Feb. 2, 2021

16 : My Dad's Thoughts on Money & the FIRE Movement with Val Coelho (Part 2)

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“One of the best things that you can do for your financial independence is to look at what's out there that is sustainable, that you can make a good living at, and that you can make a difference in.” - Val Coelho

Welcome to the Mindful FIRE Podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I’m your host Adam Coelho and I’m so glad you’re here. 

On today’s episode I’m again joined by my dad, Val Coelho for part 2 of our conversation. As a reminder, in part 1 of our conversation we dove into his story of coming to the United States from Portugal at age 24, meeting my mother while working on the cruise ships and how they eventually started a business that provided a financially secure life for our family. If you haven’t listened to that yet, I recommend checking it out, since it provides context for what we discuss in this episode.

In this episode, Val and I explore the lessons about money he learned growing up in a family in Portugal during a very tumultuous time for the country. We also explore the money lessons he tried to teach my brother and I. We even discussed one of my first big purchases, a $600 sound system with two 12-inch subwoofers for my tiny GMC Sonoma truck. 

We also get his thoughts on the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement. I was eager to hear his thoughts on this, since he and my mother are still working as small business owners and are hoping to retire soon, around regular retirement age. In the discussion, he brought up a great point about privilege and the fact that most people don’t have the luxury of thinking about retirement at all, since they’re focused on surviving under very difficult circumstances. 

Val also shares:

  • His top advice for those early on the path to financial independence
  • His advice for those getting started with mindfulness
  • One thing he’s grateful for
  • His philosophy that “What other people think of me is none of my business”

I really enjoyed the second part of my conversation with my dad, Val Coelho and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Each Tuesday I release a guided meditation or inspiring interview on the topic of mindfulness and the financial independence retire early (FIRE) movement. Subscribe for future meditations and episodes!

Full Show Notes: https://bit.ly/2YBhjfK

More Episodes: https://bit.ly/3tfFIW1

Guided Meditations: https://bit.ly/3oCtR0D


Adam Coelho:[00:00:10] Welcome to The Mindful FIRE Podcast,  where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here.

Today, I'm joined by my dad, Val Coelho.

On today's episode  get my dad's thoughts on the ideas around financial independence and all of the lessons that he learned along the way while he and my mother built a business that was able to create a life of financial stability. His advice to people early on the path to financial independence.

 I'm excited to bring you this episode today because it's not only my dad's 63rd birthday it's also the 10th anniversary of me starting work at Google. So it's an interesting day to stop, look back and reflect on the life events that brought us to this point. 

I really enjoyed this episode with my dad and I hope you do as well.

Let's jump into today's episode.



Welcome to the podcast, dad. So glad to have you here. 

Val Coelho:[00:01:14] I Adam, how are you? Very happy to be here and, to be able to have this conversation with you.

Adam Coelho:[00:01:20] I'm interested o hear are any money lessons that you learned from your parents growing up. Your dad was entrepreneurial as well and was trying to make a business work.  Obviously there was a lot going on in the country. I'm wondering, as you're growing up, any money lessons really stick out in your mind.

Val Coelho:[00:01:36] Definitely. Money was always tight because we were working for other people. And working for other people in a sense that we had equipment, we were renting the equipment that doing services for them and since we were in agriculture at the beginning, we were doing agricultural services for these people.

Most of the time, you had to wait till they at their crops picked up to get the money. It was not the, you go and you plow my field. Now you blend my wheat and then you get paid there. Now sometimes you have to wait four or five months for they got the wheat and were able to pay you. So money was a little tight and there was always something that, could break on the machinery.

When you have machinery, there's always a problem. Something breaks. You have to have it repaired. So we were working for ourself. We were working for the repair shop. We were working for the place that sold us, the diesel, and most times, most of the time there wasn't that much left for all of us.

Later on when we moved from the agricultural machines tothe backhoes and construction money was better and things were going really good. That's how we ended up buying a second machine. And then just  that, we had the revolution. Of course the revolution did not happen in one day. 

