FIRE.094 Your Friends…Your Future

Many quotes are floating around the interweb—some of the quotes even come from actual books or speakers.  The main quote I hear is Jim Rohn’s “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  That makes sense, you all get along, they are similar to you, etc etc.

The quote I heard recently was “show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”  That shifted from Jim Rohn’s idea from the present to the future.  Or as I think of it, from the now to your future amazingness.

I wondered about my friends—the people I get to hang out with—and gave this idea a lot of thought last weekend when I went to money-nerds camps, i.e.  CampFI Joshua Tree California.  A special 3-day period where financially astute people—of many ages—join together to share life, stories, experiences, and learning.

I’ve written about this before 062  and 085 as I’ve been to three CampFI’s.  Each weekend offered an amazing look at life’s perspective and possibilities across such a diverse group.

In Joshua Tree—surrounded by natural desert beauty, high energy vortexes and zen zones—50+ people ranging in ages from late ’20s to late ’50s discussed


  • purpose
  • goal
  • vision
  • interests/activities
  • health, real estate
  • side hustles
  • tax planning
  • life after FIRE
  • beverages of choice
  • family growth/support/enrichment

Some of my takeaways:   

  • Be aware of the good/great things in your life and recognize them with a strong sense of gratitude
  • I thought I made a mistake for years contributing to a Roth IRA instead of a traditional deductible IRA thereby  losing out on a 10% tax windfall after converting to a RothIRA in FIRE, but it turns out—thanks—that we were never eligible to contribute to a traditional deductible IRA because we had retirement” plans at our workplaces.
  • I really doubled-down on understand my list of 10  favorite things to do each day/each week
  • I know that I really should do a personal mission statement.   Yeah, I’ve heard this touchy-feely stuff that helps you focus, but I already know my strong opinions, desires, and plans.   After more thought, I realize I should create a succinct mission for my future.  
  • The idea of using Warren Buffet’s “5/25 plan” to prioritize 5 items and discard the other 20 does not seem to compute in my brain.  I love having a list of many things to tackle in my future—of course, I prioritize my tasks/interest list, but I don’t see any reason to discard most of the list because some items are not the highest, immediate priorities. (?)
  • I found the speaking style of a storytelling presentation-versus-a-topic/slide-driven presentation to be very interesting.  Painting a picture with a story and moving towards a lesson was quite interesting.  I want to try this someday, but it sure seems hard, and outside my natural experience—which is the exact reason I should do this.
  • I thought the idea of identifying 10/14 target traits/words was quite interesting.  This sounds appealing to me as a challenge to fit it between my 10 favorite daily things and my overall personal mission statement. 
  • I now seem to understand the rental real estate leveraged return through depreciation a little more, and I found that  chart showing it lessens over time  quite interesting.  
  • I witnessed something that blew me away from a breakout session—which is not something that happens to me too often.  As the breakout was moving from person to person, one of the campers( #1) was sharing their story of future FI/FIRE and that their partner had a less healthful outlook for the future.  One of the more experienced campers (#2)  offered to share their phone number and be available any time camper 1 needed to talk through something.  I know camper 2 is a very busy person who must know hundreds and hundreds of FI people and the 1 to 1 offer struck me deeply.  The genuine giving of oneself to another (almost stranger) if needed.  That’s powerful.    

Over the weekend I was reflecting on the stages of the bonding period.  I could see how the  <8 hrs “hi, where are you from” grew into the   16-32 hrs “how do you tackle, what do you think about..”  to the 38+ hrs “I was thinking about our discussions, do you think I can, If you were me, if you are headed near my home… ”  I can’t even imagine what the future weeks/months/years will be like with dozens of friends who are sharing a similar life path all around the county.

So back to my original thought on this post— “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  I can’t wait to stay in touch with people from the camp and see how their futures grow into an even more amazing life. 

As Doc G said, “bring a little piece of heaven to earth.”   Yes, bring some of your great future to your now by building amazing friendships today.

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.

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