Do you still believe in changing the world?

In an article about purpose and resetting life, I wrote that I was going to change the world.

I worked hard and got top grades because I was going to change the world. Change the world by day and love the world by night. Geoff, Nut Fed

A recent question inspired me to write this follow-up.

I want to know if you stopped believing that this was possible, or if you still believe it? Friend

  1. I have not stopped believing in changing the world.
  2. Getting top grades is meaningless.
  3. My work, “change by day and love by night”, are one and the same.

1. I have not stopped believing in changing the world.

A friend messaged me privately to agree with words I wrote in an article about community called why I dream of living in a commune.  They said they feel it so strongly but felt like they were giving up admitting it.

I do not believe even our most dedicated individual efforts for self-improvement and world change have a large enough impact within the structure and against the momentum of the world as we know it. Geoff, We Learn Love

I explained to the friend who asked if I still believed:

Changing “the” world has become very much more about finding the good people and building community. Geoff

  1. Step 1, change starts with you.
  2. Step 2 isn’t changing the world.  Step 2 is with your closest friends and family.  It’s about community.  It’s about depth, not breadth.
  3. Step 3, breadth will follow meaningful change.

My inspiration is not simply to live an arbitrary life as another drop in the dead sea.

A life worth living does not involve 40 hours a week working for money in a world plagued with loneliness, fear and inaction.  A commune is not nearly as extreme as the progress I’d like to see in the world.  Love and joyful experience are fundamentally more important than accumulation of material wealth.  Let us put ourselves to the most fulfilling possible quest of pioneering the work of being alive and relating to ourselves and each other.  Find highest value in relationships as our ultimate means to feeling joyful, alive, and loved. Geoff, We Learn Love

So yes.  So very yes.  I absolutely believe in changing the world.  One life at a time.  Starting with my own.  Becoming a more compassionate and powerful person every day.  Meeting and joining like-minded inspired individuals.  Communing in pursuit and practice of our deepest transpersonal visions.  Modeling living in love for generations to come.

2. Getting top grades is meaningless.

  • Education is important.
  • Action is supreme.

For most of us, our best option was to stay in school and get good grades.  It’s the best we knew.  We’ll see this shift in the next generation.  As we shift into the information generation, tuition to physical attend university becomes absurd in comparison to affordable personalized online educations.  There’s nothing wrong with the old system except that it’s wasteful.

Everyone who ever said “why do we need to learn this” was saying far more than they could have imagined.  The “real world” is so much less about what we learned in grade school than it is about emotional health and interpersonal relationships.  Multiplication and geography are not at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

We do not need to learn war history or anti-racism if we dive straight into humanness, compassion and universal community.  We cannot simply put down arms all at once, but trust me no matter how much we shout for it, it will be a slow process.  So shout for it, and find your like-minded awakened souls and start exploring your hearts.

Our parents and the generations before us have built this world for us, in war and peace.  Theirs is the collective consciousness from which we are born.  Their hard work and tough lessons are the reason we stand so comfortable and deep.  Take a minute to thank your parents.  We have more to be grateful than we could ever comprehend.

3. “Change by day and love by night” are the same.

The work I do for the world is the change I make for love, each and every day.  I am as human as anyone else and in some ways maybe a bit worse.  The work I do for love starts with myself, managing my sensitivity and expression while continuing to open my mind and heart to new ideas, love and purpose.

I ask that we live in pursuit, grateful for all that we have and always in the action of love and compassion.  Gratitude itself is love and relating to this article is an act of compassion.  Develop awareness of these not simply as concepts but as living experiences.

Recognize our capacity for choice and change, to exercise perspective and action as though life itself was ultimately a journey toward self-actualization.  Recognize your arrogance and the vastness of what you do not know and cannot possibly foresee.  Take relief and inspiration in knowing your importance as an element of change.

Forget the fool’s errand of perfecting appearance and hoarding anything as though it were static or ever yours to keep.  Yours is this moment and the fundamental point of value is in your experience here and now.  You need not the yacht or period at the end of this sentence to feel good now, to reach out and improve someone’s day, and take action towards your highest purpose.

Live deliberately and start now.

