The Ed Latimore E-Mails

Lessons from the 59 unopened Ed Latimore e-mails I’ve gone through.

  • Ask yourself this question: What is the one thing you need to change that will make the greatest impact on your life. Me: actioning the systems I have laid out for myself.
  • This goes well with the Domino Mentality – sticking to one little habit will knock the domino into the next habit making it easier to knock over.
  • Thinking about where you could be in 5 years will help you a lot.
  • The best way to change a habit is change your environment. Do something new. Get rid of something old. Take time away from everything to figure out what is really important to you. The stuff you miss – bring it with you. The stuff you don’t, leave it there. Friends. Family. Whatever it takes.
  • Get rid of people who disrespect you.
  • Spend an hour a day alone working on something that makes you respect yourself.
  • Improve the caliber of the people around you.
  • Things are always worse in your imagination.
  • You’re not alone. There is always a silver lining and your struggles will pass. You will get through the other side a better person.
  • Here are ways to pass the time in quarantine: Board games, writing, talk to your loved ones, work out, sharpen old talents, learn new skills, spend time alone and learn to make money online.
  • Don’t confuse the good reason for doing something (be healthier) with the real reason (looking good naked and being attractive). Stay true to your real reason.
  • Be nice on the internet. You never know when it will come back to haunt you. Ed recounts the tale of someone who berated him online. This person, a few years later, had the conversation brought up during job interviews and and masters degree applications, where he was denied based on his conduct.
  • There is no such thing as “half-anon.” Your details can be found and your misdeeds will be known. Be a nice person. You want the stuff people can find to be to your advantage. The internet is a tool. Make sure it works for you.
  • Don’t make enemies for free.
  • Apologies mean more when you don’t have to make them. If you mess up, you should clear that up as soon as possible.
  • Want more energy? Get more sleep then wake up early, shut up, build a ritual, break down complex tasks and focus on the process instead of the outcome.
  • The goal of having money should be to free up your time for what is most important to you.
  • There is no “proven path” – just temperament, aptitude and ambition. You need to learn everything about yourself to get ahead.
  • Confidence and success are contagious. If you need motivation in something, do something else you can crush and the effects will bleed over into the things you don’t want to do.
  • Embrace the suck. Turn your prison into a playground.
  • Use your time instead of having it use you.
  • Become orderly, it promotes an execution mindset. Prime your workspace ahead of time for production.
  • Pick something to be great at and be great at that thing. Find a way to excel in your own way.
  • You might need a dick detox.
  • 5 ways to be chill: show gratitude, have a growth mindset, realize patience is a refined version of confidence, appreciate the small things and build a value system.
  • Economic freedom is the basis of personal freedom.
  • Your freedom might not be someone else’s freedom.
  • There is a subtle difference between can’t and won’t.
  • Here are the four levels of personal freedom: Still in the matrix, using your eyes for the first time, out of the matrix, you can dodge bullets and you don’t have to dodge bullets.
  • Don’t toss your long term friends to the ground just because of the whole “average of the 5 people you around most” thing. Sometimes those long term friendships will go even farther than someone you will network with for a year for the learning benefits.
  • Woven is a scheduling app that will help you manage your time. You should have a plan and a schedule to do said plan. (I signed up for it)
  • Focus is trainable.
  • Make sure you get in a place where you can remove distractions.
  • Remove your phone from your space if you check it often.
  • If you think of all your tasks as easy, you are more likely to start.
  • Blocking off your time for a scheduled task will help you keep your mind from wandering.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist – it’s going to kill your productivity. Even if you make a mistake, you can go back to correct it later when you have scheduled yourself time to do so.
  • Put your rewards in the right place. rewarding yourself early will always sap the momentum out of whatever you are doing.
  • Don’t schedule your leisure – schedule was has to be done and once you’re done – you get it by default.
  • Entertainment, sex and thinking are cheap. Get some stress in your life. It will sharpen you like iron.
  • Switching tasks is lost time and flow is real. Check out the book flow.
  • First drafts are for word vomit. Throw up all over the page. Make it rain. Edit later. Thank yourself you did it.
  • Before you write – set yourself up for success. Do everything, like eat, use the bathroom etc. before you sit down to work. Minor distractions will kill your flow.
  • Silence your inner critic. Build a system that reviews LATER.
  • Shut up and start winning. You don’t need to argue that you’re right. Prove it. If you can’t prove it, learn something and move on. When you do this, you’re mentally free which leaves a whole lot more room to be happy.
  • Do you want to be right or happy? You really can’t have them both.
  • Everyone has there own life hacks. Here are a few ways Ed says you can unfuck your life:
  • Learn to order your favorite dishes in the language the meal originates from.
  • Use a condom.
  • Clean things look more valuable.
  • Start improving your wardrobe at your shoes.
  • Money in the bank > good credit.
  • You probably need a dick detox. Get rid of that porn addiction.
  • A good fighter has 4 attributes: physical fitness, mental toughness, emotional resilience and spiritual determination.
  • Each area develops the other so they are all developed at once.
  • If you have two paths – think about the worst case scenario for each path. Whichever one is easier to endure, go that route.
  • Nothing is guaranteed except death.
  • The best you can do is be in the best position you can be in for when something goes wrong. Things will go wrong. If you are in tip top shape, you’ll be able to handle it no problem.
  • Want more luck? Change your perspective about hardship, try more, act with intention, have a flexible plan and lie to yourself. You’re way luckier than you think.
  • If you don’t DO anything though, luck will never have a way to find you.
  • Where unlucky people see a setback, others see a set up.
  • Develop a meaningful goal – one that forces you to develop skills, abilities and connections that you do not have currently.
  • To achieve your goals you need: discipline, consistency and conscientiousness.
  • The more you take your goals seriously, the more life will take you seriously.
  • It’s always better to be wanted, even if you don’t want to be around other people.
  • Writing things down helps you place those ideas in the physical world.
  • Writing helps free up mental space for other activities.
  • It also helps you remember your ideas. You forget more ideas than you ever remember.
  • Writing makes you mentally tougher because you have to think through your ideas.
  • Don’t deprive the world of your unique perspective.
  • Switch your focus to something that brings you joy. If you don’t have anything, create it. Be selfish if you have to. It’ll bring you (and the people you care about) a lot of benefits.

