No obstacle can stop you from reaching your goals once you realize this

About a year ago, I could never guess that I would be learning about entrepreneurship today.

The concept of entrepreneurship was interesting to me but I never thought it would become something I love.

When I learned about location independence and lifestyle entrepreneurship, I was instantly fascinated by the idea of living a free life.

From then on, I made a decision to set up my own online brand or business so that I can live that lifestyle.

After few months of hustling and learning about the world of online business, I was overwhelmed.

My batteries were drained as I was doing all of this on the side while doing my post-graduate studies.

Since then, I have faced many obstacles and failures. I got frustrated when things didn’t go as I wanted them to go. But now, I’m okay with all that. I am not emotionally triggered by the ups and downs of the journey.

The biggest realization I had was that hard work was not enough. My dream was strong but hard work alone won’t get me there.

In order to turn my dream into reality, I had to learn to promote myself. I had to learn to express myself. I had to learn to connect with like-minded people. I had to learn to say no.

I’m still learning all of that but I never thought I will be doing that a year ago. But because I want to reach my vision so bad, I learned to love all the things that can help me reach my goals.

I never thought I would be learning about digital marketing. But today, I’m not only learning it because I have to, but I’ve started to like it because I know how it will help me live my dream.

So, no matter what your goal is, figure out the obstacles or skillsets that will help you achieve your goal. Start working on them and eventually you’ll start enjoying it if your desire to reach your goals is strong enough.

For example, if your desire to lose fat/build muscles/be fit is strong enough, you will learn to love working out. You will stop looking for excuses for not showing up for your workouts. In fact, you will start to sneak in exercise on your busy days because you know what it takes to reach your goals. You will stop craving foods that don’t support your goals.

In the same way, entrepreneurship is not easy. It requires multiple skills. You don’t have to become number one in all of them. But you have to invest your time to develop those skills just enough to reach your goals.

If you don’t commit, you’ll try to dodge those obstacles and ignore the skillsets required to reach your goals.

But once you commit, you will figure things out. You will crush all the obstacles and become a master of the required skillsets.

Have you made the commitment? Comment below what commitment you’ve made and what skillset(s) you still need to develop in order to reach your goals.

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Master your time with this simple exercise

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” –  Annie Dillard

Most of us spend our day without any conscious effort to analyze how we spend our days.

A few years ago, I was living my life the same way. I had no control over time so I was either waiting for the time to pass by or I was doing urgent work in survival mode.

If we don’t take control of our time, we either get addicted to a few activities while avoiding important activities in our lives. Or we spend our time on meaningless activities which are neither productive nor enjoyable for us. For example, scrolling through social media for too long.

Every minute counts. Time does not stop for anybody. The goal of being aware of our time is not to add additional stress in our life but to consciously spend our time in a way that will make our life better.

There’s no one size fits all approach to time management. Some of us may prefer to organize our calendar while some of us may create personalized systems for managing time.

Personally, I like to give myself some freedom as I’ve tried keeping a timetable in the past and I don’t find it realistic or enjoyable few days after following it. Moreover, I feel guilty if I miss something or if unplanned events occur in life.

I have a dedicated time for creating and learning which I usually do in morning and in the night. There is no specific time block dedicated to the tasks. I can spend the 3 hours of work from 8am – 11am, 9am – 12pm or 10am – 1pm.

Similarly, many people like to follow Pomodoro technique for doing tasks. But for me, I like to spend longer time on tasks without interruption. The duration of time block depends on the tasks but I usually get up and take breaks when I feel like it.

The goal is to find the approach that works for you. You don’t have to follow all the rules. Know the rules and then tweak or even break the rules according to what you find is the best for you.

Here’s an exercise for you…

Write down all the activities you do and the time you spend on those activities in an average day. Then answer the following questions:

  1. What tasks are the most important to me?
  2. Am I only doing urgent tasks or am I making sure to dedicate some time to important tasks that matter to me?
  3. What tasks require the most amount of time? Is it worth putting so many hours on it?
  4. What can I cut down, remove or delegate from my life?
  5. What is missing from my life that I can add which will make me or my life better?
  6. What experiments can I do with my regular schedule? What if I do the opposite?
  7. What tasks do I really enjoy doing?
  8. Am I using my time to invest in future?
  9. When do I feel most energetic to work? Am I using that time to work on important things?
  10. Am I making sure to spend time on my health, relationships, and recovery?

