The cost of following your passion

Start that business. Start that YouTube channel. Start that blog.

We hear it all the time. Some people emphasize on the benefits of making money by doing what you love while others may warn you about the challenges you will face on your journey.

I’m here to tell you the truth. Unless you’re highly talented or you have knowledge of something rare that can solve people’s problem, it will be hard to make money by doing what you love.

Let me tell you exactly how and what you will feel if you have not started your journey yet.

  • You will feel like a failure.
  • You will start doubting yourself.
  • You will find reasons to quit and go back to normal life.
  • You will be hated and criticized.
  • You will burn out and feel exhausted.
  • You will be confused and overwhelmed.
  • You will do things that you hate.
  • You will make sacrifices.
  • You will waste your time and money.
  • Your life will be uncertain.

Surprised? no? Maybe you’ve heard all of that. But is it that bad as it sounds?

It is actually worse than it sounds like. When we experience these things in reality, it’s much worse than reading or knowing about it.

So why are we doing all this? Is it worth the effort? Let’s see the opposite side of the spectrum.

  • You will be on an adventure.
  • You will learn a lot of new things.
  • You will learn a lot about yourself.
  • You will do something that you’re passionate about.
  • You will fight for your freedom.
  • You will meet new people on a similar journey as you.
  • You will learn to embrace failures.
  • You will learn to handle stress and depression.
  • You will learn to celebrate small wins.
  • You will grow as a person.

In the end, you will experience all of the good and the ugly side of following your passion.

The journey of following your passion is a package of good and bad things. The only question that remains is – Are you willing to take the full package?

If you’re only expecting good things, then forget about it and go back to your normal lifestyle. The package is only reserved for people who are willing to take it fully.

If you choose to live a normal lifestyle, then there is nothing wrong about it. If you enjoy your life the way it is, then you don’t need to take the journey. But if you want to take the risk and write your own story, then I salute you.

You are a badass. Not many have the courage to do so and stick with it even after experiencing the ugly parts of the journey.

Yes, it’s going to be hard and messy. But it’s up to you to make the journey worthwhile.

I choose to accept the full package. What about you?

 

How to get life-changing ideas

Creativity is a muscle. If you want to boost it, you have to train it regularly.

If your creative muscle is well-trained, then you can come with good ideas in any situation of life. Here are a few tips you can use to become more creative and come up with life-changing ideas.

1. Get into the creative state

Stop. Breath. Check in with your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state.

These are negative states you want to avoid:

Emotionally

  • Unsettled
  • Dissatisfied
  • Irritable
  • Frustrated

Physically

  • Stressed
  • Tense
  • Restless
  • Exhausted

Spiritually

Disconnected from:

  • Self
  • Others
  • World
  • Job

Mentally

  • Unfocused
  • Worrying
  • Unsure
  • Distracted

If you find yourself in any of those states then you can do following activities to break the negative state:

  • Go for a walk
  • Change rooms
  • Make a cup of tea
  • Listen to music
  • Exercise
  • Sing, whistle, …
  • List reasons to be thankful
  • Breathe deeply a few times
  • Meditate
  • Reframe the situation, look at it from a positive perspective, a funny perspective…
  • Drink some water
  • Chat with a friend
  • Play a game
  • Have a meal mindfully
  • Write/speak out loud your thoughts
  • Daydream
  • Read

Once you’re in a creative state you’ll feel:

Emotionally

  • Excited
  • Happy
  • Contented
  • Playful

Physically

  • Comfortable
  • Flexible
  • Relaxed
  • Energetic

Spiritually

Connected from:

  • Self
  • Others
  • World
  • Job

Mentally

  • Focused
  • Clear
  • Confident
  • Open-minded

Ask yourself how you’re feeling in each of the state. If all the states are in check, it’s time to create the ideas.

2. Be silly

When you come up with ideas, don’t take yourself seriously. Think less, feel more. Lighten up your mood by finding humor. Think like a kid. For a kid, there are no rules. Playfulness plays a huge role in creativity.

No idea is useless. Even the ridiculously bad ideas have a purpose. They help your mind to get relaxed and then the ideas start to flow smoothly.

If you want to be creative, you have to let go of the fear of coming up with bad ideas. Don’t let bad ideas hurt your self-esteem. Let go of the fear of judgment. If you don’t do that, you may miss the good ideas hidden underneath all the bad ideas.

3. Be curious

Question assumptions and seek for answers. With the help of internet, you can find the answers to the questions that spark your curiosity. If you have a problem that you need to solve, chances are that there has been at least one other person who had the same problem and he/she solved it. The circumstances may vary but always look for inspiration.

