189 comments

How to Create Reality

So a funny thing happened on Twitter this week, which almost changed the world a little bit.

Someone sent me a beautiful 3-D mockup of a fictional, car-free city of 50,000 people, set in the scenic nook of land* between Boulder, Colorado and Longmont, where I live. It came complete with street plans, detailed descriptions and dozens of cool photos, both real and computer-generated, showing how it would feel to live there. They called it Cyclocroft, in honor of the generally pro-bike stance of Mustachian culture.

This was not out of the blue: these plans came from some long-time readers, who have heard me muse about better cities in the past. Over the last few years, I have come to realize that the fastest way to get my fellow Americans into healthier, wealthier lives is probably just to change the way we lay out our living spaces. Instead of wasting trillions of dollars on separating and isolating ourselves just to accommodate giant racetracks for our gas-powered wheelchairs, we could make everything about 75% less expensive (and many times more fun) by making cities that work without cars.

So anyway, these architects sent me the plans, and I put them up on Twitter with a comment about how they’re fictional but boy wouldn’t this be a nice way to use a single square mile compared to what we do right now.

One square mile of suburban Detroit. Note the amount of space wasted on accommodating cars. Without the cars, you could house AND employ about 50,000 people with this much land.

I thought that would complete my social media indulgence for the day, but NO, things were just about to get interesting.

That night, an MMM reader who also happens to write for Forbes, wrote to me asking if he could do a story about Cyclocroft. He also pulled in the designers Tara and John from B4Place. And the next day, this rather racy article showed up in the news:

Whoa there, Forbes!

While the story was technically accurate, calling me a “Wealth Guru” instead of an “Early Retirement Blogger” definitely amped the intensity. And words like “Plans” and “has teamed up with” made it sound like things were very imminent and real, rather the just a set of pretty pictures I was happy to share.

But the world started to react as if Cyclocroft really were real. Twitter responses and emails started coming in from people who would buy properties and move there, if we really built it.

Even more notably, my email inbox and even the voice mail of my supposedly private mobile phone, started filling up with notes from news agencies and big players in finance and real estate, asking if they could do news stories and/or help get involved in building Cyclocroft.

Forbes – Wealth Guru Plans Dutch-Style Car-Free Bicycle-Friendly City Near Boulder, Colorado

Curbed – Could a car-free, Dutch-style city work in Colorado?

The Real Deal – Imagine a city with no cars, free bikes — and 50,000 people in one square mile

Boulder Daily Camera – Mr. Money Mustache has no formal plans to build dense, ‘car-lite’ city between Boulder, Longmont

The Chief Marketing Officer of the nation’s largest mortgage providers (who I was surprised to learn is also a longtime Mustachian) came to my coworking space and we talked for two hours about whether we could make it a reality. Because, aside from the potential to improve world through better design, residential housing is the world’s largest market, worth trillions of dollars.

Now, just in case you have any illusions about Mr. Money Mustache’s superpowers, it is important to remember the real story. I am a retired, stay-at-home Dad who occasionally types shit into the computer, and that’s the end of it. On the average week my biggest “business” meeting is a Tuesday morning workout in the back yard of the HQ for some squats or deadlifts with a friend or two.

Actual day of work. Does this look like a City Developing Wealth Guru to you?

Now, this Cyclocroft bonanza is still cause for celebration – all this attention and energy will definitely not go to waste. I really do plan to nudge this country towards its rightful status as a Badass Utopia – it’s a lifelong project for me, and we are only about eight years in. It’s just that Starting a City right now does not play well with my other project of Raising a Boy, a contract which still has about five years left on it. I’m not a great multitasker so anything outside of that job has to be low-stakes and with complete flexibility.

But there’s still is a heck of a life lesson in this story, that can help all of us change our lives. It’s on par with the lessons of the Optimism Gun, and the Circle of Control.

The lesson is to Begin with the End in Mind – and Start by Painting a Beautiful Picture of that end  destination.

It’s the technique at the core of the world’s best marketing and negotiation strategies, and it works so well because it short circuits the human brain into making everyone – including you – see things in the desired way.

I’ve known this for a long time, and applying it is the reason for most of the successes I’ve had in life so far. Yet I still sometimes get sloppy and fail to use it, and sure enough many of my failures can be tracked back to that sloppiness. Let’s check out a few examples of Painting the Picture in real life so you can see exactly how this works and how powerful it is.

When I started this blog in April of 2011, I didn’t just start rambling about interest rates or student loan debt. And I definitely didn’t mention carbon footprints or get into environmental guilt-tripping. The first sentence of the first post is “What do you mean you retired at 30?”

Retired. At. 30.

It was a simple picture of a very clear end destination that automatically got people’s imagination running and filling in their own details.

Everyone knows that a 30-year-old is a fairly young adult with lots of promising life ahead of them. And everyone knows that “Retired” must mean some unusual financial accomplishment was involved, which makes them imagine what their life would be like with that sort of money.

In retrospect, that marketing decision was the main thing that has made the MMM blog catch the attention of newspapers, which in turn brought in the readers, which in turn kept me motivated to keep writing it. So painting that initial picture was an amazingly big leverage point.

And Cyclocroft worked in exactly the same way. You’ve heard me harping almost daily about “live close to work and ride a bike”, but this produces only small changes in the world. You are still fighting the car-based design of your city, your car-loving spouse, and all of the excuses that pop up from looking at the small day-to-day picture.

But Tara and John bypassed all of those arguments by sharing a simple, beautiful picture of the end lifestyle, with just enough detail to provide a framework that got everyone’s imagination running.

Car-free city. Next to Boulder. 50,000 people.

People read these key points and see the pictures, and in their minds they are already nestled into this bucolic town in the Sunny Western US at the base of the Rocky Mountains. For most people, the sale is already made and now they are ready to hear the details – most importantly “How can I get you my money?!”

Once you go looking for this pattern, you see it everywhere, especially in the most successful bits of persuasion in the world.

Tesla almost completely took over the coveted luxury car market with no paid advertising, even while its competitors fought tooth and nail with their old ads, by painting a clean-slate picture: clean, beautiful, prestigious cars that are the fastest in the world. They were introduced to the world as if they were movie stars, rather than squeezed out through the crusty sphincter of an old corporate marketing department as most cars are. They can even make a commercial hauling appliance into a rockstar that has everyone waiting breathlessly for its world-changing arrival.

So How Can You Use This Amazing Power on Your Own Life?

We can see how this works by painting a few pictures of our own:

You want less money stress in your life:

Describe the picture of your ideal financial life. Your house is paid off, the kids are well cared-for, and you think about money no more than you think about tap water. It’s just there, so instead you spend your time figuring out how to get more fulfillment out of each day.

