Motion theory

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I have been silent for the past couple of weeks because I have been testing a certain theory called motion. The motion is a state of action that fuels itself further into more action.  It helps one focus on many things that require repeated performance. Take for example, a business launch. In the event that you want to start a new business you need to gain a significant amount of momentum early enough. So you know what you need to accomplish first.

The idea of motion theory is to set up your activities so that whatever you do will have results that will trigger further action in one way or the other. For instance, if you are torn between a choice of business cards, you can decide to make a few samples and let the final decision of which business card to go with be made by a random friend. Tell the random friend in advance. The choice to include someone else’s decision making skills in the process enables you to avoid time wasting situation which can cause analysis paralysis. You simply want to do and not think. So before you do, you decide on how to avoid thinking situations by providing predetermined formulas for decision making.

But then all the right steps may not  be available at once. You might not have all the moves planned till your twentieth sale. As you move on with your plans you need to look around for innovative clues that will help you solve future problems. While you are at the wholesale shop you might want to ask the wholesalers how the established a good distribution network for their product and so forth.

Motion theory should also make use of experimentation. When the choices you make do not bring results, you need to try out other new moves for which the results can be positive. For example a sales offer that allows the first 10 customers to pick a product for free might reveal real demand for your product. The main idea is to have as many results as possible with which to base your future decision making.

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Getting things done is not how to stay focused

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What do you understand by the phrase getting things done?

The concept has often been sold as the general solution on how to stay focused. The more you get done, the more you will be committed to the cause. 30 years of being a tired dentist attending to 30 clients every day has worn many a practitioner down. They did more but got less. It became rigmarole. The obvious implication is to simply ship and not to think much about the shipment. It does not matter how awesomely you shipped or how much thought you put into your final package, you just wanted it away and done with.

The central notion is that you need to get rid of something that’s a nuisance to you. In other words you hate what you have to do. Then it begs the question, why are you doing it in the first place? That’s the precise mentality that takes any project downhill. Its the classic case of quantity vs quality, efficiency vs effect.

The subject matter.

People lay too much emphasis on figuring out how to stay focused on ticking off the task list instead of generating a good product. Time is always of the essence. The argument is usually that there isn’t enough time to focus on quality. It should however be the other way around. The time you have spent on it will be much better spent enjoying the process of working on something. Shipping the end product becomes more valuable this way.

Beating deadlines

Beating deadlines

Yet unfortunately, there are so many scenarios we encounter where we fail because we did not put our passion into something. We were too intent on beating deadlines. At the end, we realize it wasn’t worth it because we aren’t too proud of what we have created.

Becoming passionate about what you’re getting done is challenging. It requires us to change who we are and what we stand for. You can pretend to be passionate about something but there is only so much fuel you can put into such an act before you burn out. But really being passionate about something makes both the work and the result a pleasure to have. With such an attitude, work time becomes play time. And in this kind of mindset, staying focused is involuntary. You no longer need to stay focused, you want to. Imagine a situation where everything you need to do becomes something you actually wanted to do anyway. Sounds like a happy lifestyle to me.

 

Success programming

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When I started this blog I swore never to write about how to be successful. We have enough of such blogs out there and frankly there’s nothing new about the subject anymore. Success is a broad term but in actuarial science, we usually say that a success is any positive result from a trial of an event. It could be tossing a coin and hoping a head comes through or it could be asking for a hand in marriage. The probability of success increases with the number of trials. This is because there are more ways of failing with additional trials and if each row of failures is considered a “success at failing” then it should also get harder to successfully fail for so many times in a row. This leaves us with a chance at actual success. Technically, the term for this is the exponential distribution. The text book example is the number of times a phone has to ring in order for someone to pick it up. The number of times it rings relates to the probability of someone picking up the phone. Analyzing exponential distributions is very good ground for experimental research. You could assess how many follows you make before a follow back is received on twitter, how many invites to a page are given before someone actually follows, how many times a phone rings before it is picked up, how many times you call someone before he picks your call… etc.

