Happy New Year! Now Let’s Grab 2017 by the Balls!

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Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! It’s a brand spanking new year and you know what that means. New Years Resolutions! But instead of the lame open-ended goals of “workout more”, “eat healthier”, “make more money” goals, we’re going to do something different.

We’re going to focus on “The 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person”.

Written by David Wong from Cracked.com, this is one of my favourite articles of all time. Why? Because of its no bullshit advice on how to become a better person:

1) The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You
2) The Hippies Were Wrong
3) What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People
4) You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything
5) What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do
6) Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement

Notice a common theme here? Becoming a better person doesn’t mean being “nice” or “smart”. It means being USEFUL. It means PRODUCING something that will benefit OTHER people.

So with that in mind, do the following.

Name five impressive things about yourself. And no, “I’m nice” or “I’m honest” won’t cut it. They have to be things you DO, not things you ARE.

Ready? Okay, go.

If you have a hard time doing it, don’t worry. That was me four years ago. Back then I was writing but not published, so the only thing I could come up with was “engineer”. But even then I didn’t truly believe I was a good engineer.

After reading this article, I got off my ass, worked hard to write better and eventually got published.

And now, after all those years of blood, sweat, and tears I can finally list 5 impressive things about myself:

1) Nationally syndicated writer on CNBC and Business Insider
2) Published Scholastic author
3) From being terrified of water to PADI certified open water diver
4) Millionaire and retired at 31
5) Travelled the world on $40K CAD for 1 year–less than most people spend living at home

What about you? Do you agree with David’s article? Can you list five impressive things about yourself?

If so continue adding to that list. If not, think about what you WANT to add to that list and make that your 2017 goal.

Here’s what we’ll be adding in 2017:

1) Launch an app
2) Become a public speaker
3) Write a non-fiction book

And to accomplish this, we’ll be launching our non-profit app, giving financial independence talks (starting with the Canadian Investors Conference in Feb), and writing our own book on financial independence. Bring it, 2017!

Before we run off to work on our goals, I’m going to leave you with the movie that, in my opinion, has the best line of all time:

“If you want to work here, close.”

Are you ready to grab 2017 by the balls? Are you ready to close?

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24 thoughts on “Happy New Year! Now Let’s Grab 2017 by the Balls!”

  1. Interesting philosophy on resolutions FireCracker!

    I agree that open-ended resolutions will easily get dropped after a couple months, but that’s not the only reason why…

    Change is hard, and double so when you have a regular job to attend everyday. Having freedom from employment frees up so much more energy for actually DOing stuff.

    I can’t emphasize this enough. I accomplished more in 1 year of “Financial Independence” than I did in 5 years while employed.

    It’s an incredible advantaged!

    1. So true! We built an entire app, started a blog, travelled the world AND got PADI certified all within 1 year because FIRE helped us free up the time. The job definitely takes away too much of your energy to do much after work. But we did still managed to write a book and get published while we were working. So it is possible, but you just can’t cram in as many goals. You just need to focus on 1 goal while working.

    1. I know right? I read this article at the beginning of every year to give myself an ass kick. Glad it’s helpful for you!

    1. ” Everyone – family, strangers, even the government with its mortgage interest tax deduction – pushes the idea that homeownership is a natural step. A reliable investment. The American dream.”

      Gee…I have NO IDEA what that feels like ;P

      ” So don’t buy a house purely as an investment. Consider why you need shelter. Perhaps you have a family or a love of DIY.”


      Great article. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Woohoo! You put up the post 🙂 Mine is coming up on Wednesday! (and yes, #6 can now be added to the list. And it’s the best one so far :D)

  2. OMG maybe I am just highly unevolved, or overly sensitive, but after that article I might give up all my goals for 2017, hide under the covers and never come out.

    1. Hiding under the covers is easy, in most cases. Having goals and failing is hard. But failing at goals always uncovers new skills and knowledge. Or you might accomplish your goal… Point is trying always produces positive results no matter the end result, if you’re willing to take a peek at the debris if don’t reach your goal.

