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?

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Thank you!