So with my little memory of basic programming I decided to take this concept and ride with it. What if you could program your chances at success with anything through a logic program. With the correct code your only obligation would be to follow it strictly. You just have the task on deciding how to stay focused on maintaining progress.

For instance, you want to get a job.

We are all familiar with the usual success program:

Success program 1

But what if the response is not really positive? You could adjust it further,

Success program 2

Ok, so now assuming that as a sensible guy, a positive response only counts for you if they say they want to take you through an interview. But what if you still don’t get hired after the interview well?

Success program 3

This way you have a foolproof policy to keep you job hunting until you actually get the job you are looking for.

But these statements are pretty simple. You probably want to shorten the time you take to job hunt. So you decide to also network even as you try to send cold call applications. Now…

Success program 4

The idea of connecting with the employee is so that you can have an inside scoop of what your chances of landing a job there really are.

This might all seem very mechanical and robotic at first. As you continue to fine tune your success program, you realize that it becomes really human like. It starts to sound like the kind of decisions a normal person would make in his mind when pursuing something. The only difference is that with humans, a lot of consistency and uniformity will be lacking. You will only network when you can and you will only send applications when things look tough but stall a little as soon as your first interview comes through.

The success program impersonalizes your efforts so that you only need to think of the creative aspects of making the solution and not how to go about the already made solution. Once you zero in on how to stay focused on the already designed solution you should be on a one track path to the goal. It fine tunes your decisions to provide accurate and trackable results. You don’t have to code it, you just have to have it clearly outlined it in your mind. To believe in it completely, it has to make complete sense. No portion of it should stick out without an explicable set of instructions.

3 methods to get your lifestyle oozing with productivity

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Being more productive is important if you have dreams or desires in life.

We are in an age where competition has grown to incomprehensible standards. The more we stagnate in life, the faster we are erased from the sea of relevance. And in this day and age, you have to be relevant one way or the other in order to survive.

But productivity is not strictly about doing more. Its also about being more. As soon as you build something, that something becomes a part of you whether its a relationship, a business, a career… and so on.

At the beginning of this year, I found myself reading a lot of books mainly because I was looking for answers on being more and not just doing more.

What I found was a whole maze of techniques to help me achieve what I wanted. A lot of them had fluff and by fluff I mean too much focus on details that may not apply to everyone’s situation. I was simply looking for a one – off formula to take me from little to big in the fastest possible way.  Just when all this information was starting to overwhelm my neurons…

I read the action method

The action method is a practical approach by one James Altucher. Altucher is an author, investor, I.T professional and trader. He has seen the launch of over 20 successful start up companies one of which was a social networking site for stock traders. After many failed attempts at becoming an established writer he finally broke away from his day job as an IT wiz and started trading in money markets. In time, he got back to writing and this time he made it big pretty quick. He came up with this daily practice that is bound to uplift your state of mind instantaneously. It is does not exactly tell you how to stay focused but it helps you exercise your focus muscle.

James Altucher

The action method has a 4 step approach.

Physical – You need to do something everyday that will improve your health and fitness – exercise, yoga, sports.. name it. Altucher believes that health preceeds happiness in our everyday lives. You are less likely to be happy if you have some pain, condition, infection or tumour of some sort interfering with your state of mind. The idea here is to be as healthy and fit as you can in the long haul. You might not not be completely and perfectly healthy but its important to try getting there. This will keep your body is the best shape to pursue anything else.

Spiritual – Stepping away from the exterior, you need to take care of your inner self. For James, this refers to your soul. You need to believe in something as a human being. You need to believe in something that is beyond scientific proof and something that is greater than you. This could be a higher diety or a higher power that will keep you in the race when you have lost control. Its a habit that keeps you at peace with yourself. It keeps you from laying every burden on yourself in the hope of keeping everything under control and hence becoming responsible for it all.

