(Perhaps) essential tips how to #surviveyourlife

People sometimes ask me “how could you have left the corporate world and highly paid executive jobs and moved to Bali to live the life you love? It is inspiring but frightening at the same time. What did you think?”

Well, let me confess publicly about this topic here for the first time – I did not think too much. Thinking is great (i.e. in the meaning of contemplating or meditating) but usually does not provide good clues for major life decisions. Why? Because we don’t have enough and/or right information to make such decisions. Even if we theoretically had all the relevant information (impossible), then we would not be able to process it anyway. What’s left? Follow your heart. Many people say that. I would add “if you can”. In other words, if you either created enough financial means to support your whatever-you-like life or if you completely don’t care about money (and therefore don’t care what you eat and where you sleep).

I did not think too much, my wife and I seen the Green School of Bali and felt instantly that we should give our kids such education, profoundly different from any mainstream. As a side effect, I left the corporate world, started building my own business(es) and started living what some people might call ‘epic life’. So far so good!

Recently, I came across the book ‘The Black Swan’ by Nassem Taleb which I feel that everyone should read. The book made me think, not sure why, about the principles of my life.

Here they are:

  1. Be aware that you will die one day and that this fact is ok.
  2. Stop taking yourself (too) seriously. People taking themselves seriously are one of the most critical issues of mankind.
  3. Accept that you don’t know a lot of stuff. Read Black Swan (thank you N. Taleb. I also love your idea of ‘not being a sucker’).
  4. Everything is changing, everything is impermanent. It does not make sense to fret about things which will change anyway or which you cannot change.
  5. You cannot influence what happens to you. You can train your mind and influence your reaction to whatever happens.
  6. Healthy and fit body is not absolutely necessary for happiness and good life but it helps a lot.
  7. Friends are important, nurture good friendships. Life is boring without friends.
  8. Explore opportunities, pursue those that seem viable. Don’t focus, focus is for people who are not able to intelligently manage multiple challenges.
  9. Keep 25% of your assets in cash. To be able to pursue those opportunities. Or just live. Why 25 and not 26? I just like the number.
  10. Money is important in our society. Who says otherwise either has them or is deluded. But use money wisely, e.g. to get more freedom.
  11. Simplify. Period.
  12. Remain calm (thank you Dr. Svoboda).
  13. Dolphins have larger brains than humans. They use their brains to hunt, play, mate and talk to each other without words. They don’t need branded cloths, expensive watches, banks or passports. Be like a dolphin.

What are your ‘life principles’? Anything you love to share? Please do, in the comments.

If you like to read or watch a video about one of my recent adventures, feel free to check for example Survive shipwreck adventure in Sumba.


  1. Will Travis

    Love your life lessons Dan – simple / smart / sustainable x

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