It happened because there was problem with the colonies in Africa. And the military wasn't happy with the way that they were being treated, the risks that they were taking out and the promotions. So was actually a group of captains that started the revolution and that people were so thirsty for freedom that they joined in and the government of 48 years of dictatorship fell without a shot being fired. The problem is that this was on April 25th, 1974, and on March 16, that same year, that had been a first attempt at the coup that was stopped. And what that did. Was, it gave time to all the big money in the country to be moved off shore.

So a lot of the people that had money and that business and all of that, they moved it over to Switzerland, went to Brazil to wherever. And by the time that the revolution happened those that money at put it in a safe place and those work. Got left just with no business and no jobs. So that was a very difficult time for the businesses and for making ends meet. 

But throughout all the years the lessons that I learned about money from my parents was always to be frugal because you really don't know when you got to get paid and what can happen. So you grow up saying we being frugal, but the lessons that I try to instill into you guys was the proper use of money.

You can be frugal, but at the same time, you can spend your money. In wise and productive ways for your family. So  growing up, we always went on vacation one year in the United States, one ear going to Europe to see that family and not being well off. We were able to manage those expenses and make sure that we lived in a nice house.

And that you guys add enough stuff to feel comfortable.  That never changed. We were never the kind of people to go out and spend money foolishly on luxuries that were not needed. I grew up being crazy about cars and thank God, I never had enough money to buy a dangerous car for my ideas of driving until my ideas that changed to be a little more conservative.

 Today, when I look at cars  where I am now for seeing this morning, I had two Ferrari's racing down the main street here at 7:30 in the morning. For some people,  they live in a small apartment, but they have a Corvette or a Porsche sitting out front.

Cars to me are just a matter of transportation. So that's the kind of frugality that I speak about. I don't know if you guys perceive in me as cheap, but I tried always not to be cheap, but to be frugal. 

Adam Coelho:[00:06:53] Yeah. I wouldn't have described you as cheap. I would describe myself as cheap from time to time, but I'm trying to balance that line between frugal and cheap.

I think I'm getting better. We'll ask Kathy, my wife. 

Val Coelho:[00:07:05] I have had the conversations with you about that. That it's very important to, to understand That is important to plan for a rainy day, but it's also very important to be able to live a comfortable life. And the, we have learned anything these days is that we don't know what tomorrow brings, I'm so happy that your mother and I here in the last five or six years to these nice trips internationally and saw other countries and other continents that we had been saving ourselves too.

And now here we are with this pandemic that nobody can really travel anywhere and that just shows you that nothing is guaranteed. So if we hadn't done that, those three or four trips to Thailand and to Europe and Dubai and to  China. We don't know when we're going to be able to do that again.

Adam Coelho:[00:08:12] Yeah, that's a really good point. We don't know what's coming. We don't know what can change in an instant. Been multiple examples of that, right? The revolution in Portugal, you described the pandemic that we're currently going through. People drop dead all the time. Seemingly healthy people dropped out all the time.

So if we're just delaying our life for the future, saving our money, all of it, to a cheap degree or too far on the frugal scale, then we might not get to live the life that we want to live if we wait too long. 

Val Coelho:[00:08:44] Correct. And  the same thing with Investing and preparing for retirement and preparing for this preparing for that.

We have had these conversations before about our, how our system is prong to exploit every season of our life for profit is from the minute you are born, to kindergarten. Then all the sports that you play through. Then start saving for college and then by hours and have a mortgage, buy a car and a car payment.

And then. Please save for retirement that they want to account for every single dollar you have in your pocket, which is not to say you shouldn't save and you shouldn't be smart with your money. But on the other hand, you've got to be able to allocate your resources in a way that you don't feel guilty about every single dollar that you're trying to put away for something else.

One of the things that you have done that is very intelligent is put your money on the market and let it grow.  It's not timing the market. It is time in the market. I been in and out of the market and you get out and then to get back in, that's the big problem, because The markets, especially in the United States geared and goosed up by the fed and the government to keep on going up.

 Every time that there is any thing that can bring the market down, they're gonna do everything they can to make it go up. So being in the market is very important and it's good to have some rainy day fund on the side, but being in the market, is very important. Of course there is other ways of making money and saving money.