4. Diversify your perspective

Hire different perspective to look for solutions in different ways. You can look from the perspective of:

  • Your higher self (Your better version)
  • Your future self
  • Your past self
  • Friend
  • Stranger
  • Expert (different areas)
  • Old person
  • Child

5. Shake things up

Get off of your routine and break life patterns. Experience novelty by trying something new. Notice the small things that you ignore everyday. You can daydream, choose random items to focus on, get on a random bus or try a new activity such as drawing, dancing, playing, etc.

Your mind will get new stimulus and you’ll be filled with new ideas that you may have never thought of before.


Once you have a lot of ideas on the table – eliminate the bad one; mix and match the good one and finally consider the ones which light up energy in you.

Learn to listen to your intuition. Our intuition doesn’t always roar. It sits in silence and waits for us to pay attention to it. As soon as you notice a spark, your state will change and it’s our job to find that little voice of intuition. So, stop. Breath. Listen to the spark and then turn those ideas into reality.

 

Pursue your dreams or die trying

You have only one life.

One life to experience all that you want to do. The regret of inactions is stronger than the regret of actions. In other words, the regret of failing at something is smaller than the regret of not even trying.

Many people who want to start their journey fear that they would lose time and effort on doing something that they may fail at. They would think that they can make better use of that time by watching TV, playing video games, partying, etc.

I’m going to use the word ‘entrepreneur’ for anyone who is taking an initiative or risk to follow their dreams while fighting mediocrity. With that said, let me tell you what you’re missing out on if you choose not to pursue your dreams.

1. The joy of giving

Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. We find a problem or a cause and then we try to solve it. The first step of any such journey should be to serve. Don’t get lost in creating your product or service. Start serving today and then shape your product/service accordingly. You will experience what it will be like to give and you will understand the value of what you’re doing.

2. Rollercoaster ride

You will fail. It will be hard. You will feel lost. But on the other side, you will experience what you might have never experienced before. When you start out, moments like – ‘first positive review’, ‘first earning from your business’ will prevail all the moments of despair.

3. New you

After facing your fears and overcoming challenges, you will be a different person. Your self-esteem will go high. Your standards will rise as your character will change. The lessons, personal growth, and experiences will make your journey worthwhile. Just make sure not to fall into the trap of ego.

4. Discovery

You will discover the possibilities that you might have never imagined before. You will meet with people that may become your lifelong friends. You will learn skills that you can’t imagine being skilled at today. Most importantly, you will find the answer to the question of – ‘What if?’

5. Success

Finally, if you persist, you will get the rewards. No matter what your personal goal is (freedom, fame or money), all the hard work and struggles will make the prize priceless. The level of satisfaction and happiness will be profound. You will live your dream life. You will contemplate what you would have ended up doing if it wasn’t for the journey that you chose to take.


In addition to knowing what you want, know what you don’t want. When you will have a strong ‘why’ to pursue your journey, you will do it anyway. All the noises telling you the downside of your journey will fade away.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be frustrating at times. You will be disappointed. But if you can’t afford to not know where the journey will take you, then listen to your heart and take the leap. You have one life and it’s too short to not pursue your dreams. Have the courage to follow your heart.

Go. Start now. Please.

Turn your life into a game

Life is an adventure.

Sadly, many of us don’t treat it that way.

Think of your life as a game. Games are designed to be an adventure.

Your life can be an adventure too if you treat it that way. Does it mean that you’ll always have a good time? No. There are times of struggle and setbacks but we keep on playing those games because that’s what we like about games.

Games have taught me many lessons on how to live a life.

1. Addiction

Games are addictive.

Addiction does not have to be bad all the time. In fact, each one of us is addicted to one thing or another. Writers are addicted to writing. Singers are addicted to singing and so on.

Addiction in itself is not a bad thing. If you’re obsessed with something and you don’t let it destroy you or control you then I would call it a healthy addiction.

On the other hand, if we let out job or business destroy other parts of our life like health, relationships, etc. or we let it control us, it can turn into an unhealthy addiction.

 

2. Objective

Every game has a mission or at least a hidden objective behind it. Without it, there will be no purpose of the game.

In the same way, we all need to have missions in our life. The missions may change or develop as life passes by.

Weak objectives will result into boring or unfulfilled life whereas strong objectives will make our life purpose driven.

There are side quests in life too but it’s up to us if we want to pursue them or not. These side quests are a representation of all the things we want to do in life. The important part is to remember that whether we complete our side quests or not, it should not affect our main objective(s) in life.

 

3. Challenge

Most games are designed to be challenging. If a game is too easy, it won’t be too long before the player quits the game.

If there are no obstacles or enemies, there is nothing to master in the game. Gamers keep on playing a game because they fall in love with the grind.

We need challenges in life. Growth only happens when there are obstacles to overcome. Life will become too boring if we get everything we wanted without any effort. Embrace the challenges.

4. Failure

Our education system has conditioned us into believing that failure is bad. Thanks to games that teach us that failure is okay. All you have to do is retry.

