December 16th, 2010
Total Distance for today: 0 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 553 miles
LOCATION: Tour Paused for Holidays in Raleigh, NC. I’m visiting with family, friends, and fans back in Fowlerville, MI
STATUS: Acclimating to some “normalcy”
Stop Doing What You’re Supposed to Do.
I have an incredible tool that I want to share with you, but I need to upgrade your mental OS before you can appreciate it! 😉 I’m not here to tell you what you’ve already heard. I’m not even here to tell you what to do at all. People have been doing that your whole life. I’m not even here to appease the simple sentiments of what/who you’re “supposed to be.” If I could strike one word from your vocabulary, it would be the word “supposed.” What I am here to do is to throw a monkey-wrench into the mental-programming that has likely been pushed on you your entire life. You probably don’t even notice it, because it’s so ingrained and subtle, but you’ve been trained to be a certain way. But your inner impulses fight against the training. The rebellious attitudes or actions you take at times are symptoms of this. Though your rebellion may often be self-destructive in nature, it hints at the disease and the cure. You want to be free, and you should. I’m not here to tell you to “turn it down.” I’m here to tell you to find your way to turn it up. I’m here to encourage you to laugh at what’s “supposed to be” and open up to what “could be.”
Make no mistake: I’m here to cause trouble. I’m here to stir the pot. It’s the only way to produce the change that I envision.
Anyone who knows me well knows that one of my most influential personal heroes is #1 New York Times bestselling author, Tim Ferriss. If I had to describe him in one sentence, I’d say that he’s a genius who compels you to focus, define your goals precisely, and pursue them in the smartest manner possible. Well, today I want to share another cool tool that Ferriss introduced me to: The Dreamline Worksheet.
Free Mental OS Upgrade: Own Yourself
First of all, I need to catch you up a bit. Ferriss advocates what he likes to call “mini-retirements” because he believes it is foolish to save all of your dream experiences for the “golden years” of retirement. He subscribes to the same view as me: In life, it is the journey that brings us joy, not the destination. From our shared perspective, claiming that you’re saving all of life’s great experiences for retirement is just a lazy and cowardly way to avoid the real task of making your dreams happen. If you’re waiting until retirement to live, you will never live. Wherever you are – that is the moment to start. Here. Now. Interestingly, the big or difficult things we think must wait until we retire are only out of reach because we believe them to be. It’s a matter of setting clear intention and following through on that intention with action. Or do you not own your own life?
STOP! Read that again: Do you not own your own life? If you have dreams that are within the realm of physical possibility (a realm that is growing in my eyes, BTW) but don’t believe you can achieve them, I suspect one of two things is going on:
1. You don’t really want to achieve these goals and just use them as a psychological boost. (Maybe they’re less important than other goals.)
2. On some level, you don’t own yourself.
The first reason is actually a legitimate reason not to do something. Perhaps you need that added boost, but other goals are more important TO YOU. The second makes my stomach turn, because it stinks of slavery. Freedom is not a “yes or no” question; it exists in levels. To the extent that you don’t own yourself, you are a slave. This goes against the common ideology, but if you would be free, your focus must be on possessing yourself more and more: your judgements, your goals, your time, your beliefs. Do not surrender them to someone else, because every time you do, you give up just a little bit more of that which makes you free. You should certainly learn from others, and sometimes we surrender personal wants for the better of a larger ethic: family, friends, or community. However, trust this: That which is great, and therefore greatly to be desired, is rarely esteemed or encouraged by the crowd. I refer back to one of Tim Ferriss’ signature lines: “Everything popular is wrong!” There’s a lot of truth to that. It’s great to have your life and goals in common with others; just make sure it’s YOU who is choosing your goals.
The Dreamline Worksheet: Relative Vs. Absolute Income
The Dreamline tool encourages you to define and plan very specific paths/goals for the next 6-12 months. It focuses on experiences, rather than possessions. Too many possessions can actually weigh you down and prevent you from enjoying amazing experiences. The fear of losing your many possessions – the fear of losing your safety and comfort may be the thing that is holding you back from a life that is actually worth living.