Mental – We have the ability to create value with our minds. Exercising the mental helps you find solutions to problems everyday. It helps you create value for people and for yourself. Altucher recommends coming up with new ideas each and everyday. The fastest way to go about this is to create lists. For instance a list of 50 blog post ideas for your blog…or for someone else’s blog. Or a list of 15 favours you can do to your clients that wont cost much. Or 20 party ideas. Its healthy for your intelligence and it creates opportunities. If done consistently it can turn you into a perceived genius.

Emotional

Lastly we have some emotional practice. In other books this would be described as ‘developing emotional intelligence’. Its a tough part of the method but its still quite crucial. Generally, Altucher states that one should draw closer to those people who lift you up and stay away from or tell off people who drain your emotional energy or your happiness. Some people do a bit of both but at the end of the day the list of folks at either end of the divide is usually quite clear in our minds.
I read Jenny Shih’s Idea flight kit

Jenny ShihI have to admit at first glance, I felt like I was at the wrong place on Jenny Shih’s home page. It was too pink for my taste and I had the feeling the site had been designed specifically to help women. But given that I had been directed to it by a man, I decided to give it a shot. At her site, Jenna offers two kits to help get any project or dream you have off the ground. These are the idea flight kit and the system flight kit. I took greater interest in the idea flight kit since it is where the whole dream actualization process kicks off.

If you have gone through some of my posts explaining task scheduling as a key to learning how to stay focused, then this method is quite similar. In a nutshell the process is as follows. First you write your idea (dream) down. Secondly, you define what you want to do about it, why you want to do it, who the whole idea will help, where, when and how its going to work and finally how much it will cost. That second stage is pretty much what in project management is termed as scope definition. Thirdly, you now need to break down every single activity that will take you from point A (now) to point B (dream achieved). Some may not be clear but those will be ignored and listed later. The essence of this stage is to have the steps broken down to their simplest forms. For instance, if you are planning on becoming a photographer, you shouldn’t just write “buy a camera”. You should first find out which camera, find the best price for that camera, the best place to buy it and decide how you will buy it (online, physically..). After this has been clearly outlined, it is not yet time to jump. You will need to mark each activity with a timeline. When will you do each of them?

As soon as stage three is done, you will have stage 4 to jump into. This is the implementation stage. During the implementation stage it is important to mark your progress so as to find insights on what better routes can be taken on the road map for achieving your chosen idea.

I read Tim Ferriss’s dreamlining technique

This is the method outlined in his famous bestseller book The Four hour work week.

You first need to define your dreams or goals in three categories. What you want to be, what you want to do and what you want to have. For example you might want to become an expert programmer (be), you may also want to learn a language (do) and you may want a new car (have). You then give this set of dreams six or 12 months (depending on which you can work with) to be realized. The next step is to assimilate them into your daily lifestyle. This means picking three of the simplest activities you can do towards achieving each goal each day (precisely 24 hours).
Eventually you should be able to gain the results you want.

Your choice of method will depend on how specific your goals. If you simply want to find more balance in life, the Altucher’s method will work perfectly but if you are reaching out for something very specific, Jenny’s flight plan will work wonders and train on how to stay focused on one thing at a time. If you want something that offers both of these then you can easily apply Feriss’s dreamlining strategy like I did. Or even better you can use all three in a integrated approach.

Freedom

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No I am not going to write a 1000 word essay on self discipline. I believe that my post on focus should do a better job for that. Freedom is my concern today. What exactly is it?

If you look around at the world today, it’s very likely that everyone is looking for some form of freedom. If they are not looking then they just wish they had it. How do you explain ultra successful individuals who quit their day jobs to start their own ventures. Its purely a search for true freedom. But then what is true freedom?