Then to get there, you suddenly feel the motivation to streamline your spending (and perhaps optimize your earning) today. It’s no sacrifice to skip over a car upgrade, if it rockets you towards this clear picture of your future life, right? And conversely, making the car upgrade is suddenly less appealing if it means you will be extending your time on Cubicle Lockdown by three more years and pushing off the beautiful picture you have painted for yourself.

You wish your spouse was on board with more frugal living:

You won’t get anywhere by nagging your partner that she needs to take shorter showers or telling him to give up his Porsche convertible. The only hope of teamwork is to agree on the end goal: do you want financial freedom more than you want the Porsche, or not?

Well then, what does financial freedom look like? Perhaps it includes being able to stay home to raise children, or to have more time to travel together, or to pursue part-time meaningful work instead of full-time-just-because-I-need-the-money careers. Or something else you can both agree on. This article on Selling the Dream describes a case study where this method worked beautifully for a couple.

Once the dream is there, the daily steps that move you towards it become easy and obvious.

You want to earn your dream job 

Rather than sucking up to the company or stepping through your individual qualifications and acronyms of all the programming languages you know, begin your campaign as though you’ve already won.

Describe (with beautiful pictures of your past work and future proposals if appropriate), the way that things will work, once you are working with the company. The ways you are excited to build the culture of the group you will be joining and managing, and why that is destined to influence the entire company over time. This vision of you excelling in this job needs to become a crystal clear anchor in the company manager’s mind, that lodges itself in as the way things are going to be. From there, it becomes difficult to dislodge.

These same principles work in both large and small situations, for persuading any range of people from just you up to the entire Human population. From getting into better physical shape to winning an election.

My own Failures to Paint the Picture

When I look at my own areas of less-than-satisfactory performance in recent years, they all carry the hallmark of scraping along from one daily hardship to the next, while neglecting the big picture.

My former wife and I did not keep our own marriage alive, and it may be partly because we didn’t think of what we wanted a good marriage to look like. We just reacted to the ongoing realities of daily life, doing more damage as time went on.

My son copes with some anxiety and can tend to be an extreme homebody, avoiding all new situations if not challenged to do otherwise. But if you work at it, you can get him out for adventures, and he always has a great time. And his Mom has shown much greater skill than me in making these things happen.

But far too often during our days together, I will make a few offers to go out and do things together, then give up and feel deflated when he rejects them. And I come back the next day and try the same thing, and I usually get the same result.

But if I paint the bigger picture well in advance – for example of a two-night camping trip with his favorite friends and their dads and kayaks and sand dunes – the chance of a breakthrough greatly increases.

The recipe for change is right here in front of all of our faces. It’s up to us if we are bold enough to paint the picture, and then do the work that will become obvious once that picture is hanging on the wall in front of us.

Okay, but When Do We Get To Move to Cyclocroft?

I am happy that this big, beautiful picture of the future of North American city planning is now out there, creating an anchor in the public mind that is bound to stick. That alone is an amazing accomplishment.

For my part, I’d love to help out in many ways. But at the same time, the picture I have painted for my own life does not involve being a property developer. I’ve done that on a small scale in the past and learned there are other people that thrive on the phone calls and meetings and contractor cat-herding much more than I do. So as much as I’d love the results, I’m not willing to do the workAnd this is a great thing to know about myself, because chasing accomplishment and prestige and things that seem “important” is not necessarily the path to a happy life, if you don’t enjoy the work along the way.

But with the right group of people working together on the aspects they truly enjoy, it really could happen. Tara and John like designing spaces. I like describing things to the world, but also solving physical and engineering problems. You might like running a restaurant or a bike shop, or playing in a jazz trio. It takes all sorts of people to build a new city and change a culture, but as long as we are all working on the same end goal in mind, we will definitely get there.

——

 

* Never mind that this particular chunk of beautiful land is currently a NOAA facility! The real point is that when you only need one square mile, you can fit a world-changing city almost anywhere, including into the corner of an existing large family farm.

  • Henry February 28, 2019, 1:01 pm

    I love it, but who would be the gatekeeper? Who decides who gets to live there?

    Reply
  • Mike February 28, 2019, 1:03 pm

    I love my part of the world in Cambridge, MA. I feel that the city is always striving to improve and most of the younger people don’t have or want cars. I pulled this from Money Mag:

    Cambridge, Mass.
    This mid-sized city is best-known for the storied academic institutions that call it home: Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Student culture makes walking, biking and public transit the norm, and the city’s historic squares are built for about anything but cars. Almost 70% of Cambridge residents commute in a sustainable way, as the city goes to great lengths to protect walkers and bikers. Cambridge is intentionally sculpting sidewalks around trees to cut down on dangerous buckling and improving lighting near schools, senior housing and senior centers as part of its City of Cambridge Pedestrian Plan. There are also bike paths along the Charles River and the Linear Park, not to mention the many streets that sport bike lanes. Cambridge also co-owns the Hubway bike share system launched in 2012. Since then, riders have travelled more than 9 million miles, saving 6 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from the air. To further sustainable transportation, Cambridge City Council released a Vision Zero Action Plan in 2018, designed to make biking and walking safer.

    Reply
  • Verone February 28, 2019, 1:41 pm

    So you are a “guru”… The kind of guru that, instead of grabbing orner people’s money, will show them how to keep and grow theirs. You sure would love to start a cult :)

    Reply
  • Andrew Gelman February 28, 2019, 1:58 pm

    I’d love to see something like this integrating an existing dying industrial midwest (or upstate NY) town so that you can revive a place that already has some building and infrastructure in place. I think of a place like Housatonic, MA which is in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts as a place that could be transformed into a community like this, yet could leverage the existing old warehouses and downtowns and rivers.

    Reply
  • Andy February 28, 2019, 2:01 pm

    OK so by car-free do you mean absolutely no means of moving people around?
    The elderly, disabled etc need some means of transportation, the same as us able-bodied cycling folks. For visiting friends, relatives, carers and so on.
    I have given this idea some thought on previous occasions, and it got me wondering what an OPTIMAL layout for such a car-free city or town might look like, in terms a getting from A to B, for shopping, working, college etc.
    A set of interconnected ring networks upon which a permanently looping monorail system travels perhaps, so that people can got on and off as and when. The monorail system is proven and been around a long time and I am confident it could be at least semi-driverless. Plus the problem of where to put the dwelling places, sewage systems, parks, spaces for growing food etc etc. Cities of the future is where we ought to be pooling the nations most brilliant minds.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache February 28, 2019, 8:11 pm

      There would definitely be wheeled vehicles traveling around – for example during the long construction stage, you still need to get things like cranes and cement trucks in. And even when fully built out, there will be constant deliveries of food and necessities of daily life to various loading docks.