You are love.  Namaste.

 

Replace blame with personal responsibility.

Replace blame…

X is why my life isn’t Y.

Success begins in the mind.  If you don’t believe you can do something, you won’t try.  Blame assumes something else is in control.  When you blame – you lose the power to rewrite the story.  If you choose blame, you conclude your tragedy.

…with personal responsibility.

This is how I will make my life…

Shift from “This is why my life isn’t…” to “This is how I will make my life…”

When you choose personal responsibility, you empower yourself.

Decide that now is the perfect moment to change your life.

Do:

Start paying attention to the way you think and speak.  Can you rewrite your stories to empower yourself?  Catch yourself in blame and share the empowered version with us below.

Inspired by:

This article was inspired by an article about Mindset for a Successful, Fulfilling Life written by Alexander Heyne at Milk The Pigeon.

Live deliberately.

There’s one thing in particular that all successful people have.  There’s ONE overarching principle that allows them to have epic levels of fulfillment, happiness, finances, health, relationships and a lot more.

…live life deliberately.

What do you want?

Truly successful people have a vision of their future.  Figure out what you actually want.  Then think about it constantly.  Visualize success as if it’s already occurred (Think and Grow Rich 101).

How to get there?

What are the daily actions you need to take in order to get where you want to be? Learn the daily action steps that will get you there.  Think about your daily routine.  Then get to work.

Do the work.

Think about how much you want your specific vision of success and you’ll start feeling it, noticing opportunities and feel inspired to take action.

Summary

Live an examined life.  Take the time to figure out what you want and learn the daily action steps that will get you to where you want to be.

  1. What do you want?  Think about it constantly.
  2. What daily action steps will get you to where you want to be?  Do the work.

Live deliberately.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

 

I quit my job and broke up with my girlfriend.

What a week…

Loss Aversion and the Sunk Cost Fallacy

We hate to lose something we’re invested in.  It’s even harder to choose to walk away from a significant, complex aspect of our lives into which we’ve poured our hearts and souls.

We’ve stayed longer than we should in dead-end jobs and unhealthy relationships.  I’m not opposed to perseverance but when you know it’s time to move on you need to make the tough call and cut your losses.

Pain Avoidance

My girlfriend and I gave it our all.  We learned a lot.  We grew by leaps and bounds.  I don’t regret a minute of our time together.

But after a while I realized that I was choosing the small downsides of staying in the relationship because I was afraid to face the monster of leaving the woman I loved.

Rewind…

reach-for-the-stars-silhouette-man

I was going to change the world

A passion for learning helps but that’s not why I did so well in school.  I worked hard and got top grades because I was going to change the world.  Change the world by day and love the world by night.

Reality set in

But after college reality started to settle in.  I was crushed under the useless bore of corporate pseudo-work.  After a few measly well-paid years, I crawled home to live with my parents like the rest of my hopeless generation.

New destiny

I needed to rediscover myself and redefine my destiny.  This wasn’t your average goal-setting exercise.  This was a desperate guess-and-check of total life-perspective overhauls by a deeply wounded soul.

I started my own company and considered becoming the world’s best doctor super-dad.  I took pre-med courses at Harvard and dated a pretty pre-med student with an impressive resume.

stethoscope-book-doctor-med-school-study

At least I tried

In the end my business-partner screwed me and I realized that medicine was no different than engineering.  It was just another path of challenging classes rewarded by a life-long career of monotony and under-appreciation.

Clarity

After trying a few new dreams on for size it finally hit me.  The tiny voice of personal truth spoke up inside me.  It wasn’t loud but it was clear.

I want to live in Southern California.

santa-monica-roller-coaster-volleyball

I knew I wasn’t going to stay in my homeland ripe with massholes and horrid weather.  I missed the sunshine, beautiful fruits and wild nuts of my birthplace and destiny – Southern California.  But it took years for that quiet honest voice of clarity and certainty to whisper to a tired ear – it’s time to go.

Caulk your wagon and manifest destiny…

open-road-desert-mountains

I need a job

So there I was in Long Beach with a Camry and half a dream.  I was burning money and accruing massive debt.  I needed a job.

