Introducing the Renaissance Man Ethos
A few years ago, a friend asked me to describe my personal “ethos” with just a few words.
Now, judging by that question, you can tell that I hang out with some pretty smart friends. And in this case, I knew my answer needed to be appropriately thought out in order to satisfy my friend’s curiosity. At first, I thought that this task would be difficult. Yet, after just a brief period of reflection, I answered with the following three words…
Focus. Integration. Celebration.
Naturally, my friend demanded I amplify this answer, and so I went about explaining the “three pillars” of my personal ethos, and what I now call the “Renaissance Man Ethos,” so that each concept would be simple and easy to understand. So, with your permission, I would like to do the same here.
Focus. The first pillar here is the most essential, as it also serves as a basis for all information processing, and for the application of the two other pillars of my ethos. The term focus here means much more than just concentration. By focus, I mean focus in the wider, philosophic sense. Perhaps a quote here from my favorite philosopher and my favorite novelist, Ayn Rand, will explain what I mean by philosophic focus:
“In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness. The act of focusing one’s consciousness is volitional. Man can focus his mind to a full, active, purposefully directed awareness of reality — or he can unfocus it and let himself drift in a semiconscious daze, merely reacting to any chance stimulus of the immediate moment, at the mercy of his undirected sensory-perceptual mechanism and of any random, associational connections it might happen to make.”
So, when I say “focus” is the first pillar of my personal ethos, I mean it in this sense. I mean it in the sense that whatever it is I am doing, whether it is writing, speaking, analyzing companies, reading, composing and playing music, horseback riding, weight training, martial arts, combat marksmanship, driving a race car, walking a dog or just petting my cat, I do it in a state of full focus. I do it with the full, volitional and conscious awareness of reality — in the moment.
You’ve no doubt heard about the importance of “living in the moment,” as it has become somewhat of a cliché in the self-help movement. So, let’s avoid this cliché, and just say that living in the moment requires that you live each moment in full focus.
Integration. The second pillar of my ethos comes after you’ve focused your mind on the facts and sensations of reality. Through the process of mental integration, you can categorize the facts, sensations and feelings you’ve experienced in that state of full focus, and you can begin determining what they all mean and how they fit into your broader, and deeper, philosophic premises, such as the things you value.
For example, let’s say you focus your mind on something that is mostly a physical pursuit on the surface, such as weight training. Yet, is it mostly a physical thing? While the actual performance of the movements might be primarily physical, what you’ve likely already integrated before you even decide to begin weight training are the facts that challenging your muscles with progressive resistance loads is a good thing for your physical well-being.
Your editor hydrating himself with his favorite water, Alkaline88, after a demanding strength-training session.
Indeed, the integration of higher-order concepts of “well-being” requires a long chain of philosophic integration that has to do with the values you place on your existence, your health, your appearance, the maintenance of your functional ability, etc. The wider point here is that the ability to focus on facts and integrate those facts into your philosophic matrix is the necessary second pillar of a rational ethos, and it’s one you must be consciously aware of if you are going to engage in the third pillar of this ethos.
Celebration. Once you’ve focused on reality and integrated those facts with your personal worldview, i.e. your personal philosophic premises, then, and only then, can you rationally indulge in the most pleasurable pillar — celebration. For me, celebration is the result of the focused integration of the concrete parts of reality and what they represent in my life. Staying with the weight training example, I know that a focus on facts means I need to weight train to stay in good physical shape.
Staying in good physical shape is a value to me because I’ve integrated the virtue of good health and the absence of disease in my life as rational values for me to pursue. And despite being on the losing side of my fifties, I am, for the most part, in excellent physical condition, largely free of disease and strong, flexible and fully functional. It is this combination of focused integration that permits me to celebrate this circumstance.
You see, when you live a life in full focus, and one in which you integrate the ideas and values that really matter to you, then, and only then, can you rationally celebrate your existence. It is this celebration, in all its glorious forms, that makes life worth living.
