The Voluntary Life

7 February 2018

323 A Review Of Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner



Sebastian Haffner’s memoirs of his time in Berlin between 1914 and 1933 give a fascinating account of everyday life during the rise of a totalitarian regime. This episode explores the most interesting aspects of his book. I talk about what this extreme situation shows us about the effect that politics has on civil society.



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24 January 2018

321 Barcelona: Our Adventure Continues



A discussion with Hannah Braime about our travel experiences and life as expats in Barcelona. We talk about travel with kids, Barcelona as a destination for expats, current events in Catalonia, and more!



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15 January 2018

320 Investing in Gold



Why invest in gold? What is the best way to do so? Is gold obsolete as an investment now that cryptocurrencies exist? This episode answers many listener questions about investing in gold from my perspective as a private investor following the Permanent Portfolio strategy.  Thanks so much to all the patrons who provided great questions for this topic. I am not a financial advisor. As always with investing, you will need to do your own research.



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10 January 2018

319 Inheritance


Should you leave your adult children an inheritance? Should you base your own financial plans around the expectation of receiving an inheritance one day? These questions are relevant to parenting, financial independence, and many other key topics covered on TVL.

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30 December 2017

318 Mind Mapping


An episode about how to use mind maps as a productivity tool to plan any project and support your creative thinking.

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15 December 2017

317 Investing In Bonds


If you are investing towards financial freedom, you face a decision: which asset classes should you put your money in? This episode is about one of the main asset classes: fixed-income securities, or bonds. Bonds can behave in strange ways as an investment, especially in times when interest rates are very low (as they are at present). I'm not a financial advisor and this episode is just my opinions, so you will need to do your own research, but this episode will give you food for thought.

Show Notes:

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3 December 2017

316 80/20 Parenting and the ACE Study


How could you apply the 80/20 Principle to parenting? In this episode, Jake answers this question using evidence from a fascinating empirical study into how childhood experiences can impact your health and wellbeing for the rest of your life.

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24 November 2017

315 Nonviolent Communication


Many people who are interested in personal freedom and self-improvement find value in an approach to negotiation called Nonviolent Communication (NVC). In this episode, I provide an assessment of NVC, outlining aspects that I find useful, problems with the approach, and some misconceptions of the framework.

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17 November 2017

314 The Best TV Show For Entrepreneurs


In this episode I explain what I've learned from my favourite TV show and why I recommend that you watch it if you are an entrepreneur or are interested in business. The Profit is an MSNBC show about entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis investing in small businesses.

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8 November 2017

313 Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Today



Stephanie Murphy and Brian Sovryn explain the state of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in November 2017. Stephanie is the host of Let's Talk Bitcoin and Brian hosts Sovryn Tech. In this interview, they share their insights into significant changes in the world of cryptocurrencies and what current developments mean for users and investors.

Show Notes:



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1 November 2017

312 The Unjobbing Way



James Davis is a great example of an "unjobber". His unconventional work life has included making money as a professional poker player, transforming a children's summer camp, and starting an online fantasy sports business. In this interview, James talks about how he successfully pursued the unjobbing lifestyle and how you can do so too.
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25 October 2017

311 What Is The Point Of Getting Married?



In this episode, Jake talks about growing up with a view of marriage as an outdated tradition with negative connotations, and how his view changed as he came to understand the positive reasons to get married. Whatever your current view of marriage, this discussion will give you food for thought.


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18 October 2017

310 How I Became An Estonian E-Resident



The Estonian E-Residency program is worth considering for anyone running a business online as a digital nomad. In this episode I explain the background to e-residency, how the application process works, and what the benefits are.

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10 October 2017

309 Aligning Your Career With Your Values




Ken Justice had a prestigious and well-paid job, until he realised that his work was not aligned with his values. In this thought-provoking interview, he describes the enormous changes that he made to his career and his life.
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4 October 2017

308 Building A Tiny House


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The tiny house movement is relevant for anyone interested in minimalism, frugal living, and a travel-oriented lifestyle. In this interview, Link Wilcox talks about her project to build a tiny house.
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26 September 2017

307 Five Ways To Live The Voluntary Life


Jake's speech at the Freecoast Festival 2017, presenting five ways to live the voluntary life:
  1. Rational Thinking
  2. Personal Freedom
  3. Peaceful Parenting
  4. Financial Independence
  5. Internationalisation
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19 September 2017

306 New Hampshire: Our Adventure Continues


Jake and Hannah talk about travelling from Catalonia to New Hampshire, USA. The discussion covers adapting to a travel lifestyle with a baby, the challenges of minimalism and intercontinental travel, differences between Catalonia and New England as expat locations, and many more topics!

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1 September 2017

305 What Is Forgiveness?


What does forgiveness mean? What is it for? Should you forgive others in order to be free? Or is the idea of forgiveness a trap? Check out the episode to find out more!


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25 August 2017

304 Passive Investing with Index Funds


This episode answers questions from TVL listeners on the topic of investing in stocks. It provides an introduction to low-cost, passive investing with index funds. When choosing investment funds, a key issue for passive investors is the expense ratio. This episode explains the huge difference between average expense ratios and those of low-cost funds.
I am not a financial advisor. This episode is about what I've learned as an individual investor but, as always, you will need to do your own research.
Show Notes:


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18 August 2017

303 The Weekly Review For Productivity


This week's episode is about suggestions for implementing a weekly review for productivity. It is a conversation from the patron-only livestream that I do with supporting listeners every month. You will find it helpful if you are interested in implementing or upgrading your own weekly review habit.
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10 August 2017

302 Against Therapy


This week's episode is a discussion with Hannah Braime about a very interesting book called Against Therapy by Jeffrey Masson. We recorded this for the Psychology Book Club Podcast. I'm including it on The Voluntary Life because it is highly relevant to everyone interested in self-knowledge and psychological freedom.
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2 August 2017

301 How Old Are Entrepreneurs?



This week's episode is about some very interesting data on the average age of entrepreneurs when they start their first business. You might find the results surprising...
The research cited is the Kauffman Foundation study in the US and the Sandler Training study in the UK.