I’m the first to tell you why you should never get a job, but I’m also a realist.  We aren’t all starting our journey with no bills, debt-free and a trust fund from our late Uncle Moneybags.

Does anyone actually want to work?

It’s not that we don’t want to work.  We don’t want to be useless lazy dropouts.  We want to do what we want to do.  We want to do the work we want to do.

You have heard this before in many different ways.  What are you supposed to do?  Do the work you were put here to do and you align your life for success.

How to choose a career?

  1. Play – What do you enjoy?
  2. Skills – What are you good at?
  3. Bills – What pays the bills?

I enjoy

I enjoy working out, chess and web development.  That’s the short G-rated list.

I’m a great personal trainer and private sessions pay pretty well.  I beat most of the guys at the local chess club but that’s not saying much.  I’m a decent web developer and I love learning but I didn’t have any professional experience.

personal-training-barbell-hand-foot-droplets

Personal Training

I got certified as a personal trainer and started training clients at LA Fitness in Long Beach.  I loved the job and my clients loved me but it barely covered my protein shakes – even after the employee discount.  I needed more money.

Engineering in the Desert

I got an offer for am engineering job with a big corporation in the desert.  It couldn’t have been more similar to the job that crushed my soul just a few years earlier.

…I took the job.

This time would be different

I was careful to identify the key reasons this would be better than my last experience.  At the top of that list was knowing that I wasn’t going to stay, but I would give it a fair chance.  I could stay for a few years and get a free master’s degree.  It couldn’t hurt.

…It hurt.

I spent months waiting for a clearance that never came.  On the bright side, I’m the best thumb twiddler you ever did see.  Just like after my last corporate gig.

Passions don’t quit

During that time I never quit my passions.  I stayed in shape, played chess on my phone, studied and worked on web development projects like 130words.

After a few months of fair chance and crazy boredom at my job, I updated my web development resume and started responding to recruiters.

Fast forward…

I’m happy to announce

Today was my last day as an engineer at corporate.

Next week I begin my career as a professional web developer.

And I’m moving back to the beach.  ;)

santa-monica-pier-sunset

Unhappiness as motivation for change

The response to last week’s article was flattering.  We had several shares on Facebook and a small army discussing it on Reddit.  I’m getting positive feedback from old friends and complete strangers.  An old friend and mentor wrote:

Love the new blog!!!  Your writing will make a world of difference.  Spread your message to the world and the tribe will follow.

He also addressed the problem of the hour, which I face yet again this evening.  I’m tired and bored at my day job.  It’s easy to get discouraged and forget the good things a job provides.  A job may not be the best way of making money but it’s a good place to start.

Your job is an opportunity.  It’s an achievement that you’ve attained.  It alleviates the money concern.  Now you’re concerned about your health, your friends and family, your time and your life’s purpose.  Your concerns are elevated to a new level.

Don’t view your work as taking away from your mission.  It’s setting you up and will make you enjoy your journey that much more.  Be thankful for every day behind that desk.  It gets you closer to success every single day!

Another wise friend wrote a supporting message to our readers about confidence and noticing change in this process of personal development.

The changes inside of you will be noticed while you’re continuing onto your life’s work. It may come in the form of a subtle reaction that surprises you. Or a decision you make that you know you wouldn’t have made in the past.

I learned a lot last week.  I learned that great good and growth can come from opening up and being a bit vulnerable.  I was afraid to complain about my situation, recognizing how fortunate I am.  I also recognize that there’s a clear difference between whining and productive reflection on a problem I’m having.  And most of all, those ideas for solving a problem or approaching a difficult situation can inspire and be helpful to others.

So what’s eating you today?  Is there something you’d like to improve?  How are you going to approach the problem?  Could someone else learn from your approach?  How will you know until you share?

In the comments below, share your perspective or approach to solving a personal problem.  Ask yourself what you’d like to improve and use the first thing that comes to mind.  What’s the most important thing you can do in the next 24 hours?  Share with us below.

I’d like to improve how I feel about my job.

I catch myself behaving as though letting my job feel worse will help me get a new job thus solving my problem.  This is a terrible approach to improving my situation.  Letting my job feel worse will mean that I feel worse in the short term.  And crushing my spirits will not inspire me in the long run.  This behavior accomplishes nothing!