Freedom from the world

It is essentially what we all recognize as real freedom. Most of us have grown up our whole lives struggling to get what we want in one way or another. Only a few individuals from the entire human race can say they’ve honestly had it easy. When we are born we are told not to cry too much. We want to play instead but we are told that we will bruise ourselves. There are just so many chains all around. French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said “Man is born free and yet everywhere he is in chains.” He had a valid point. Pink Floyd even sang a song to express it , “We don’t need no education..” Its true education helps us a lot but there has been a lot of argument to the structure of institutions that are meant to distribute it. We want to be free from these structures. That is why even holidays exist in schools. We all know that its a struggle to go through an entire semester sitting in small rooms in order to understand stuff. Our natural selves are always looking outside the window because we long to explore whats on the other side. If we did not bring ourselves willingly and gladly into those classrooms then it will suffice to say we have been imprisoned. We are not free.

The scenario is even made worse once one becomes an adult and joins the league of the 9-5 trotters. No holidays there (meaningful ones that is). You either love what you do or quit and let someone who does get on board. No one has time to teach you how to stay focused on what you are hired to do. Again, the captivity of the office cubicle can slowly kill you. That is how important freedom is to the human soul. But then, comes the question, What if you had it all? What if everything you think you have been deprived of is generously placed in your hands – money, time, social circles.. What will you do then?

Man is born free

Freedom from self

For freelance workers, it is time that is unlimited. For entrepreneurs, the money can be scarce. But in a way it truly isn’t. It is always just enough. The goal remains the same, to make the best use of your time and money. The challenge is learning how to stay focused on priorities. In the office place you might have felt like you were dying by doing so many things that you didn’t really give a damn about. Outside in the real world, you realize that you might be underachieving. The bait that was used to lure the productive side of you into action is no longer there – no fancy salary or threats of getting fired here. You are a lone ranger trekking your own path to success and stability. What will you do to get motivated? You are free but limited at the same time. I have now come to honestly believe that if you cant find inner strength to motivate yourself toward anything you want then you are still a prisoner inside – a prisoner of yourself. Weak character cannot be bought off with any kind of resource. In fact to the contrary it takes some kind of sacrifice.

Earlier on, I said that the resources are always just enough. So what is really holding you back is you. How do you free yourself from you? If you are weak when you start how can you expect a heavy amount of resources to be handed over to you? As a freelancer, if you got a client who is willing to pay you  7000 dollars for some web design work would you provide him with a 7000 dollar website? Not if you haven’t the slightest clue how to. If you are used to making hundred buck sites then that is precisely what you will throw at him. And if you really feel you need many clients at a go but cant organize your time well to serve 2 within the same period, how will you handle twenty?

The greatest freedom

The greatest freedom you can have is freedom from your self. The bad bits in you that is. if you can figure out how to stay focused on the strengths  and not your weaknesses you can be surprised at the progress you will make. You are not a constant that cannot be improved unless you subscribe to the motion that you are. I always say nothing is absolute. Adidas will tell you impossible is nothing. Tomato/tomayto. Sure, freeing yourself from things that do not add value to your life like a super shitty boss is necessary but what if the experience has made you rebellious to any sort of authority? You need to find out how to free yourself from that.

Some of the people who grew up in an affluent environments often wind up with the most decayed characters because no one bought them some good values to live by. Whilst most of them get by and find something interesting to make of their lives, it takes much longer than necessary. A whole load of resources ends up wasted in the hands of people who don’t really need that much. You have to ask – Have we become so alienated to our core values that when given the tools to realize them we appear completely clueless? Is society constantly suffocating us with false ideologies of what we really need? We are flashed with images of affluent lives that make it seem cool to be idle and lazy. Does it mean we should be idle and lazy. You need to free yourself from such ideologies in order to truly be free in your own eyes. Free yourself from fear, laziness, greed, hate, selfishness and such like stains if they make you feel chained inside even after every chain outside you has been let lose.

4 Steps to Beginning your Lifestyle Design Journey

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Two posts back, I talked about lifestyle design in a very descriptive manner. I described a number of different models and summarily stated that values are what matter in the ultimate design. Indeed they do but before you go ahead and chose to be a socialite, traveler, missionary or anything of that sort you should ask yourself whether you are meeting a balance with your day to day array of experiences. Without balance, you might be end up a digital nomad with no friends; a lone wanderer or a socialite with no spirituality; a dead soul leeching off the energy of the people you surround yourself with or you could be claiming minimalism to excuse your lack of authority in matters financial. I think with regards to shaping one’s lifestyle there are a number of steps that one should consider going through before saying “..this is the life for me”.

