☕️ saturday mornings #16

desire, trying too hard & trading time for money

Hi all,

I hope you’re having a lovely Saturday.

Below is your edition of “saturday mornings”, a weekly recap of what I’ve been testing, learning and exploring over the past few days.

✍️Quote I’ve been thinking about:

“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”

― Naval Ravikant

📕Book passage I loved:

Based on everything I’ve seen, a simple recipe can work: focus on what’s in front of you, design great days to create a great life, and try not to make the same mistake twice.

That’s it. Stop hitting net balls and try something else, perhaps even the opposite. If you really want extra credit, try not to be a dick, and you’ll be a Voltron-level superstar.

The secret to winning any game lies in not trying too hard.

Feeling as though you are trying too hard indicates that your priorities, technique, focus, or mindfulness is off. Take it as a cue to reset, not to double down. And take comfort in the fact that, whenever in doubt, the answer is probably hidden in plain sight.

What would this look like if it were easy?

In a world where nobody really knows anything, you have the incredible freedom to continually reinvent yourself and forge new paths, no matter how strange. Embrace your weird self.

There is no right one answer ... only better questions.

― Tim Ferriss, 4 Hour Workweek

Question for reflection:

How can I throw money at this problem? How can I “waste” money to improve the quality of my life?

As a student, I’m not the best case-study of putting this question into practice (for obvious reasons) but I believe it can hold a lot of value. For me, it provides a fundamental reset to how I think about the relationship between money and time. 

Growing up in a money conscious household, I learned at a young age that money should be saved at all costs (pun intended) even if it means spending disproportionate amounts of time. We kept our budget tight but seemed to always be strained for time.

However, after doing a lot of personal reading and thinking, I believe one of the best ways to spend money is on automating or delegating “work” to save time. (Work being defined as something you don’t want to do.) This then frees up time you can then invest into things you love to do.

In the early stages of life, you typically spend time to earn money. However, as you “hit your stride” in generating wealth, there’s a tipping point at which you should shift to spending money to earn time.

“Money comes and goes, but time just goes”. Time we can’t get back. And as a non-renewable resource, the logic makes sense that one should be more prudent in how they spend their time rather than how they spend their money.

To provide an actionable idea, Naval Ravikant leveraged this question in his twenties by picking an hourly rate that he believed his time was worth. Naval decided to never squander his time for anything less than his hourly rate. As such, if he had to do a task he didn’t want to do, but could hire someone to do it for less than his hourly rate, he would hire them. When it came to doing “work”, he became extremely protective of his time. 

Putting this into practice, if you hate grocery shopping and how it cuts into your free-time on weekends, Instacart will deliver groceries right to your home within a few hours of ordering for +6-8% of the purchase price. This seems to be a good idea assuming your time on weekends is worth more to you than $8/hour.

Similarly, you can hire a virtual assistant for as little as $20/day that can cut down on 2-3 hours of emails, planning and coordinating (and a lot of stress). 

The beauty of the digital age, and an expanding gig-economy, is that you can find someone you can delegate work to for almost anything.

I’m still working on putting this into practice in my own life. Just last week, I walked a 5 foot x 4 foot picture frame halfway across Toronto because I didn’t want to pay a delivery fee. 

But, I’m trying to adopt the following idea: “If you’ve got enough money to solve the problem, you don’t have the problem.” If I can use money (renewable asset) to gain back time (non-renewable asset), I think that’s a tick in the win column.

That’s all for this week’s edition of “saturday mornings”.

And, as always, please give me feedback on Twitter or by replying to this email. Which topic above is your favourite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Please let me know.

Just send a tweet to @tommy_dixon_ and put #saturdaymornings at the end so I can find it.

Thank you for reading. Have a splendid weekend.

Much love to you and yours,


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