Relying on unhappiness as stimulus for positive change is unacceptable.

Make the most of where you are.  Keep a list of upsides and take advantage of them.  When you’re faced with a task you don’t want to do, be gentle.  Break it up, take baby steps and reward yourself.  Don’t stress if it’s not up to someone else’s standards – you’re not going to be stuck there much longer.  Do what you feel is right.  Don’t worry about others.  Do what makes you proud.

Your situation will improve instantly.  But don’t forget the greener pastures.  First be fair – is your job so terrible or is your perspective to blame?  If you’re job’s not so bad, coast and get to work on your dream.  If there’s something better for you out there, get to work.  Build the bridge and enjoy every step of your epic journey to a better situation.

Clarify that vision.  Set goals for improvement.  Focus your goals on self, not circumstance.  Have a plan.  Focus on high-return tasks – those are usually the ones you avoid doing.  Do one every day – put in the effort, take the risk, then you’re off the hook for the day.  Make progress every day.

No matter what you do, you are fortunate.  Take time to recognize the upsides of your situation and maximize them.  This will not prevent you from making positive change.  In fact it will boost your self-esteem and inspire you towards bigger goals than you dared dream.  Clarify the vision, set personal goals and make real progress everyday.

What situation would you like to improve?  What does improvement look like?  What are you going to do about it?  Share with us in the comments below!

How to Align Your Life for Success

I want to do the work I was put here to do.

I’ve been researching what my favorite bloggers do and recommend.  Jeff Goin’s best advice on blogging is to be yourself.  Steve Pavlina says to let your audience see the real you.  There’s no debate about getting personal.

I’m tired tonight.

I’m tired tonight but not sure why.  I didn’t get enough sleep Sunday night but I made up for it last night.  I worked all day but work has been boring as usual.  It’s a great time for research, coding, and thinking about what to write about tonight.  But I feel too tired to get excited about anything tonight.

I feel a bit depleted and I’m concerned that I may not have the resources to refill this part of my soul faster than it’s being drained by my job.  I’m an engineer that wants to be a web developer that wants to be financially free so I can write, travel and change the world.  There are so many things I wish I could do with my time, but I’m stuck at work for most of the week.

What do you want from life?

Life is about discovering yourself, embracing your true purpose and doing your life’s work.

Anyone that seems like they’re happily living an aimless life is a good actor or accomplishing absolutely nothing with their lives.  It’s not that I don’t want to work anymore.  I want to do the work I was put here to do.

I remind myself that my circumstances are intentionally chosen steps on a path towards my vision for an ideal future.  My future has never been more clear than now.  And I don’t mean I’m stuck.  I mean I finally know exactly what I want.  I finally know how I’m going to get there.

Self Discovery

We’ve all achieved and function at different levels of self-awareness.  All of us can benefit from time alone, but those just beginning their journey will benefit most from experience, isolation and self-reflection.  If you’ve lived a sheltered life it’s time to break away from your parents, get out and see the world and try new things.  Your assumptions will be challenged, your ignorance exposed, and in learning about the world you will actually be discovering yourself.

For those with a wealth of experience, it’s time to get in touch with yourself.  Find time to be alone and get sensitive.  Block out the world for a while.  Turn off the TV, tell your friends and family you’re going away for a while, then don’t go anywhere.  Be with yourself.  As the constant barrage of propaganda and imposed assumptions fade to distant echoes you will be left undeniably with yourself.

You will feel empowered with a confidence that comes from knowing yourself.

When you return to your normal routine you will feel anything but normal.  You will feel empowered with a confidence that comes from knowing yourself.  This is your first step on the path to discovering your life’s purpose.

Alignment

Now that you’ve developed a sense of true meaning for your life, your real work has just begun.  You will be confronted by challenges and demons but you will be motivated like never before.  You will face opposition and upset.  Now is more important than ever for a healthy lifestyle, personal development and support from your friends and family.

