Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Not YOLO, it's YOLLO.

I was reading 15HWW post on Hedging against a Short life. It's a great article and a good defence against those YOLO people who argued that because WOLO (we live only once), we should spend our money without care and worry. I think philosophically, it's a good idea, but it fails on the execution part. I think the key point is that we should spend on things that matters to us, not necessarily things that are the most expensive or the most extravagant, and certainly not all the time. The law of diminishing happiness ensures that the more we upgrade on the choices that makes us happy, the more level our happiness will be. Until the next record breaking happy activity that we choose to indulge in, that is.

From TechGadgeteer. This is damn good.

His article cleverly pushes the theme further away from materialism and more towards the idea of happiness, which I think is a stroke of genius. Basically, if you can only live once, then you should make it as happy and fulfilling as possible. If spending money makes you happy and fulfilled, then by all means go ahead! But if you can believe the words of the truly rich, you'll know that while having money solves a lot of life's struggles and daily grinding, ultimately whether you're happy or not is still a big question mark. For those who are cursed by the Gods to win a lottery, the common regret is that they wished that they didn't win it because they are a whole lot worser than before.

This is all very subjective, since the pathway to your happiness could be the pathway to my depression. Hence, in a pursuit of happiness, we can do things that can be considered 'unhappy' by everyone else except yourself.

This got me thinking also. So what makes me happy?

1. Spending a whole day at home, reading books on my bed until I feel sleepy, then take a nap, and wake up and read again. I'm an introvert, and I get a huge energy boost from having lots of me time at home away from people.

2. Cafe hopping with my wife on a weekday while others are busy doing their work, leaving the cafe relatively quiet and serene.

3. Working. I know this sounds crazy, but I love doing what I do for a living. At a point in my life where I have depression, I think it's my work that brings my happiness level back to normality. So yes, it's that important for me.

And since WOLO, we should really examine our lives and put a happiness tag on the things we do, and ask if doing this or that thing will elevate our overall happiness index. It's not as selfish as it sounds and it's not about I, myself and me, because I think for most of us, making the people around us happy will also make us happy. We live both for ourselves and for the bigger social circle that we are all part of.

So for me, forget all the YOLO and WOLO, and try YOLLO instead. Yes On Living Less Ostentatiously


Anonymous said...


I have to google Ostenstiously. haha. But it is so much easier than supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Seriously, English has been my lifelong challenge.

One hand, I am trying to be positive about working so that I can achieve immediate happiness. Another hand, I know I will not be working if I achieved Financial Independence so as to maximise happiness index. Ok, so which is which now? haha.

Tacomob said...

Hi LP,

I recently read somewhere (can't remember where though) a good explanation why experiences give more happiness than material possessions:

Experiences have greater social value: Most activities that cost more than a hundred dollars are things we do with other people, but expensive material possessions are often purchased in part to impress other people. Activities connect us to others; objects often separate us.

Continue to enjoy your cafe hopping with your wife.

Whowillbe said...


You mean ostentatiously right?


Budget Babe said...

I love this! I've been sitting on this post in my drafts for the longest time, but you just inspired me to finish writing it and publish it. Here's my story :)


Sillyinvestor said...

Hi LP,

What's make me happy? LOL.

Like u, sleep until wake up normally. Have breakfast with wife. Read the newspapers and look at stock markets. Disturb all bloggers and leaving comments. have a good meal out

Weekdays, go to school and teach, teach CCA too. Come home play with son.

Make more money through stock market LOL...

Talking about YOLO WOLO, I wondered which is happier?
Earn earn and reach FI and live te way you cherish

Or work and earn and live to the extent possible the way u cherish.

Path 1 might cause some friction in the initial years but there is freedom later and money left for children

Path 2 you enjoy everyday but never really FI?

In the end, I stopped thinking since there is no actionable thing for me to do

I am not introvert, I am greedy

la papillion said...

Hi FD,

Hmm, work hard to achieve FI so as to achieve happiness or be happy at work and be happy right now. I guess it really depends on whether FI is an escape for you. If it is, then when you reached it, you might not really be happy at all. You should know which path I'm taking haha!

la papillion said...

Hi Tacomob,

I read it too! Indeed experiences is the way to go about it. Pursuit of experience, whether good or bad, is the one thing that will lead to happiness. Some experiences need money to fulfill, but spending money might not necessary lead to any experiences. I think you've summarised it very neatly for all of us here!

la papillion said...


Indeed you're right! Thanks for being my spell check! hahaha :)

la papillion said...


No problem, we all inspired each other :) I'll read it and comment on your blog later!

My 15HWW said...

Hi LP,

With the amount of time I spent on the post, I thought I was not doing it enough justice. So you can't blame me for being surprised at the pleasantries thrown in my direction.

Reading what you have wrote, I really think we are cut from the same piece of cloth. Maybe a little differences here and there, but not much, really.

Eons years ago, when I was still contemplating breaking my bond, I was looking at you as a possible successful model to justify doing that.

la papillion said...

Hi SI,

I think ultimately there isn't any right way to pursue one's happiness. I think as long as you can ignore all the comments by others, you can pretty much do what you want. But I think we shouldn't ignore what our heart tells us to do. All the repression might lead to some illness later!

Hmm, I think I might have a good chance to do both path actually :) But to be honest, reaching FI is not a goal for me. I'm all ready to work till I can no longer contribute. It's a good to have but not necessary thing for me.

la papillion said...

Hi 15hww,

Maybe people of a certain character are named the same LOL I think most of the pple in our blogosphere are about the same type, which makes us all weirdos in a good sense. All the weirdos in the world unite ya?

Wah, I'm glad I influenced you in what little ways back then. Hmm, I think my blog has been around so long that I'm like some sort of pioneer generation in blogging HAHA

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


Those who practice extreme delayed gratifications and those who reward themselves with stuffs on YOLO have a lot in common than you think ;)

YOLO is not a dirty word if one is living with the realisation that life is too short to be doing stuffs we hate, or putting off experiences we would like to do. These are living in the moment people :)

The imposters are those in miserable jobs, and to make themselves feel better, shower themselves with monogrammed trinkets. And parroting YOLO without knowing what it meant...

Come to think of it, aren't you YOLO?

You have nothing to "escape" from :)

la papillion said...


Haha, out of box thinking, I like!

Hmm, am I YOLO? I don't associate myself with such terms usually, but perhaps you are right :) YOLO is essence is to live the happiest moments right now, instead of delaying it to the unforeseeable future. I guess I happy with my current situation :)