Life is like a game. Sure, there are opportunities in life that can be missed but there is no dead end. No matter how much we fail, there is always a way to move forward in life.

Every time we fail in defeating a level, boss or enemy – we learn new tactics that we can use next time.

Gamers who succeed are the ones who persevere during the hard times. Life is exactly the same. You fail. You learn. You experiment. You repeat until success.

5. Rewards

Every time we overcome an obstacle, games reward us in some way. These rewards give us a morale boost or resources to continue our journey.

Life is no different. If you’re getting paid for your job, then you’re getting resources to live your life.

However, we need to claim some rewards. Gratitude and celebration are the rewards that we need to give ourselves for our efforts or results. These rewards feed our soul.

Progress is one of the core motivation of life. If we don’t track or see our progress, our soul will get drained of energy. Reward yourself and feed your soul.

6. Avatar

Many games allow us to customize our character. We can change their attributes, upgrade their skills, provide accessories or dress them however we want to.

We can treat ourselves as an avatar too. Imagine a greater representation of yourself which is your avatar. What skills does it have? What values does it hold?

The best part is that we can even customize our goals. Games have their own objective while your objective in your life is up to you.

Define your avatar and work towards upgrading your avatar every single day.

7. Hacks

A lot of gamers fall into the trap of using hacks and cheat codes to complete their objectives in the game.

Hacks are like shining objects that you think will make your life better but in reality, they make you worse.

In life, seeking a shortcut to success is a hack. They might get you the end result but you won’t get the skills needed to achieve those results.

When you work on your skills and take the full journey, it’s not just the success that you get in the end. You transform yourself. Your character changes. Confidence becomes part of who you are.

When success becomes a habit, you’re able to repeat the process and thrive in every journey of your life.

My number one priority in life as a 22-year-old.

On 23rd of June 2017, I turned 22 years old.

In the past 4 years, I’ve learned more things about life than rest of the 18 years of my life.

About 4 years ago, I stepped outside my house and started living in a hostel after enrolling in a college. I was away from my parents for the first time in my life.

I was free. I had full control of how I wanted to spend my time and who I wanted to surround myself with.

At first, I wanted to be cool college kid because I was shy at school. I had only a few close friends. I wanted to change my identity and become a famous guy whom everyone loved. Now that I look back, I was insecure. I wanted to be accepted by as many people as possible.

After 1 year of a hardcore trail and error, I was back to myself.

I eventually ended up with few close friends again. But I was happy. I formed great friendships with few people who inspired me in one way or another. For example, I learned to be carefree, have self-discipline, find humor and many other traits that I learned from different friends.

Most of all, I became friends with myself. I gave myself permission to be me. I started my journey to follow the path of personal growth and become a better version of myself.

I started following people on the internet who played the role of virtual mentors for me. I started reading self-help books, I started training my body. I learned the principles of living a life of purpose, growth, and fulfillment.

Soon enough, I was a different person. In essence, I was the same person but I was becoming a better version of myself every day.

As I got closer to my graduation, I started to think about career and wealth. By the end of 2016, I took a pledge to consume less and create more. I started learning about online business and bringing value to other people’s life.

Out of all the things that I learned in the past 4 years about health, wealth, business, relationships, and life; there is one thing that stood out the most. I’ve set my number priority in life based on that.

The number one priority of my life is not my goals. It’s not my career, not my business, it’s not even my freedom.

The number one priority of my life is the person who I am becoming.

At any given moment, I could lose anything. I could fail at reaching my goals, I could lose my arm, I could be robbed, I could go broke, I could be locked up in a prison, I could become sick, I could lose my strength and muscles that I’ve trained hard for.

One thing that no one can take away from me is the person that I have become. My values and my character traits will stay with me.

In the end, my values will determine my story and the quality of my life regardless of the life circumstances. I trust my ability to figure things out and make the best out of any situation.

Forget about your dream lifestyle

In any given book, website or course about life design, the first exercise is about imagining your perfect day.

“How would your perfect day look like from the morning until night?”

Perfect day, dream lifestyle

The truth is that I don’t know how my perfect day looks like. For me, there is no such thing as ‘the perfect day’. I might not want something tomorrow that I want today. Or maybe I don’t really want what I think I want. Who knows.

A year ago, I wanted to be a game designer. I was full on passionate about designing awesome games because I loved playing games in my childhood. I studied 3 years of game design in my college and I still love it. Designing games is a very intellectual activity which requires problem-solving, creativity, decision making and a lot of other skills that I love.

Now I’m soon going to graduate from my college and I don’t want to design traditional games anymore. Is it because I hate designing games? No. I still love it and I might even do it to earn a living for a few months or years of my life. But one thing I’m sure of is that I’m not going to do it forever in my life.

