I’ve Made $75 in 2 Months

Intermittent Retirement

I haven’t lived in one spot for much over a month in 2020. People find this strange, so let me explain.

Me and My Backpack

I hate to say it, but being in school until age 24 gave me tools, values, and a network, BUT no experience. I’m a very hands-on learner. And I skated (literally) through undergrad and grad school somewhat easily.

School provides a curriculum to follow. It provides direction. Grades define success. I graduated with great grades and great friends. The friends are priceless, but the grades are history. Most of what I created was for the eyes of the professor only. The student-athlete bubble was fantastic, but like many student-athletes, I graduated with not much work or life experience.

The last few years of my life, I’ve enjoyed intermittent retirements. How? Working my ass off in brief spurts. The last few summers were spent working as much as possible. We install rented refrigerators in college dorm rooms. It’s not glamorous, but there is something about good old manual labor that I like. I’ve also managed to book less than a handful of lucrative commercials that have also funded my adventures.

When I’m not working, I’m constantly on the lookout for adventures, challenges, and work that seem worthy of my time. I value my time immensely which makes me very picky in regards to the work I pick up.

I’ve used the bought time to explore new interests such as travel, reading, learning a new language, writing, acting, and other miscellaneous skills. I crave learning, experience, and challenges.

In order to sustain this, I live very minimally. I’m living out of a backpack right now and have nothing more than a computer, some clothes, and a scooter a friend let me borrow. These details are for a later post:)

My studies of organizational psychology made me aware of the difficulties of life at work. A constant paycheck would be nice, but I, like many Millenials, fear not finding meaning or purpose through the work. I can’t imagine being told when and where to go to work. My biggest fear is not being able to surf when I want to surf! Sounds foolish, but it’s the truth. I’m also very heavily influenced by Taleb’s work as he likens employees to slaves.

It sounds harsh and I know there are amazing organizations out there with amazing potential for growth and self-actualization. For now, I prefer to live in the wild as I hone my skills and discover opportunities.

As my late baseball coach and famous coach John Wooden would always say, “Make each day your masterpiece”. What a challenge that is. I constantly think of what I can do for myself to make my day better. However, doing the opposite may reap the desired effect personally and financially. Success is helping other people succeed. It’s a somewhat brutal truth to hear that people, “are nothing more than the sum total of their useful skills” (great article).

We are all unique packages of abilities, experiences. All of which can be marketed somehow. The internet enables 8 billion monopolies. It takes proof of work in order to display your usefulness and capitalize on your monopoly.

Rumor has it that AI is taking away jobs!! Oh no!! Yes, this is very scary, but with old jobs gone, new ways to make money arise. I suspect that retooling and reinventing will be the norm.

The future is throwing curveballs at us now with Covid and whatever else happens in the news that I don’t pay attention to. Curveballs aren’t actually too hard to hit if you know they’re coming. (We could’ve been prepared for a pandemic). The future may throw something unhittable at us, you know something like this.

Baseball references aside, the point is that the future is unpredictable.

“It may be the first time in history we have no idea whatsoever how the job market would look like in 30 years. So the best bet is to focus on emotional intelligence and mental stability and mental resilience” — Yuval Harari

People with great EI, mental stability, and resilience are attractive. These are traits that everybody can work on :)

I imagine that all of life will be a journey to fully knowing thyself. I don’t know if there is an end destination. I’ve gone through quite a transformation since graduating high school about 10 years ago. I’m just as excited to see what the next 10 years will be like and to be able to look back at my first few blogs will be a hoot.

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
— Yoda

Abraham Maslow said it well: “Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth). Make the growth choice a dozen times a day.”

“Intermittent Retirement” is rather scary. I don’t know how or when I’m getting paid next. I’ve taken a page out of the Tim Ferris playbook and have experimented with fear setting. Ted Talk here.

I’ve run a few quick experiments with fear setting. I’ve lived in my truck for a few weeks, eaten only rice and beans for a week, fasted for 3 days, and even camped on the side of the road. I did this to see if I could survive if I actually had nowhere to go and no money to burn. The experiments hardened me and give me the confidence to continue my journey.

It’s impossible to know your limits if you aren’t constantly redefining them. I’m running a personal fear experiment now. If it scares me.. I do it.

I have bad days. Sometimes I feel like I’m just wandering around. Old narratives creep up on me and tell me I’m not doing it right. The key is to be able to recognize the thought patterns and silence them. I live with very few responsibilities. This may sound like the dream, but responsibility gives meaning to life. I can be lonely sometimes, and I miss being on a team.

The lifestyle that I’ve been living provides little security. I use my money sparingly and luckily to have not dipped into my investments. It may come to this one day when I find something I’m truly passionate about and am willing to go 100% all-in for.

I’ve always been slightly jealous of my twin sister Holly. Holly has had a direction since we were in diapers. She’s gone out and forged her way to her first dream job working at the San Diego Zoo. She literally plays every day with her animals and can’t imagine life without such work. What a dream! It’s my goal to find a job or forge a living by simply playing every day.

Final thought — There is no right or wrong, black or white way to live life. This is what makes it interesting and worth living. Studying is one thing, doing is another. Take action!

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Occasionally writing, acting, working, modeling, or surfing. Always living. https://linktr.ee/paulkeating paulkeating03@gmail.com

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Paul Keating

Paul Keating

Occasionally writing, acting, working, modeling, or surfing. Always living. https://linktr.ee/paulkeating paulkeating03@gmail.com

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