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What do I really need?

January 10, 2009 – 12:50 am

The modern society comes with a lot of amenities. We can buy almost anything we need for money. While it is snowing outside we sit in the warm. We can be entertained by cinema, fun-park, x-box, playstation and many other things. But is it necessary? I enjoy going for a walk in nature, get a suntan at the beach or talk to friends in the teahouse. But the question goes deeper. This post is full of thoughts and some might be different from what I’ve said before. But changing Yourself as new information becomes available is always a good idea.

As I become more aware of myself, I ask myself the question: What do I really need? What is unnecessary? What is a waste of time and money? Just this week I read the book “The Four hour workweek” by Tim Ferris and he also talks about what is necessary and what not. His recommendation: eliminate anything that You don’t need and You will be more productive and happy. Actually it’s true. Quite often when I previously cleaned my room, and I found something I didn’t knew what to do with it, I just threw it away. On a side note: I hate it, when people give me something collectible, like a drawing, as a present. I’ve always been on the minimalistic side, but with the new year 2009 I’ve set new goals. One of my major new goals is: Eliminate anything I don’t really need. No excuses. On the reverse side comes the question: What do I need?

As the time of my graduation comes nearer I have to think of what to do next. Around Christmas time 2009 I will graduate with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and after that a new life will start for me, new opportunities open up. I realised that I basically have two choices (and no definite answer yet).

  1. Stay in Germany, or go to the US and earn 40k Euro a year, but live in a place that doesn’t really make me happy. Yet I would be able to save a lot of money for the future.
  2. Go to China and earn probably much less, at the same time live a life I really enjoy.

I’ve talked to friends about this, but I realised I always get two answers. If I ask someone with conservative values, he will recommend me to stay in Germany. Adventurers on the other hand tell me to choose China. Basically this of no value, because asking more people of one group will favour the corresponding answer. Asking myself, when in my whole life have I been most happy, I can easily answer: When I was in Chengdu and Kunming. At the same time I’m somewhat conservative. One day, not now, but in maybe 10 years, I’d like to have kids. Saving money to give them all they need is also necessary. So still no real answer to my question. Ouch!

After reading Tim Ferris’s book I think I can see light at then end of the tunnel. He’s against living an unwanted life. He emphasises living one’s dream, but also gives an answer to the money question. Own a company in the West, which is on auto-pilot, which earns money for You, at the same time live at Your dream location and enjoy life. Sounds easy! Honestly, Tim You’re right on this, anything else would be improper use of resources.

To be honest, I thought about this before. It just seems to be to good to be true, earning Euros, spending Chinese Yuan. Tim, I’m genuinely considering this option now. But even if I earn less than in my homecountry Germany, much less in the beginning when I just move there, maybe China is still the better option. Some things can’t be paid in cash. Time is the most scarce resource anyone has. I have to get my values straight. And let’s face it: After graduating I still have 10 (ten) years to build a business to support my future family. Doable? Yes!

I have to make a decision, obviously. Goal for 2009: Decide about what I want in my future. I keep You guys updated, once I get new thoughts on this matter. Feel free to comment, ask questions or write about Your own thoughts and experiences. I appreciate it.

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  1. 6 Responses to “What do I really need?”

  2. The oldest question on earth can only be answered by everyone himself. Donnie Yen just said in this awesome movie: “Everyone needs to choose his own path.”

    Well, but I am also sure there will always be freelancing work with lots of freedom and very good earning opportunities available – and it does not require any certain location.

    By kozen on Jan 10, 2009

  3. Hi Kozen,

    Thanks for Your comment.

    The movie is not yet available on Amazon, I’ll check later again.

    Freelancing does give me mobility, however when I take a look the typical freelancing websites, I can only see one thing: Every freelancer bidding jokingly low prices just to get the work. Fierce and harsh competition. I guess I have to learn some special skills only few people have to make the freelance path worth. The way Tim Ferris also recommends is to hire freelance workers Yourself, let them produce something cheaply and sell it for a high price. Sounds quite simple, doesn’t it. Others have done it before, so there is no reason why I couldn’t do that.

    By Hendrik on Jan 10, 2009

  4. I’m tending to compromise between vision and hard facts. Saving is important. But to oblige to hard facts all the time and never doing what I really like to do would be stupid. One hard fact is that I don’t know when I’ll have to exit this world, or how long I’ll be fit enough to be free in my decisions. My life should be firmly here and now, but take the future into account, too.

    By justrecently on Jan 13, 2009

  5. Why don’t you become an SAP supporter or something like that? You can make ur 100€/h and still enjoy live. You might even work for SAP itself, get ur career and stay in Chengdu more often than not, but also with raising salary… Or you work for 3 years, then get your MBA (maybe at CEIBS in Shanghai?) and have 100k€ / year^^

    By Aremonus on Jan 14, 2009

  6. If it was THAT easy, yeah why not. I checked Chengdu (my beloved city) and it seems like several major corporations like IBM and Microsoft and others have set up facilities there. Still 100k€ is what I desire, but I guess it won’t happen next year. I’m constantly working on my skillset.

    By Hendrik on Jan 14, 2009

  7. Well, it actually is! But takes 30k Euro or whatever…
    BTW, I am in Chengdu again until July, if u pass by we might meet?

    By Aremonus on Jan 17, 2009

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