How To Game the System

How to Game The System

How To Game the SystemWho doesn't want to game the system?  I don't mean lying, cheating, and stealing your way to the top.  I'm talking about living your life in a successful, fun, and compounding system - like that of a game!

As a child, I remember loving games, specifically video games.  I'd come home from school to boot up my desktop (with no real video card, a whopping 80GB of disk space, and an upgraded 2GB of RAM), log into RuneScape, and start the grind - all the while praying that no one disrupted my dial-up connection by calling the house!

All my friends played and, boy, were we a competitive batch.  Especially in the early stages of the game, it was empowering to come into school the following day to find out that I had gained more levels than anyone else in my group, completed a quest that no one else had, or had found a rare item!  On the other hand, it was frustrating and also motivating to find out that someone else had beaten me to the chase!

Back in grade school, my friends and I fell into the category of nerds.  I'll be the first to admit it -  actually, I take pride in it!  We found passion in the inspiring - tales of dragons, adventure, mythology, and valor resonated with us and dictated what we did in our free time.  Of course, playing RuneScape, those values carried over and fueled our desire to be the strongest!  But, I had a friend (let's call him E) who didn't fit our nerdy cookie-cutter mold.  While most of the nerds were picked on, E was actually pretty popular.  And while most people outside of our circle didn't know it, in RuneScape, he was also hands-down the best.Continue reading

keep your big mouth shut - stealth wealth-ing - stairway of phi

How to Keep Your Big Mouth Shut!

keep your big mouth shut - stealth wealth-ing - stairway of phiI'm trying to tone it down in real life.  

When it comes to financial freedom and mental development I'm really passionate, but just like anything else, I'm sure some others don't always view that passion as a good thing.  If I let myself run wild, throwing around financial discoveries like there was no tomorrow, then a lot of people who don't share my excitement would view me as being radical - maybe even a little bit crazy!  So what do you do when people start to think you've got a few screws loose because you've expressed that youth should be utilized by the young or because you don't share the "understanding" that a credit card lets you buy things you can't afford!?

Well, at that point, I realize that I'm alienating those around me.  After all, to the majority of people, the ideas I talk about are too far out there - far enough out there for them to think I'm too far gone!  Continue reading

how to stop failing

How To Stop Failing

how to stop failingWe all know someone who always seems to be doing something incredible.  They're starting their own business, they're traveling the world, they're attaining something for themselves that most people never will - they're remarkable!  Have you ever asked them how they do it?  They probably just shrugged it off, didn't they?  You were probably told that there wasn't a secret to their feats, that you just had to get out and do it, weren't you?

In the past, I would have let those words pass me by, making excuses for why I couldn't follow in the footsteps of the accomplished.  "I can't just drop what I'm doing here!"  "I can't afford to spend all that money!"  "It's not as easy for me as it is for them!"  With this mentality, it's no wonder I didn't have it in me!Continue reading

Mental Cache Part 2

Mental Cache Pt. 2 - Too Many Cars!

Mental Cache Part 2I didn't anticipate the topic of clearing your mental cache to have a part two, but recent realizations about the responsibilities that I've accepted and how I deal with incoming data have made me realize there's another half to this lesson that I didn't realize until just now.

If you're like me, you like moving FAST!  It's mentally rewarding to apply myself at full-throttle until I knock out a single problem or task.  However, as any driver will tell you, driving is not all about the freeway.  There are times when you're stuck in traffic and any acceleration you can apply only occurs in short spurts.  These certainly are not the rewarding times - they are the dreaded "Just something happen already!" moments that lead us to emotional instability or to finding new ways to entertain ourselves.  Continue reading

Are You A Miner Or Merchant?

Are You A Miner or Merchant?

Are You A Miner Or Merchant?The other day I had the pleasure of having an entrepreneurial discussion with a couple of friends who know about the StairwayOfPhi project.  Most of my friends don't actually know about this site because of how open I am with my finances on here, but I chose to reveal this personal secret with them because they share an interest in finance and investing and because we have similar goals and self-expectations.