Something in this list is going to stand out to you. Work on it. You’ll feel better.

Saturday School Episode 22 – How to get Ahead

I just wanted to take the time to summarize what I got out of this episode. I’ve included the full video here in case you would like to watch it.

A little background here is that I’ve decided to pick some people who are going to act like champions for me in 2021. They are the people whose advice I want to take a little more seriously and actually act on it.

I’ve followed Mark Bell on Instagram for a while (and now recently on twitter) and I enjoy his content. I feel as if he’s open and honest with what he’s got going on and what’s been working for him.

I’ve tried to dabble in the Carnivore diet before but always fell off pretty fast. Sugar addiction and all that. Anyway, long story short – I’m trying to do it again and I’m going to follow this guy to try and get my fitness back on point.

In this episode, Mark is discussing how to get ahead and how not to fall behind. Mark says that a violent attack today is better than a well executed plan tomorrow; however, he also says the best thing to have is a plan that you’re attacking daily.

If you have a plan, you’re scientifically more likely to do something if you plan for it and pick a specific date AND time to do it. I don’t have a source for this aside from the video but I think everyone just knows that this is true. Even if it isn’t true. If you act like it is, make a plan and then execute – I’m sure you’ll see results.

If you don’t prep your schedule, your meals or anything else you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to do, then you probably are not going to do it. Guilty. In fact, today, I took some time off work to get some stuff like this started. I pissed away most of the morning doing nothing. I did do what I said I was going to though: wake up at 6, exercise, eat and meditate. I didn’t have a plan after that though.

What Mark recommends is build in a little more accountability for what you’re going to do. Tell some people what you’re doing. Don’t go crazy though. Make sure that you have some balance – you can’t expect everything from yourself all at once. Daily action in manageable chunks is going to get you where you need to go.

You also need to take some time to figure out what makes you happy. It helps you set a target and if you know what you’re aiming at, it’s easier to hit it. Mark says he wants to live an “I told you so life without having to say a word.” A man of action. He says the only way you can be something is to do something. In your doing though, don’t overstretch or you might snap.

On the topic of multitasking – you can present and multitask if you’ve chosen to be. You can enjoy your walk and podcast together as part of a package. A plan helps you know what you’re focusing on and staying present.

