Learning to Wake Up [ The Introduction… ]

After 9 months of writing I released a book into the world last year titled ‘Learning to Wake Up’. The introduction to the book is included below, if you’d like to read more it’s available on Amazon here.

Introduction

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whether you feel life is all about being happy, experiencing things to the utmost, or being useful, how are you doing at reaching that purpose? Even though there’s more opportunity than ever now, many people still feel trapped inside a life they didn’t choose.

Once upon a time, people had very few choices to make in life. If they were born to a farmer, they grew up to be farmers. Born to a merchant, chances were high they’d grow up to be merchants.

Of course, these limitations changed with the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late-1700s, but the factories brought in a new limitation as they took over our daily schedules. They literally had a community alarm clock to begin the day, mark the start of work, signal our lunch breaks, and tell us when we could go home for dinner. We’ve lost the community alarm, but it’s still an accepted given that professionals work a ‘standard’ 9-5 every Monday through Friday. Or, in more recent years, these hours have somewhat leaked into an 8-6 for many.

Is this working for you?

Do you dream of something better?

With all the advances in technology in the past few decades, the world of work is revolutionising again, and options have opened up that never existed before – at least, they are for those wise enough to be open to the possibilities. We are perhaps the luckiest humans in history. The opportunities open to us now are only limited by our imagination. The internet enables us to learn, work, and communicate any time we want from just about anywhere in the world. The chains of the office chair and the time-clock are breaking.

This disruption is occurring everywhere, in almost every field, making many people uncomfortable. Maybe you’ve noticed it already, with work hours extending into the evenings and weekends as employers expect you to be ‘always on’ if not actually working. The human desire for stability and certainty is an ancient biological preference that guaranteed survival and keeps us responsive to these growing demands, but it no longer serves us in our constantly changing world.

Are you feeling the pinch?

Those who will succeed today and in the future are those who can embrace and adapt to these changes, making technology work for them instead of the other way around. The good news is, doing this enables you to live a life that exceeds your greatest fantasies and allows your dreams to become reality. 

Waking up to the possibilities of the 21st century and beyond means you can do anything you want, live anywhere on the planet, earn a living on your own terms, dedicate yourself to doing your best work, maintain a healthy lifestyle, spend time with your children, friends and family, and have all the time you need to enjoy the kind of life you want to live, pursuing the goals you’ve set for yourself. Perhaps those ancient farmers were able to achieve a similar sense of absolute fulfilment, but only when the weather was right. Even then, they were not able to enjoy the pure freedom that can be achieved today. 

It is said the average human lifespan is only 28,000 days. During our short lives, we have plenty of opportunity and a strong obligation to do something incredible. With today’s tools available, there is no reason not to. Yet so many people continue to stay asleep under old assumptions and paradigms. Rather than exploring and employing the unique gifts they bring to the world, too many people choose instead to spend their precious and limited time engaging in mediocre and meaningless ventures.

Is that you?

Here is your call to action, your wake up to a life you’ve only ever imagined. Sharing some wisdom from a little way ahead of you on the road to freedom and fulfilment, the information in this book will help motivate you and inspire you to take charge of your own life and make it what you truly want it to be.

Wake up

Whether you’re still a student, a young professional or someone deep into a career, it’s time to decide what realities you want in your life. The best time to make these decisions is always now.

How often do you find yourself searching for more? More stuff, more money, a bigger house, a better car, closer relationships, a better body, time for others, time for you…

Whether you find yourself wanting something more or feeling like you’re missing something vital, can you see a path towards the life you want from where you are today? Is it years, maybe even a lifetime, away? Will you be able to enjoy it once you get there?

Come to think of it, what was the life you once dreamed of? How closely does it match the life you live today?

Go ahead, make a list of the things that are important to you. Compare that to what you actually have at this moment. If you can see a way to get there from here, how long will it take?

If you’re early in your career, or still in school or University, perhaps you haven’t yet had any major disappointments in the professional world. You are in the perfect position to benefit most from the content of this book. It was first conceived to offer some advice and guidance to young professionals already looking for a more fulfilling and sustainable exit plan.

However, as the idea came together, it became clear this content can help others as well.

  • People who love to travel
  • People who are tired of the never-ending grind
  • The Someday People – people who have been waiting, hoping, holding off on living their dreams until the time is right, they have enough money in the bank, or they secure their retirement
  • People who are tired of waiting
  • People who have already achieved professional goals and still feel unfulfilled
  • Digital Natives who have already developed the skills they need to break free

Ultimately, this book is for you if you are looking to live smarter and join the future work revolution no matter where you are in your life’s journey. There is something here for everyone and I urge you to read this book more than once as you’ll likely need to go on a journey of self reflection.

Discover how you can exploit the new opportunities available using your own unique experience and knowledge to take the reins of your life and determine your own destiny.

You CAN earn good money doing what you love.