I’ll spare you a million cliches about sharpening your axe and preparing for battle and invent one about a lab.  You’re a scientist and you’ve discovered your life’s work.  It’s time to acquire the tools that you need for the job.  You’re going to need capital resources and suppliers, lab assistants and a plan.  So much to do, so little time.  Invest wisely.

Now that you’re more in touch with yourself you may be less susceptible to distraction and social pressure.  You may notice that you feel more connected to some of your friends and less tolerant of others.

Some people may energize and inspire you while others leave you drained.  It’s time to recognize that you have a calling and not everyone is going to support your dreams.

Positive Influence

Never is it more important to surround yourself with positive people than when you need the reinforcement.  Most of us already have jobs and responsibilities and habits that fill our days.  Embracing your calling and transitioning into alignment with your purpose will involve a lot of changes.  It will be stressful and tiring.  You have no time for vampires, nay-sayers and toxic personalities.

At this point in my journey, I’m spreading myself too thin – I admit it.  I have a full-time job, a part-time consulting gig, web development coursework and projects, a committed relationship and now this blog.  The friends I’ve left behind would say I’m crazy.  The close friends I have commend and support me.

It’s nights like these when I’m feeling overwhelmed that are best for self-reflection.  I make sure my priorities are in order.  I consider my habits and the people in my life.  I align myself with my purpose.  And the article writes itself.

 

Opportunity, Trends and Inspiration

Last week we explained why you shouldn’t have a job.  We pointed out your ability to provide value and said that people would pay you for it.

This week we’re going to discuss opportunity and trends and how they affect our plans for passive income and financial freedom.

Look to the Trends

I talked to Steve Pavlina last week.  I asked about his success and what he’d recommend to someone following in his footsteps.  He recommends we look to the trends.

Align yourself with where the trends are going, not with where they’ve been.

Aligning with where the trends are going is great advice.  The trick is anticipating where trends are going.

A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.

Wayne Gretzky

Opportunity

We should consider trends and align ourselves for future success.  Steve specifically recommends against starting a blog.  Then why am I starting a blog?

Instead of writing a blog… start with video, audio, or apps.

Ultimately, we are going to identify the best opportunity for our success.  Trends are an important factor but there are others to consider.  Last week we talked about the importance of identifying your particular strengths and how you can provide value.  We also need to consider the market and the resources available to us.

The Market

You may have skills.  You may be able to provide a quality service or produce a quality product.  But if there’s no market for your product or service then you aren’t really creating value.  Your ability to provide value depends on the market.

Over 409 million people view more than 19.7 billion pages each month. – WordPress https://wordpress.com/activity/

WordPress blogs alone get nearly 20 billion page views per month.  I feel secure about blogging as a valued medium today.  But what about the future?

A blog is versatile.  When it’s time to try podcasting or video blogging we can leverage what we’ve already built here.

Resources

Energy can be neither created nor be destroyed, but it can change form. – Law of Conservation of Energy

We can’t create something out of nothing.  It’s important to identify what resources we have at our disposal.  You can imagine the value we can produce is roughly equal to our skill and our resources.  We can’t provide value without a bit of both.

VALUE = SKILL * RESOURCES

Our resources include our ideas, our money, and the people we know.  It’s best to have all three but these days any one will do.  Take this opportunity to consider your personal resources.

Ideas

I consider myself a good thinker.  Too many ideas, not enough time!

I love to learn and personal development is one of my favorite topics.  It usually has something to do with health, wealth, philosophy and love.  These days I spend most of my time thinking about philosophy and love, but I started a health blog 6 years ago.  I don’t write there anymore – these days I mostly write code – but Bob Riding still posts self-help perspective articles every day.

Money

Since I’m not rich *yet* I prefer a low-cost option.  Blogging fits the bill.  Production is free.  Marketing is free.  Of course, I’m paying with my time.  But as we discussed last week, I’m building a system that delivers value to my readers even after I’ve put in the initial investment of time.  If I write good posts, you’ll read them and share them with your friends.  And my work is done.

If you build it, he will come. – Field of Dreams

If I write it, you will share?

Network

The people you know may be your best asset.  Most of the time I prefer peace and thoughtful conversation so I’m not much of a socialite.  But while you may not have the most extensive network, you may have a powerful one.