      The idea of a looping train is a good one. Or, just standard enclosed golf carts (electric of course!), for people not willing or able to walk or bike at the moment.

      The main idea of “car free” is just keeping the big, heavy, 120MPH highway vehicles out of daily life. Without that directive, you’ll have the same insanity we have today – parents driving to pick kids up from school 4 blocks away from home, drive-through Starbucks, etc.

      Also, the transportation numbers of a square mile city are pretty remarkable. From edge to edge, it’s a four minute bike ride at casual speed, or less than three minutes for an athlete. Even walking is only about sixteen minutes, and most people will be traveling less than half the width of the city which means lots of 5-8 minute walks.

      Summary: Nobody will be missing their cars!

      Reply
      • TO_Ont March 1, 2019, 8:18 am

        That seems really needlessly small and crowded to me. Who wants to unlock their bike for a measly four minute bike ride? Or have to walk in circles to be able to go for a walk above 15 minutes? Surely there’s a balance between having something high density enough that the distances are easy, and so dense that everyone’s packed in like sardines and needs to leave town just to be able to stretch their legs without walking in circles.

        I’d rather live in something at least three times that size. That would be a more human scale, to me.

        Reply
        • TO_Ont March 1, 2019, 8:22 am

          If you want people to live a healthier lifestyle and be active throughout their day, you do need something bigger than a square mile, though, IMO. That’s only 1.6 km! I get that it adds up when you’re walking back and forth to several locations throughout the day, but not _that_ much. It seems a bit claustrophobic for someone who isn’t elderly.

          Reply
    • MKE March 1, 2019, 8:44 am

      The answers to all of this are provided by JH Crawford. http://www.carfree.com/

      Read his “Carfree Cities” and “The Carfree Design Manual.”

      It’s not as if all of these questions are actual questions. We have all the answers already. It’s not as if the objections hold any water. They have been disproven.

      Reply
  • Rebecca February 28, 2019, 2:36 pm

    MMM, or anyone, can you provide a link to the article that includes the steps to take before making a purchase? I’ve just moved and it has involved buying a lot and getting rid of things. I look at stuff and think, “Oh, this brings me so much joy,” Or, “This doesn’t,” or simply, “This is not worth the extra hours of work or interest I could make on investing the money instead.” Thank you and I love this blog.

    Reply
  • Jeff February 28, 2019, 2:49 pm

    I have a daughter who’s extremely introverted and only breaks out of her shell with who she feels VERY comfortable with. Although she’s very open minded and willing to try new things, it takes a very long period for her to go from “I don’t like this feeling” to feeling “ok, I don’t mind this too much”.

    I’m a homebody and so is my wife. My wife though, is very social. Me on the other hand deals with anxiety and try to avoid interactions as much as possible just to feel comfortable. I know in my core this is not the way to live, but you know what they say about old habits.

    However, I’m willing to change and I have taken steps to change so my daughter doesn’t get influenced by me (the bad habits). And this post reminded me that I need to see the big picture which is to constantly improve so I can work towards giving my daughter the opportunity to break out of her shell often. I don’t want her to be like me when she’s an adult.

    I relied on spending money on outside programs, teachers, and other people to do the lifting, but I think I got it all wrong. It’s time to paint the BIG picture and create an anchor. Life is really about relationships. And no amount of money, success, personal achievements will replace the amount of collaborations, relationships, conversations, etc., you can have with a friend/family.

    Good post MMM.

    Reply
  • christian leroy February 28, 2019, 3:49 pm

    Hello Mr MMM
    I’m one of your faithful french readers, still enjoying your news, half retired, without the 1M stach, but enjoying life.
    I’ll be in Denver on the 1st week of April.
    Any chance to share a beer in Longmont and discuss plans to MMM Europe first, then the rest of the world??

    ABientot
    Christian

    Reply
  • Ryan February 28, 2019, 4:00 pm

    When designing a new city, it’s helpful to be near existing infrastructure and jobs, as evidenced by this 60 minutes report on China’s ghost cities:

    https://youtu.be/Ie6zd3Rwu4c

    Fun article!

    Reply
  • MrsM180 February 28, 2019, 4:05 pm

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

    Reply
  • MKE February 28, 2019, 5:08 pm

    The books “Carfree Cities” and the “Carfree Design Manual” by JH Crawford provide much of this information in incredible scholarly detail.

    I visited cities in Europe, where Americans spend thousands to to and subconsciously get away from our car-based hell, and it changed my entire perspective. In cities like Siena, you have to park your car in the shitty suburban area and go to the real city on foot. Perugia is the same way. Old walled cities are like this. It’s like walking onto another planet. Until you come back to an American city and feel as if you are in hell.

    It will be very tough, though maybe not impossible, to accomplish this in the USA. I am pretty sure if I took down my garage, for @#$%’s sake, the city would take me to court.

    Cars have completely brainwashed us, dig? Teslas suck. Teslas suck big-time. Teslas are just more shitty cars in a world full of too many shitty cars. Yet in an article about a world of shitty cars, Tesla is held forth as a shining example. Tesla is nothing more than an example of being brainwashed and messed up in the head.

    Teslas won’t be allowed in a car-free city because Teslas suck.

    Reply
  • Guy February 28, 2019, 5:29 pm

    This intriguing concept reminds me slightly of the sustainability theme in the movie “Downsizing” with Matt Damon. In that movie though, they shrink the people, not the streets. Shrinking the size of streets and removing cars for some reason seems even more sci-fi, though. But, when I think about some of the reasons I enjoyed college so much it was due to the many concepts discussed on this site…human scale, walking and biking built into the day, nice outdoor spaces, close to housing, chance meetings with friends, and fewer cars.

