2 Secret 4 U

Woman telling a secret to a man while they share coffee.
She knows the secret. Do you?

I want to share a few big secrets with you about money, health, and happiness.





With relatively few assumptions, you have everything you need to get everything you want. The truth of the matter, that we so often fail to appreciate, is that everything we do is based on cause and effect.

Luxurious villa pictured from its swimming pool.
Is this next door to your bestie?

🤑 The Secret to Money

Your "business" cause is to do something for some amount of time to produce enough income so your needs are covered in the short-term and your wants are met in the long-term.

That's it. That's the entirety of what we need out of our income producing activity. Now, since I don't have a word limit here, I'll state that, of course, we want meaning in our life. If you want to derive a spiritual result from your income producing activity, then that's great, but realize that those are two different goals.

Here's the truth behind personal finance: if your expenses exceed your income, you'll never win the game of personal finance. That's the whole story, everything else is commentary.

But Jamieson what about taxes and inflation and insurance and retirement accounts and... the thousand other things? STOP! Realize that everything in personal finance is about keeping income above expenses.

A common question in retirement savings is: should I contribute to a Roth IRA or my 401k?

I don't need to know anything about either of those to advise you, I just need you to answer a single question: over the long-term which will give you the best chance of keeping your income above expenses?

In reality, there's a second question: are there any other options? If you know the answer to this question and it's "No", then the first question can stand alone. If it's "yes", then we need to narrow it down to a realistic set of options and compare each of them to come to the optimal answer.

You might feel that this is too simplistic or general to be useful, but I want you to appreciate the beauty of this model of personal finance. For the majority, these two questions are everything you need to win at the game of personal finance.

If you answer those two questions objectively, then nothing else matters within the confines of the system. It's amoral and doesn't care what your situation is.

The invisible problem I see most often plaguing the people I love (including myself), is that we believe we're being objective despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Woman with book covering her face sleeping on a log.
Do you think she's sleeping well at home?

😴 The Secret to Health

Let's blow the lid off another "game" that matters: your health. Everything in health boils down to: are you giving your body what it needs to perform well over the long-term?

That's all there is to it.

Here's a starter: based on everything we know; sleep is important for performance however you define it. The most common alternative to getting enough sleep is drugs, plain and simple. Caffeine is the drug of choice for most, but it's certainly not the only one.

You don't need a medical degree to understand that using drugs as an alternative to sleep is probably not going to cut it. If you agree with that statement, then why do you subject yourself to not getting enough sleep?

Either you disagree that drugs are a poor alternative or you're acting in a way that opposes what you believe about the world. If it's the former, then do what you have to do, I'm not a doctor and am not in the business of providing medical advice. If it's the latter, though, then you have to accept the fact that you're going to get a worse result than you could based on nothing more than what you already believe.

In the health game is sleep the most important aspect? I don't know and, honestly, it doesn't really matter. It's significant enough that almost all humans sleep almost every day, so it's a decent place to start.

Again, this is amoral. The point has nothing to do changing your habits of sleep, the point is realizing that the way you're acting is sub-optimal based on what you believe. You don't even have to change; you just have to honestly say to yourself: "I don't get enough sleep." What you do with that information is a totally different issue.

How about one more? I feel like I'm on a roll.

Woman smiling at the camera with reflective sunglasses.

😃 The Secret to Happiness

Happiness. What's the amoral truth about happiness? It's this: will you feel good tomorrow about what you did today?

That's it. But what about depression, Jamieson?? I don't know why you think I'm a doctor (though I have seen more Grey's Anatomy than I care to admit), but the truth is that depression is a medical condition that needs to be addressed.

For you to feel good tomorrow about what you did today, you should get help with your depression. This is where the dynamic nature of the situation comes into play, once you've figured out the best course of action to manage or resolve your depression, then you can take the next best step to feel good tomorrow, whatever that step may be.