Author Topic: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?  (Read 933 times)

EscapeVelocity2020

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Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« on: January 10, 2018, 10:28:56 PM »
To get to FI, I really had to ignore the crowd (and even my own inclinations, self-doubt, and family advice) from my first years of individual independence onward.  In my mind, I have re-written the story as being a singularly focused individual that ultimately triumphed over a biased, regressive, illegitimate system.  I figured out how to hack it to get my needs met, only playing the game to keep my cover.

Nowadays, basking in the glow of my success, it's not hard to believe whatever narrative I want.  But then I see how things are playing out with Trump and Silicone Valley Moguls and I wonder.  Maybe I'm making a reality around me that is distorted (but of course, not intentionally distorted like what I referenced)?

What should I do to make sure I'm not distancing myself too much from what is important?  If I can and need to help, how do I find a clear picture of the landscape that is not my own? 

[Mods, please don't ban me again, I'm not intending to dictate anything to anyone]
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

Dabnasty

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 07:31:26 AM »
To get to FI, I really had to ignore the crowd (and even my own inclinations, self-doubt, and family advice) from my first years of individual independence onward.  In my mind, I have re-written the story as being a singularly focused individual that ultimately triumphed over a biased, regressive, illegitimate system.  I figured out how to hack it to get my needs met, only playing the game to keep my cover.

Nowadays, basking in the glow of my success, it's not hard to believe whatever narrative I want.  But then I see how things are playing out with Trump and Silicone Valley Moguls and I wonder.  Maybe I'm making a reality around me that is distorted (but of course, not intentionally distorted like what I referenced)?

What should I do to make sure I'm not distancing myself too much from what is important?  If I can and need to help, how do I find a clear picture of the landscape that is not my own? 

[Mods, please don't ban me again, I'm not intending to dictate anything to anyone]

Step 1: stop asking the mods not to ban you when you clearly haven't said anything offensive. (or even if you have I guess)
Step 2: meditate

These won't solve your problem, but it can't hurt.

I worry a bit about this as well. I have great confidence that spending money on freedom vs. junk makes the most sense for me and that by not agreeing with me the majority of the human race is pushing toward our collective demise through overconsumption. Despite my confidence that I am doing the right thing I realize that means I have a lot less in common with the average person. Given the nature of trying to optimize one's life it is very easy to come off as critical of others. My life choices are not meant to be a critique on the choices of others but if someone asks why I live in a small apartment when I could afford more or why I don't invest in actively managed funds or why I try to minimize my possessions (especially this one, minimalism leads to questions and the answers sometimes hit home on things people don't like to think about).

I don't know if connections with others is necessarily what you were getting at but in my opinion that is the reality you're referring to. If you were the only human in existence your thoughts would be reality but when you interact with other people their thoughts all become the collective reality. In addition to that I think there are already significant divisions in these realities all over the world, take religion for example. Large groups of people, many of whom are certain beyond doubt that their book is right and everyone else's is wrong; They live in a different reality.

I guess what I'm getting at is that you can't possibly understand all the different planes of reality but what you can do is try your best to be open-minded. Oh, and don't watch cable news.



EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 12:02:42 PM »

Step 1: stop asking the mods not to ban you when you clearly haven't said anything offensive. (or even if you have I guess)


I have a 'watched' symbol when I post, so I'm trying to be proactive since I know mods are reading my stuff.  And I want others to know, if I'm not responding, that I might be banned, I'm not just ignoring them.  Thanks for the rest of your post, I certainly need to meditate and practice mindfulness more in the future, but that also puts me more in my own head if I'm not careful.

It's not exactly connection with others, because that is what leads me to question if it's me that is crazy or them.  For instance, when I needed a car, I had over $100k in my bank account (due to unrelated circumstances).  For a minute or two, I thought about looking at a Lexus or something flashy.  I ended up buying a car in cash for ~$17k.  I'm the only person I know that would think this way, in fact most people in my neighborhood have 2 flashy cars and crazy car payments, as well as having their kids take out college loans.  That seems crazy to me!  But why am I still this way, I don't even spend up to what the 4% rule would allow.     
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

acroy

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 12:28:59 PM »
Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?