    Reply
  • daleh February 28, 2019, 5:30 pm

    Some cool towns like this exist in America. They are not big towns and many are prospering and some are not. I lived in a couple. Try to find a more picturesque and prosperous town than Pella, Iowa (population 10,000) as one example https://youtu.be/_LFdd3B3884. Decorah Iowa (unglaciated Iowa) has the largest private heirloom seed saver exchange in the world and more bike trails per capita than any city I know of. Some rural towns in the southeast and midwest are growing. Many took a hit during the offshoring heyday but coming back strong contrary to popular belief. Faster internet continues to make the big city advantage even smaller. Some are branding themselves as adventurehubs, local food growers, craft beer perfectionists and maker movement supporters. You know, all the latest trends. You can afford to live there and have a summer home in Arizona :)

    Reply
  • David M Golnick February 28, 2019, 6:29 pm

    Sounds good, except I will be lobbying for it to be built in Detroit to be close to my family, since having a bike community is ridiculous if you still need to use airplanes all the time to return back to loved ones. ALSO, check out your heat/power source below:

    https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2019/02/heat-your-house-with-a-water-brake-windmill.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fkrisdedecker%2Flowtechmagazineenglish+%28Low-tech+Magazine%29

    Reply
  • JeffD February 28, 2019, 9:04 pm

    This article makes me curious about your thoughts on Homesteading. Maybe in a future article…

    Reply
  • Michelle March 1, 2019, 6:44 am

    I’d pay to live at the NOAA facility! It’s full of environment nerds doing cool science. That’s what I call a great neighborhood!

    Reply
  • Jenvieve March 1, 2019, 7:32 am

    Mackinac Island, Michigan is already doing this!

    Reply
  • C.R.E.A.M. March 1, 2019, 8:02 am

    I get why this concept is so appealing to you MMM and other FIRE promoters in the North Denver suburbs. Having family in the Broomfield, Louisville, Erie, Longmont, Lafayette area, I’ve spent some serious time there over the years. Therefore, it is time for a reality check.

    As I don’t have a car, it’s while I’m visiting your area that I’m ever in a car, ever. And yea, it sucks hard. It’s why I don’t and will never live there.The system of 4 lane, stop light ridden ‘highways’ are a true nightmare. Yes you have a trail system, but its more for recreation than any sort of commuting. Yes you have famous breweries, but I don’t drink and drive. Yes you have the mountains, but have fun in bumper to bumper traffic trying to use them. Yes, the Erie Singletrack and Broomfield Bike Park is legit, but by and large the park system isn’t all that great compared to other cities.

    But guess what, you don’t have to waste resources to create another suburb in the middle of other suburbs to do so. Why copy the Microsoft idea in Arizona? There are areas in the US where you can realize your dream already. I have been fortunate to live many places over the years have haven’t driven to work in well over a decade. I realize the cites (with particularly great sections) I’m about to list may not have the CO Cool marketing appeal, but they serve as legit cities to live a car-free life you aspire to:

    Midwest:
    1. Minneapolis, MN (South and North East)
    2. St. Paul, MN (West)
    3. Madison, WI (Anywhere in the city proper)

    East Coast
    1. NYC (any of the 5 boroughs)
    2. Washington, DC (Capital Hill)

    West:
    1. Portland, OR (North, Southeast)
    2. Tacoma, WA (Northend)
    3. Spokane, WA (Southill)
    4. Scottsdale, AZ

    I would also like to give a shout-out to the person who listed Salzburg, Austria. True paradise. For those who have never been, you are missing out. Lived there for about 8 months. It’s the city that opened my eyes to what could be. Side note: Austria lowered their visa requirements for residency.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 1, 2019, 9:51 am

      Ahh, but perhaps it is the car-ridiculousness of Colorado culture that keeps driving Mr. Money Mustache to work towards this change!

      Remember, even in the current state of Longmont, I use 100% bike(or walking) transportation for getting myself around personally. The race car/van are only for carrying stuff too big for the bike trailer, or people that aren’t willing to bike themselves. So it can’t be THAT bad.

      However, we do have a rapidly growing population, because Colorado is somewhere that people just want to live. So we constantly need more housing and thus this is one of the many places where a car-free city like Cyclocroft would be a hit.

      Reply
  • KM March 1, 2019, 8:10 am

    Funny how a picture on the intranet can get out of hand. A Japanese special effects company makes a sculpture and it morphs into “Momo”, terrifying parents across the world. If enough people believe something does it become reality? Probably not. Hopefully Cyclocroft will become reality, but it will take something more than just people believing in it.

    Reply
  • $ dynamo March 1, 2019, 8:59 am

    If you like to get your son out for adventures, and he is big on trying to keep you vlogging on YouTube, perhaps you should attempt to film your channel episodes out in the world some place. I think a beach/kayak episode, or episode where you talk while hiking or biking would be great and more Mustachian! I think it’s also good to find ways to align our passions with people we have in our lives or for relationships we want to strengthen. Just a thought~

    Reply
  • MKE March 1, 2019, 9:06 am

    Spain, if you are looking for somewhere sunny, has started to ban cars in city centers in Madrid, Pontevedra, and Seville.

    If you are looking for heroes and examples, Janette Sadik-Khan in NYC or Miguel Anxo Fernandez Lores of Pontevedra are a couple. There are real people out there fighting the automotive-industrial complex and the governments that are forcing people into unhealthy car-based lives. People who try to reduce car use are met with resistance and threats. Once you get past the viral internet thrill, things are not as pretty. Yet there are a lot of people out there fighting.

    The NYC I remember was full of junkies, hookers, strip joints, and looters. “Escape From New York” was borderline documentary. Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg, along with a lot of others (even Guiliani) and some societal change, made a mind-boggling transformation. Today, fashionable young ladies ride bikes down the street with purses sitting in the basket. This is an incredible and positive transformation that improves our world. Reducing car use is a major component.

    Building more cars does not help. The Tesla owner I know already had a Lexus and a Mercedes for himself and his wife, who are the sum of their household. This is Elon Musk’s target. The “luxury” buyer out looking for at least a third or fourth car. Tesla is no beacon of hope and is about as anti-Mustachian as you can get.