 Our investments in the facilities and real estate  has given us a different way of Saving our money, but definitely that's one of the things that I admire you for having done and for having been there for quite a while. 

Adam Coelho:[00:11:05] I appreciate that. And I learned it from you. I remember, I don't know,  thinking back now to one time when you were on AOL in the house in Coral Springs and I got a glimpse of one of your investment accounts and it was  $29,000. And I was , Oh my God, $29,000. That's so much money. Because I was  getting  $50 for my birthday and thinking I'm  a billionaire.  I remember that and you telling me about investing and setting me up with I think I had a Roth IRA when I was  a teenager.

And I didn't even know what it was and  eventually, I just had it sitting there for awhile. Cause I didn't know what it was , but you got me started with these things early. 

Val Coelho:[00:11:44] I have said these many times, not, I don't know if you remember, but I've said it to friends as well.

The best investment that I ever made, and I did it intentionally, that was one of the things that I really did intentionally, was the computer that I bought for you guys. It was  1995 or 1996. I got you a Pentium 75 and the printer and it cost $2,670 at office Depot.  Okay. But I understood back then that the rate that the technology was growing, that I needed to get a computer in the house. Not for me for you guys. Of course, I learned as you did on it, then going forward with it, but I understood the importance of you guys, having the technology in front of you and learning with it. So that you will not be left behind of the new technology that proved to be the best investment that I ever made.

Adam Coelho:[00:12:54] It's really interesting. I never thought about that as an investment.  $2,000 I can imagine if you remember the exact amount of money, it must have been a lot of money at the time. 

Val Coelho:[00:13:02] It was close to a months of salary. 

Adam Coelho:[00:13:06] Yeah. I can't even think of how different my life would be. Had I not had that in the house to learn when I did in those formative years.

And it was  the beginning of the consumer internet and with AOL and everything. I could chat with my friends and things  that. And just. Yeah. I mean our whole life is  that now. 

Val Coelho:[00:13:26] Absolutely. 

Adam Coelho:[00:13:28] Yeah. That's really interesting.

Money Lessons Passed on to his children

Talking about money lessons, what were the big money lessons that with regards to investing that you wanted to pass along to Matthew and I, when we were, in our teenage years.

Val Coelho:[00:13:41] I wanted to make you guys understand that money is a tool that you can use several different ways.

Money perse is nothing.  You cannot eat it. You cannot do anything with it. Money is only good to spend, but you have to spend it wisely and use it wisely. I don't know if you remember the two little banks that I made for you and your brother with that, the three jars and in the little crate that I made for you.

Adam Coelho:[00:14:16] I do. I do remember that.

Val Coelho:[00:14:18] And one was for spending and one was for saving. And the other one I said was for charity or something. So you had those little banks, but at the same time,   , we  also open you guys a bank account at bank of America when you were kids. And then we open you an IRA and we put your money from your bar mitzvah in that your birthdays and stuff  that.

 So those were lessons for you to see the value of getting money and having some money. One of the things that I used to say, and I still say to you and your brother is a man does not speak if he doesn't have money in his pocket. And I mean cash. It's not credit cards. So from very young, I told you guys always have some cash on yourself, So if anything comes up, you're not stranded or you don't look like  you're broke, there is nothing worse than being broke. But the best way not to be broke is not to spend all your money in foolish things. And I made sure that you guys pretty much kept a good track of your money.

  The first thing that I really remember letting you spend money on was that sound system you bought for your truck. 

Adam Coelho:[00:15:39] That was not money well spent, 

Val Coelho:[00:15:41] But for you, it was the freedom to spend some money one time without having your father telling you.  No, sorry. I let you do it. You spent it. And then that was it. It was spent. 

Adam Coelho:[00:15:54] That was a good lesson. I do think back on that.  For the audience, I had a very small truck. My first car was a GMC Sonoma and  it had the little seat in the back that flipped down and I thought it would be a good idea to put two 12 inch subwoofers in the back of that right behind the seats.

