Would you rather win the lottery or be financially free?

 

It’s a first for me to write an article on money. Maybe this has been because it is usually classified as one of the taboo topics to openly talk about in the social sphere. But then again, I am the person who most recently birthed a movement called ‘The Age of Honesty’. And, isn’t the point to be open and honest about topics that I choose to speak about? I now feel ready to talk about it. I want to talk about money.

Photo Credit: Belish via shutterstock.com

 

“My knowledge was my Asset”.

I was brought up in what some may call poor, or lower middle-class household. My parents were professionals and eventually managed to save enough to put a deposit on a house. So then they were homeowners with the liability of a mortgage.  The equity in the house grew and then at long last they had no more liability on the house. This was an achievement, as they had migrated to the UK from the Caribbean and built a life here. My siblings and I were fed and clothed, and provided with a good foundation. The importance of education was instilled in us from an early age. It was actually an asset that could not be taken away. So even if we lost our job, money, or other worldly goods, we would always still have a proper education.

 

“I wanted to be a millionaire… But wasn’t too convinced by the lottery”

Here are some of the thoughts that I had about the idea of having lots of money:

  • It would bring freedom. I would not feel limited or deprived.
  • It would make life much easier and give me access to more opportunities.
  • It could boost happiness.
  • It would give power and status.
  • It could bring fame.

 

I also had a list of ideas of how one could make lots of money and what type of people make lots of money. Some of these people may have a less than palatable way of doing it – e.g. getting rich from criminal activities. One idea floating around a lot was winning the national lottery, especially when it arrived in the UK in the 90’s. I even had a classmate who actually had a windfall. Not exactly millionaire status but still, a windfall.  So the question arose: “What would you do if you won the lottery?”

 

I must confess, that the idea of winning the lottery was certainly a nice one, but I was not too convinced that should be the only way I should focus on to become rich. I also suspected it would come from another source. It is interesting that I, without realizing it, had limiting beliefs on generating wealth. One of my beliefs was that I had to make it big. This could either be by becoming a well-known and rich singer or having my own business.

 

“I thought I had to be the cash cow”

In a time not too long ago, I was an employee. I had a steady job and was guaranteed a fixed monthly income. This would all be allocated towards the bills. My bank balance would go up and down. When I was younger, I had no concerns about rainy days. I didn’t think about putting aside savings or generating asset pots. Later I would be affected when me, being the “cash cow”, was not producing milk – meaning income! When this happened I felt the worries of there more money going out than coming in. The change in lifestyle that ensued. The acquaintance that always had enjoyed my company but suddenly rejected me from their circle. A depression followed along with what I often describe as my “Black Spiderman” period. I went into victim mode – The “I feel sorry for myself” state.

 

The Clouds cleared: Money flowed back

The good news is as you probably have guessed, my fortune has changed. I got a new job. I had an opportunity to retrain and add to my existing skill set. I met new and inspiring people. Some of them wealthy.  My money stream, I mean my income, started to flow again. On certain projects, I made a multitude of what I earned before the “Black Spiderman” period. You may think that I had turned things around, but no, not just yet…

 

I got sick and tired: Feast vs. Famine

I realized a few years after coming back, that I was fortunate not to be literally on the breadline. But there was always that element of stress. What would happen if it took longer for me to win a new consultancy project?  It did not really matter that I had become great at managing my money to a certain extent. I did not like being in a cycle. The Feast-Famine cycle. I started to hate living like this. I became Sick and Tired of it. Then I remembered an awesome lady I met in my network. A lady who I had interviewed for my Podcast show.  I remembered her story.  How she had gotten overwhelmed by consumer debt at one time, but somehow managed to turn this around. Even if it was by making compromises, like sleeping on one of her friend’s couch to pay off debts and build up savings. And her story did not stop there. She went on to attain an optimal goal. The same goal I had always been striving for without really knowing it. This was to be financially free.

 

I  had the epiphany… I realized I wanted financial freedom too

Photo Credit: By ESB Professional via shutterstock.com

As I write this article, I am on my way to creating a financially free life. I mentioned the date stamp, as I know this will become a reality. To digress, keeping with the theme of The Age of Honesty, I do not feel the need to post ‘untrue’ depictions over social media, including painting a picture of me sunning it up somewhere exotic with my laptop, talking about being location independent and driving in the fast lane with my posh car. Although my Mini Cooper Sport is not that bad looking. But I learned it is not about the accessories and material things, it is a way of life that I am striving for.   Importantly, winning the lottery would not be helpful if I don’t know how to keep my fortune and be financially free, instead of being that former lottery winner who went broke.

