My new two favorite words to describe my ever changing lifestyle is now Selectively Hardcore. I still consider myself working towards Minimalism, much like being Selectively Hardcore, Minimalism looks different for everyone.
Why do I keep changing into these “eccentric” lifestyles? Freedom. Financial Independence. The ability to work to create, rather than consume and pay bills. The odd part though? Change really isn’t that eccentric. We just resist change so much, we become defensive about it.
There are many pros for me being Minimalist, Selectively Hardcore, Frugal or whatever label we want to put on it. Why is my end goal of making these “radical changes”?
I’m tired of my anxiety controlling my life. I’m tired of making 8,000 decisions a day and repeating “I don’t know” over and over again. I’m taking control of my life and letting the “snowball effect” take over. I’m slow getting out of debt one week at a time; slowly saving up a little bit more one week at a time.
But it’s not about money. It’s about my future. I’m not at an “optimal male” state. I need to focus on better health, physically and emotionally. I need to streamline my life. I need to optimize parts of my life to live a fulfilled, purposeful life.
I’ve fought anxiety for all 30 years of my life. My mother makes the joke that when I’m anxious or in a hurry I’m “going 90 miles an hour.” That’s how I felt like my life has gotten out of control. I’ve been going 90 miles an hour without focus.
The FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) community is built up of so many situations and types of people. Some do some really radical and eccentric things. Some prefer math over emotion when making optimal decisions concerning their finances. But everyone in the community seems to be “selectively hardcore” on one point or another. There are dumpster divers, “frugal weirdos,” house hackers and many other types.
I like to think I’m selectively hardcore in the entertainment and grocery categories. Since I let P (my partner) take over the groceries, she has taken the ChooseFI motto, and (gamed out, game-ified?) turned grocery shopping in a game. She built her own entire system and has the budget, meal planning, and complete food system in our household on lock down. As far as entertainment we are cable cutters, living on Netflix, Hulu, and anything else free via the Internet. I listen to about 6 different podcasts as well as YouTube and Spotify.
I don’t think I’m selectively hardcore in the typical budget categories. I just have a lower income than most of the FIRE community and just become quite intentional with my purchases. Extra income usually goes to debt, or gas for cheap entertainment. I won’t keep my apartment at 55 degrees because of health issues with P and paying a bit more on electric to keep P a bit more happy and healthy, then I’m alright with that. I also recently bought P a coat in the instance she may have to walk outside in the winter while I’m at work. Otherwise, we may spend an extra $5 or $10 going to a fast food joint (or extra groceries).
Lately, I’ve been more selectively hardcore on where I spend my mental energy. I’ve tried to explain my perspective to friends on Facebook, but have been more and more cutting off when I feel my mental energy should be put to better use. Part of leading a more purposeful and content life for me, is better time management. I’m not saying my Facebook friends aren’t worth my time, but arguing via Facebook may not be.
So what’s the point of the post? Maybe to help others become more “selectively hardcore.” More intentional, more inspired. Change is good. Intentional change is even better. So my challenge is to be more selectively hardcore. Make a change. Take an action. Be more intentional at least 3 times in the future. When I started being more intentional with my money, it curbed my anxiety from other life situations. How might being more intentional and selective make your life better?