 I think I was playing a lot of need for speed during that time. And pimp my ride was a big thing then.  So I thought this is going to be the best idea and it was awesome while we were doing it. But yeah , I think it was  five or $600 which was a lot of money for me. Probably not the best money spent, but it was extremely loud and I felt  bad-ass when I was riding around with that thing blaring.


Val Coelho:[00:16:37] was not counting your father's labor to make the box, to put the speakers in. You can also explain why you got  that Sonoma pickup truck, instead of any other sort of car that. The reason I did that was because I didn't want you to have a car that you could put three or four kids in and go around and get all the pack mentality and go speed or do something stupid and get in an accident and art yourself.

Of course, your brother also got that same GMC that he said that he could run faster than.  

That's true.    .  ,

Adam Coelho:[00:17:20] you can't go too fast in that truck because it doesn't go too far. 

Val Coelho:[00:17:25] Right. But it was a good lesson for him.  He proved us all right once that he got his new car for graduation and then got the speeding ticket going 94 miles an hour with four or five friends in the car when they were going to visit you at UF.

That's true. 

Adam Coelho:[00:17:43] That's true. 

Val Coelho:[00:17:45] So I have told your mother several times, our greatest accomplishment was to raise you guys the way you are and raise you safely. So we've very proud of ourselves for doing that. 

Adam Coelho:[00:18:00] We're very grateful for all the hard work that you put into raising us and the all of the hard work and sacrifice that you put into building the business that enabled us to take vacations and to have the life that we had. I don't take it for granted. So thank you for that. 

Val Coelho:[00:18:14] We did it for you, but we did it for ourselves too. We had to do something for a living. We all should be useful while we are here. Actually, that business satisfied quite a few needs that we had, including my need for being in some sort of hospitality and caring for people. So besides being a business that has given us a comfortable life, it has been a service to the community and provide the elderly with a safe  place and a caring place for them to age and be cared for properly. 

Adam Coelho:[00:18:51] That's a really good point. I never really thought about that. It very much is hospitality, even more than having a hotel or something  you're taking care of these people's health and life on an ongoing basis. 

Val Coelho:[00:19:03] Correct. It has changed my perspective on life from the very beginning.

I remember. When we first started one of the residents that we've got lived in a two-bedroom apartment. And I went there to get him to come to our facility and he left with the suitcase with a couple of things in it and all the rest stayed behind.  We work our life,  crazily sometimes, trying to chase this chase that chase  fortunes chase luxuries, and when our time comes, really, the only thing important for that man was to be taken care properly and to make sure that the had a clean diaper. 

That's a 

Adam Coelho:[00:19:48] really good point. I think you've always said that we were born with nothing and we leave with nothing. 

Val Coelho:[00:19:54] That's correct.    It's what we do in between that matters. Some work all their lives, never make any money and have been great to humanity. Some get  lucky or inherited money and all they leave behind is depravity and poor people and horrendous legacy.

  There is unfortunately many people that use their fortune to keep a status quo that is detrimental to humanity. I think most people in this country can relate to what I'm talking about.Val's thoughts on the FIRE Movement

Adam Coelho:[00:20:37] So this podcast is all about the intersection between mindfulness and financial independence retire early, or the FIRE movement. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this idea of reaching financial independence and being able to retire early. 

Val Coelho:[00:20:55] I believe financial independence or the sense of being financial secure is very important.

One of the worst feelings for a person is to feel unsecure. So be the, having a decent job. Having a source of income and food security, shelter security is very important. When we talking about financial independence and retiring early, we are obviously aiming at a specific section of the population.

Unfortunately, that is a great number of people in our society that are never afforded that same privilege. It is. It is very important that we understand that and that going forward, we try to bring some sense of equality into our society because if one of us is not secure, none of us is secure.

 This is a little side trip from your question per se, but it's important because there is so many signs that the system, as it is, is not sustainable. It's important to understand that in the last forty years we went from having a society that, that one bread winner and pretty much a stay at home mother that could take care of two or three children, to a society in which both parents are working sometimes more than one job and still having trouble making ends meet.