Whether that celebration is the pleasure of watching your children grow up, or whether it’s staring into the eyes of the person you love most and feeling that love come right back to you, or whether it’s something as simple as performing a set of intense barbell curls — when you live a life of focused integration, you can justly celebrate life in all of its forms.
For me, the three pillars of focus, integration and celebration comprise the basis of my personal ethos. And thanks to my friend’s question some years ago, these three pillars also represent the consistent themes running through my lifestyle website and podcast, “Way of the Renaissance Man.”
If you want to hear more about the various ways I and others focus, integrate and celebrate life, I invite you to check out the articles, interviews and podcasts available right now at WayoftheRenaissanceman.com.
ETF Talk: Invest in Global Health Care with This ETF
The Robo Global Healthcare Technology and Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA:HTEC) tracks a proprietary index of global health care technology companies.
HTEC focuses on global health care technology companies that generate a portion of their revenue from the medical and health care technology. The index includes companies Robo Global flags as involved in diagnostics, lab process automation, regenerative medicine, precision medicine, data and analytics, telehealth, robotics, genomics, or medical instruments.
Robo Global selects 50 to 100 companies that score high on revenue from those specific business lines, growth potential and market adoption of the company’s products and services. Index components are weighted based on their proprietary score and rebalanced quarterly.
The exchange-traded fund has amassed $286 million in assets under management with a 0.09% average spread and 83 holdings. It has a 0.68% expense ratio, meaning it is in the low-medium range of inexpensive to expensive funds to hold in relation to other ETFs.
HTEC’s share price has experience a whopping 41.6% gain in the trailing 12-month period. As of this writing, it is also available at a discount from recent highs, giving potential investors a good opportunity to get into a hot ETF at a discounted rate.
The investment seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the ROBO Global & Healthcare Technology and Innovation Index. The fund will normally invest at least 80% of its total assets in securities of the index or in depositary receipts representing securities of the index.
The index is designed to measure the performance of companies that have a portion of their business and revenue derived from the field of healthcare technology, and the potential to grow within this space through innovation and market adoption of such companies and products and services. It is non-diversified.
However, as with any opportunity, I urge all potential investors to exercise their own due diligence in deciding whether or not this fund fits their own individual portfolio goals.
As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an email. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.
In case you missed it…
Two Life Hacks to Make You Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
I love life hacks.
The reason why is because they serve as a shortcut to optimizing one’s existence. So, if you are like me, and one of your personal prime directives in life is to maximize your finite time on Earth, it behooves you to employ the strategies and techniques that can manage your time and daily activities efficiently. And when those life hacks also can make you healthier, wealthier and wiser, well, it’s only proper that I share them with you.
Today, I am pleased to tell you about two of my favorite life hacks. The first is a fantastic way to save time while eating supremely healthy food that also tastes sublime. The second is a way to streamline your learning by simply listening to condensed, yet impressively thorough, summaries of some of the best books available today.
Let’s start with the life hack that can make you both healthy and wealthy — gourmet meal-prep company Home Bistro (HBIS).
Home Bistro is my go-to meal prep delivery source because they supply me with the highest-quality, best-tasting and most convenient gourmet meals prepared under the direction of numerous celebrity chefs, including the incredible “Iron Chef” and Culinary Institute of America graduate Cat Cora.
So, instead of spending a lot of time trying to cook a gourmet meal and then having to do extensive post-meal clean up, I can pull a gourmet meal out of the refrigerator, heat it up in minutes, and enjoy fine dining that also has the macronutrient profile that I’ve calibrated specifically for my nutritional needs.
The convenience factor here is certainly a big reason why I love Home Bistro, but if the food didn’t taste great, I wouldn’t eat it. Plus, if the food weren’t made of the highest-quality ingredients, I wouldn’t eat it.
Your editor with two of his favorite things: A Home Bistro gourmet meal and his Yamaha grand piano.
