How much is (was) a Coke worth?

There is the classic experiment done with young children, making them choose between eating one marshmallow now, or having two if they wait 15 minutes.

A conversation last night reminded me of that.

In our conversation, I mentioned owning $3000 worth of Coca-Cola stock when I was 18, having inherited it from a relative. I recall selling the stock shortly after getting it, but I cannot recall what I spent the money on.

So we did a bit of calculation, and determined that if I’d held onto that stock from 1984 until present, it would now be worth over $240,000.

To see the concept of financial delayed gratification quantified, as above, is instructive and humbling.

Life Organization: The Eight Categories

This is a a system for organizing and assessing one’s life, that of eight categories. Since some people have asked me about them, I thought I would enumerate them here.

These categories can be used these to plan — days, weeks, months, and years — as well as to self-assess (“journal”) every day, keeping a record. The journaling/recording process will be described in a separate post.

Physical: sleep, diet, body data (weight, fat percentage, resting heart rate), medical and dental procedures, and of course, exercise.

Professional: formal work (9 to 5) and corollary activities, such as job- and career-related reading, blogs, pod casts, and tutorials.

Social: family and friends, including time spent face-to-face, phone calls, messaging, and email.

Solitary: activities and time not for social or professional reasons, done purely for oneself.

Maintenance: work on physical surroundings, such as home and car. This also includes organization of files and records, both physical and electronic.

Mental: reading and brain-developing exercises.

Emotional: activities (and lack thereof) to regain emotional balance, such as meditating, yoga, prayer and even music.

Financial: money, including tracking spending, paying bills and investing.

The categories are not intended to be unique. In fact, if activity can fall into multiple categories it can be considered to be efficient in terms of maximizing results for the effort (although it might also be diluting the results as well). The categories that overlap most often for me are solitary and mental. For example, since I am an avid Scrabble player I could classify that in either category, but I put it as solitary, generally keeping the mental category limited to reading. Likewise yoga could be either physical or emotional.

One of the main motivators for developing the categories was when I was concerned that my life was getting out of balance, leaning heavily toward professional, and this helps to keep a broader perspective.

The above categories can also be used for organizing in other aspects. For example, electronic documents could go into different directories (or folders), named for the above. So college transcripts would go into the professional directory, medical records in physical, appliance manuals in maintenance, tax documents in financial and e-books in mental.