    Reply
  • Kmarie March 1, 2019, 9:52 am

    Not having the option to drive would be a nightmare where I live and it is currently “feels like minus 40 celcius” and has been for the last month on and off on the north west prairies of Canada. While we do enjoy temperate weather from time to time, living in a rural place I am thankful for fuel and cars to get to the city for needed groceries every month and fresh produce during the 7 winter months. My van is old and we try to keep our vehicle needs cheap and I admire the essence of what you are saying, and in some places, it would definitely work. Also for those who truly are affected by health not brought on by laziness or whatever is the blame, like cancer, certain disabilities and chronic illness despite an active, nutrient filled life, vehicles are also a huge blessing in energy conservation so we can focus on our families.
    That said, I still read your blogs and love most of what you have to say and you changed my budgeting life for my family years ago, no one taught us anything about finances and your blog taught me how to get out of debt and my husband only has to work 4 days a week till 4:30 IN CONSTRUCTION no less and has managed that schedule for 5 years and he is still in high demand which has been amazing to grow up our three children of varied special needs in that situation and again, it is partly in thanks to your wisdom. I love my life. He loves our life. Our children are happily unschooled at home and I enjoy him working when he does but having enough time at home. Our marriage is my top priority along with helping our kids with their various needs and anxieties. ( “Parenting the Anxious Child” is a good book for your son or if it is a sensory thing “Too loud too bright too fast too tight” or if it is more Introversion alone “Quiet” or “The Highly Sensitive Person” would be good. I also hear “Hope and Healing for your Nerves” is helpful but I have not read that one.) All that to say, I have Aspergers/Autism, Chronic illness due to Lyme disease and Chronic Low Ferritin Anemia and your lifestyle would be a nightmare for me. I admire it from afar but it is not my ultimate goal nor something I would thrive in. It’s beautiful for you and many people, but it’s not a one size fits all. I’ve learned a lot from your life, and I think many could also learn a lot from mine, though it would not work for them either probably in most cases. I live a mostly happy “hermit” family existence mostly indoors although I love nature, exercise on my treadmill and eating nutritious foods. Different strokes for different folks! Just thought I would give an alternate perspective since most on here are set up to life your beautiful life- which is awesome- but doesn’t work for everyone and it’s not always due to fear or resistance to change or good life decisions:) Mental Health comes at a price I am willing to pay in books, counselling, work, vehicles, ect however, there are some challenges in these areas I also need to rise to! (apologies if this posts twice- just delete the second one)

    Reply
    • Sendug March 1, 2019, 9:15 pm

      You might be interested to look at the model of Sapporo on Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. Not -40C, but it does get down to -10-15C. Sapporo has a vast network of underground malls connected by the subway/local trains. You can spend all day “out” without leaving the heated comfort of the great indoors.

      Reply
      • TO_Ont March 2, 2019, 2:07 am

        Or Montreal, closer to home. Although in my own experience even -40 is quite doable for almost everyone with reasonable clothes, and for me much mentally healthier than spending half the year underground.

        You’re right that the efficiencies of cars work out completely differently in rural areas, though, where things are often so spread out that trying to get everyone to where they want to go by bus or train can actually be more expensive environmentally and financially than private cars.

        But in a city the math is completely opposite. Private cars are incredibly clumsy and wasteful and create massive crowding and gridlock and wasted space that’s completely preventable. And to your point, the lack of good non-car infrastructure is a major accessibility problem for elderly or disabled people, a large proportion of whom can not drive a private car and thus tend to become very isolated in rural areas or poorly designed cities because of the lack of non-car ways of getting around.

        Reply
  • Kathy Richardson March 1, 2019, 12:43 pm

    But where do I keep my horses? Serious question.

    Reply
  • Bill March 1, 2019, 2:50 pm

    Re: Cyclocroft
    Needs more runway. Specifically one runway aligned with the wind for general aviation up to private jets. You don’t need a car to get around town, which is great because general aviation folks don’t like cars anyway. What we do like is places we can get around without cars when we land. Put some bikes on the property there for us to use, so we don’t have to squeeze them into our airplanes.

    Reply
  • SachaFiscal March 1, 2019, 7:24 pm

    This is an interesting idea. I wonder though, how would you get goods into the community without allowing big trucks in? For example how would grocery stores get stocked? Also if businesses were producing goods for sale, how would they transport them out of the community? Maybe drones could do it or some kind of underground subway system.

    Reply
  • Brendan March 1, 2019, 7:37 pm

    Check is in the mail!

    I’ve noticed a few people bring up the topic of bike-lash, or the anger that people who only drive direct toward any road or design project that might take away the slightest bit of vehicle lane. There’s an excellent podcast in response, including by the founder of Streetsblog called WarOnCars.org. It’s definitly worth a listen, and then an enlistment!

    And on the topic of how important good urban design is for our health (and preventing the need for disability-induced vehicular transport), check out this video series called Designing Healthy Communities. It’s a pretty fun watch.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qZnCSdb2Z1E

    Reply
  • Sendug March 1, 2019, 9:08 pm

    Someone should do this idea somewhere. There’s buzz in the real estate world about these new opportunity zones, but not many know how to fully utilize them. Anyone interested in implementing this might benefit from these zones.

    I’ve lived in Japan for 12+ years now and thus always compare the US and Japan. In this case, the big difference is infrastructure: Japan invested in railways about the same time Eisenhower invested in the freeway system. Now, most of the Japanese the population naturally congregates around stations with less sprawl. This works great, but it requires national-level investments. Your solution is much better for a grassroots level movement as buy-in would be much less and doesn’t take as much to tie into the rest of the surrounding area. With local government support for transport infrastructure, a combination of the two would be heaven for me.

    Reply
  • Madalina March 2, 2019, 5:53 am

    I have more to say because this subject really hits close to home for me. I desperately want the lifestyle that you advocate.
    But I came to believe that unfortunately, it comes against this “making money” world we live in. In my experience, places that are like you promote, become inaccessible very rapidly, become very pricey, and drive simple people out to the unfriendly suburbs. So whereas the house would cost less than the mansion, they blow out the land price, so that people making money can still make money. As demand increases, prices increase. So from what I understand this also happened in Longmont. I think you have rental properties. So what price do you rent out for? Do you rent at or below market value? Because by adjusting rents to market value when the rental was bought at a fraction of the price it goes for now, is participating to making neighbourhoods inaccessible. There are people that don’t do that. For instance, couple of months ago I saw an add for a house that was renting at HALF its market value. By the time I talked to the agent it was already gone. But I asked: is the price real? And the agent told me: “yes, it’s real. The owner is a lady that doesn’t want to rent it higher. I told her that she can get much more but she said that she doesn’t NEED the money and she would just like to have NICE tenants”. This woman is not participating to the whole market boom. But how many people like that exist?

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 3, 2019, 7:20 am

      Right.. but the part of this story that is missing is how the market then responds to these higher prices: it creates more housing!

      Prices MUST become high in order to make it profitable to build more of the stuff. For most of the first ten years I lived in Longmont, the houses were selling for cheaper than it would cost to build them – even assuming a land cost of zero. As a result, just about zero houses or apartments were built here.

      Now we have a surplus of demand, and a shortage of new housing for now. So, prices are naturally rising and developers (including some of my local friends) are responding by building more housing.

      Longmont still has a very rigid zoning system where even if you have a house on a 1/2 acre lot in a high-demand area, you can’t redevelop it into an apartment complex. And the planning building codes are overly strict and finicky including large setbacks from the edge of your own land – this helps maintain the housing shortage which keeps prices higher. We also leave a huge portion of our central land devoted to automobile infrastructure, which wastes space that could be used for people living.