Only fuck and sleep in the bedroom. Leave the phone somewhere else. It’s not helping you at all. If you delay your sleep because you’re distracted then you’re not only fucking up today’s sleep but tomorrows schedule too. Even if you get up at the same time, you’re starting it with less than a full tank of gas.

The first step is always the most important, that’s what gets you going. So find the root cause of whatever is causing you problems and attack it.

  • People are not in your way –you are in your own way.
  • Stop rushing your kids out the door
  • Stop having no idea when you are going to be able to do something.

Have a plan. You are plastic – you can be molded into whatever you need to be. Choose to be an eagle. Why? Eagles are the birds that have the highest altitude. They are literally on top. If you’re an eagle, you’re with the best of the best. Don’t be down on the ground with the other birds. You can do better.

JUNK FOOD IS NOT A REWARD. It will not help you. It never has. It never will. If your goal is weight loss, junk food should never be a reward. You should never reward yourself with a step backwards. Drop the sugar, you don’t need it. You can do it, put your ass into it.

Here is the most actionable advice from the whole episode, in my opinion. If you have a question about one of your goals, pull out your camera, record you asking the question and then put the video away for a day. The next day, watch the video of the question being asked. Now, write down any answer that comes to mind. There you go, listen to your own answers and take action.

Chances are, if it’s something that you know is important, you already have thought about it long enough to have a solution (or at least a path forward.)

Misc. Nate E-Mails

All I plan on doing here is taking what stands out to me from his e-mails and putting it here with a little commentary.

April 15th:

Yeah, I know, that’s a long time ago to be JUST opening up the e-mail now. 7 months. Ouch.

“You don’t hate the action, you hate the idea of action. Once you push past that – you’re good to go.”

He also quotes Jim Rohn: “Everyone experiences two pains in life.  The pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons”

Of course he points out that there is probably something I’ve thought of doing and haven’t. Of course that’s correct. For my own sake, I will list those things:

  1. Working out everyday.
  2. Fasting.
  3. Getting the abs I said I would (like 15 years ago in high school.)
  4. My budget and the difficult conversations around those.
  5. Getting things set up for my kids to make videos, drawings etc.
  6. Cleaning out our storage room.

I’ve stopped the inaction over reading and going through courses/e-mails to get caught up on what I said to myself I would do. It feels really good. My inaction has obviously cost me a lot over the years and I’m looking to change that.

I don’t think reading this back in April I could have said I was motivated. Now I can and that makes me happy.

July 3rd:

This is around independence day and a reminder to fight for your independence. I’m Canadian, but even I want a piece of the American Dream pie.

Nate explains that he got behind on his bills and as the months went on, further and further in debt. Feeling like he was unable to get out, he felt worthless. This spilled over into his personal life – impacting his wife and kids.

I hit that point and boy, did my mood ever tank. I was not the greatest person to be around. Sometimes I still have those days, though they are getting more scarce. I’ve actually found since working through the Richest Man In Babylon that I’ve felt more optimistic. Like it or not, I managed to entwine my mental health with the state of my finances (and the number on the scale.)

Just DOING something, like the book study, was enough to get me into the doing mood. I’m trying to leverage that feeling and create the habit of doing and being HAPPY that I am doing.

Nate’s saving grace was a financial education not taught in schools. He was able to get disciplined and leverage that financial education for a new future. I fully expect to do the same, using him and his course as the backbone of my mentorship. Like Nate, I’m not trying to get rich quick but I would like to be rich forever when I do become rich.

He says he’ll be a millionaire before he dies. Ever since high school I told myself that some day I would be one too. I’m going to try to use these systems to do just that.

Nate outlines (through his partner) the Dave Ramsey system:

1. Save $1000
2. Snowball your debt. Pay off all your debt from smallest to largest. You roll all the payments in together (as things get paid off) to really move the needle
3. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses
4. Investing 15% of your household income
5. Save for your kid’s college
6. Pay off your house
7. Give generously

They are however, unconvinced that this is the best way. Nate’s partner said this felt taxing trying to get over the finish line of paying off their house and saving for college.

Until he encountered the concepts in the little black book. Dun dun dun!!! No idea what the black book is – but it contains financial secrets that skyrocketed their success and accelerated their money. The hint we’re left with is that it is leverage.