One of the problems is that we have been induced to think that we have to have bigger, more and better of everything. And after we have that last model of everything. That goes back to the lessons about money and spending your money, but on the other end, it's the inequality in the way that the production is being shared in this country worldwide in general because of the Kinesian economics and the way that the wealth has been pushed from the production to the services and management. It used to be that the people producing the goods got the much higher share of the value that they do now.  Today is those that the top of the producing chain, that reap all the benefit. Just to give you an idea when you were in California and went to visit farm product was more expensive in California then it was in Florida after it traveled across the country. So that just goes to show you that is something very wrong with the supply chain. 

Getting back to your question. Education is paramount to the wellbeing of any society. Today, the level of education or the level of knowledge that the people come out of the schools with is so poor that most jobs have to do intensive training on any employee that they get out of high school and sometimes even college, to be able to do some of the lowest paying jobs. And that just shows you how bad that is. 

We need to have better education and we need to have a much bigger variety of ways of making a living than we have right now. Just to give you an example, I grew up and we had reasonable standard of living because my father had this small business. You grew up at a reasonable standard or living because your mother and father had a small business. 

Those are few and far between the small businesses that have survived the onslaught of the big business big box stores and all of that. A lot of the family businesses, small corner stores, small plumbing, carpentry and cabinet makers, you name it, have been eradicated by the onslaught of the big business. 

Farming became industrial complex that the small farmer can hardly compete against. That takes away one of the great ways of making a living. So you went from having a small store, a small hardware store to having to go work for Home Depot. And instead of being the business owner, now you are the employee.

So those parameters of working and making a living, you're going to figure out how you gonna get enough money to take care of your family and to save some for retirement. Especially now that there is no longer pensions and the pensions are in great danger of going under.

 If you are in one of those jobs, how is it that you were ever going to retire early? You can't. But on the other end, if you are one of the lucky ones that they have a job in which you can save , and you can retire at 45. As a 45 year old what are you going to do with the rest of your life? 

Adam Coelho:[00:27:19] A lot of good points there. I think it is definitely important to point out the privilege that it is to even have the space to think about early retirement or financial stability. So thanks for bringing that up. 

For me, when I think about early retirement, it's not about sitting on the beach all day. It's not about playing golf every day. It's a lot more about working on things that matter to me. Working on things that are aligned with my purpose, with my values. For me, really it's going on that entrepreneurial journey and looking at how do I build a business around things that I enjoy mindfulness, personal finance.

This podcast is an exploration of that. But working on things from an entrepreneurial standpoint, without having to worry that I won't be able to feed my family. Without having to take that all in risk. So that's really, it's not that I don't want to do anything it's that I want to be able to continue to work, but in a way, and at a pace that I choose rather than having to just, keep up with a job.

Val Coelho:[00:28:20] Something to think into the future, maybe you can start a new acronym in which instead of being financial independence, retire early, maybe financial independence and freedom to choose what to do. So you are financially independent, and now you have the freedom to choose what to do with your time and the causes that you want to dedicate yourself to.

I think that,  especially these days in which people are, right now due to this pandemic are moving to smaller cities out of the big cities, will probably rekindle some sort of community. By living in big cities we get some sort of   isolation from each other because you're just doing your own thing.

There is so many people, we don't all know each other.  If you get back more to a community type of living, you could do a lot more volunteering and teaching and using your experience to guide other people.

Adam Coelho:[00:29:32] Absolutely. Yeah. That's one of the things that as much as I liked San Francisco, that was totally lacking.

There's all the opportunity in the world for rich community. And there is a lot of rich community, but you really have to go out there and get it.  The pace is so fast and there are so many people that it's just, I felt  it was really hard to do. I thought I'd moved there and be just  engrossed in the startup scene.

 I did build community within Google. But even that is still just a job right. In my apartment building, I knew one person in the whole building.  So that was very much lacking.  Now moving into this new neighborhood, I really am looking to build that community.  Cause it's really important, right? We're social animals. So community and relationships and connection is really critical. 

