☝️ Upwarding #26: Dandelions, Indulgences, True Inflation, and Complete Resets.

Welcome to this week's Upwarding newsletter.  My blog, with more in-depth content, can be found here.


I always wondered how the yellow flowers become those awesome things we blow on to make wishes.  No, the petals don’t become seeds…rather, the seeds are in that little pocket I’ve highlighted in red: below the flower.  The petals drop off as the seeds push their way up.


“You are the sky. Everything else -- it's just the weather.” -Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and author (b. 1936)


Interesting (although somewhat stereotyping) take on health/lifestyle.  It is the GUILT around indulgence that creates problems, rather than the indulgence itself. In line with my father’s advice, in essence “just don’t think about diet so much”.


My book is now available.

I had a fun back and forth with one of the readers of my book.  He suggested that using a standard rate of is misleading, and that

  1. Actual inflation is higher than stated
  2. The inflation experienced by individuals varies widely

It made me think of this chart:

To annualize: college costs have gone up 7.0% per year and medical costs 5.4% per year.  Versus average inflation of 3.6%.

The most important impact is that, if you are saving for a faster-inflating item (like college for a child or medical costs in retirement), you should likely assume you’ll need more money than a standard inflation calculator will dictate.

Random Thoughts

Last week I discussed one of the life lessons I had learned from Scrabble, a version of Teddy Roosevelt’s “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.

Second life lesson from Scrabble: when your rack is bad, you should usually exchange ALL of your letters.  We often think we’ll keep a “great” letter like an F – high score, easy to play.  But in a partial exchange, very often not enough has changed so true greatness remains out of reach.

We make this mistake because we think we can figure out or know all the reasons why my rack wasn’t.  But 1000’s of games later, I realize that you never know all the reasons; it could be the lay of the board, the way your opponent plays against you, etc.  So, especially if you’ve tried an incremental solution and it didn’t work – you should often just bail completely and hit the reset button.  In life, I find the same goes – if something isn’t working, and you’ve tried to tweak it and it still failed, it often makes sense just to hit the reset button (and end the project, friendship, try a completely new approach, etc.).


“The world is divided into those who think they’re right” - Unknown

Stay well,