Yes. If you get Holy Shift, you’ll get a copy. This and the promise to never be a slave to money again. I’m not convinced that this e-mail would have got me to buy the course if I would have looked at at the time. Either way, I have it now and I remain hopeful that it’s worth it. Even if it isn’t, I bet I’ll learn something. If I’m confident about anything, is that they know more about money than I do.

August 17th:

“Very few people ever go straight into entrepreneurship. If you have a 9-5 use that time to build and create for when the moment is right.”

Nate had a side hustle start to work out and quickly left his 9-5. You know what happened, the work dried up and it put him on the defensive trying to get by. He wishes that he would have done then what he knows he can do now: hold a stable 9-5 and use his other time to create those new cashflow opportunities.

Despite now having a successful financial education business, he still finds the time to flip items on the side for profit. Don’t burn your bridges too quickly when you don’t have to. Don’t be afraid to have a few side things going on. Don’t be afraid to invest in the knowledge of others. The possibilities of increasing your cash flow are endless.

September 7th

Labour Day! The day we celebrate the achievements of workers in Canada (and the US).

Nate doesn’t like the fact that we don’t have a day that teaches workers how to make their money work for them. What good is spending most of your life at work if you never get past where you started?

In this e-mail, Nate is trying to re-imagine labour day as a day that comes everyday where workers are always reminded that there money works for them. It shouldn’t be the other way around.

I think that is an interesting idea. I could certainly teach my family to celebrate that. I know where I can find the information too – Holy Shift 🙂

Various E-Mails

After joining Holy Shift – I received various e-mails about things going on in it over time. It seems like:

  1. There is a facebook group
  2. There is giveaways
  3. Lots of people (with video testimonials added)
  4. And new content being added all the time.

Nate also asked in one e-mail that, once I go through the course, if I would shoot a short 5 – 10 second video about my thoughts on the course. I’m going to leave this in my to-be-completed wealth e-mail folder so I don’t forget.

Another e-mail is about the perfect investment: “The Perfect Investment” a video designed by one of his clients. I have not watched it as it has been added as part of holy shift. I’ll comment on it as part of my overall commentary on the course, once I complete it.

November 5th

Ahhh, the sweet, sweet smell of progress. Getting this e-mail looked at with in a month. Hell, that’s currently a new record baby.

That puts up my mindset which conveniently is the topic of this e-mail. If we tell ourselves positive stories, they are more likely to manifest. Nate brings up a biggest loser contestant Sam. Sam, when he was working out, said that he saw himself as a lion.

Why? Instead of being Sam the fat guy who would always feel fat, he turned himself and his story into Sam the lion – a force of nature. At one point, when I was trying to have an online identity I called myself Fat Tobin (and some of my handles still are). A while ago, I decided to try and drop that. I felt like, even though I remember using that identity as someone who could handle the pain of life, using the word Fat kinda pins me into the undesirable outcome of not being able to get into the physical shape I want.

Nate encourages us to take him to review our habits and work on, 1 per month, at getting rid of them and replacing them with better ones. 1 habit per month for 12 months means in 10 years you could have change 120 habits. That’s powerful.

Don’t give up. Self-reflection is the key to your own personal growth. You can make a change. You’ve made a big change before and you can do it again!

The Luckiest Man In Babylon

We have arrived at the final chapter! What I’ve spend a decent amount of time doing could have been done long ago had I kept up with the e-mails. Either way, I’m still happy to have reached this point.

This chapter focuses on a man who is attempting to repay a debt of gratitude for which he thought could never be repaid. He took in his esteemed friend’s grandson, whose son had made a mess of his inheritance.

The grandson does not want to work. He wants to be rich, wear jewels and fancy clothes and leave the work to the slaves. The grandson appears to be in his 40s though, which threw me off. He had once left from Babylon and watched as the men tended to the fields. He was very surprised to see those same men plowing the fields again today.

he askes the granson if he would like to know how he and his grandfather became partners. The grandson was more interested in how the money was made; however, that question fell on deaf ears. The man told his story. He was once a slave sold to pay for his brothers indiscretions.

As the man is being sold in Babylon, he is afraid of having to carry brick for the rest of his life. Many think that if he is a hard worker, as he enjoys being, that they would want him to be a brick carrier. As he begins to shrink back, another man offers him advice: be a good worker and say you are willing to work hard. If he is bought at the slave market, he will have work. If he’s not purchased – it’s carrying bricks to the walls for him.