Val Coelho:[00:30:17] It's very important to have a connection with your community and your history.  I took you guys back to Portugal. You always knew about my family and where I grew up and the way I grew up. Because that's what grounds me and that gives you an explanation of why I think and do things the way I do.  San Francisco is a perfect example of the rat race. In one way, it's a picture of the philosophy of that writer and a political icon Ayn Rand that as the Atlas shrugged and Fountainhead. And not that I agree with their principles, I don't, but San Francisco is a small Microcosm of that because it's really everybody going around in the rat race for themselves.

 Those who can keep up fall through the cracks and fall to the very bottom. You're either running at your top speed or you fall behind and life shouldn't really be  that. That's not a life. 

Adam Coelho:[00:31:41] Yeah, that's a great point.  It became a situation where the people who were serving your food, the people who were taking care of your kids and teaching them at school, they couldn't even afford to live within an hour of where they worked.

It became completely unsustainable. And so that community aspect is just one, one aspect of things that it needs addressing there.

Mindful FIRE Final Four

Let's shift gears now into what I call the mindful fire final four. 

Question 1: What is one thing you're extremely grateful for?

 The first question is what is one thing that you're extremely grateful for?

Val Coelho:[00:32:12] First and foremost, I'm very grateful for my health. I've been very lucky for all the crazy things that I have done and everything I've gone in my life. My health has been pretty good and I have never broken a bone in my body. Thank God. That's first and foremost, what I'm most grateful for. 

Of course, I'm very grateful for my family, my whole family. And in particularly my close family, you and your brother, your mother, and now my grandson and the spouses of my sons.

I think that it's so important that both of you guys have spouses and are in stable relationships in your lives.  I'm very proud and very grateful for that. That brings me peace of mind and joy. It's a great gift to be able to look into the future, knowing that you guys had pretty much set and I don't have to worry about your future.

Adam Coelho:[00:33:21] Thank you. I'm very grateful for you and mom as well. And for our entire family.

Question 2: What advice would you give someone early on their path to financial independence?

The second question is what advice would you give to someone early on their path to financial independence? 

Val Coelho:[00:33:32] Well. I would think that one of the best things that you can do for your financial independence is to look at what's out there that is sustainable, that you can make good living at that you can make a difference in.

Choose something that you think that you can do and educate yourself about it. Study about it. If you need to go to school, learn about it. We all make excuses, but we all have 24 hours a day.  If you starting a career, don't just jump into something to have a job.

Have a job, but If what you're doing right now, doesn't satisfy you. look around, see what it is that you could do that could make you happy and could be financially rewarding for yourself and do it. 

Adam Coelho:[00:34:29] Yeah, that's great advice.

Question 3: What advice would you give to someone getting started with mindfulness?

While I know that you don't have a regular meditation practice per se, what advice would you give to someone getting started with mindfulness or training their mind and thinking about their mindset.

Val Coelho:[00:34:47] Again,  I told you before, I am for many years known about   meditation and breathing techniques and all of that. I should have probably looked into it further. That's one of the things that we probably could notice that sometimes we don't look deep enough into opportunities that present themselves to us. From all that I've been  reading and learning lately, it looks like meditation has been a great catalyst of success for a great number of people. Be it just meditation  itself or be the power to concentrate on specific techniques or whatever you want to call it.  It looks like many people have done it that use it very successful for their careers and for their wellbeing.

So probably something that people should take a good look at and  give it the good old try before just giving up on it. There is evidence that is big advantages of being a practitioner.

Question 4: "What other people think of me is none of my business." - What does that mean?

Adam Coelho:[00:36:11] The last question is, throughout my life you've used this phrase "what other people think of me is none of my business."  I heard that many times, but it wasn't until I was  25 when that really sunk in. Can you talk a little bit about that philosophy and kind of the dangers of worrying too much about what other people think of you?

