5 Resilient Strategies to Navigate the Modern World
1. Keep Friends in High Places
Hire a Financial Adviser
- Your financial adviser is your consigliere. For ~1%/yr of total assets under management, he serves as your go-to point of contact for personally tailored financial advice and provides an experienced perspective on important life decisions including: home purchases, retirement planning, brokerage investment accounts, career changes, estate planning, and business endeavors. Having a clear financial plan is an essential step in establishing a resilient lifestyle.
Have Access to a Lawyer
- You never know exactly when you will need a lawyer, until you do. Establish a relationship with a lawyer while you don’t need one so that he gets to know you before you are involved in an emotional situation, which all legal disputes are.
Choose Good Models
- Humans learn primarily through mimicry. Choose models that display the behavior you seek to exhibit, not for the objects they possess.
- Combine role models and look to build on them. Keep in mind that models are of their time and place. We’re not just the average of our friends, but of our models, too. Be mindful of the important role that models play in influencing our desire and behavior.
2. Lay a Solid Foundation
Develop Tangible Skills
- Choose a specialized major if you seek to enter traditional institutions. Choose a general major if you seek an alternative lifestyle. But in either case, develop tangible and in-demand skills that can be applied remotely at some capacity. Tangible skills and the potential for remote work radically increase optionality.
Cultivate Local Relationships
- Know your farmer. You will receive higher quality food, a key to biological resilience. You will also learn respect for the harvesting process.
- Know your boss. He can provide you with recommendations and connections across his personal network. Most jobs are received through personal networking, not through official recruitment channels. Personal relationships are not only more meaningful, but more valuable than purely professional relationships.
- Know your neighbor. He can often provide you with useful tools, skills, and knowledge. You never know when you might need help with a home project or need someone to water your plants or feed your animals.
- Know your peers. Many of the most resilient long-term relationships are formed with old classmates, coworkers, or athletic teammates. They provide invaluable recommendations, travel partners, and serve as a competitive force that will naturally push you to achieve more.
Understand Your Investments
- Honestly assess your risk profile, and adhere to it. Whether it is a skill, animal, stock, ETF, or cryptocurrency, take the time to understand what exactly you are investing in. Be able to communicate why you invested to others. Avoid ‘panic buy/sell’ decisions.
- Owning property is a cornerstone of a resilient life. When purchasing property, carefully read the local zoning laws. They are often very strict, and serve as the legal foundation for what you are permitted to do on your property.
- When building, learn about the raw materials used in construction. What puts pressure on them, what are they optimized for, why this material and not that one?
- It is inefficient to be entirely self-sufficient. Independence comes at a cost. By limiting your sphere of influence, you can increase your yield.
- Maximize your ability to exert agency, but strategically measure your dependence. There are different positions of optimization, and there is no one- size-fits-all solution.
- Don’t fall victim to ideological constraints. If It is pragmatic to use oil, use oil. If it is pragmatic to use solar, use solar. If it is pragmatic to use both, use both.
Grow Your Own Food
- Food is the foundational infrastructure of the body. You are physically comprised of the foods that you eat. By growing your own food, you directly participate in the production process. This naturally yields the understanding of what it takes to produce something and connects us to the natural order in a tangible way.
3. Apply a Disciplined Approach to Alternatives
Consider Alternatives Seriously
- Resist the urge to go with the flow. Mainstream institutions are made easily available for the masses, while alternatives conditionally exist off the beaten path. Keep in mind that mainstream institutions are not optimized for what is always personally ideal for you or your family. As a result, it requires a disciplined intention and will to pursue alternative paths.
Maintain Discipline and Rigor
- It will likely require more discipline to succeed in alternative paths than it would in traditional paths. The hope for greater rewards naturally attracts a higher caliber of participant. Be relentless in your pursuits.
- Institutional hierarchies are respected for their assumed rigor. If you are participating in alternative systems, you will need to apply that yourself instead of depending on motivation to arise from external pressure.
- Possible Alternatives: homeschooling, online training, alternative construction methods, alternative travel options, alternative lodging, etc.
Nonlinear Problem Solving
- Apply a creative approach to problem solving. Strategically consider various education types, jobs, and living arrangements that can be utilized to better position yourself to attain desired outcomes.
4. Establish a Voice
Learn How to Communicate
- A practiced rhetorical technique, in both verbal speaking and online writing is persuasive and commands respect and recognition within a group.
- Writing on social media organically teaches economy of words, provides clear feedback, and confirms the resonance of ideas, content, and rhetoric.
- Balance short-form writing with long-form essays. Long-form writing improves clarity of thought and naturally synthesizes more succinct thoughts.
- Strategically utilize the benefits of scale and technology by writing online.
- Get comfortable speaking and giving presentations to groups of people. If you create something meaningful in your life, you will find satisfaction by being able to communicate it to others.
5. Pursue Order and Simplicity
Balance Order and Chaos
- Strive for order, but strategically introduce chaos. ‘Growth through stress’.
- Periodically put yourself out of your comfort zone.
- In the same way that anxiety is a negative externality of disorder, a calm mind is a positive externality of order.
- Because most paths to resiliency involve taking alternative paths, they are already difficult enough to navigate. Look to avoid complexity, simplify as much as possible.
Novelty and the Natural Order
- Understand the difference between the novel and the timeless, and between fads and staples.
- It is not efficient, nor ideal, to build everything with timeless intent. Decay is a part of the natural order, and the very properties that degrade over time are precisely what make them valuable in the present.
- There is a role for novelty as a signal of human flourishing, but to pursue it as an end unto itself will not yield fulfillment or satisfaction.