I can’t stick to one career or a way of living. I like experimentation, reinvention, and diversification. I have no clue what I would want in ten years from now. So, I’ll leave that decision to my future self.

It is often recommended to think about what you want to do with your freedom first before starting your lifestyle design journey. I say forget your dream lifestyle. Don’t get lost in the dreams of what you want to do with your freedom once you have it. Just start working towards getting freedom and you’ll figure out what you want to do once you get bored with the freedom you have.

Getting bored is the easiest way to find out what you want to do today. I try to get myself bored after every few weeks to find out what I want to do. To my surprise, there are no one or two things that I want to do with my free time. Over time the things I want to do keep changing as I keep changing.

With that said, it’s definitely a good practice to think about what you want to do today because it will define your present level of happiness and satisfaction in life. All I want you to take away is that try not to get fixated on what you’d like to do in future. Follow your gut instincts on what you want to do in present life and leave your future self alone.

8 things you need to know if you’re a college student

If you’re in college or if you’re soon going to enroll in a college, you’re at the right place at the right time. I’m soon going to graduate and I wish someone had told me the things that I’m going to tell you.

1. Detach yourself from your grades

At first, my level of happiness was directly proportional to my grades. From A+ to C, I’ve received all kinds of grades.

I’ve understood that 10, 5 or even 1 year from now, I will never care about any of my grades. They don’t mean anything in the realm of real life.

In fact, the time, effort and energy you will spend in trying to get an A from B can be used for more important things in life.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about your career. But bare in mind that grades are not your career. The only things that you want to attach yourself are the skills and knowledge you gain. Follow your curiosity. Do what excites you and keep learning.

2. Focus on personal growth

You’ve been gifted with a mind and a body. It’s your responsibility to take care of it. No one else will do it for you.

College is the ultimate opportunity to develop life skills. For example, emotional intelligence, living a healthy lifestyle, clear thinking, stress management, time management, personal finance, leadership,  friendship and relationship skills are the skills that are far more important than your grades.

Personal growth is the path that will help you live a fulfilled life.

3. Dare to be different

For your own sake, stop looking for approval. College life is the stage when so many people fall into the trap of looking ‘cool’ and being accepted by others. They lose themselves and they have no idea who they want to be.

Once I took the 16 personality type quiz. The results said that my personality type was INFJ-A which is less than 1% of the population. I’m so glad to know that I’m unique.

Don’t be afraid of not doing something that majority of the people are doing.

Don’t be afraid of doing something that majority of the people are not doing.

We are social creatures and we all are looking to be part of a tribe. So, we look for people’s approval. While it’s normal to be part of a community, it doesn’t mean that you need everyone’s acceptance. You only need a few like minded people to be your friends.

Instead of making 1000 friends, make 2-5 close friends who have similar values or character traits as you. You could also have friends from different backgrounds. It will keep your mind open and you’ll be able to see things from different perspectives.

4. Know/find/create yourself

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-awareness is a topic that deserves a separate post. So I’ll keep it short here.

It’s easy to get lost in the world that is filled with people who are already lost. Don’t exist and wait for death. Live until you have the opportunity to create yourself.

Define who you want to be and what you want in life. Your values and desires may change over time so keep moving towards them and change when you need to.

Embrace the change and the everlasting journey of self-awareness.

5. Plant seeds for future

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

95% of the college students don’t realize the value of their time. If you have a clear vision of what you want or who you want to be, then don’t waste a second. Work towards your future desires. You will thank yourself later in life.

The seeds can be in the form of learning, creating, practicing, etc. Develop 2 or 3 skills or knowledge about a topic. Then combine them and you will be better than 99% of the population on Earth.

6. Know the difference between job, career, and vocation

Jobs are roles that you take and you get paid to do that. Career is a series of jobs that lead to growth in your field.

Vocation, on the other hand, is a passion or a calling. But sadly due to stereotypes, society’s expectations, or our own excuses, most of us don’t pursue them.

It’s possible to have all three in one situation but for most of us, it takes some time and effort to reach there. If jobs can help you to eventually pursue your vocation then have patience and a clear vision of your vocation.

7. Fail, make mistakes and get rejected

Life is not always rainbows and sunshine. We all face adversity and there will be times when you’ll feel down. Practice the art of managing your emotions when you feel that way.

Failures and mistakes are not the opposite of success. They are part of success. As long as you keep learning and reflecting, you’re on the right track.

Rejection is also a phase that we need to practice. We need to realize that rejection is okay. It’s normal to feel bad after getting rejected, but don’t let it break your confidence.

Keep getting up and keep moving forward.

8. Stay present and enjoy

College is once in a lifetime experience. You don’t have as many responsibilities compared to an adult. Don’t stress out too much about your future. Stay in the present as you enjoy planting seeds for future and your personal growth journey.

Be grateful. Live fully. Laugh freely.