Confronting Karoshi Through Diversification – Contrarian Living

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In Japan, there is a term called Karoshi which means death attributed to work or death by overwork. Karoshi was extremely prevalent in the 60’s and 70’s in Japan. The only benefit to employees working long hours was that they were offered lifetime employment then. A benefit which is no longer available anymore. Even now, nearly a quarter of Japanese companies have employees working more than 80 hours overtime and almost 12% companies have employees working more than 100 hours each month. Most employees do not have a choice. Either you work or you quit. The whole meaning behind earning money is lost in Japan.

(Also read Why Do We Earn Money)


Our society is more stressed than all of our ancestors. We are living complex and stressful lives which is causing most untimely deaths. Long-working hours is just one of the causes of high stress. Lack of time with family, lack of time to stay fit, lack of time to pursue hobbies are a few other examples.

We need to become self-aware and observe ourselves as we go about our daily business. We need to learn to find a solution for this stressful life. We need to learn to prevent Karoshi.

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Stress management is a skill. A skill which can be developed through careful observation. A skill to ensure that we do not waste our one chance at living. A skill which can ensure we avoid untimely deaths.

How do we develop the skill? We learn to diversify.

How do you thrive in the 21st century? Make plans with most options. And the best plan would be on that would let you change your plans.


Diversify Your Sources Of Income

If you are only dependent on your boss, you will never have a choice but to work overtime. If you diversify your income, you could reduce your dependency on your employer. Figure out ways to increase your income from other sources. We know it’s hard but it is not impossible.

Learn a skill. Save and invest large chunks of your income. Buy investment properties. Start side hustles. The digital age has given everyone an opportunity like never before. Diversify your bosses.

Diversify Your Friends

You will never stress about losing a friend if you have 100 friends. If you are not like me who loves solitude, make more friends. Make deep and meaningful relationships.

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Diversify Your Time

Your stress is the result of what you do with your time. Make some time to workout. Make some time to think. Make some time to read. Make some time to reflect. Make some time to laugh with your family. Make some time to do everything every living day.

Diversify Your Portfolio

It’s a no brainer. Do not invest more than 2% in a single investment. Limit your exposure to risky investments to the extent it does not disturb your sleep at night. Have enough cash to meet emergencies and expenses for at-least 2 years.  

Diversify Your Sources Of Knowledge

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Read books from various disciplines. Learn to think better. Use mental models. You will start seeing options once you start on the journey to become more knowledgeable.

Diversification Through Reduction

Know what to ignore. Avoid all forms of media. Prefer books. Adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Reduce things you own. Own very little. Delay your gratification.


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Contrarian Living
You are being taught the wrong things about money. I learn and share ideas to change the way you think about money.
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