Lifestyle dimensions

One is identifying aspects of your life that mater e.g. finances, social life, passions and spiritual. Its true, some people have found conviction that some aspects of their lives are not important at all. There are people who don’t really value material riches and prefer a life of health to a life of wealth. There are people who belief happiness can be found in a passion and thus may neglect the need to watch over their health believing that their passion has more importance. A good case in point would be Marie Curie who discovered polonium and radium, two highly radioactive elements which seriously compromised her health. She was so attached to her passion of scientific advancement that it got in the way of the natural need to preserve her health. Some things are vital. Health, financial security being a few. Nontheless, some aspects are to be left to personal discretion. I have always said that absolutes are relative to personal perspectives. Nevertheless, if you ignore something that’s important in your own personal perspective just to avoid having to work hard to get it then you might be setting your self up for a breakdown. In this equation, one thing always has to change. You can either change who you are e.g. become an atheist as opposed to searching for a befitting religion or change whats missing – accepting you have a spiritual side that needs fulfillment. As long as you belief in the goodness of either one option then the final option is right.

Principles

Marie Curie

Marie Curie discovers radium

After the aspects that matter are clear, its time to identify personal principles for which to lay the foundations for these aspects. e.g what kind of a social life suits you or what is friendship to you (how far does it go, how many friends). This is where you put values to the aspects. At this point one must be careful not to confuse what is socially proper with what you want as an individual. This is where so many people go wrong, be it in relationship choices, career paths, religious denomination, financial obligations and the like. It calls for raw objectivity to be able to sieve out the irrelevant and stick with what’s best for you. Just because everyone else has a 9 – 5 job does not mean it should be the same for you. The idea with any path chosen is that it should conform with some principles that you have decided to believe in. For instance, minimalists don’t believe financial obligations should consist of anything that has no deep meaning to your life. And this might go to the extremes of expenses such as rent and fuel. Because of this your personal possessions as a minimalist may exclude so many items including a TV. At the same time, if one of your principles is that marriage is not an ideal institution then you might choose to have uncommitted relationships with people. Of course this is if the said people also believe in these kinds of relationships. They can teach you a thing or two about how to stay focused on what you value in such a lifestyle.

Strategy

Defining a long term lifestyle set up e.g. being a blogger (for passions) or being a better father (social) This is where actual targets are brought in. These targets define the ideal of what abiding to your principles should be like. That’s where the tough choices come in. You may decide that your passion for instance is photography. Your principle is that the world is beautiful and it needs to be shared. Your objective is to share the world with the world and not necessarily to appear to be the greatest photographer that ever lived. So you may make a plan where you will visit x number of countries each year so as to capture as much of the world as possible and share it at the same time.  This is long term. You could also make a mid term plan just to start you off and pick Argentina, India and Italy to photo,. pick some photographers to meet and contact them …etc etc.

The daily stream

And finally there is setting up daily streams of activity that contribute to each aspect of your life. The final stage is where you build the castle and at the same time live in it. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the beginning stages of lifestyle design – the baby steps are just as much a part of the lifestyle as is the final tipping point when everything proceeds on autopilot. If you can’t enjoy the process of learning how to do something then you are missing like an entire half of the fun that comes with your chosen design. Whenever you lose your daily stream you end up pondering about how to stay focused.The real answer to this lies in everyday activities that build your daily stream of activities.

