Put your mouth where your money is: a simple exercise that reveals a lot about yourself

by phil on Monday Jan 21, 2008 2:26 AM

I thought of an exercise that can give you a quick bird's eye view of your life priorities.

You simply list out things that you can conceive of working hard to be able to afford. Then go through the list and bump things up if you think you would work harder for it. This is my list:

  • Things I'd work my ass off for: afford a place with low crime, keep my computer/internet equipment at least decent, pay off debt, have health insurance
  • Things I'd work hard for: fly to friends' weddings, pay for hosting, afford fresh clothing, afford drinks at bars/clubs
  • Things I'd work moderately for: have a web design/flash design capable cpu, afford a place where I can live by myself, afford nice dinners with friends
  • Things I'd hardly work for: have ergonomic chair, desk, avoid having to cook for myself
  • Things I wouldn't work for: afford a place that's close to the action, afford hip/stylish clothing, afford a scion-level car, cutting edge cpu, afford a home or condo, avoid having to take the bus.

The above list doesn't include everything I could imagine myself working for, but it's a rough overview. And from that list, I can derive pretty much that these are my priorities, in this order:
  • physical security
  • computer/Internet
  • freedom
  • real world social participation
  • comforts/convenience
  • status
  • entertainment

Where you are willing to actually put your money is a great predictor of things. For example, political futures markets where people bet money on who will win elections are the most accurate at predicting election outcomes. So follow the money, and you'll see what's real and what's not.

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