Through looking for opportunity to work hard, he was purchased by a bread maker who would teach him his skill. As time went on, the man came up with a plan. Work more, bake more cakes and sell them to the hungry for cheaper. He kept his master in the loop and they came up with an agreement that they would split half the profit, after all materials were repaid. For a slave with nothing, this was an incredible deal for him!

As time went on, the man and the grandfather eventually reconnected. The grandfather actually purchased the mans slave contract and made him free. From there, they made a life of abundance for themselves. Upon learning about the true life of his grandfather, the grandson made a decision to work hard to change his life too.

Nate points out two things right away that I thought are worth repeating, mainly because I need to remind myself of them repeatidly.

  1. When a man is ruled by his passions, he is a slave to them.
  2. Being a slave to pleasure makes you a slave to nearly everything.
  3. Men are not meant to have too much free time; Idle hands do the devil’s work.

The secret to becoming a free man is to fall in love with hard work. You can’t do everything on your own though. People are interdependent. Work together for mutual benefit and the skies are the limit.

That’s it for this book! I’ve sectioned off the e-mails for the next book, the go-giver and put that on hold. My next post will be a quick summary of the misc. e-mails I’ve received from Nate before I dive into Holy Shift.

The Clay Tablets From Babylon

It was interesting to have this section start with a letter from an archeologist explaining that, after learning the wisdom of Babylon from the old tablets, that he was frustrated with the fact that he had never heard of these rules about money. That, despite 5000 years of improving technology, he still couldn’t match the wisdom of the dead.

This chapter is broken down into tablets. Here are the key takeaways from each tablet, according to my interpretation:

Tablet #1:

  1. 1/10th of all you earn should be yours to keep.
  2. 7/10th of all you earn should be used to provide a home, clothes to wear, food to eat with a bit extra to spend so that your life is not lacking pleasure and enjoyment. Do not go over this.

Tablet #2

  1. 2/10th should be paid to your debtors until your debt is satisfied.
  2. The tablet then lists all money that the man was indebted to.

Tablet #3

  1. Although people who loan you money may be bitter with your terms, it is easier to pay your debts rather than avoid them.

Tablet #4

  1. After paying his creditors evenly, most were thrilled at his progress.
  2. As his debt is paid, his heart felt lighter than it had in a long time.
  3. Despite a few times where business was good, the debtor still followed his plans. He ate less and he and his wife passed on new clothes.
  4. Although his payments were smaller, his creditors were still happy to receive their money, many commending him on his progress.
  5. This plan has made an honorable man of an ex-slave.

Tablet #5

  1. All of his debts have been paid.
  2. He and his wife celebrated with a great feast.
  3. People look at him differently – with respect.
  4. His wife looks at him with a light in her eye that makes him feel confident.

The chapter concludes with another letter from the archeologist, explaining that he had found himself over indebted and stuck. As expected, he applied the principles laid out on the tablets and was able to get himself out of debt. I love this quote because I plan on reaching this point as well:

“You see, that is the sporty part. It is the real fun, to start accumulating money that you do not want to spend. There is more pleasure in running up such a surplus than there could be in spending it.”

People can benefit form your bitter experiences. That’s one of the lessons of the tablet. I’ve decided to think of this blog as my sort of tablet (I did call it Nick’s notebook after all) and I will chronicle what I am researching and going through. Maybe I will post a rounded breakdown of everything each month so that people know.

As for Nate’s e-mail, he links to the following: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-make-a-life-plan-first-steps-3144639

It’s an article about how to create your own life plan. When you create a plan for life, it prioritizes your goals, desires and future. The tablets are basically a representation of the plan: from conception, execution and completion.

Nate does run through the tablets in similar detail to what I posted above, so I won’t go into that again. He does encourage us to make a life plan. This plan will make sure we get where we want without having to sacrifice everything. Like he says, it’s OVERindulgence that’s the problem. You can’t live your life with nothing to look forward to but you can’t have everything without working for it. It’ll mean more to you that way if you have to wait a little for it.

My basic plan is this: I’m finishing this book and all of Nate’s e-mails, except for the ones where he’s dove into a new book. I will then prioritize finishing Holy Shift and then I will step back and work on a fuller life plan.

