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:

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.

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