    2. What if I lure you out with booze and chocolate? No one said we had to be sober when accomplishing said goals 😛

  3. Alright, enjoying my booze and chocolate.

    Here goes- I’ve tried, I really have. I went to medical school, a fairly good one, and finished even though I hated it. I finished residency (although I did leave fellowship, realizing that in my particular field it would limit, not expand opportunities). I took a high-paying job in a very nice part of the country, but far from my home in New York City. I have scrimped and saved, spending about what I did as a resident. I met a nice guy who works but doesn’t earn a ton.

    I want to go home. I have a disability that makes finding a job in my field very challenging. I hate where I work. I have tried travel, living in rural areas, and living overseas. While I tried hard to appreciate the experience, I missed home in NYC. I miss my parents’ life where they had a big apartment and people would come to visit from all over. It was a great life.

    I have tried so many things, and all I want is to go home and live somewhere halfway as nice as where I grew up. And I can’t do it. And I’m miserable despite what others would generally consider good fortune.

    Any suggestions??

    1. The fact that you accomplished ALL that (getting through med school, finishing your residency, and getting a high-paying job) despite having a disability is freaking amazing and you should very proud of yourself.

      Let’s just take a deep breath and acknowledge that shall we? The reason why I say this is because back when I was working, I never stopped to acknowledge my accomplishments. So that caused me to keep hating on myself for not being happy and not accomplishing more. The second you realize how far you’ve come, and give yourself the confidence to achieve anything, you realize you have a LOT of cards to play.

      Have you figured out how much you need to live minimally in NY? It’s an expensive city, obviously, but there is a chance you can live on less if you can share a room, or move out to the neighbouring areas (like Brooklyn, Queens, etc). Once you figure out that number, start working towards building a portfolio that would generate that income. Once you have that you can live in NY (or surrounding areas) without having to worry about not being able to find work there. Since you have high-paying job (doctors generally make WAY more than engineers), you’re likely a lot closer to that dream than you think.

      1. Aww, you are sweet. Better than booze and chocolate! Thank you for listening to my first-world problems!

        I have built up a diversified portfolio of nearly 1.5 m over about six years with no debt aside from a small mortgage on a cash-flow positive rental property. But I’m burnt out on terrible living conditions (it gets harder in your forties) and I realize that my income needs for NYC, based solely on the exorbitant rents and healthcare costs (you lucky, lucky Canadians) would require a portfolio of at least twice that, daunting to say the least. My only goals are to be able to afford to live in NYC, and then ultimately to be able to afford to keep my parents’ beautiful apartment (it’s hard with taxes and fees in the thousands monthly).

        But you are right- I guess I did accomplish something, and maybe I can look at buying a two family house and renting out half, although not in Manhattan. Or Brooklyn. It’s just emotionally hard to be so far behind where my parents were at that age despite more education and skills. But, times change.

        Thank you again! I’m open to any and all advice from you, the wise readers, or anyone else!

    2. It all is just one miserable, futile keeping-up-with-the-Joneses rat race.

      Isn’t it?

      There will always be someone who’s richer than you, there will always be someone who’s more successful than you, there will always be someone who’s got a bigger/more expensive house than you, there will always be someone who’s got a better paying job than you, there will always be someone who’s got a more fulfilling career than you, there will always be someone who’s healthier than you, there will always be someone who’s better looking than you, there will always be someone who’s got more expensive cars than you, there will always be someone who’s got a happier family than you, there will always be someone who’s got a better spouse/romantic companion than you.

  4. Amazing posts, both yours and the David Wong’s one!
    I didn’t know this Baldwin’s character, and must admit I hated it while listening. It’s rude but I understand it’s a strong way to send the message.

    1. His character is definitely an asshole (and borderline psychopath), but the point of the video is to test your reaction when you’re watching it. Some people will take the positive aspects of it and think “I gotta get off my ass and CLOSE!” While others will focus too much on his tone and character and not take action. It’s an extremely way to send the message, but it got my blood pumping! 🙂

  5. Thanks for the inspirational post. I noticed you wrote ” new App” in your 2017 projects. I’m a designer working for some of the Fortune 500 companies creating interactive products ( apps and web)

    If you need any help, I’m happy to see if I could lend a hand. I’m also excited to see what the app.


  6. Fantastic article! What a wake up call. FireCracker I know you like to say ‘let’s math this shit up.’ How about, ‘let’s truth this shit up?’

  7. When an attractive woman mentions grabbing balls, I can’t help but be equally frightened and turned on.

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