      We’re doing all right and the city council is trying its best to work within the existing system. But my argument is that with open-season zoning and no car space, it would be a lot easier to meet the demand for housing.

      Reply
  • Another Judith March 2, 2019, 3:00 pm

    I live in The Netherlands. Although I don’t live in a car free city and have a driving license, I hardly drive a car. Maybe 2 times a month, all other rides are by bike. When you search for ‘Giethoorn’ you’ll find information about a car free town in our country. We also have a little island that’s car free, it’s called ‘Schiermonnikoog’. I love to be there!

    Reply
  • Natalie Engdahl March 2, 2019, 8:57 pm

    When driving with my children a while back, my then 8 year old son said ” the best thing would be if there were no cars allowed on the roads, only bikes, imagine how cool that would be Mum, it would be heaps quicker and easier to get places on our bikes.” I do often think that, we ride a fair bit, but would do more if it weren’t for traffic issues. A car free town/city sounds like heaven. 2 years living in Germany gave me a taste for what is possible. No cars at all would be even better.

    Reply
  • JOHN GROVER March 3, 2019, 3:53 am

    You should check out Lucca Italy. It is a 16th century walled town of some size. No cars, just bikes and walking. The modern town of Lucca surrounding the old town is a typical polluted car hell. It is quite jarring to spend the day in the older part and then step out to the newer area. Definitely worth a visit to fuel the dream.

    Reply
    • MKE March 8, 2019, 8:40 am

      Been there! Done that! AMEN!

      Reply
  • Greg March 3, 2019, 11:31 am

    Prospect New Town on the south end of Longmont shares the same type of vision.

    Reply
  • JP March 3, 2019, 5:35 pm

    Since we’re painting pictures here. Why not plan for a city where no body needs to own their own car. Instead there is a fleet of autonomous electric vehicles that we can summon as needed. Because these cars(?) are so well choreographed the streets looks very different – and real estate is dedicated to people based density.

    Reply
  • Kelly March 4, 2019, 3:51 am

    I am currently living in the UK and one of the lovely things about many of the towns here is that they were built around the concept of a person on foot, because they were built when most people didn’t have even a horse for transportation. The towns that are being smart about development are trying to keep to those principles, but the pressure of corporations who come in to build huge box stores with large parking lots on the edge of town, creating a huge sprawl is difficult to combat since the councils are often made up of people who are looking to make money from development without really thinking much about the lifestyle of the people who live there. Still, some places are doing a decent job, and I’ve been quite happily car free since I moved here. Renting a car costs less than in the US, and in my small market town there is an independent car rental/moving van company that I’ve built a relationship with for the handful of times a year I want to rent a car (usually because the price of a particular train journey is too onerous or the times not convenient, or I’m headed too far into the countryside to ride a bike or, my preference, walk). Most people come home for lunch since it’s only a 5 minute walk. Getting into the countryside is a 5-10 minute walk from anywhere in the town. And I have to say, the best place to live is in the old part of town where having a car is a real pain. In the part of town built as a suburb with driveways for cars and no shops around the corner, people complain about being bored and that they never seem to make the 15 minute walk into town. From my experience, a 10 minute walk to activities is the most you should set yourself up for.

    The other awesome thing is that there is a marvelous mix of ages walking around at any given time because there is plenty of housing set aside for seniors. They maintain their mobility for much longer because they can get out and get things done by foot even if they are slow. Lots of benches makes it easy for anyone to sit and enjoy the spaces, and since everyone is out and about, everyones face is kind of familiar and people look out for one another. Obviously, it’s great for kids for all the same reasons. Oh. And there’s a castle, too. Picturesque and a great place to rent for town activities and festivals, as well as just a beautiful place to walk around to enjoy the seasons and views.

    The town itself has plenty of cafes and restaurants despite having a population of about 12,000. It’s terrific! And it isn’t unusual in Europe.

    Reply
  • Ralph March 4, 2019, 9:56 am

    There are some areas in Texas that have very little codes or permits needed for building houses. West Texas has a lot of land. Its cheap, flat, has a good solar potential. You could probably buy a few thousand acres for under 300K. The only problem is you will need to drive around 50 miles to the nearest big town.

    Reply
  • Catherine March 4, 2019, 8:05 pm

    THANK GOD you are not connected with this Photoshop project!!!! I was hyperventilating. Your last paragraph sums up my sentiments exactly: there are already places that exist that just need people, why build streets and sewers and water supply when they are already in place in 1000 underpopulated places across the country? Second, that little weirdo drawing showed one connection ONE CONNECTION to the outer world, instead of the 18 needed to the surrounding existing neighborhoods. And last, the idea that we need high-rises is preposterous. It shows a real lack of understanding of what a sustainable building is. It would have undercut your authenticity, in my opinion. Thank you for clarifying.

    Reply
  • Catherine Johnson March 4, 2019, 8:28 pm

    Also, that photos of Detroit you chose is likely a suburb, and not Detroit proper – Detroit is one of the most sustainable places in the country: high density, interconnected grid network of streets, mixed use, variety of housing types, diverse population, compact building types, etc. Here is a sample of a square QTR mile to compare to that icky office park/mall: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Detroit,+MI/@42.4334681,-83.0809628,973m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x8824ca0110cb1d75:0x5776864e35b9c4d2!8m2!3d42.331427!4d-83.0457538

    Reply
  • Aukse March 5, 2019, 11:52 am

    Your distress about your son being a homebody was overlooked by 99% of the commenters. Try not to stress too much about your teenager being a homebody – almost all of them are – and at this age, their friends are way more important to them than you are (an unfortunate fact!). I try to emphasize things at home like meal times in order to spend quality time with my teens. Also, planning “events” even if it is just a bike ride or a hike in the future is better than “lets go do this now”. They will ALWAYS say no to now, and almost will never say no to something in the future. If it’s in the calendar, that is what you do that day. Oddly, I find that teens need even MORE structure and planning than smaller children do, because there is so much stress with school/different homes/and so much info coming at them.

    Reply
  • Kevin March 5, 2019, 10:06 pm

    A few thoughts on the feasibility of the city and the necessity of a road network. It will have to have roads, arguably a full road infrastructure which could be mixed use with a predominant pedestrian and cycling system, but it will have to be at least 1 vehicle wide lanes throughout town with overages on every single block.

    1. Ambulance, police, and fire trucks – you need access for emergency services, including whatever they call the SES in the USA, in Australia the SES is a mix of paid staff and volunteers who respond to all sorts of emergencies from down trees, electrical wires, storm damage, etc.