Val Coelho:[00:36:32] Envy is one of the worst deadly sins.  People can have envy of you and say things about you or what you trying to do that nothing to do with the reality. And if you believe it, they going to affect your judgment, what you do or what you don't do because somebody else puts things in your mind without knowing at all, what was it that you were trying to do. If you say I'm going to start this business, many people that will comment on it have no idea about the business that you're going to start, but they'll have an opinion about it and they can ruin your plan by putting doubts in your thinking. On the other end, if you are envious of somebody, you spending your time envying the person for what they have and for what they achieve instead of trying to see why is it that they have what they have and what they achieved and try to put the same effort into yourself to try to achieve something.

That goes to comparison. Comparison is good if you want to see where you are on the scale, but if you constantly compare to yourself to others on what you have, what they have, then there's always going to be somebody that's more than you.

Theres going to be somebody that is stronger than you, that is prettier than you. So it's just demoralizing. If you go that avenue. The best thing financial independence gives you is security and self-esteem.

When you have financial independence, now you feel  you are secure and your self-esteem goes up. 

What do you think about me is none of my business is really about you keeping your esteem and knowing yourself worth, and do what you're gonna do and prove the other people that might have that's about you wrong.

But first do it and then tell them, don't tell them and then try to do it. You do what you need to do and then the doubters will see that you could do it. 

Adam Coelho:[00:39:00] Yeah, it's one that really stands out to me because for a long time, without even realizing it, I was, and to some degree still am just trying to gain approval from people to show them that I'm doing things right, or that I'm smart.  It could be for a number of reasons, school, it's  the whole thing is set up for that. And as a striver in school, I was always trying to, look, smart and get good grades and things like that. But regardless,  it just is such a waste of energy to worry about what other people are thinking of you or what some, how someone might react if you try something different. Because the reality is also, they probably are not even thinking of you at all. And so all of that mental energy is really just a waste of energy that I could be putting into doing the thing that I think would be interesting to try. 

Val Coelho:[00:39:53] All of those things are also part of the way that we are raised you. Being Portuguese and having Portuguese blood. There is always that little hint of perfectionism. You have to try to be perfect.  One of my biggest defects is always trying to get things done the way I think it's right.

 I probably passed it down to you.  I hope that you can drop it. Some of the baggage that we carry it.    What slows us down. 

Story of the monksIt's the story of the monks. That I probably told you. We wouldn't finish this without me having some sort of a story.

 The two monks got to the creek that was overflowing.

 There was a girl in there to cross with them. And one of the monks. Said do you want to go to the other side, I'll pick you up and carry you. And she said, okay, that would be great. So the monk picked her up on his back, carry there to the other side of the Creek. The other monk came to and they put the girl down, the girl went about her life and the two monks walk down and they were just not talking.

And finally, the monk said, I can't believe you do that. And the one that carried the girl said, I did what? 

That you picked up the girl and you carry that to the other side of the Creek. That's not what monks do. And he said I put the girl down right on the other side of the Creek, but you are still carrying her on your back.

Adam Coelho:[00:41:29] Yeah, that's a great point. We carry a lot of baggage. From big things or small things, but it's really helpful to just ask the question, is this useful? That's something that I try to practice is if I'm ruminating about something that happened, that didn't go well or whatever, just the first few times it might be useful, but  the 37th time I'm going over this in my head, it's not useful.

So I can just set it down and keep walking forward. 

Val Coelho:[00:41:57] Absolutely.  I wish I could tell you how to drop those things, but I do carry a few of them myself. And, once in a while you want it doing something and get some stuff that happened 30, 40 years ago, creeps into your mind and you're still recriminating yourself about it. Just if you can, when they come to your mind, just say I learned the lesson and goodbye. 

Adam Coelho:[00:42:21] Yep, absolutely. 

Dad, this has been wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thanks a lot. 

Val Coelho:[00:42:28] It's been my pleasure. I hope you can use some of this stuff. If not for your podcast, at least for our relationship. Know that I love you and that I admire you for everything you have done and that you are doing.

And I love you and your family. 

Adam Coelho:[00:42:44] Thank you so much, dad, for being with me here today on The Mindful FIRE Podcast. 

Val Coelho:[00:42:48] Thank you. It was a pleasure.


Adam Coelho:[00:42:50] Thank you so much for joining me today on the mindful fire podcast. 

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