Grasshopper to Ant – Part 4

Starting the Journey from Grasshopper to Ant | The Survival Podcast.

Last post, we concluded with #11 Make plans for how you would help elderly parents or other family members.

Next on the list to check off as we journey from grasshopper to ant is:

Audio began at 35:45

#12     Update your resume and be prepared to lose your job on any given day

Prepare as though every day, you will lose your job.

  • Every day, work to maintain your professional network.
  • Have that network “strung”
  • Regarding Letters of Recommendation:
  • a – Throw out letters of recommendation after 1 year
  • a – Either seek new recommendation letters and/or ask same person to re-write a letter of recommendation
  • a – Be prepared to go into job seeker mode at any time for two reasons:
  • 1:  Be prepared to do so
  • 2:  It will light a fire under your ass to being prepared
  • a – knowing and understanding that your job is not secure is the first and most important  step towards preparation
  • a – the day we begin costing our employers money and/or the day we do not make our employers money is the day that we go out the door

End listening at 37:01


Next up

#13     Avoid focusing on any individual coming event or scenario

#14     Plan a garden and start getting ready to plant (depending on the season)

#15     Learn about disaster commonality (it is not about the disaster it is about loss of support systems)

#16     Learn about disaster probability (Personal-Localized-Regional-State-National-Global)

#17     Determine your most probable “personal”, “local” and “regional”

#18     Start window shopping for “country land” or an “urban homestead”

#19     Think of the children, won’t someone please think of the children (seriously think of your children)

#20     Assess your “normal preparations”

#21     Take ownership of your plan and your life

» Minimalist Fun: The 100 Things Challenge :zenhabits

» Minimalist Fun: The 100 Things Challenge :zenhabits.

Minimalist Fun: The 100 Things Challenge

Photo by Zach Klein

Every Wednesday is Simplicity Day on Zen Habits.

Could you cut your personal possessions down to 100 things?

Last week, in my Haiku Productivity post, I mentioned blogger Dave Bruno’s 100 thing challenge. It’s actually a challenge that I’ve seen in years past on other forums, but Dave’s version is that he’s trying to cut his personal possessions down to 100 items.

Things not included:

  • Stuff that’s shared between him and other family members.
  • Non-personal stuff, like dishes, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Books.
  • Tools.
  • Collections count as one item.

I thought I’d give the challenge a try, as it’s an extension of Haiku Productivity — which has one rule: limit everything you do. If you limit your personal items, you are forced to choose. I don’t think this will be that difficult for me, as I don’t have a ton of personal items, but it is greatly appealing to the minimalist in me.

It’s supposed to be fun! Join me if you’d like. Let’s give ourselves a month (you can give yourself longer if you like), starting today (Sept. 19). Is the number 100 an arbitrary number? Of course it is! You could just as easily chosen 78, 94, 126, or the more magical 42. But it’s a nice round number, and the actual number isn’t as important as the exercise of trying to limit your possessions.

Why go through the challenge?
A few reasons:

  1. To help you declutter your home.
  2. To make you realize what’s necessary, and what you love, and what you don’t need.
  3. To free yourself of the burden of possessions.
  4. For fun.
  5. To force you to stick to the limit, even if you get new things.

If you have a minimalist streak in you, you might want to give it a try. If you’re really minimalist, you might even want to go below 100 — perhaps 50.

Some suggestions
This challenge might actually raise a lot of questions, such as whether you count this item or that, or whether you count a bunch of things as one item or not, or whether this item is considered “personal” or not. My answer: decide for yourself. This isn’t a competition, and it’s not a way to show off. It’s just for fun, and it’ll be different for each of us.

That said, here are a few suggestions:

  • First, take inventory. I’m going to start my inventory below. You can’t do this if you don’t know how much to keep.
  • Next, mark the must-keep stuff. There are certain things youknow you’re going to keep. Your Nolan Ryan rookie card. Your autographed Cat’s Cradle. Your ipod. Mark those with a star, count how many those are, to see how many you have left.
  • Then, the borderline stuff. What is stuff you might want to keep, but you’re not sure yet? Mark them with a circle or something, and see where your count is. If you’re over 100, you have some cutting to do. Cut until you get down to 100.
  • Get rid of the rest. Everything you’re not going to keep, you should get rid of. You have some options: donate it to charity; find someone who wants it; list it on Freecycle; throw it away; sell it on eBay or Craigslist; hold a garage sale. You could end up making some good cash on this. However you do it, get rid of it.
  • If 100 is too easy for you, choose a lower number. You may already be a minimalist. If you only have to get rid of 10 items to get down to 100, you might want to do something more challenging — say 70 or 50 (or 42).
  • Decide how to count things. It’s really up to you. Do you count baseball cards individually? Probably not — count them as one collection. How about a computer system? Your ipod and assorted gear? A good rule-of-thumb you might use: if everything goes in one case, count it as one item. If it’s all separate, count it as multiple items.