In a financial sense, the most important thing to understand about creating a dreamline is the distinction between absolute and relative income. You may earn $100,000/year, but if that money is tied up in investments or committed to a million expenses, you probably can’t afford an exciting dreamline. Additionally, if your time is completely consumed by 80 hours of work each week to get that $100,000, you can’t afford the dreamline either – You don’t have the necessary time to spend on it. On the other hand, if you’ve been smart enough to eliminate most of the expenses that you don’t actually need, you might be able to live your dreams on a relatively small income. Depending on what your dreamline looks like, you might not need for example: A house payment in the U.S., a car payment, an expensive cell phone plan, or a slush fund for relatively senseless expenses (i.e. $30/week for lattes and muffins at Starbucks). Before you can fill your life up with amazing new experiences, you need to eliminate the things that drag you down and get in the way. What you can then do is calculate the exact cash flow you need per month to live your dreamline. It’s probably less than you think, especially if you’re smart about how you do it.
You Need Freedom of Time and Location
The biggest obstacle preventing you from living a dreamline, apart from a lack of belief that you can, is a lack of time. If you want to relocate to another country for 6 months, learn the language, meet new people, and experience something incredibly new, the truth is that it could very well cost less to live there than where you live now. However, if you spend all of your time working a job to simply support your ability to live, you can’t enjoy the experiences that you seek. I’ve already explained in previous posts how to regain 80% of your time, but what if your livelihood was completely independent of your physical location?
My ultimate suggestion to you would be to take the initiative to build a business that requires very little attention in order to continue operating successfully. Some people would call it a “muse.” 🙂 Whatever you call it, it’s a system developed to deliver income in a relatively passive manner, once it’s setup. There are a 1000 and 1 ways to setup businesses that can be run passively and remotely, but it is beyond the scope of this post to discuss specifics about them. I just want to put the bug in your ear. 😉
Not everyone wants the hassle of developing a “muse” (though I suggest it whole-heartedly), but there are other ways to free up your time and location. I want you to think about your current job. It is quite likely that the majority of your tasks are completed in a “virtual environment.” Whether your typing a document, sending an email, or making a phone call, most of your tasks probably take place in an environment that exists independent of your physical location.
Here are some interesting questions: What if you could use the tactics we’ve already discussed to reduce the amount of time necessary to complete your work to a fraction of what you need now? What if you could produce more in less time? What if you slowly started suggesting to your boss that your work should be measured based on the results you produce, rather than the time you spend “working?” What if you slowly pushed to be able to work from home just a little bit each week? What if you produced as good or better results from home? What if you pushed for a little more time to work from home? What if you made your current job into a “muse” that allows you to produce your income entirely independent of location in just a fraction of the time you used to spend “working?” What if you owned your own life?
You will have made it entirely possible to live your dreamline, that’s what!
It’s quite possible that you work a job that simply would not allow for a “results only” focus. Allow me to be frank: YOU NEED TO LEAVE THAT JOB. If you are intelligent enough to read and basically understand the concepts in this blogpost, that job is holding you back from untold amounts of growth and happiness. But you don’t have to leave your job immediately to start seeking another that would allow you to be evaluated and paid on a results-only basis. You can start looking now, or better yet, you can start building your own business or “muse.”
Here’s the Tool – Do You Have the Courage to Use It?
This link will allow you to download a free copy of the Dreamline Worksheet. (Courtesy Technotheory.com) The worksheet is pretty self-explanatory, once you play with it, but there’s a link on the top right corner that will take you to a blogpost with more information. Don’t forget to type the number of months the dreamline is for at the top left. Also: Don’t miss the 2nd page (link at top right). You’ll need Microsoft Excel to use this spreadsheet.
The question is not whether you CAN use this tool to help you live a dreamline within the next year. The question is: “WILL YOU?” Do you have the courage, desire, and drive to take control of your own life?
FINAL NOTE: Do not let your “obligations” to other people prevent you from living a life that is fulfilling. We’ve already shown how you can do this the smart way. You don’t have to leave your job on a whim and put your family’s livelihood in jeopardy. The process can happen in phases, so as to avoid major struggle. Though, the truth is, the discomfort and stress associated with struggle would most likely make you and the people you care about stronger. In the modern world, it is not our courage or ambition, but rather, our comfort, safety, and complacency that destroy us. Look at what I am doing. How can you look at the extremes to which I am going to carry this message, and think I’m not sincere? How can you see the incredible synergy of things that have come together to make this dream possible, and think that your dreams are too big? How can you sit there, observe the new opportunities that courage has opened up, and still believe that you have more to lose by going than staying?
Can you do this thing for yourself? Can you use this tool to define what you want for yourself? If you cannot, might I suggest that you are wasting your time by continuing to read my posts?