Fear

What is your absolute biggest dream ever? What keeps you from expanding your life beyond that dream? Money? EEEEHHH! Wrong! Fear.

If you are reading this, chances are you have some financial burden, some economic duress, or are holding something back...from yourself. Yes, holding something back from yourself. I said it. Now repeat it with me -- I'm holding myself back. One more time. *I* -- not money -- am holding myself back.

Money doesn't hold you back. If there's anything I've learned in furiously paying off my debt, it's that there is no reason -- zero, zip, ziltch -- reason to wait for anything. Happiness can buy you money. Truly, where there is a will there is a way. Whether it's the will to pay off your f*&%ing debt or to create your grand masterpiece.

I'm able to pay off my debt because I have a fire in my heart that I need to fuel. Debt is an emergency, just as much as living the life you dream of is an emergency. So I'm trying my darnest to do both..at the same time.

Back when I started with this goal a year ago I was totally paralyzed by fear to work towards the things that truly move me, I was unemployed, and I was living on my parents' couch with $40k+ in debt. Ew! Gross!!

Now, about a year later, I have the highest paying job I've ever had, have an awesome apartment (which by the way I'm downgrading for one that's less expensive because that'll get me closer to the life I want) and I'm totally running with what moves me -- creating and enacting visions for better communities.

Okay, gotta remember to breathe. I'm getting a little excited here...the keyboard's about to crack.

Of all the things I've learned in the last year to get me here here are the most important and how I've learned them:

1 - CULTIVATE CLARITY: Imagine if you didn't have any financial burden. Go with me now, really imagine it. You were filthy rich, like super rich swimming in a pool of gold coins rich. Now what? Okay okay, ya ya, you bought everyone in your family a house, you too your dream vacay, you donated half of it...blah blah blah. Okay *now* what? What's that thing...that thing you want to do that fills the rest of your days, that still makes you excited to get up every day, that thing that you know you want to do 'someday' but maybe haven't admitted it to yourself? It's okay. You can say it. If you're still afraid of saying it, that's not okay. Yep, NOT okay. Let's be real - if fear is holding you back from even admitting it to yourself, that's the first thing you have to work on.


Before you get to that pool of gold coins, you must first embrace yourself, your dreams, your hopes...and what helped me most was a lot of (a) writing down what I really want -- ie. paying my loans by 30, growing my side business, etc. I've heard that 90% of Harvard grads write down their goals. So get started! And (b) this podcast Awesome Clarity Podcast, and (c) chanting.

2 - LEARN: Now that your heart is taken care of per #1, then you take care of your mind. Remember your mind thinks, but your heart always knows. You have to listen to your heart first, and then mold your mind towards that. Usually we do the opposite and try to calculate our way into the optimal life -- like neurotic ninjas who never go off to battle because they're too busy practicing, or like learning to swim by reading a book...but I digress.

You still need to learn your way into the life you want. After you've gotten as far as knowing what that is, then get mentors, follow the people who you admire, write to them, glean from their wisdom, read their biographies. Whether it's professional financial admiration learn your way into the life you want. Here are the top three resources I use to learn everyday as I work towards my financial freedom (aka not owing anyone squat, and having passive income):

Learnvest
Afford Anything
Budgets are Sexy

3 - VALUE TIME: Time is infinitely more valuable than money (pun intended). Don't just be fierce about your $$$ be fierce about your time. You can make more money but never more time. Things I've started doing to value my time more:

-Checking email once per day. I HATE email, fb, all that social media noise. I literally put on an egg timer  (per a tip I learned ---remember learning, that was #2 --- from Afford Anything). If you don't put a time limit on tasks they will take up all day, literally. I time everything -- folding clothes, groceries, etc. I've limited my errands to one hour in the morning each day, and listen to a podcast while doing so #2birds1eggtimer. If it doesn't get done, then it goes to a different day. So, in other words, I schedule time with myself! Narcissism > Procrastination!

-Say NO! Fiercely prioritizing my time with my goals has lead me to learn how to say now (there's our friend learning again!). If an activity/event/compromise doesn't align with furthering one of my goals (per #1) then I say no. It's hardest when it's friends or family, but you have to do this. You have to say no to friends and family when they may be stiffling, make you feel guilty, etc. For your sanity and theirs. Even when I could move something (i.e. working on my website for an hour) I still say no, because that's time that I have valued for myself.

-Create. Take time to create. Give your self at least one day each month where all you do is create. It will get you farther, ignite your days with wonder, and make this whole shindig worth it. Create create create.

4 - AUTOMATE LIFE: Automate your life as much as possible. Budgeting is crazy annoying. Phew! I said it. Automate your monetary life as much as possible. Save, invest, and live your financial life so it's as automated as possible. I've automated my debt payments so that they're exactly what I need in order to reach my goal. And, I've automated as much as possible towards my retirement $50/mth so that I am saving something. I'm working on automating investing next (stay tuned for that!). Automating your life will free up your time (our friend in #3) for things that are waaaaayyy more fun than budgeting, like dancing!

5 - DANCE: No one is watching. Do it! And even if they are who cares! Dance anyway! Tip: never attend concerts where you have to sit down. Boring!

Here, let me help you out:

Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes on Grooveshark

Get it!

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