My inventory
Here’s what I’ve inventoried that I want to keep so far:

  1. Keys
  2. ID & debit card clipped together
  3. wedding ring
  4. Moleskine notebook
  5. unopened Moleskine notebook (for when the first one’s finished)
  6. bike
  7. helmet
  8. running shoes
  9. sandals
  10. flip flops
  11. Doc Martens
  12. jeans
  13. jeans
  14. jeans
  15. slacks
  16. slacks
  17. slacks
  18. long-sleeve shirt
  19. long-sleeve shirt
  20. long-sleeve shirt
  21. shirt
  22. shirt
  23. shirt
  24. shirt
  25. shirt
  26. shirt
  27. shirt
  28. shirt
  29. shirt
  30. shirt
  31. shirt
  32. shirt
  33. shirt
  34. t-shirt
  35. t-shirt
  36. t-shirt
  37. t-shirt
  38. t-shirt
  39. belt
  40. razor
  41. shaving cream
  42. toothbrush

Stuff I’m getting rid of includes:

  • slacks
  • t-shirts
  • shirts
  • ties

Habits – Good and Bad, Patterns

“So much of stress in our life comes from patterns that are destructive patterns that repeat over and over again – creating stressful situations, putting us into situations that create more stress.  And the pattern repeats itself…by creating exercises like this [qigong] in our daily repertoire, we find that we can re-pattern our life with positive patterns – replacing destructive patterns with positive, calming, centering exercises.”

– Francisco Garripoli

 As I take a few moments, while processing my inbox, I wanted to write a couple things that had been on my mind lately and consistently.  Above is one of them and below is another.  Enjoy.

There’s another quote that I’m simply spacing.  It is a “better than today” quote.  Something like, “I may not be perfect, but I am a little bit better today than I was yesterday because I strive for improvement…”   Something like that.  Back to inbox.

Stay tuned.

13 Skills

13 Skills.


About is the Home of the 13 in 13 Challenge Sponsored and Created by The Survival Podcast. Join us as we help to restore a can do spirit to our modern world by committing to learning 13 new life skills in 2013.

The 13 in 13 Challenge is a call to develop or drastically improve your personal skills in the coming year. These skills can be any hands on practical skill from ancient skills like flint napping to traditional skills like trapping and hunting or even technical skills like graphic arts or computer programming.

Our modern society has become a world of specialists who can do one thing very well but can no longer accomplish simple tasks like growing a garden, changing a tire or fixing a hole in wall. In the words of Robert A. Heinlein…

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

In that spirit please join with us in making 2013 a year of personal growth and improvement.

Taken from:

What skills are you going to learn?

Life Project List Re-visited

10/22/12 -> 12/02/12 -> 12/15/12 -> 12/30/12

Life Project List as of 12/15/12:

  1. Fitness – continued successful training for marathon
  2. Financial – lots of reading Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover and implementation of plan
  3. GTD – continued work with efficient utilization of The Secret Weapon method of GTD implementation via Evernote
  4. Preparation – The Journey from Grasshopper to Ant
  5. 13 Skills Project – New addition to “life project list”
  6. Community / Socializing – been attending church, increased desire to socialize with other humans
  7. Wellness – infrequent daily stretching routines in AM/PM – need to get back into routine
  8. Volunteer Work – declining desire to maintain involvement with Big Brother Big Sister program
  9. Work / Career – nothing eventful occuring here
  10. Vacation – previously a “life project” due to planning of Caveman 2012.  Perhaps time to discuss/plan monthly backpacking trip?
  11. Reading – Just completed 299 Days: The Preparation, by Glen Tate.  Now I am reading The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution, by Brion McClanahan.  These were the first two books purchased on the Kindle, given to me by my Mother this past Christmas.  A great tool, the Kindle.
  12. York Meadow Farm – Lots of discussion with Mom & Dad about working & growing YMF upon return to Ohio.

After two weeks of reflection and non-writing, the life project list remains the same, with only the addition of two new projects.  #11 will be the subject of reading, where I will discuss current reading material.  #12 will be York Meadow Farm, as I have decided to allow both of these things a greater role in my life.

Stay tuned.

The Nameless Wayfarer

As I wrap up this pomodoro of writing, I’ll take a few minutes to expand on why I chose the name, “The Nameless Wayfarer.”

Quite simply, I chose this name because in various Taoist writings I have read, there is frequent mention of the “wayfarer.”

I often identified with the description of the wayfarer as I moved across the United States in gypsy-like fashion.  Frequently returning to the Tao, God and religion during my continuing search and journey towards spiritual fulfillment, it pleases me to think that I might live as a “modern day wayfarer.”  Or, this could simply be a romantic way to rationalize the way I’ve lived for the bulk of my adult life.

Either way, I spend much time reflecting on where I come from, where I am and where I am going.  After deciding that I am no longer going to describe myself using a name acquired from someone from my past, I longed to identify with something, while figuring out a new name.  Returning to the simplicity of the old masters, I decide to call myself “The Nameless Wayfarer.”

It was the coolest thing I could think without wasting much time on it.

Stay tuned.