People get engrossed so much in the future and what candy lies therein that they forget to pick up the small crumbs of excitement that comes with initial growth. Its easy to dream and to want some things in your life to change but without actual action to produce it then you are simply taunting yourself with delusional bait. Being rich is a daily lifestyle made of small activities that relate to wealth. If you waste your money everyday on something that is not an asset then you will never be rich because that is simply not the way rich people roll. Rich people first buy the assets then spill the money from the assets on small luxuries. There’s a style to it. You can’t become the giving philanthropist you aspire to be if you cant give a cent to a beggar all week long. You cant become a virtuoso piano player without touching some keys each day. And there’s more to it than just a routine cycle of the same activities. Innovation is key. You need to embody the LD in every angle. You could be taking photos today in a museum, tomorrow its a whole bunch of models who were interested in your work. What you are going to do today will set up the pace for your lifestyle? Do it everyday, and you are a certified (insert lifestyle design tag)-ist.

Lifestyle Design

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What are you living for? Have you ever met someone who asked you, “What do you want in life?” I have never really liked that question. Before, I hated it because I always thought it needed one carry-it-all answer but later on it came to bother me because I realized it rides on the assumption that you haven’t yet found that one thing you want in life. Would you ask someone who already has a Ferrari if he wants a Ferrari? I’d rather you ask me. Have you found everything you want in your life? Are you satisfied? Then if I say no, you can then try and figure out what else it is I want. Some people keep stumbling into wants instead of discovering them. Wouldn’t you want to reach out for what you want regardless of what other people say you should or should not want.  Its what we have been trained to do. We have been trained to ask ourselves how to stay focused on what people expect us to stay focused on.

You have to want a good grade because you were made to believe its what you should want. You want to be someone’s employee because its what you were made to believe makes a normal member of society. But is it what you really want. If you step back, step to the side and step forth, you will find an amazing different side of you beckoning with things you really want – freedom, connecting with people, new experiences, following new passions, sharing etc.

Personally, I have always wanted to help the needy (in sustainable ways) and people with talent (not to sound like a Dalai Lama of sorts). Many a times its the thought that there is something else I ‘need more’ that gets in the way of me seeking these wants – the Scarcity Syndrome. But what if I chose to structure my life so that other competing values become less important? The result is what I call lifestyle design or LD. And there are several brands of lifestyle design you can pick from.

The serial entrepreneur

This is one of the most common LD brands I know of. A serial entrepreneur simply invests in projects he likes. He is not limited to one type of project. As soon as nay business project is up and running well on its own, the mission’s accomplished and we are on to the next one. It’s a lifestyle that has been there from time immemorial. Before it had seemed like a preserve of the rich and wealthy. When old school serial entrepreneurship is discussed names like Warren Buffet and George Soros come to mind. These guys have milked cash through a variety of ventures since the days of yesteryear.

Tim Ferriss of 4 Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss

Nowadays, serial entrepreneurs are everywhere and most are also bloggers and writers who keep documenting what their entrepreneurial lifestyles are like each day. Some of my favorite serial entrepreneurs are Mike Michalowicz of the Toilet Entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss (advisor and investor in over 20 start ups including Stumble upon and About.me) and Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. These guys are all digital serial entrepreneurs which means that they leverage a huge part of their businesses through the internet. Nowadays, the online enterprise culture is being extensively evangelized everywhere on the web and it could just be your next big ship to successful LD.

Serial entrepreneurs simply start off by buying off a business or creating one from the ground up and trying to make it successful in the best way possible. Warren has invested in hundreds of companies to date and its a day to day kind of thing where he tries to elicit particular values out of these companies. The money is like a mark of his effect on the companies but that’s not where the real motivation lies. The real motivation is in the growth. Maybe that’s the kind of person you are; the gardener – someone who likes to nurture stuff and create a remarkable entity or a creative of sorts. Your serial enterprise doesn’t have to be a bank or anything like that. It could even be an open air magazine stand.

Digital nomads

A digital nomad is someone who spends their entire life on the move; a full time traveler in short. These guys basically believe that experiencing the world and becoming global citizens is the epitome of the human experience. Then the question always springs up. How do they afford it? And a digital nomad would ask you. How do you afford your rent and transport costs? You work for it. To be able to make ends meet everyday we toil at our offices all day to make enough to pay those monthly bills. The digital nomad works just as hard to make money for travel. The interesting thing is that its actually quite affordable. The only thing one needs to understand is what routes to take and what services to look for. A digital nomad is consistently budgeting his trips so that he knows how much he needs to make for this time and for the next time he wants to travels. It’s pretty adventurous – kind of life you normally see in the movies.