For people who know me really well, they know that I love travelling and having the freedom to be even more spontaneous. Living a juicy rich life is also a state of mind. Let’s face it. It is so much easier to get to that state of mind when you know your money is working for you. And that it is properly managed. And even better, not having to trade your time for money.  

“This was an important lesson for me, to understand how with money it is not about only generating an income. It is about having a system that manages it. Not having money work against you”

I am not going to go too much into technicality here.  That previously mentioned awesome lady name is Ann Wilson. She is also known as the Wealth Chef. I included a picture of us below after I had a fun and spontaneous afternoon learning how to play African drums. 

I am adding a little bit more about Ann below this article.

Ann Wilson and I, after a day full of learning and FUN with an African drum beat

Question: Do you want to win the lottery or be financially free?

 

A little bit more about Ann Wilson:

Ann Wilson – AKA The Wealth Chef

If you know who Ann Wilson is, you know she is THE expert on creating real, sustainable wealth that gives you the ultimate freedom – Freedom of Choice.

If you don’t know Ann yet, you’re in for a treat. She has helped thousands of everyday people create their own financial freedom, where they no longer need to work for money because they have assets doing the earning for them. Yep. It’s powerful stuff.

Ann will teach you all the things you should have been taught about money but weren’t…

And here is the great thing about Ann:

Every year or so, she releases a Freedom Workshop (complete with training videos, PDF downloads and a live chat and Q&A… and it’s always a complete financial education all by itself.

It’s a really good idea to register for her training — because it’s just that good and that life transforming.

And all it will cost you is leaving your email address!

The first training video alone will already completely change the way you go about managing your money and investments. Check it out!

P.S. The first video and workbook is all about how to create the ultimate freedom, Freedom of Choice, why having assets that earn income for you is the only way to have it and how to get those assets into your life. Go here to get it now<<<

The 10 Steps to Help You Stop Feeling Sick and Tired of Your Life

I don’t know about you, but one phrase that I am not too fond of in everyday language is “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Yes, it can be stating a feeling – perhaps you are feeling tired and needing to recuperate, or it may be used as an effective marketing tool that pops up in literature – an advertiser trying to convince people they need to buy into the product or service.

Who wants to be sick and tired?

Image by Rommel Canlas

Image by Rommel Canlas

Let’s face it, we are going to be alive and here for a shorter period than when we are no longer in this earthy realm. So we will hopefully be getting plenty of rest in the end. This is why one might say that we should jump at opportunities and make the best of our time. To not waste it. Assuming that no-one will invent a way to get time back, the amount we are given is all that we have. Although, in the beauty industry we do see attempts of stretching time in terms of products promising that ageing can be reversed, or even better prevented. But overall we want to spend the days we do have here, feeling energetic and alive, rather than sick and tired of living!

The story – a narrative that you have become used to

Are we really tired? Or is it a phrase we use to emphasis the dislike of a current situation? If the latter is true, why are we not changing it? I have a theory, that we are getting too comfortable with the narrative. Sometimes we start to like repeating that same story we have been telling ourselves and others about the scenario. We may even like being in that same miserable club. For example, “I am skint. Living hand to mouth. As soon as cash comes in, it is out again without me having anything to show for it. So how am I going to balance the bills?” Yes, we are often stuck within a cycle such as this one. Unless we change how we approach something, it will stay the same unless someone or something externally intervenes and can transform it. Question: “Do you believe that you have a fairy Godmother who will just wave a wand to change the situation?” If so, how has this been working out for you? Honestly, this may be a good piece to write about in another article. Watch this space.

What we tell ourselves, the inner dialogue that we may not even realise that we are having, does become our reality. It is the seed we plant sometimes every second of every day without noticing it. I started to understand that I myself had been doing this for longer than I can remember without realising it. I began to see this and became more aware of this pattern, especially when I ventured into self-exploration. You may be familiar with other branches of this, namely self awareness, self development, new age thinking and so forth.So you can change the narrative by starting to explore why you are feeling sick and tired. But before you begin you have to ask yourself that big question,

“Do I want to change this story? Or do I want this to be my life?”