I have a copy of Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring Program. I will do that and combine it with what I know to create my life plan moving forward. What I will do is make sure I am caught up on all of my outstanding things I’ve bought prior to 2021. I’ve decided to tidy up 2020 by simply starting so that I can rocket through 2021.

The Camel Trader Of Babylon

“The hungrier one becomes, the clearer one’s mind works — also the more sensitive one becomes to the odors of food.”

That’s how the chapter starts and its certainly true. I know that I am always at my best mentally 2 days into a fast. There is something about the cleaning of the body that really makes the brain come alive.

This chapter focuses on Tarkad, a kid who has borrowed money from many and still is unable to eat. He bumps into the camel trader and wishes he hadn’t, as he has borrowed money from him in the past.

The camel trader invites Tarkad in for a story as he eats, without offering Tarkad anything. His story revolves around his youth and how he borrowed more than he could pay (basically describing the exact situation Tarkad is in). He became a robber, looting unarmed caravans but this line of work left his soul feeling tainted.

He was eventually captured and sold as a slave. he is straightforward with his answer when asked if he can tend to camels, which earns him an iota of respect. Enough for him to become his masters’ wife’s camel tender. On a trip, they have a long discussion about the camel traders desire to not be a slave. He sees no way out of it, for his debts he cannot repay.

The wife says that he should treat his debt and fight it as if he were the king fighting his enemies. She also gives him a valuable opportunity to escape with 2 camels, water and food. His journey found him running out of food and water, but he persisted. On what felt like his deathbed in the desert, he found new resolve. He will not die. He will repay his debts, make a home for his wife and be someone he and his family could be proud of.

Right now, this kind of feels like me. I feel like I’ve been living as a slave to the world I created for myself. In recent weeks, as I lie on my imaginary death bed, I decided to make a change. It’s not going perfectly, but the fact that I’ve worked on these e-mails and this book for days in a row, means that something is changing.

I’ve started to look at my life as a series of problems that can be solved and not like a slave who can only whine saying “what can I do? I am only a slave.”

Like the camel trader – I’ve decided to take the road that leads back to self-respect. “Where determination is, the way can be found.”

Nate titled his first e-mail about this chapter as “Are you a Slave or are you Free?” A very provocative question that you want to scream FREE at, but upon self-reflection, I would imagine a lot of us beginning this journey feel like slaves. Slaves to our debt or our lean purse. That’s why we are here though, to learn the ways of becoming the free man.

Nate says people react to debt in 3 ways:

1. They accept the debt, pay the regular payments, and wait for it to go away.
2. They ignore the debt, do not pay it, and wait for it to go away.
3. They become passionate about eliminating the debt, make extra payments, and celebrating the debt’s removal.

Tarkad was someone who ignored there debt and found it impossible for him to repay. Thankfully, he had someone to teach him a lesson. Nate rightfully remarks that if you were starving and someone was lecturing you WHILE eating, you’re probably going to remember that for the rest of your life. You might remember it bitterly, but it would still stick with you.

We were all born free without bad habits. We just accumulate them over time. Often this is taught to us by those around us. For me, this is one of the reasons I want to learn to control my money – so I can instill good habits in my kids – not that bad habits that got me to where I am today.

Nate proposes that if you have a lot of debt, that you use the snowball method to pay off your debt. Basically, pay off your smallest debt first, and then use the payments for that debt to pay off the next one. As you get things paid off, if you start stuffing money against your mortgage, you are going to save a lot of money!

Nate also teases us with the strategy called “shifting the wind current” and says it’s even better than the snowball method. I’d imagine he talks about this in his Holy Shift course.

I’ll find out someday soon!

The Walls of Babylon

This portion of the book focuses on an old guard named Banzar, who was guarding the walls of Babylon from an outside attack. The king and his main army were not present for they had left for an expedition against the Elamites.

For many days and nights the walls of Babylon were under attack. Time and time again, citizens both young and old would come to Banzar, afraid that the city would fall. Time and time again, Banzar would give them the same answer: your treasure will be protected, the walls will hold, the gates will not fall and Babylon will be safe.

This process would happen many times during Babylon’s long history. With adequate protection, it was able to stand the test of time and keep its wealth. Only by being reckless and abandoning the safety of the walls it so diligently kept did it fall.

