Fear Is A Lousy Liar

A brand new beginning is well within your reach if you’ll just let go of fear.

Photo by Etty Fidele on Unsplash

We are now well inside the final 100 days of 2019. On everyone’s lips begs the question, where did the year go? Of course, the next question is what have you achieved? Have you made some headway in 2019, have you achieved any of the goals that you set down at the beginning of the year? At this moment you may be filled with elation or anxiety. I hope the former.
In any event, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to start over and make a brand new ending to 2019.

Saying: somewhere out there someone with less talent is outworking you.

Our purpose in life is to advance and become newer, better versions of ourselves. There is a natural progression that counts in our favour. It is in everything. If you put a seed in the ground and you water it, which really isn’t a lot of work, one day you may just have peaches.

A baby learning to walk will fall down countless times but will get up and try again. Have you seen any adults crawling on all fours? 
Have you seen all the cars on the road? There is a driver in each one of them (well, maybe not for much longer), but no-one just woke up one day and started a car. There is a learning process and with everything else, one has to feel a bit of pain in order to succeed.

I am on the verge of a major transition in my working career and can I tell you, it is scary. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. I don’t know if my next project will be successful. Failure is no stranger to me. I still have bills to pay. Oh but Michelle, what if you succeed? Well, that remains to be seen says the realist in me. And you reading this, what if you succeed? How much better won’t your world be? How much joy will that success bring? Immeasurable amounts? Perhaps, maybe?
 
 But if you don’t try, you will stay just where you are. Where it’s predictable, where the Starbucks waiter knows your name. The cubicle with your name on it. You know at the end of the month what your paycheck will say. You don’t even need to open it. The predictability of knowing that your salary will be in your bank account on the 25th of every month.

What do you exchange for these niceties? A tiny part of your soul.

Photo by Andrew Charney on Unsplash

At the end of your life, will you remember your supervisor’s name? The one who gave you hell. You continued to stay because it was familiar territory. Better the devil and the insults you know. 
That’s why we stay in toxic relationships. He is not like that all the time. Sometimes he treats me really nice. You need to treat yourself very nice, put yourself first and refuse to take any further insults.

It will be hard because fear is a lousy liar. It makes you go back to the cubicle, back into his arms.

You have a choice. To get up and make the next 93 days count. Or to start 2020 in the same cubicle or in the same arms. The choice is yours.
 On the bright side and lest we forget.

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” — Stephen Grellet

Take off the Layers of Non-Essential BS

Take back control of your life.

Photo by JD Chow on Unsplash

I asked a friend if she was free to go hiking on Sunday. She said, let me check my calendar, one of 3. One for work, one for family and one for the church group she belongs to. My throat tightens just thinking about having to navigate all of that.

“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”― John Maxwell

We are bombarded with information all day, right there on your phone. We don’t know how to switch off any more. Many of us are suffering from chronic fatigue. We rush from meeting to meeting, rush home to try and beat the traffic, to have a microwave dinner and pass out on the couch. To do it all over again tomorrow.

It’s time to have a heart to heart with yours truly. Sit down and make a list of everything that absolutely needs to be done every day. They are not many.

Take a deep breath and start stripping away. If you belong to 3 social clubs, that’s too many. Decide how many invitations for coffees or lunch you are willing to accept in a month. What is the purpose of these?

Maybe you don’t want to let your friend down? Well, when it comes to friends, keep your circle small. Spend your time with those who are on the same path as you, a path towards self-improvement and success.

Don’t be the one buying the rounds at the bar. If you are, you are missing the point.

What a nice feeling it is to wake up on a Saturday with an empty schedule. Unless you set aside to time for self-improvement and growth, keep your schedule empty.

You will need the time to get clarity on where you are in your life, where you are heading and how you plan to get there.

They say if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. Now is the time to become focused for we think we have time.

Start living life on purpose.

Cut out the things and people holding you back. Let them know that you are on a different path, let them know where you are headed. They will either laugh or they’ll ask to join. Make time for the important things, like exercising or cooking a healthy meal from scratch.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Don’t be the one who is always connected. When your phone rings, someone wants to talk to you. It’s convenient for them at that moment, but is it convenient for you? Unless you are expecting the call, turn down the ringer and notifications and give your undivided attention to the work you’re busy with.

The quality will be so much better. Even better, leave your phone in the next room when you are busy with an important task.

Start building a quality life.

The earlier you start, the more you will be able to enjoy it later. Don’t be like many who only wake up in their late 30s and 40s and realise that nothing of importance has been achieved until now.

This is especially true when trying to build wealth. The benefit of compound interest will only show after a few years. 
In your finances, list your monthly income and expenses and see where you can cut down. The biggest expenses are normally a home and a car.

Take stock and determine if you need the extra half a bathroom? With the car, are you trying to impress someone? Do you need the cable?

Eliminate the things holding you back in wealth and growth and continue to invest in self-improvement and betterment.

Start today.

A year from now you will wish you had started today.

Let’s celebrate a road towards Essentialism, together.

One Day There Won’t Be Any More Roses To Smell

Start planting your rose garden today.

As we are getting ready for Spring of 2019 here in the southern hemisphere, the days are getting longer and it’s getting warmer. What better cue to sit back, reflect and take stock of just how far you’ve come during the last 8 months since the beginning of 2019.

Are you better or worse off then you were this time last year? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions and expect hard answers. Those promises that you made to yourself, that no-one knows about, that no-one will ever know whether they were kept or broken. Only you know. Which makes it so much more painful. Because let’s face it, the easier way out always seems like the better option.

We live in the now, we want to absorb, and experience the instant gratification of everything around us. Yes, you plan to get to the hard work, but just not now. You plan to have that talk with yourself, just not today. You will stop eating sugar, just not today. You will start exercising, just not today.

Unfortunately, time doesn’t stand still and it won’t wait for you. Before you know it another year has passed. You promised yourself when the kids are older, when the car is paid off, when you get that promotion. The timing will never be right.

When you get to the supermarket and you see the 60-year old cashier smiling and tallying up your goods. You say a quick prayer, to never end up like her. Well, she also had dreams. She also waited for the right moment. She also said when the kids are older. Before you know it, it will be too late.

They say wake up and smell the roses. One day there may not be any more roses to smell. And all you have is yourself to blame. Don’t let anyone hold you back. We are influenced so heavily by those close to us. They want to talk you out of it. They say it will never work. What about your safety net?

After enough naysaying and a few drinks, you think to yourself that you don’t have it that bad after all and it would be easier to stick with what you know. Until another year has passed. Your dreams are not theirs. You are the only one uncomfortable with your situation because you know that you can achieve so much more if you can just stop listening to those voices in your head and outside. It’s your dream. It’s your path. No-one else can walk it for you.

You can continue to curl up and remain complacent. The time for sowing will come and go and shit, since you didn’t plant those roses when it was planting season, there will be no roses to smell. Your garden will remain the sand and stone that you have refused to work and till.

It’s not too late. Start today. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.