    2. Sewage (and fire hydrants/water supply) tends to run under the roads – I’m all for Earthships and in-house treatment of grey and black water, but that would add significant cost and isn’t always feasible for larger/taller buildings. I think a concentrated city like this could handle their waste MUCH more responsibility and create fertiliser for non-food uses to avoid existing controversies.

    3. Supplies for shops, grocery, and restaurants – Trucks need to bring in clothing, food, and all sorts of consumer objects. It’s great to be anti-consumeristic and to reduce consumption to sustainable levels, but there is always going to be consumption. The city dies without daily food truck deliveries.

    4. Delivery of furniture/construction materials/packages/mail/etc. any large object being put into any home or building – you can’t be YIMBY if there’s no road to use for the delivery of goods. You’ll need more than 1 lane roads to account for loading zones while maintaining access for emergency vehicles

    5. Public transit options – bikes are lovely, but not everyone can walk or has the physical stamina to get around this way. Public transit also includes solo rides such as Taxis along wit mass transit options. All require roads.

    6. Visitors are essential – tourists will need to get into the city/hotels with their luggage. It’ll be bad if they can’t take a taxi direct to their hotel and need to park their car or carry their luggage.

    7. Bicycle parking – Think of how Amsterdam looks with endless bikes littered everywhere. There will need to be a better solution, which can be an interesting design challenge.

    A significant limitation on vehicles can definitely be achieved and private ownership can be limited to parking garages on the outskirts of town for residents with zero street parking. It’ll be a super walkable and bikeable city, with roads. Cutting down on parking with add huge amounts of space and building at a human scale with the idea of a 40-60k population is great, no need for it to be scalable to a 1 million person city.

    A great idea and we should definitely have more planned cities. With enough capital it could be highly profitable, with cheap initial sales and sweetheart deals to get residents and businesses in the door, followed by long term rentals from the developer. It’s almost like a VC process for land. Fund 10 planed towns and hopefully the land value becomes great enough that the developer can ‘exit’after 10-15 years. It’ll be built in stages anyhow,so it could be a 20+ year development plan. it takes some awfully patient capital backers to pursue such a project, but they certainly do exist.

    Reply
    • MKE March 8, 2019, 8:36 am

      Old walled cities in Europe are impassible to cars, yet people live there, and foreigners pay exorbitant prices to go and visit. Yet your objections say this will never happen. How can it never happen if it already exists?

      You don’t NEED trucks, taxis, or cars.

      The same old tired “We can’t, we can’t, we can’t….NEVER” objections keep coming up, in spite of the fact that certain cities do it already, and plenty of books and papers have been written explaining how easily those weak objections could be overcome.

      I just read yesterday of a school in Finland where 1000 out of 1200 rides bikes to school. They do this even in below zero fahrenheit temperatures and no visible roads beneath all the snow. Why? Because they were told they CAN, instead of being told they “can’t.” I live in a relatively small flat neighborhood with schools within less than a mile. Probably 95% or more of kids are transported to school one-by-one in large SUVs, even when it is 65 degrees out. Why, because their parents tell them they “can’t” ever ride a bike.

      In America, we are very, very good at saying we can’t,that we never can. We are lazy, brainwashed, and addicted to cars.

      Reply
  • DeCotisSmith March 6, 2019, 10:21 am

    Great post, MMM! Just wanted to pop in and note that short of starting from scratch and building an entire new city, some more accessible activities would be to get involved in your current community to advocate for better bike and pedestrian infrastructure, policies that encourage use of modes besides driving, and zoning that helps to encourage people-scale spaces without requiring tons of parking. I live in Atlanta, a city known for its ridiculous sprawl and car culture. That said, we have a robust community of pedestrian, bike, and good urbanism advocates who are constantly working to make the city better, together with city officials, their neighborhoods, and planning/engineering professionals. I love the idea of a car-free utopia (my family mostly bikes/walks/transits), but drive-to urbanism isn’t always the answer either. If we could all, in our respective, established cities, work toward creating these utopias, that would be wonderful too (and hopefully help mitigate some of the problems we already have, like transportation equity, job access, and affordable housing).

    Reply
  • 2cord March 6, 2019, 6:46 pm

    Several years ago I happened across a similar plan for a carfree city on a blog. http://andrewalexanderprice.com/blog20130330.php#.XIB15qROnYU

    Reply
  • dharma bum March 7, 2019, 9:20 am

    I may just pass by the proposed city site this weekend and check it out.
    I’m in Telluride, Colorado right now, headed back to Toronto.
    I sure hope they clear the roads of all that avalanche snow (and trees and rocks) that caused a major blockage on I-70.
    I love Colorado.
    Avalanches are spectacular.
    They can be a pain for travellers, though.

    Reply
  • RJ St Thomas March 7, 2019, 10:06 am

    Hey MMM,

    Are you able to divulge contact details for Cyclocroft, would love to reach out and connect to the architects. I don’t live anywhere near Colorado, but would love to see this happen and figure at this stage what is needed is bodies, not dollars. Any chance the architects or any others are interested in starting a conversation about how to make it happen?

    I think planning a city sounds like fun, bring it on!

    Reply
  • Aaron March 7, 2019, 6:22 pm

    Great piece, MMM! Although that picture of you lifting heavy weights with snow on the ground appears at least somewhat dangerous! Haha

    Reply
  • Ecodad March 8, 2019, 10:17 pm

    MMM. Another great post. Thank you.

    I am a five year older version of you, in far too many ways. I too chose where to reside. I live in Akron, Ohio, near many county metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This urban oasis has hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails. The towpath trail..multiuse solely for hiking, jogging and biking, runs 25 miles along the Cuyahoga River from Cleveland to Akron…then 50 more miles south. It connects to a couple of other paved 20 to 30 mile biking only trails that run through several suburban areas. In addition, sharing the park roads with the cars is pretty bike friendly. This gives the area a European flair, even if the actual city roads are not bike friendly. I simply grin and bear it for the 2 miles it takes to reach paradise. The local residential roads are really not that bad, especially since I used to ride anywhere, everywhere, on any road, year round.

    What you are describing sounds like Europe, especially the Netherlands and Germany. I worked in Scottland in 92, and did extensive, fully loaded, bicycle camping tours in 96, 98, and 01 from Ireland to Hungary east to west, and the Netherlands to Portugal north to south. All told, 12000 miles in 12 months…basically my American cycling rate before I was married and had kids, albeit in a much more bike friendly culture. Their urban culture, especially up north, is built around public transportation and cycling and walking. Highways run outside of town, not through it. Town centers have limited parking OUTSIDE of the large pedestrian shopping district. Roads are small. Driving is expensive. Neighborhoods have multi-story housing mixed with small businesses. Lots of green areas, with some of them like the Englisher Gardens in Munich really large and very similar to my unique home area. Bike paths are separate from the road, as are sidewalks. Bike racks are everywhere. Bike stores cater to urban commuters…sturdy frames, beefy wheels, fenders, lights, locks, strong racks, waterproof bags, child transport, well designed kickstands. It was eye opening to see a different way of life than what we have here in America.