Using the above questions, you will become more aware of the time you spend in a day and hopefully, you’ll spend your time wisely. Keep re-doing the exercise after every few months to get back on track and see the bigger picture.

The difference between high performers and average people

Our society has an obsession with being normal. Instead of doing things differently and rising above being average, we tend to settle for average.

In this average world, we want to fit in the society so that we all can rationalize being average. Then we overuse stimulants like alcohol or drugs to compensate for living an average life.

I don’t have anything against people who are living an average life. You can be happy and live an average life at the same time.

For me, average life is boring.

I don’t need the rush of emotions from alcohol, drugs or junk food because I’m already high on life.

Every day, I have a mission. I have a daily checklist. I have rituals and habits. I have systems and goals. My values and priorities are clear to me. I have a structure in life but at the same time, sometimes I’m willing to break my rules to experience novelty.

High-performance life is not easy. It requires sacrifices, courage, and discipline. Most people are too weak to take bold decisions and make commitments. They don’t have the discipline to show up every day. They are too afraid to make sacrifices because they don’t want to ‘miss out’. Then, they complain about their misery. They complain about how unfortunate they are.

I quit living an average life and I know that I can never go back to it. It sucks and I can’t resist it.

Living a high-performance life comes with its own high and low times. But I own all of it. I take full responsibility for everything that happens in my life. Yes, there are things that I can’t control in life but those things can’t stop me because I have the ability to figure things out regardless of the outside circumstances.

High performers know what they want. They get it or they die trying. They crave obstacles and challenges because they know that will force them to grow.

Average people, on the other hand, sit on their butt and hope to win a lottery so that they can get easy money which requires no obstacle.

The other side of being a high performer is to know when to switch the off button. They take intentional breaks to recover from work and enjoy the other aspects of life.

I don’t live the way I live only to receive rewards of success. I do it for the process. The process is the reward in itself.

I am free from delusion of success. I am successful today.

 

What college grades taught me about money and passion

When I was in college, I worked on a lot of projects. Some of them were exciting while others were not so interesting for me.

Whenever I got amazing grades, it was because of my interest and enthusiasm for the project. I did the extra work not because I wanted good grades, but because I was genuinely passionate about the project.

When the project was not so interesting, the only reason I would work would be to get good grades. Even if I got decent grades in those projects, I did not feel satisfied.

The same principle applies when it comes to money.

You may earn money by doing a job you don’t care about but it won’t feed your soul.

What would you do if money were no issue?

Go. Do that.

But, what about the practicality of real life, you may ask?

Forget it. Do the work that you would do even if you were not getting paid for it.

If the work that you love doing is not making you money, then find a way to make money until you can make money by doing what you love. That’s what life design is about.

There two reasons why doing things we love eventually allows us to make money:

We do things out of love (not fear)

When we chase money, our focus shifts to the outcome of earning money. But when you do the work out of pure love and passion, it reflects in your work. One day or another, people are willing to pay for your work.

When your actions are completely aligned with your values and desires, you go all in. The love that you put in your work is felt by other people.

We figure out ways to fill in the gaps

Sometimes, we realize that we are not innately so good at doing what we like doing. You find other people’s work way better than yours. But that does not stop you.

If you truly love what you do, you will figure out ways to learn the skills or knowledge to do great work effortlessly. Your work will improve without you even realizing it.

You might be thinking…

“I don’t know what my passion is.”

Here’s the truth about passion. It’s not absolute. That means it’s not necessarily something that you find once in your life and be happy ever after.

Your passion will keep on evolving or it might even change as you change.

Your current passion is right in front of you. You do it almost every day or at the weekends. You must give yourself permission to identify it.

It does not even have to be a skill. It could be something you’re curious about so you keep researching about it.