At this stage in my life, I want it all! I want convenience, high quality and deliciousness — and that’s what Home Bistro delivers, direct to my door, so that I always can have a fine-dining experience in my refrigerator.
Ok, so that’s the “healthy” (and tasty) component of Home Bistro, but because this publication is investment oriented, there’s also an extremely tasty investment opportunity in this company that fulfills the “wealthy” life hack component.
You see, Home Bistro is already a public company, trading on the Nasdaq OTC, but the company is currently seeking new capital to help expand its meal-prep capability and to help increase its market share. To accomplish this capital raise, Home Bistro is going directly to the investing public, offering an incredibly attractive way to get in on the shares at a substantial discount, and one that involves owning restricted shares and warrants.
Here is how this offer works, an offer which you can participate in right now.
First, the offering type is considered a “Regulation A+” or “Reg A” offering, which just means the direct public offering is permitted by federal securities law, as long as it doesn’t exceed $50 million in a one-year period.
Second, the offer allows you, the investor, to purchase HBIS shares at $0.75 per unit (a unit includes one common share and one warrant).
HBIS last traded for $0.90, so you are getting the common shares at a substantial discount to the current price. As for the warrants, they are priced at $1.50 each. That means you own the right to buy shares at that price, regardless of the current price. So, if HBIS shares rise to $3.00 per share the way analysts anticipate, then you could double your money on the warrants alone.
The one caveat here on this deal is that your common shares (not the warrants) are restricted for six months after you purchase them. So, whatever money you invest, you won’t be able to redeem until that six-month holding period is over.
Think of this as a chance to get into a great company at a substantial discount to its current trading price in exchange for a little patience on your part. To me, that is well worth it — and it represents an excellent “wealth” life hack that I think all The Deep Woods readers should explore.
To find out more about Home Bistro, both its meal prep offerings and its tremendous investment offering, all you need to do is click here.
Now, today’s second life hack fulfills the “wise” component, and it’s a life hack that I like to call “Renaissance Man Summaries.”
As you likely know, my “side gig” is the podcast and lifestyle website, Way of the Renaissance Man. Here, I talk to fascinating people about what they do in life, how they came to do it and what they think is the key to both their successes and their failures. Along the way, my goal is to help uncover the tools we all need to live the lives we really want.
Well, one of the key tools we need for a good life is knowledge. More specifically, we must always be actively pursuing the acquisition of new knowledge. Doing so keeps our minds fresh, and it keeps us young and vibrant. Yet, the problem with acquiring new knowledge is that doing so requires a lot of time — and there are just so many hours in the day we can devote to such pursuits.
Yet today’s second life hack streamlines the acquisition process by literally reading to you condensed, yet remarkably complete, summaries of some of the newest and best books on the market today. The service that does this is called Readitfor.me, and it’s my favorite book summary service for executives and entrepreneurs.
I use Readitfor.me to discover the biggest ideas from the world’s best leadership, sales, marketing and personal development books, and all in less than 12 minutes per book — and I can do it for free!
Here’s how this life hack works.
Each week, VIP Subscribers to the “Way of the Renaissance Man” Community will receive three of the best animated video summaries from Readitfor.me, free of charge. You’ll get one on Monday, one on Wednesday and one Friday. Then if you are interested in digging deeper into the service (and I know you will be) then you can sign up for their premium, full-access service.
And, the best part of this life hack is that if you do decide to level up, you can do so at a special “Way of the Renaissance Man” discount price.
So, claim your place in our community and begin to receive three free book summaries each week — it’s an easy life hack that I know you will find valuable.
“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.”
Given that this is FreedomFest week, I had to finish today’s issue with one of my favorite freedom quotes. Here, the 31st U.S. president reminds us about the spiritual aspects of freedom, and what freedom means to our dignity. Absent freedom, the spirit and dignity are extinguished. May we never let freedom’s sunlight expire.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.
In the name of the best within us,