Power Networking

Consider saving your social energy for valuable interactions.

Have you tried to reach out to your favorite celebrity or internet idol?  I have.  Steve responded within an hour.  And who better for advice about starting a blog as a passive income system?  One powerful contact – check.

It’s gratifying and worth a try.  Reach out to your inspiration.  Try it!

Virtual Network

This day in age, our interactions are not limited to in-person networking meetings and social gatherings.

You and I are having a conversation right now.  I’m dominating the conversation of course *excuse me* but leave a comment below or send me a message and I’ll get back to you eventually.

In this way, Steve Pavlina is my greatest resource even though we haven’t met in person.  In the way of resources, we aren’t just people anymore.  To me, Steve is the combination of his blog posts and our e-mails.  What am I to you?

Inspiration

I rediscover Steve’s blog every couple years and I’m inspired every time.  Every time I think and feel the same 3 things:

  1. I love this article!
    I love this topic.
    I want to write my ideas and share them with the world.
  2. This blog is old.
  3. The articles are long.

Every time I rediscovered Steve’s blog I’m inspired.  I want to write about similar timeless topics.  And I know can make a better blog.

A Better Blog

I love Steve’s blog but there’s room for improvement.  His articles are too long for our new generation and his website isn’t optimized for mobile.  I’m a writer, a minimalist and web developer.  These are easy problems to solve.

Fresh Ideas

Timeless Wisdom

Modern Format

  1. My blog will include fresh ideas about timeless topics.
  2. My blog will be modern and mobile-friendly.
  3. My posts will be short and sweet.

On that note, let’s wrap this up with a brief summary.

Summary

It’s important to consider trends and align ourselves for future success.  But trends are not the only criteria for success.

Ultimately, we are going to identify our best opportunity by considering 3 things.

  1. Your unique ability to provide value.
  2. The market and it’s trends.
  3. Our resources – ideas, money, network.

For me personally:

  • I like to read personal development blogs, write and help people.
  • I’m not rich but I’m a web developer so blogging is a great option.
  • The blog will have short articles and be optimized for mobile.
  • Resources for timeless wisdom are readily available.
  • I love doing the research *reading* and sharing my ideas *writing*.

What’s your best opportunity for successfully building a passive income system?

If you enjoyed this article, please comment below and share it with your friends.

Thank you!

Reasons You Should Never Get A Job

Having a job is the worst way to make money.

You only get paid while you’re working.

We’re encouraged by our parents to go to college and get a good job.  This is a good way to guarantee student loan debt and line you up for a midlife crisis.

No job is “good” for the rest of your life.  You’re excited now?  You’ll get over it.

If you have anything of value to offer the world, don’t get a job!  Provide.

Product or service – if it’s of value, we’ll buy it.

We don’t care how long it took you to do it.  We only care about the value we receive.  It it’s of value, we’ll pay you for it.

Don’t trade your time for money.  De-couple your value from your time.  Build a system that generates a passive income.  This can be a business, a website like this one, becoming an investor or getting royalties from creative work.  The system delivers value to customers and you get paid whether you’re at work or not.

It takes an initial investment of time and effort to build your passive income system.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.  Just remember to provide value.

If you don’t know how to start a business or build a website – no problem.  Learn!  Learning at a job may be useful for a minute, then it’s repetitive and useless.  Don’t get a job. Go to the library.  Or keep reading.

Yes, this all takes time.  But when you’re done, you’re free.  Instead of wasting your life away saving pennies for your midlife crisis, you’ll be working your way to financial freedom.

You like your job?  Good.  Do it because you like it.  Not because you have to.

And if you do like your job, please help me understand how your natural independent will has come to terms with obeying your master’s nonsensical rules while you trade your time for his financial gain.  Office party on his yacht?

Generate income through other means.  You can earn income by trading value – not your time.  Provide your best value and charge a fair price for it.  Start a business and do what you do best.

All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your value is in who you are, not what you do.  Summon the courage to express your real self to the world.

You already know deep down that you don’t want a job.  Trust your inner wisdom.  Years from now you’ll thank yourself.

This post was inspired by Steve Pavlina’s 10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job.