Conclusion

No matter how hard you keep working, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you’ll do injustice to your work and your soul.

So, do yourself a favor and make time for the work that you love. You will experience inner peace and everything else will fall into place.

Life Design for Introverts

I don’t know about you but I love being an introvert.

If you’re an introvert and you’re interested in making the best out of your life then read on. This post is for you.

Before diving in, let’s make it clear who an introvert is. Introversion is a personality trait in which a person recharges by spending time alone. The level of introversion various among different people. It can also change as we age or change.

Being an introvert is not easy. It is especially hard around many extroverts who don’t understand your nature. They might feel uncomfortable if they think that you’re rejecting them. But in reality, introverts need their alone time to recharge. Introverts can’t stay social for a long time.

Being an introvert myself, here are my top tips on how you can design your life:

1. Schedule ‘me’ time

It is necessary that you schedule alone time with yourself. This is the time when you’ll be able to recharge your batteries and go through the day full of energy.

While extroverts spend their leisure time by socializing, you prefer alone time for leisure. So, don’t feel obliged to do what others are doing. Spend your leisure time your own way.

Alone time can come in different forms such as:

  • Taking a walk
  • Listening to music/podcast/audiobook
  • Working out
  • Meditating
  • Journaling
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Learning skills
  • Doing a hobby
  • Taking a shower
  • Cleaning / Organizing / Planning
  • Browsing internet / Watching TV
  • Traveling

You can do many of these activities with other people as well like walking, cooking, eating, watching TV, traveling, etc. But according to your energy levels, you can choose to do the activities alone for recharging.

2. Socialize on purpose

As introverts crave out alone time, it can be easy for them to skip the social part altogether. It’s a good idea to take out some time to socialize so that you form relationships and develop your social skills.

Don’t be afraid to make small talks. Even though you don’t like small talks, you can use it to practice your emotional intelligence and people skills. Just smile, say hello, ask about the other person, be interested, listen and open up.

Social connection is necessary for improved quality of life. Good relationships and being part of a community are an important part of life design. Don’t skip it.

3. Know your energy

If you don’t want to burn yourself out, then you need to know your energy limits. Avoid committing to events that you don’t want to go to. Limit your time at social gatherings.

If you’re out of your energy reserves in a social setting, then it’s best to take a break by going to the washroom or any other quiet place to recharge for a few minutes. If you don’t do it, you will feel drained and people will feel the low energy around you.

4. Have friends who understand you

Let your friends know your nature. They will understand and respect your privacy without hard feelings. If you don’t communicate this, they might think that you’re being a jerk by ignoring them.

If you can, make friends with some introverted people so that you can understand each other. But it is also good to have friends who are extroverted. It will add variety to your social circle and add contrast to your personality.

5. Choose a career that suits you

You like to work in a distraction free, isolated environment. You don’t like to communicate too often while working. So, instead of choosing jobs that require constant interaction with a lot of people, choose jobs that charge you up.

If you let your coworkers know about your preferences, they will understand your style of working and they won’t make assumptions. Misunderstandings between coworkers can lead to bad results so make sure to be open about your personality and respect each other’s preference.

6. Escape the personality trap

Being an introvert is a personality trait. While it is true that the personality trait is part of who we are, it does not mean that we can’t take characteristics from other personality traits.

You can anytime choose to improve your social skills and be a selective introvert. Yes, it will take some time and practice but if you want, you can learn the skills that extroverts can easily do.

So stop labeling yourself and become a slave to your personality. Choose what you want to work on and start working on it. Your personality will adapt.

7. Embrace your nature

Congratulations! You’re an introvert. You can enjoy being alone, you can reflect on your thoughts well, you don’t need too much dopamine to feel good.

Be thankful for your personality and embrace who you are. Enjoy what you truly like doing without the fear of missing out.

Be awesome. Be you.

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 how and what you will feel if you have not started your journey yet.

  • You will feel like a failure.
  • You will doubt 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 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 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 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.

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 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. Few people have the courage to do so and stick with it even after experiencing the ugly parts of the journey.

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

I 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.