YES

We have 'red-pilled' the work/life/money balance. It's not you, it's everyone around you who is living in a dreamworld.
SWAMI (Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual) 1 stash, 1 DW, 7 Mini MM's...
God, Family, Country. Everything else is details.

Dabnasty

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 12:31:37 PM »

Step 1: stop asking the mods not to ban you when you clearly haven't said anything offensive. (or even if you have I guess)


I have a 'watched' symbol when I post, so I'm trying to be proactive since I know mods are reading my stuff.  And I want others to know, if I'm not responding, that I might be banned, I'm not just ignoring them.  Thanks for the rest of your post, I certainly need to meditate and practice mindfulness more in the future, but that also puts me more in my own head if I'm not careful.

It's not exactly connection with others, because that is what leads me to question if it's me that is crazy or them.  For instance, when I needed a car, I had over $100k in my bank account (due to unrelated circumstances).  For a minute or two, I thought about looking at a Lexus or something flashy.  I ended up buying a car in cash for ~$17k.  I'm the only person I know that would think this way, in fact most people in my neighborhood have 2 flashy cars and crazy car payments, as well as having their kids take out college loans.  That seems crazy to me!  But why am I still this way, I don't even spend up to what the 4% rule would allow.   
Oh, in that case you may need to get an outside opinion, because of course they're the crazy ones.

In fact at $17,000 I think you went a little overboard, unless it was a great deal or brings you lots of true happiness:)

Personally I don't think I would buy a nicer car even if I had several million in the bank. I take pride in my '07 Honda Fit. (on second thought I'd probably drive a truck but nothing shiny. I'm pretty judgemental of people who drive shiny trucks.)

zoltani

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 12:59:58 PM »
It is no measure of health to be well adjust to a profoundly sick society.
-Jiddu Krishnamurti
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

Carrie

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 01:12:22 PM »
This is so funny to me - we spent $17kish on a used minivan (cash purchase) over 6 years ago. The van is now 10 years old, but with only 89k miles, it's got many good years left in it. All around us in the 'burbs are two and three car families driving luxury brands and swapping them out every 3-5 years.  Being around this crazy consumption makes me want to drive my van for 20 more years and see if I can have the oldest/cheapest car in carpool line. (Of course, if I still have school-aged kids in 20 years, something would have gone dreadfully wrong with the life plan/ birth control.)
I get intense pleasure in low spending & watching our savings rate go up. Hardly anyone understands this, and it is lonely sometimes when I don't even know what brands are in style or what boutique or shops are the cool places to spend money.  I see people all around who dine out more than they cook, they've got to be spending thousands on food - yet I'm the weird one for eating at home, from scratch? No, I don't think so. I'm the most sane person I know. ;)

mak1277

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:28:33 PM »
I think it's the tendency of most people to think what they are doing is "right" and anyone who does things differently is "wrong" or "weird".  Just look at the internet...it seems like 95% of people online are there simply to make themselves feel good by telling other people they're "doing it wrong".

There's nothing wrong with doing things differently, as long as you don't think you're better than someone who does it the other way. 

If you think you're better than someone because you're frugal and they're a spendthrift, you're a jerk.
If your neighbor thinks they're better than you because they have a fancier car, they're a jerk.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 02:03:41 PM »
We are a social species.  If your only society is those around you, and your values differ, you are going to feel like a misfit.  One of the great values of the Forums is that we find "our own kind" here, our values are reinforced, not scorned.
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/ontario's-own-camp-mustache-2017/ - MEET US THERE!

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 03:26:21 PM »
So, compared to what group? About 18% of Americans suffer from a mental illness. Some of these are "silent sufferers," and some are clearly handicapped, like the stereotypical homeless person suffering from schizophrenia.

Based on this, I'd say Mustachians are probably more balanced than average. Because it's an internet community, there are probably higher rates of SOME mental illnesses (like depression), but probably less of extremely debilitating mental illnesses.

Going against the grain doesn't make you crazy, just different.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 04:05:58 AM »
Since its been said Crazy people deny that there Crazy were all nuts! MMM's cookoo house!