You CAN spend your life learning whatever you want, travelling where you want.

You CAN find fulfilment in what you do.

You CAN be as free as you want to be.

There is never a ‘right’ time to get started. The only way to make sure it happens is to get started now.

We can choose to spend our lives making excuses and waiting for the perfect time or we can act now and jump into the driving seat. We can be in full control of what happens next.

Offering you some guidance to help you get started, this book is designed to provide you with some of the realisations and observations I’ve made through my own journey from a successful but unfulfilled professional to fulfilled and independent digital nomad. Whether you choose to become a digital nomad or prefer a more settled approach, the lessons and wisdom contained within can provide you with important steps to become location independent and determine whether building a start-up or creating a lifestyle business is the right approach to setting yourself free.

The first step on this journey is to understand what might be holding you back and how to break through the resistance.

Limiting Factors

Whether you know it or not, there are four major factors that can influence whether or not you ever realise your dreams. Believe it or not, these four major factors are within your control. Therefore, it is up to you whether you remain in a life of mediocrity or make the changes needed to give you the freedom and satisfaction you’ve been missing.

These four elements of your life can have a major impact on what you are able to accomplish during your short 28,000 days, but they might not be at the top of your awareness radar. Not many people realise just how fundamental these factors are to your outcomes. They are so fundamental they tend to get overlooked. There is a better world waiting for you, but you can search your entire life and not find it if you don’t take time to analyse these four important elements. Ignore it or do it wrong, and your dreams will always remain just out of reach. Do it right and your dreams could come chasing after you.

Are you wondering what these elements of life are yet?

The four main factors that can significantly affect your chances at waking up and living a life full of the kinds of experiences others only dream about include the people and influencers you allow into your life, the environment you place yourself in, the attitude you adopt toward internal and external forces, and your own sense of self-restraint or risk-aversion often justified as self-preservation. 

These four factors are unavoidable. In one way or another, they are always going to affect your life. You might already have the right people or the right attitude to make things work, but until you examine what they are, you won’t know whether they are contributing to or blocking you from your success. Until you understand the influences in your life, you will remain confused about what’s holding you back and why you can’t seem to move forward. This book is designed to help you ask the right questions and find your own path to happiness and fulfilment.

Set Yourself Free

I was once there with you, running through the hamster cage and following all the ‘right’ steps but not finding that inner sense of satisfaction and fulfilment I craved. Even as a child, I knew I wanted more control over my life than simply climbing the corporate ladder. At age 16, I started my own technology company. I had the right spirit, I had a secure environment, and I had supportive parents, but somehow things just wouldn’t click over.

I’ll tell you more of my story in the next chapter, but there were times in my life when I had to accept low-paying jobs in retail, hospitality, customer service, and sales just to make ends meet. Not only did I struggle with the income limitations, I never learned to accept someone else telling me what hours I would work or how many days off I could have.

Looking around, I didn’t see how this path of employment or struggle would serve me in my goals. I wanted to live my life to the fullest and didn’t want to waste a second of it doing anything that didn’t contribute to the experience. I continued to start new businesses, and even achieved some success, but still couldn’t find the sense of satisfaction and experience I wanted.

Most of the people around me were also clearly trading freedom for money, always putting off their dreams to a later date when they would have more. For too many of them, that later date never arrived.

Does that sound familiar to you?

How would you like to start living your dreams earlier, while you’re still young enough to enjoy them? Or at least before it’s too late?

Even though we were all constantly chasing money, I could see money wasn’t the answer. I’d met people along my journey who had done company exits into the millions or created sizeable wealth from property in their 20s or 30s. When asked, these people I met told me that it hasn’t changed their happiness and they’re still in many ways unfulfilled. Some even told me they felt so miserable as it was nothing like what they had imagined. No matter how much money I had, I realised it was a never-ending hunger to want more. I’m so thankful to have met these people in my 20s as they taught me so much.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver

What I wish for you is that you wake up to the possibilities around you, to fill your 28,000 days with more of the experiences and growth you wish for yourself. As a result of reading this book, I hope you are empowered to discover more of what you’re really capable of and create a plan to live your life more fully on your own terms.

I’m not promising you great wealth, success or even happiness, but if you take action and consider the points I raise in this book, I assure you living a life awake is much more enriching and fulfilling than riding the predictable waves of society. You could choose to stay comfortably asleep only to realise at the end of your life how much more you might have done. Since you’ve decided to read this book, I’m hoping you’re searching for something more.

As you learn about the four fundamental limiting factors in your life in the following chapters, you will be able to see what questions you need to ask yourself, what to do with the answers you find, and learn how to craft them into a life you once only dreamed of. You can do it. I know you can because I’ve done it and I’m here to show you the way.

Before we get started, let me tell you a little bit more about who I am and how I am able to live a lifestyle most people think is reserved for millionaires….

[To continue reading, you can order my book on Amazon here]

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