As the chapter ends: “In this day, behind the impregnable walls of insurance, savings accounts and dependable investments, we can guard ourselves against the unexpected tragedies that may enter any door and seat themselves before any fireside.”

Nate’s email summarizes what I’ve put above. He makes it as clear as the author: you need to defend your walls. How do you do that? Nate lays out two walls:

  1. Insurance
  2. Savings Accounts – which include: saving for bills, an emergency fund and your savings for your pleasure activities.
  3. Dependable Investments – These are covered in the section about multiplying your wealth. Houses, Land, Private Lending and any way you can leverage your money to make more.

I’m sure there are other ways too, these are just the ones Nate lays out in his e-mail. The bigger and stronger your walls, the less likely you are to lose your money. Being alert to threats will keep your money alive. Charging out into the open battlefield when you have a strong position inside your walls is a foolish move.

This wasn’t the most eye opening chapter. It was a fun read and did more to reinforce what was stated previously, rather than trying to teach something new.

The Gold Lender Of Babylon

Rodan comes into a large sum of gold and can’t figure out what to do with it. He initially thought of all the worldly goods he could imagine; however, it seems that he also had a desire to keep his massive pile of gold. He eventually turns to the money lender for help figuring out what he should do with his gold.

The money lender tells a story of the ox and the ass. The ox works hard and is upset that the ass simply has to bring the master around each day. If the master goes nowhere, the ass may rest. The ass teaches the ox that if he plays sick, he could earn a days rest. He’s helped his friend; however, pays the price, for he becomes the one to pull the plow that day. He learns that if you want to help a friend, do so in a way that won’t make your friends troubles yours.

He tells another story which ends with the following lesson: “Humans in the throes of great emotions are not safe risks for the gold lender.” He also talks about the folly’s of youth and how youth often do not have the experience to stay out of debt. This is a big reminder because I have made my fair share of financial mistakes. I really, really want my kids to avoid those. I’m not saying that I want to shelter them from all mistakes, I just don’t want them to be in a debt trap.

He also mentioned that he encourages the lend of gold if it is for a wise purpose. If your money is lent unwisely, it is very difficult to get back. Allowing your heart and your family to pull you into a decision simply because they are your family is unwise. “Be not swayed by the fantastic plans of impractical men who think they see ways to force their gold to make earnings unusually large.”

Better a little caution than a great regret.

Nate points out in his e-mail that, like the money lender, people are often very excited to share their knowledge. Not everyone of course, but the majority of people do. I know that I do, when I know something that someone doesn’t. It a) make you feel smarter and b) helps the person asking. Book that lunch date – people are social creatures.

Nate points out the same passage I pointed out above: if you want to help a friend, do so in a way that won’t make your friends troubles yours. Furthermore, he explicitly states: You can’t expect to get paid back from someone who doesn’t make any money. Sounds logical, but there are tonnes of people who will ignore this to “be helpful.”

Here are the types of people who you should not give money to:

  1. Someone who is emotionally distraught. Emotions cloud judgement and you never know what they will do next.
  2. Someone who is borrowing for earthly pleasures. If they’re just borrowing to buy the newest this or that, you might want to pass. If they are borrowing to use that money to make money – they will probably pay it back.
  3. Someone who is not open to any forms of advice. If they are not willing to hear any advice given (or brush it off), chances are that they will brush off warning signs that will cause the money to disappear and leave them unable to service their debt.
  4. Someone who lacks experience: this might be a little tricky. Generally it’s the young that lack experience. Not always, like in the case of someone trying a new business, but often. It’s not like the young don’t deserve a shot. They are less experienced though (generally). You should be very careful with this group, lest they piss your money away. I’ll be the first one to admit that there are people out there way younger than me that are WAY more experienced than I am. Judge for yourself . If it feels shaky to you, bow out.

Nate says the biggest takeaway from this whole chapter is that you need to keep your money safe. Grow it, but don’t take foolish risks. Nothing is 100% fool proof but you have to know you did your best. “Giving your gold to someone who cannot or will not pay it back is not a safe investment.” I found this funny: “If you want someone to leave you alone – loan them money.” We all know that’s true.

