When I was in high school, my friend Sparky and I invented a new word: “flotch”. To us, flotch was just miscellaneous baggage, whether or physical or mental. In GRS parlance, it was Stuff. Ever since I started blogging in 1997, I’ve used the term “miscellaneous flotch” to refer to the odd links I collect in my daily reading, the stuff that doesn’t fit in anywhere else.

At Get Rich Slowly, “miscellaneous flotch” takes the form of this Spare Change column, which is an approximately-weekly gathering of personal finance articles from around the web. Today, though, the flotch is flotchier than usual.

None of the links I’m about to share are directly related to personal finance. (Well, maybe one is.) Instead, these are interesting links I’ve gathered over the past few months that haven’t found their way into any form of writing. Enjoy!

First up, David de Souza sent me an infographic made up of the most common words used at Get Rich Slowly. He made this with something called Tagxedo. Anyhow, I think it’s fun:

Get Rich Slowly word Cloud

Next up, my friend Craig sent me an article from Inside Higher Ed that describes models for post-university life. “Can one be devoted to the life of the mind outside of the university?” asks Andrew Taggart. In our modern world, the university has been the place for thinkers to do their thinking. Now, though, Taggart suggests there are new ways to make a living in the realm of the mind.

Back in November, I found an article from Andy, who wrote about moving on in the face of failure. He auditioned to join a band, but the gig was way out of his league. “Even though I bombed and left the tryout with egg on my face, I wasn’t embarrassed even a little bit,” Andy writes. “I had experienced the worst-case scenario and it wasn’t all that bad.”

He continues:

We spend years getting settled into a comfort zone and the thought of doing something outside of that scares the hell out of us. We’re creatures of habit and only venture outside our comfort zones if we really have to. But that’s how we grow and figuring out how to routinely expand your comfort zone just might be the secret to success.

This isn’t a “think positive” post. Optimism can breed inaction in a lot of cases if that optimism causes you to do nothing because you think everything will somehow magically work out. You still have to get your hands dirty.

I agree. Expanding my comfort zone has been the secret to whatever I have achieved in the past five years, anyhow.

On a semi-related note, I liked John Perry Barlow’s collection of adult principles, as collated by Miguel de Icaza. These include things like “expand your sense of the possible” (which goes hand-in-hand with Andy’s article above), “try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong”, and “praise at least as often as you disparage”.

Finally, I found a couple of older posts that I liked from Jen over at Beauty and Bedlam. They’re even related to personal finance! First, she writes about choosing to pursue goals, regardless what other people think. Jen has been driving a “hunk o’ junk”, a minivan that’s practically falling apart. But she’s willing to do this because doing so helps her build wealth. A few days later, she followed up with a look at the difference between frugal and cheap. (Beauty and Bedlam is a great blog, by the way.)

That’s it for now. I’ll do a regular links round-up later in the week…

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