Doc's note: You may know him as our in-house cryptocurrency expert, but today, Eric Wade has a different kind of story to share.
Eric explains the importance of the power of choice and how it helped him make big changes in his health...
Last fall, I (Eric Wade) made a hypocrite of myself by drinking a cup of coffee. Or at least, I felt like I had... and I knew I had to act quickly to fix it.
No, nobody caught me. I busted myself. And today, I want to tell you about it because it turns out maybe my goof can help someone else.
Last October, in Boston, I had the honor of presenting at the annual Stansberry Conference & Alliance Meeting. It's a great event filled with world-class speakers from various industries. Every time I present at this conference, I want to share thought-provoking ideas. If I can make people laugh while doing it... even better.
So at last year's conference, I told a silly story about the importance of owning what you care about. I have a golf course in my backyard. All day, I can see golfers on the fairway. And one thing that really gets under my skin is the golfer who parks their cart too close to their ball. They'll pull their cart up, three or four feet away from their ball, and then take 20 minutes lining up the shot.
Does it really matter how these guys golf? No. Even my wife laughs at me when I pretend to get amped up about it. But it's something I've opted to get mad about so that I don't get mad about anything else. I'm choosing to get mad about these golfers and choosing to not let the famous volatility of cryptocurrencies get to me (which I cover in my Crypto Cashflow and Crypto Capital newsletters).
I was trying to make the point that we shouldn't let our investments own us... Then I said something to the effect of, "I'm in charge of what owns me... and I pick golf carts," jokingly.
After that, I went backstage, grabbed my coffee, and I realized I was being hypocritical. Because, truth be told, I couldn't go without coffee. I love coffee. I've been drinking it since college. Decades. I'm that guy who eagerly read every study that claimed drinking coffee wasn't that bad. I have a few top-notch coffee makers. And every Christmas, I get mugs and flavored coffees as gifts, because my family knows I'm easy to shop for.
But I decided I wanted to stop drinking coffee because, while – as Doc has shared with his readers before – coffee has some great health benefits, it's also true that I get terrible headaches if I wait too long to drink my two big cups in the morning... And that means I'm not in charge. Coffee owns me. So, after 37 years, I set out on a plan to quit drinking coffee.
First, I decided I'd quit as my New Year's resolution. But I knew I needed to own the quitting. So I told everyone in my family I was going to quit. It sounded silly. I'm not sure any of them believed me. (My wife laughed at me... again!)
Second, I decided I'd do it gradually. I don't know if this is the best way... but it eased my mind to approach it this way. Frankly, I figured if I attempted cold turkey, I'd fail. But if I eased into it... I could succeed.
Third, I plotted out the milestones I'd be passing. For example, I mentally prepared for the day I switched from delicious heavy cream to dry Coffee mate creamer. Basically, when I ran out of heavy cream, I committed to not replace it.
Fourth, when I got close to running out of my gourmet French roast, I'd mix the last of it with a half-caffeinated national brand. That decision to go to half-caff gave me so much peace because I knew it was a small step I could handle, but still very tangible and definite progress.
Fifth, after a week of drinking half-caff with Coffee mate, I'd cut down to one cup a day, no matter what. This was the hardest part. Coffee had been my go-to for longer than I can remember. Especially as a writer... boy, do you need it sometimes. I'd even have coffee after dinner. But I had to cut it off. Guess what happened...
I leaned on my success navigating the previous steps. In a word – it was momentum. I was weeks into my gradual plan, and it wasn't time to give in now. So I found the resolve and held myself to one cup.
And here's where I basically got to coast home. My coffee maker has options for 12-ounce, 10-ounce, eight-ounce, and six-ounce servings. After a week of one 12-ounce mug a day, I went to the 10-ounce pour. I had been carting around a 12-ounce mug for forever. Turns out, I didn't miss the extra two ounces, and I was proud of myself again for making progress. From there it was an easy glide down to a week at eight ounces, and then a final week of six-ounce cups...
And something interesting happened somewhere between 10 ounces and eight ounces of half-caff... I began to believe coffee no longer owned me! Frankly, I even felt impatient to be done. The trepidation and reluctance I had when I started this journey was gone.
I'm not saying you should stop drinking coffee. I'd never presume to advise someone on that. But I truly didn't believe I'd be able to do it. I pulled it off. And I know if I could do it, so can you. Yes, the last cup felt wonderful to put in the dishwasher... Done!
The key here is to choose what owns you... whatever that is. If you are trying to become a better investor, lose weight, or really anything, you have the choice to take ownership over these things.
So go ahead and get mad at golfers who park on the fairway... Don't worry about market volatility... Make a plan for quitting the things that aren't good for you.
It's all your choice.
March 2, 2023