 

Here is the pill to stop feeling sick and tired:

Image by puhhha

The 10 steps to not wanting to stop feeling tired of being sick and tired:

1. How much do you want to change the current narrative that you are sick and tired of, on a scale between 1-10? Tip: If this is below 8 then do not proceed to the next steps.

2. Identify what it is that you are currently not happy with? After writing up this list, identify the ones where you are sick and tired of the situation. Tip: Take one point at a time and work through this process. Remember to not tackle all different areas at once. Although you may notice patterns or see links between the different areas.

3. Once you have identified the area you want to work on, examine your feelings and thoughts surrounding it. Start jotting down these feelings. Tip: You need to get the narrative behind these. The beliefs and thoughts. It is the beliefs and thoughts that will help you to unlock the root cause. For example, you may be fed up with being broke. Why is it that you believe that you are broke? Are you covering all your expenses and maybe finding that you are not able to invest in your own well-being? This may be not being able to afford to go on holidays or treat yourself. Tip: Here you are identifying certain behaviours and beliefs. Unraveling these will aid you in starting to create a new narrative where you will be able to change from that ‘sick and tired dialogue’

4. Is this belief really true? Tip: In this step you will realise that you have been creating a barrier or blocking yourself from changing the situation. Following from the illustration. “I work just to pay the bills”. This narrative is about to change.

5. Are you ready to write a new narrative? If yes, please continue with the next steps.

6. What do you want your new narrative to be. “I work to also experience joy and other pleasures in my life”.

7. This leads to the question: How have you been supporting yourself emotionally? Have you been taking care of your needs? You may find that you find it easier to look after the needs of the people around you. But as they say on the airplane emergency plan, “please put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping the other person.” So come up with a plan and start creating occasions where you are looking after yourself first.

8. How will you be getting the necessary support? From here these steps will lead to you coming up with solutions; and then choosing to actually use those solutions and take action. And that’s when you need to break it down. Ask the questions that will help you with a solution to changing the narrative from ‘being sick and tired”. First question: “What questions do you need to ask?” Using our example, “How can I get more joy and enjoy more pleasures?” This may not be directly related to money as you first thought. More questions to ask: “Whom do you need to speak to? Who do you want to ask for help in supporting you? How are you going to track your steps?” Remember to take it one step at a time.

9. So what do you want your new narrative to be? Have you set yourself a SMART goal? (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Tip: It is good to have a plan, even when after you have done specific actions, you may just need to wait and allow things to unravel.

10. Do not forget to treat yourself as you continue to design the life that you want.

Final point

Are you sick of tired of being sick and tired? What are you going to do to cut that feeling out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is that Life Coach Shouting at Me?

I got officially into the world of self-development back in 2012. Two years prior to that, I started my own journey into getting to know myself again. Skip forward three years, and I was learning to love myself, again. So my five year anniversary is fast approaching, to celebrate when I started to share with and inspire people on the world wide web. Perhaps I will be gifting myself with something wooden!

the gift

 

 

 

 

Going back to self-development, or, as I prefer to categorise it, self-exploration. I was always excited to share the tools that not only helped me approach this life, but I was sure would help others. Was that not amazing? Yes, I was full of enthusiasm!

I can also recall during those early days the excitement every time I discovered a new approach to deal with an everyday matter. I wanted to share it. Sometimes I discovered new ways and at other times things that weren’t so unique – just new spins on old theories. I would write about them in my blog posts or guest articles.

guess what

Then there was social media, which was meant to be a platform to not only engage socially, but also a tool to market expertise. So a share would appear on my timeline or Facebook business page. Was it not loving to share?

Fast forward to the present day, where I have started to notice a trend on Facebook timeline: the rise of the shouting life coaches, or titled self-help gurus. Here are some examples of the tone they take: “Why do you think you’re not over there?” “You are not over there because you’re not following these prescribed steps!” “Come on, what’s stopping you?”

Did you not notice in the previous statements how it felt to read that exclamation mark, as the speaker came across as direct, perhaps even pushy? Yes, we may need a nudge at times, as we are creatures of comfort. But come on. Do you like people to shout at you? Trying to tell you what YOU should be doing? Personally, I don’t like the shouting-fest. There are always better ways of expressing oneself.

 

     What is the best way of approaching self-help?

     “Be ready”

We all have different ways of learning, picking up stuff, and applying it to our everyday lives. But before we go there, the first step is that we need to be ready to hear a message or reminder.

