Beliefs

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Our thoughts shape us. Who we are today is a reflection of the thoughts and beliefs we have held in our heads for the longest time.

I was just thinking about my own thought systems and beliefs this morning. Over the past year I have read numerous blogs of digital nomads, people who have been traveling the world while working from their laptops. I was very envious of how they were able to dictate their own lifestyles, choosing when and where they would work from.

And then I thought to myself, why can’t I be one of them as well? To live a wandering life on the road, constantly seeking new places to go and meeting new people?

Being a digital nomad is definitely not for everyone. Those with commitments will find it difficult to instantly pack their bags and go. But I think, is this way of thinking really just a self-limiting and convenient excuse for just staying with the status quo?

Of course, there will be people who do have genuine commitments that force them to remain in one location. The one reason that comes to mind is when a family member is ill and require caretaking on a daily basis. Aside from this, almost every other “commitment” that I can come up with falls into the “excuses” bucket.

“What about my mortgage? And my credit card bills? My student loans? All these are keeping me in place! I can’t possibly just wander away without any income!”

It’s true that you should not just pack your bags and go without having built for yourself another source of income that you can rely on when travelling. But I’m sorry to say, all these “commitments” WERE consciously undertaken by you, so there is always another way to consciously relieve yourself of them. All you need is to be a little more creative in managing your way out of these commitments. Often that boils down to being able to think out of the box, even if it were for just a while.

The mind is one of the most, if not THE most powerful tools ever known to man. If one chooses to construct his life like a cage, where he is bound by his own bars, it will be impossible to break free. Instead of complaining about how circumstances suck, perhaps it might be more productive to allow oneself to build a larger cage instead. Or even better, why live in that cage in the first place when the keys are already in one’s possession?

Away from civilian life

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This week, being in reservist has made me thankful for the simpler things in life. The ability to sit in front of my desk, surfing the internet in an air-conditioned room are simple day-to-day comforts that most of us have taken for granted. Also, I am re-discovering the simple things in life, like being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want while I am out of the camp over the weekend. It was a heck of a week as my unit cleared our stations for ATEC 1, and next week will be even tougher as we head outfield for another week.

On a side note, the amount of creativity that people have always never fails to inspire and amaze me. Alongside catching up on my reading activities, listening to podcasts and clearing my inbox, I keep thinking to myself about the many ways people are generating ideas and making profits out of them. It only takes part curious mind, part research and mostly good-old rolling-up-the-sleeves to achieve something!

We are already heading into the third week of 2017, and there is so much more to be done. Yet I wonder how many people have started to fall behind their 2017 resolutions/goals. While in camp I met a serviceman who is in the business of branding consultancy. He has had a non-typical career path, with many side hustles along the way. I really respect and admire people who are able to juggle many hats at one go, and continue to be surprised at how people are lulled into a false sense of security with their day jobs being the single source of income for their household. No one needs any reminder that times are bad for finance professionals at this moment, so anyone with an inkling of an idea for a side hustle should definitely spend some time looking at how they can create more income opportunities for themselves.

Speaking of side hustles, a new podcast that I have been absolutely loving is Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle School. Every podcast episode features normal people like you and I who have managed to start side hustles while holding full-time day jobs. I like it for its bite-sized content, with podcast episodes going under 10 minutes for most, making them ideal for listening while on the go without being overloaded with too much information. A new episode is released every single day – making it a useful source for personal motivation to get started on a side hustle yourself. Give it a go!

2017 Theme – Accelerate

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1) How big do you want to dream?

2) How much do you want to envision?

3) How hard do you want to work?

4) How much of the past do you want to forget?

For those who are looking to set some goals in 2017, I found a pretty useful template at yearcompass.com – it’s a free to use resource, downloadable tool for you to reflect on the past year (if you have not done so already) and plan ahead for this year. While I have already set my goals using my own template, one question that I found useful was to describe 2017 in a single word, and I picked “Accelerate”. Why so?

In a nutshell, if I had to do the same exercise for 2016, the word would be “Explore”. I took up too many side projects in the past year, but I realise it was not for nothing as I was still in the exploration phase. It is now 2017 and I have a much clearer vision, so this year will be marked by putting my foot on the pedal, picking up the pace to get to where I want to be.