With the nomadic life you gain all the freedom you need to go to the places you like and to meet new people. Your time is yours. That way, as soon as the needed money for travel is acquired work can end and play can begin. You instantly switch from office bug to Indiana Jones here.

So, most digital nomads do online  jobs that pay on project basis or by the hour or they’ll run location independent businesses (mostly online) like one Cody McKibben. The latter has proved to be the best option for funding the digital nomad lifestyle since it frees up as much time as possible. To find out how exactly this works, you can check out Tim Ferriss’s site, buy his book The Four Hour Work Week or check the video below. Some digital nomads of note are Colin Wright, Ev Bogue, Chris Gullibeau, Gustav Andersson and Kate McCulley.

Kate McCulley

Kate McCulley, an adventurous hack-tress of the digital nomad life

Minimalism

I came across minimalism at the start of this year after reading a certain blog post. The idea of minimalism is living with less so as to make what is left truly meaningful to you. If you look around you, where you live and where you work, it’s very evident that there is a lot of stuff you really could do without. If you complain about clutter, then it’s probably because you have so much to arrange yet little value for it. The answer is simple. DUMP IT. Yeah, dump everything you neither use nor need. Dumping could mean donating or lending as well. Trust me you’ll be glad you did it. When I first started on minimalism I was overjoyed at the results. I took it rather critically. For me, it was either you are going to be missed or not. So I got to dump a lot of stuff I knew I wasn’t going to miss.

The cycle became continuous so as to create as much space for productivity as possible. After this, you need to watch out for the accumulation of the unnecessary like junk food, gadgets, clothes and so on. Minimizing on consumption is what got the best of me. It was so hard to pass up stuff I had gotten used to doing like surfing the internet for hours. It’s a hard sacrifice at first but once you do it, it becomes a major eye opener on what’s important and valuable in your life. Your days become crystal clear with purpose. Joshua Millburn Fields and Ryan Nicodemus are like the fathers of minimalism to me over at the minimalists. We also have remarkable solo minimalists like Joshua Becker and Leo Babauta. Many minimalists tend to be digital nomads as well since if you’re going to travel all the time you going to want to travel light.

Joshua (right) and Ryan (left) are The Minimalists

There are thousands of other lifestyle design models you can take up.

For instance

If you’re a person of faith you could become a digital missionary and preach to guys on the web. Online ministry is actually growing steadily and with affiliate programs from other missionaries. It probably would be hard to maintain this sort of lifestyle.

You could also be a digital consumer where you are paid to review stuff you have consumed. That way it becomes a self supporting cycle. Most online marketers may fit that description.

How about a serial worker? If you are really passionate about different types of professions then you could go ahead and make freelance careers doing these kinds of jobs while learning the ropes. It’s a challenging lifestyle but if what you value is becoming good at stuff and not necessarily getting really well paid why not try and add some value to the world?

Digital socialites connect with people and use these connections to find opportunities to make money so that they can maintain themselves and also keep the socialite lifestyle going. The main goal for such a lifestyle is to meet people and build all sorts of valuable relationships. A good example of this would be becoming a media blogger or editor. That way you get to interview and meet guys while making an income.

The first step to lifestyle design is accepting a set of values that are most important to your life. After this, principles built on those values should follow. Principles are like policy. You need to check whether a certain decision or action conforms to your principles – if not, its not going to happen and if it does conform, you back it up one hundred percent. Also, its important is to realize that with lifestyle design what matters is the values you are seeking not the money to be made while seeking them. In fact, if you only intend to make enough to help you achieve what you want to achieve, then you are certainly on the right path. Lifestyle design is about getting out there and playing life by your own rules. It’s not enough to just sit back at an office desk all year round and play minesweepers in between the coffee breaks.

How location independent businesses are engineered