severance bundle with all my deferred money and inventory got here to me whereas sitting at a bar in sunny Santorini, Greece. Then I made it occur six months later.
Having the ability to stroll away from banking with cash in my pocket was a dream come true. Banking was making me sick. Inside a yr after I left, all my persistent again ache, sciatica, and TMJ went away. The well being advantages of early retirement are priceless.
Again then, I might have paid something to really feel wholesome once more. Little did I do know that every one it took for a wholesome physique was not working 60 hours every week for years beneath a number of stress. Hooray for hitting the “bamboo ceiling”!
Turning job rejections into income
After getting rejected by dozens of tech corporations in 2012, I ended up shopping for a number of tech shares. I figured, if I could not work for them, they might work for me! The returns from these tech investments have made it doable for my household to eat at McDonald’s day by day for the remainder of our lives.
As soon as my spouse negotiated a severance in 2015 as a excessive performer, we now not had sponsored healthcare. After getting considered one of our medical insurance claims denied by UnitedHealthCare, I noticed what a strong enterprise it was. So I purchased some UNH inventory and it has blown away the S&P 500!
Getting rejected as a author
When no literary agent responded to me about my e-book thought on how you can negotiate a severance, I made a decision to self-publish. The e-book has now bought 1000’s of copies and has remodeled $550,000 in internet income.
I constantly get feedback and emails of thanks saying how How To Engineer Your Layoff gave them the braveness to go away a nasty work state of affairs behind. It feels superb to alter folks’s lives for the higher.
Getting rejected as an athlete
One of many saddest issues about being an athlete is getting outdated. Sooner or later, you understand your physique will now not cooperate even when your thoughts continues to be robust.
In Spring 2023, I used to be rejected by the captain of a public park 4.5-level tennis staff to hitch his staff. It was a tragic fall from grace given I had performed on the 5.0 stage for 4 years on different groups earlier than the pandemic. However with out this rejection, I would not have skilled probably the most satisfying wins of my life.
On July 6, 2023, my associate and I beat the captain who had rejected me and his associate 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 in a essential playoff match. Ah, the win was so satisfying, so was seeing the melancholy on his face after he misplaced. Thanks Jeff for the priceless reminiscence! Public park groups are presupposed to be inclusive.
5) Decrease-than-average want to achieve success
One of many biggest destroyers of happiness is rarely being glad with what you have got. As a result of a pal of mine misplaced his life at age 15, since 13, I’ve felt extra grateful to be alive. Each new yr looks like a bonus.
At 34, I made a decision I had had sufficient and left banking. It was onerous to stroll away from a wholesome paycheck. I knew if I labored for simply 5 extra years, I might be capable of accumulate at the very least one other $1 million in internet value. However I did not care anymore.
My passive funding revenue on the time wasn’t sufficient to stay a wealthy life-style in San Francisco or Honolulu. But it surely was sufficient to stay a snug middle-class life-style as a person or couple.
If my intent was to make hundreds of thousands and get promoted to Managing Director, I might have been depressing for the following 5-10 years working lengthy hours. My well being would have suffered and possibly I might have reduce a few years off my life expectancy.
Ok is sweet sufficient!
Fame just isn’t value it
I’ve discovered principally intrinsic motivation to do what I need to do. Though fame will be alluring, fame does not maintain my curiosity. Consideration is like an habit that may smash an individual’s psychological well being.
I tasted some public publicity for a few months throughout my Purchase This Not That e-book advertising and marketing tour in 2022. It was enjoyable to point out my mother and father the TV spots, however fame just isn’t one thing I might need to be ongoing.
Once you’re along with your children on the playground, do you actually need strangers coming as much as you and interrupting your one-on-one time along with your little ones? I do not assume so.
All I need is sufficient cash to deal with my household, do significant work, and have the freedom of being a no person. A easy life is an effective life.
So Many Extra Uncommon Issues I am Grateful For
I might go on about extra uncommon issues I am grateful for. However I will not bore you.
There are two details to this submit:
1) Attempt to look on the brilliant facet of issues. Unhealthy issues occur on a regular basis. Practice your thoughts to develop into extra optimistic by on the lookout for the potential positives. In case you do, you may discover extra alternatives and really feel happier in consequence.
2) Do not cease attempting. You’ll by no means lose should you by no means quit. Do not underestimate the ability of grit. It does not matter should you fail. What issues is that you simply tried and can carry on attempting.
Completely satisfied Thanksgiving everybody!
I am curious what are some uncommon belongings you’re grateful for? What are some fortunate breaks you’ve got had?
Notice: I am not likely grateful for corruption, boom-bust cycles, authorities pink tape, and greed taking up AI. Rejections all the time stink as properly. I am simply attempting to take a look at the positives of suboptimal conditions.
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