Nate offers this suggestion for loaning money to family members. Don’t. Give it to them as a gift and never expect repayment. If you can’t afford to give the gift, don’t give it. It’s not easy to do, but it’s necessary to protect your gold.

Maybe if they are struggling with money – you can help them with knowledge, like a budget, the concepts in the book or Nate’s course. Most times that’s worth more than it’s weight in gold.

The Five Laws Of Gold

“Just so it is with the sons of men. Give them a choice of gold and wisdom — what do they do? Ignore the wisdom and waste the gold. On the morrow they wail because they have no more gold.”

We get the story of Arkad’s son who wastes the gold his father gives him on foolish endeavors. Why? He failed to internalize the 5 laws of gold Arkad had etched for him in a clay tablet. His son, after returning home from is journey after 10 years, showed the 5 laws of gold, which I’ll put here:

  1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earngs to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
  2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
  3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
  4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.
  5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

His son tells the expected tale that he lost his wealth, gained knowledge and was able to gain all his money back and then some. This was achieved primarily through working with those skilled in the handling of money.

Create and estate for yourself. Make it work for you and wealth will be yours. As your estate grows, so does your golden slaves who will work happily for you. The better employment opportunities you find for your slaves, the better they will work. If you are attentive, they will stay. If you are careless, they will run away. Be wise and don’t send your slaves to work in for a doomed endeavor. Do not allow the schemers to convince you that your slaves are better suited for something else.

The story somewhat focuses that, after 10 years if you are diligent, you will be a rich, respected man. I have to remember this. I’m not going to get where I am going over night. Stay humble and work towards the path of the rich man.

In Nate’s e-mail, he points out that in money twitter world, someone has probably said “If I woke up broke tomorrow, I would be back in business within a couple of months.” I always felt this was a little conceited but, those people just know the rules about money. If someone knows how money works, of course they can start from the ground up again. That’s wisdom.

Outside of retelling parts of the story, Nate makes a few points/asks a few questions about the 5 laws:

  1. Could you imagine the security every family would have if they were able to save 10%?
  2. Your dollar is worth less and less as time goes on.
  3. Finding a money mentor makes you more likely to make your gold grow.
  4. Be knowledgeable. Don’t get into investments you know nothing about.
  5. No get rich quick schemes.

And that’s it for this chapter.

Meet the Goddess of Good Luck

I’ve encountered a lot of the ideas in the chapter before. If you follow any personal development person on social media, they’ve said some form of: luck only really finds you when you work hard. Yes, there are rare expectations, but if you’re reading this – it probably hasn’t happened to you. It sure as hell hasn’t happened to me.

Why? I am a procrastinator. Being a procrastinator at a good deal will not bring you luck. Putting off what you should do will not bring you good luck. Luck does not happen to you without any effort. if it does happen upon you, it is something that will be fleeting because you don’t know how to keep it.

As this chapter ends: “Men of action are favored by the goddess of good luck.” Those men of action seek the goddess of good luck where she frequents and not at the lottery. That’s mainly what this chapter focuses on.

One thing I did find interesting was the reference to the temple of learning. It’s described in the book as follows: “This building was the Temple of Learning where the wisdom of the past was expounded by voluntary teachers and where subjects of popular interest were discussed in open forums. Within its walls all men met as equals. The humblest of slaves could dispute with impunity the opinions of a prince of the royal house.”

Why don’t we have one of those anymore? I suppose some might say those are universities. These feel like places where you are being lectured (like in high school) rather than a place for open discussion. At least, that is how it was for me 10 years ago and well, rumor on the streets is that it isn’t getting any better.

In his e-mail, Nate focuses heavily on procrastination. Don’t do it. Even on the mundane things. When you set aside time to do them each day, there is no way that they can overwhelm you in the future (which would lead to more procrastination).

Nate wants us to pick something and build it as a habit over the next month. Then, after the month is over, do another one. One at time. Eventually, you will become superman. There is always a positive side to everything, even the mundane.

The best way to get more opportunities is to talk to people! Network. Provide value. Teach them a skill while you learn a skill from them. Of course, Holy Shift has a community, which I will eventually be part of once I get through the course.

I will fully admit though, my plan was to play a match in my game after getting through this chapter. I will do so and then immediately return to it. Is this procrastination? I guess it could be. I’m going to go with it being part of the plan. So far following the work and play plan, I’ve gotten way more work done than normal.