The contents of our talk contained details about our own recent realizations regarding money, psychology, and independence.  And while the subject of money is touchy, in the right group of people, I always enjoy these conversations because they allow me to freely bounce around the unfinished ideas I'll one day write about and because I get to hear others' unfinished ideas, leading me to think a bit differently afterwards and generally lead me to a greater understanding!  Continue reading

Motivational Videos are Bullshit

Motivational Videos Are Bull Sh*t!

Motivational Videos are BullshitEvery day my Facebook feed is filled to the brim with spam.  I see the same friends, day-in and day-out, sharing motivational videos for all to enjoy.  Occasionally, I'll watch one.  Sometimes they're actually pretty good (lately they've even had little plots and characters associated with them).  But EVERY day, it's the same people sharing more and more videos.  And in their 'share' description, it's always the same story.  This time they're more motivated than ever before!  The next day they're SO MOTIVATED!  The day after that, they now understand (through the lessons learned in their video) what's been holding them back on accomplishing their goals!  The NEXT day their video has shown them the way they now have a great understanding of the world.... and THEY'RE REALLY MOTIVATED!Continue reading

Time Perception and Your Mental Cache - Time Clock

Time Perception and Your Mental Cache

Originally Posted On February 25, 2016
Time Perception and Your Mental Cache - clockDo you ever get one of those days where you keep looking at the clock and only 5 minutes has passed?  That's been all of February!  This month has felt longer than any month before it!  It's just dragged and dragged and dragged!  At first I thought this was due to the excitement of being able to make my first active investment using the paycheck that will come on Monday or maybe it was because of all the work I've been doing outside of my day job, but after looking back, I realize that I've accomplished more in February than I ever have before!Continue reading

Four Levels Of Mentality - Mountain Range

The Four Levels of Mentality

Originally Posted On February 16, 2016

Four Levels Of Mentality - Mountain Range

I apologize for the delay in between articles – I’ve been without internet at the new house.  Now I’m set up, though, so releases should be back to a frequent level!  To make up for the gap in posts, today's writing holds a lot of weight.


For a few years, I’ve had this social construct-ish idea bouncing around inside my head.  After talking it out with a few select people and, with time noting the changes in myself/watching the changes in my peers, I feel that I can finally represent the idea that I want to.  Today I speak about an issue that plagues the world with hardly anyone even realizing it – people believing that the “third state of mentality”, as I’ll call it, is the end-all of mental development.  This level of mentality is held by many teachers, leaders, parents, and politicians and (despite what the rest of the world would lead you to believe!) is part of the underlying causes of conflict, racism, and even war!Continue reading

Playing With Puzzles to Beat 'Average' - Puzzle Piece

Playing with Puzzles to Beat Average

Originally Posted On January 25, 2016

Playing With Puzzles to Beat 'Average' - Puzzle PieceThe more I come to understand my own life and where I'm heading, the more I realize that the knowledge was always there, intrinsically - I was just never able to rationalize or verbalize it.  But the more I do (either in my head or through this blog), the more I believe that there are certain truths that most adults intrinsically understand when attention is drawn to it yet, until so, the puzzle pieces never quite 'click', despite having sat right next to each other, so close to connecting for potentially even years on end!Continue reading

"Just Because" Mentality - Photographer Shadow

"Just Because" Mentality

Originally Posted On November 27, 2015

Site Is Live - Photography ShadowAs children, we're praised for our curiosity and desire to understand.  Asking, "why?" is both enriching, as well as amusing.  But by our teenage years, our charm has already worn off.  Our desire to establish ourselves as individuals often comes with an ongoing debate towards authority figures to win our own personal battles and establish ourselves as "equals".  At this time in my life, the answer to the question, "why?" changed to, "Because I said so," or, "Just because."Continue reading