I think as a group we are just smarter people. We spend 50 cents when someone will spend 2$ for the same thing. Like a Hollywood type will spend 500$ on a bottle of wine that we would spend 5$ on.  Same with Autos why spend couple 100k for something that gets you from point A to point B.  This is what consumerism is all about. People feel to fit in society they need to have all these things. It creates that rat race, competitive Jones's world. People on Facebook just posting how great and fake their lives are. I know because I was caught up in that world though never felt comfortable. I found its more about having balance. I don't succumb to feeling the way you are talking because I chose to stay away from it all and don't want or need the feeling to explain myself let alone compare with people because they mostly lie anyhow. And I love it if people give me a hard time about wearing my flannel shirts all the time and then I get a Christmas card and everyone in the Photo is wearing one. My point is I honestly feel that more people want to be like our way BUT they dont know how to get of the hampster wheel. So what do people do when they cant do right by themselves ? they try to make others feel like crap. Human Nature. Transition was tough for me but once I got to where I wanted to be it was easy and though to many on MMM I still have along ways to go, I am alot smarter, happier and better off  which makes me more mentally stable because i feel good and confident about it then the people mostly around me. Respect others and hopefully they will respect you. If not, forget em.
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EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 11:59:31 PM »
Just got around to watching Amazon Prime Electric Dreams, Season 1 Episode 2 (Autofac (a.k.a. Amazon)).  It all makes sense now, what Badassity really means :)  Not necessarily immune to societal pressures, fiscal temptations, or being deluded by a persistent 'reality'.  Just knowing to your core what you want and living your life accordingly, and then acting to preserve that.  Pretty cool.
Quote
Society and the world as we know it has collapsed. A massive, automatic factory operates according to the principles of consumerism; humans consume to be happy, and in order to consume continuously, they must be denied freedom of choice and free will. When a small band of rebels decide to shut down the factory, they discover they may actually be the perfect consumers after all.
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

neverrun

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:17:41 AM »
This is so funny to me - we spent $17kish on a used minivan (cash purchase) over 6 years ago. The van is now 10 years old, but with only 89k miles, it's got many good years left in it. All around us in the 'burbs are two and three car families driving luxury brands and swapping them out every 3-5 years.  Being around this crazy consumption makes me want to drive my van for 20 more years and see if I can have the oldest/cheapest car in carpool line. (Of course, if I still have school-aged kids in 20 years, something would have gone dreadfully wrong with the life plan/ birth control.)
I get intense pleasure in low spending & watching our savings rate go up. Hardly anyone understands this, and it is lonely sometimes when I don't even know what brands are in style or what boutique or shops are the cool places to spend money.  I see people all around who dine out more than they cook, they've got to be spending thousands on food - yet I'm the weird one for eating at home, from scratch? No, I don't think so. I'm the most sane person I know. ;)

I was listening to Paula Pant at Afford anything, and she was talking about the joy she gets when she "buys" some more ETFs, we consume, but instead of a new car we buy some new mutual funds, rental properties or ETFs.  I too get joy from "buying" my mutual funds each month.

Currently I am also trying to figure out what I want to do with my excess.  As of now, I'm committed to staying in my job until 2025 due to health care (I get subsidized health care for life if I stay until then and I'll still RE at 47.)  But staying to 2025 means that I'm going to have more money than I'll ever need, so I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with that money as far as a "legacy" and more importantly if there is anywhere in the budget I want to add more too.  So far I realized I can spend more on travel (meaning I can travel more and not staycation) but other than that I'm kind of stumped.

Carrie

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 09:04:46 AM »
What a great problem to have!

There are so many opportunities - setting up a scholarship or endowment would be cool. Or some kind of inner city camp or something along those lines related to a favorite hobby.

I've decided to start spending some time and money giving cooking classes, which would include budget & meal planning, to the impoverished in our county. My first class is next month! So instead of spending time / money to eat out, I've been teaching myself frugal cooking so I can share with others. This makes for a fulfilled life to be able to share my passions. Happiness is that - not the aquisition of ever more shoes/clothes and geegaws.

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Re: Are MMM's More or Less Mentally Stable than 'Others'?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2018, 07:52:53 AM »
I don't think that mental stability has anything to do with the choice to save money and try to ER.  I do think that the opportunities opened up by following this path will lead to reduced stress and increased happiness that is likely to benefit mental state though.

So, I'd say that pre-FIRE you're probably as nuts as anyone else.  Post-FIRE you probably look nuts to many but are statistically more likely to be mentally stable.