Like my mother always say, “nothing happens before its time.” The solution is always there, waiting for us. Before that moment, we will experience cycles where we seem to arrive at a point of frustration, time and again.

Tell me! Has this happened to you in relationships, where you have told yourself “never again”? Then you may have had a change of heart and forgotten about that promise to not overdo it. Alcohol is a good example.

 

     Learn from example.

We live what we learn. For example, we really do connect to real-life stories. It makes it much easier to relate with human feelings – the “feel good.”

My theory is that some of those people who are “shouting” about how you should be living are in fact feeling the need to talk to themselves. The tools that they are pushing on you about how you should feel and how you should be more of your awesome self are ideas they need to share.

These “shouting coaches” want to work stuff out. The need that they feel to shout and push their theories out there is more related to them playing the Archetype of the Fixer. They want to help people, when first they need to help themselves. Maybe they have the belief that this concept is selfish – that is often misconstrued – to take care of themselves first.

Of course, that is wrong, but you can feel free to not resonate with the former.

 

     “Remember that a teacher is a guide”

We have options when deciding whether we want to listen to some discovery or lesson, or if we are going to apply it. Ultimately, it is not to the responsibility of the coach to push this choice on another person. The teacher’s job is to point and show a way, not say, “that is the only way for you.” This was so eloquently described by the late Bruce Lee:

 

“A teacher is never a giver of “truth”; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth.”

     Freedom to feel and resonate.

The fact is we have free will to choose what we believe in and what resonates with us. Our feelings and emotions are valid. Our intuition is a good guide, a compass. This also includes our inner child, who may at times seem naïve. But this part of ourselves is always honest, and quite articulate at expressing its wants. So be aware of any teacher who is telling you, to suppress the inner child.

 

Overall, social media, like the other parts of the internet, gives us access to great resources and people who can support us. We do need to pay attention to the delivery, and the person’s intentions. Look at the place they’re coming from, as in the illustration where we looked at the “Fixer” Archetype. And, of course, when you hear a loud noise, you can mute it.

 

What are you going to do when you next hear the shouting life coach?

 

 

 

Know thyself – Part 1

In order to know where it is that you want to go, you first have to understand who you are.

 

So who am I?

Image from BigStock

You are a person who plays different roles in your everyday life. With each of these roles also come responsibilities. This may be in your personal relationships –family and friends; but also in your work life. And then there is a third key element, one that you may bypass, forget or ignore at times. This is the relationship that you have with your different “selves”. These are all parts of you, both the core ones that get highlighted and sometimes focused on when summing up you; as well as the ones that may not come to light – your shadow selves. Both of these aspects make up who you are. There is no need to suppress either of them, as doing so can lead to feelings of imbalance or even unhappiness.

 

So how do I get to understand myself?

 

You may already have a pretty good idea of who you are, based upon your relationships with others and your responsibilities. But how about your inner core? The part of you that wants to have a purpose in what you put out into the world. What lights you up? What gets you excited about life? You may feel a bit unsure about these questions at first, especially if you currently come from a thought process that life is about survival and you just plod on with the day-to-day stuff. Thinking that this is not being real; and that being happy and fulfilled is a dream. This is B.S. – pardon my French! We are in now in the era where emotional wellbeing is becoming the forefront in social responsibility and even corporate responsibility. People are realizing the importance of looking after themselves. Not curing disease but trying to prevent serious health issues. This is looking at both body ánd wellbeing.

 

“Whose thought/belief is that?”

 

One of the first things needed in getting to understand who you are, is to listen and pay intention to your internal dialogue. This is what you say to people and think about yourself. Do you have thoughts of doubt or fear? If so, where does this come from? Is this from your past experiences? And what about your different roles? Are you a leader or follower? Do you like to “fix” people, as I had a tendency to do previously in relationships? If so, where does this role originate from? That last question is a good question to ask when looking at your beliefs. You may find as you delve deeper, that some of the beliefs that you have may need to be altered or even removed. As a starting point to understand yourself and your internal dialogue, is to ask yourself questions and just writing down what thoughts come to you. It may not make sense, but it will have a reason. I like to call it “having a conversation with myself”. There is a picture of my journal. This journal can also be in an App that you use. For example Evernote.

My conversations with myself journal

First Task: So start listening and acknowledging all of you. Buy your “Conversations with yourself”- journal or use an app like Evernote. I look forward to hearing about your experience below. I’ll see you in part 2!