    I have tried to live this car-light European (Mustachian) life here in America for almost 30 years now because: I have an endurance athlete mentality; cycling is good for my mental and physical health; it saves me time and is my exercise, recreation, and transportation all in one; it is ecologically friendly; it is socially welcoming; and it is economical. Riding where I live and in the park and on the trails is awesome, but I do live in a unique area and early retirement means i avoid rush hour and avoid the major roads. I remember my stressful 25 mile urban commutes across town, though, and my 250 mile weekend trips to see family, and I must say that American cities are not cycle friendly, either the roads or many of the drivers. Looking back, I am surprised I was only bumped 2 times and never seriously injured. I have seen and experienced much, and I had a few close calls, most due to drivers being less than careful.

    Cyclocroft sounds like heaven. Sign me up, especially if it adjoins an area of natural beauty. As you said, we can choose where to live, but nothing beats proper planning. I am not anti car, but I do agree that how we use the car here is quite ridiculous.

    Reply
  • Married to a Swabian March 10, 2019, 6:56 am

    Cyclecroft would be an amazing place to live and thrive! If you could grow a large amount of food locally and build passive solar homes, it could be the first carbon neutral town.
    There is a great book by James Kachadorian called the Passive Solar House. It describes in detail how simple it is to just build a home that is south facing, with the right number and size of windows and roof overhangs. The home is sunny and warmer in the winter (when the sun angle is low) and stays cooler in summer. In talking with people over the years, almost no one knows of this concept … but it should just be common sense! Very few homes are built this way in this country …. until now. Cyclecroft could change all that! ;)

    Reply
  • Wade March 11, 2019, 3:21 pm

    Love the idea. I get stuck on simple concepts.

    How would groceries get on the shelves with no cars/trucks?

    Would businesses with inventory have to be around the perimeter? How does one lift/carry goods (anything) to the location?

    Conveyor belts from a distribution center? A fleet of heavy duty electric bikes with trailers?

    For an individual, hauling can be done. For everyone I’m seeing some issues. Great post though. Practice and reality sometimes diverge.

    Reply
    • Married to a Swabian March 12, 2019, 4:39 am

      Sometimes it’s just good to go back and reread Waldon Pond…Thoreau wrote all about it 170years ago!

      Reply
  • Phil March 13, 2019, 10:04 pm

    Cyclic Croft has already been planned and Is selling in Edmonton AB Canada. It’s called blatchford. https://blatchfordedmonton.ca/ I think it’s for 35000 people. I’ve been watching this devolpment for some time. Connected to rapid transit. Check it out.

    Reply
  • Em March 14, 2019, 2:15 am

    Consider rereading Joseph Campbell and his Hero’s Journey.

    One principle of the Hero’s Quest is that it has something inconvenient/ unncomfortable from the Hero’s current cushy life in the Village. This is, incidentally, what will get the Hero to transform into a better version of himself.

    When you first started the blog, the world answered, in a big way, and today we have the MMM culture and community, the HQ, and many other stupendously beautiful things.

    Guess what: the Universe seems to have something else in store for you. Will you answer or keep talking about your past achievements, as you did in this post?

    2 bits of solace to finish:
    – While not answer the calling is definitely possible, it doesn’t lead to anything good. Campbell calls it: Wasteland. Not a Mustachian place, believe you me

    – once a quest is done, you get the option to come back to a simple life if you’d like. Cincinnatus was made emperor of Rome twice, reluctantly took the gig each time, and came back to ploughing his field after the job was done. Each time,

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 14, 2019, 11:02 am

      Thanks Em, there are some very entertaining parallels in there. It is however important to remember that real life is not necessarily a perfect mirror of fiction and the Universe is a pretty random place.

      What I DO know is that excessive commitment and busy-ness is really bad for my mental health, whereas a nice balance of effort and calmness (as I can sometimes reach now with my once-per-month blog schedule and a very low-key coworking space), is fantastic. So for purely selfish reasons I am not willing to take on any more than I am already doing. It’s the same reason I haven’t published a book. The amazing power of “No!”

      Reply
      • Andy March 14, 2019, 12:07 pm

        I really like this outlook on life, which is to say BALANCED and avoiding of extremes. Nobody is saying we should avoid the duties of life, just don’t overdo it as it leads to burn-out and resentment in the long run.

        What we should is extreme ideology of any kind, particularly religious or political. I can think of no more effective way to cabbage up one’s mind than excessive ideology.

        Reply
      • David March 21, 2019, 7:19 am

        It is wise you don’t fall into the vanity trap of taking on projects that are not right for you. Your entire lifestyle is focused on doing things more simply and using your own labor as much as possible. This project would require someone doing something hugely complex and relying totally on others to do the work. Your main super power at this moment is your influence, which you have already successfully used to promote the idea. Now someone with the power to start huge projects should step up and take the next step. Of course you could then lend your influence to further promote the idea.

        Reply
      • Em March 22, 2019, 3:39 am

        Well, mental health is what I was coming to actually.

        Campbell’s work supports several lines of therapy / personal development, eg: https://www.amazon.co.uk/heros-journey-Stephen-Gilligan/dp/1785831623/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1553246917&sr=8-1&keywords=hero%27s+journey+gilligan

        Overall, the message is (and several clinical studies have proved this): to be happy, do something hard. The flipside of the coin is that, if you don’t take a potential challenge on too many times in a row, the Self shrinks to the point of depression (what Campbell calls: Wasteland).

        Granted: if you don’t pick up the glove for Cyclocroft and the world has a need for it, another Hero will emerge and take on that quest. With that, there is something about going with the flow of where the Universe (not something cosmic or “woo-woo” but, rather, an interdependent system) is suggesting you’d be good at going next.

        Reply
  • The Frug March 18, 2019, 1:32 pm

    Just saw this article on micro mobility including bike and scooter only areas. Brings up cool some additional benefits.
    https://florentcrivello.com/index.php/2019/01/28/five-promises-of-micromobility/

    Reply

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For more casual sampling, have a look at this complete list of all posts since the beginning of time or download the mobile app. Go ahead and click on any titles that intrigue you, and I hope to see you around here more often.

Love, Mr. Money Mustache

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