If someone told me now that I only had a year to live, and asked what I would like to do with my remaining time, I am in the fortunate position to say “Exactly what I am doing now”. How many people could really say that in this world? How many people have made the life choices necessary to be doing what they truly want to do? At times I consider myself lucky to be living the lifestyle I am, but then I remind myself that this did not just fall into my lap, and that I had to work hard to get here, I had to make the right life choices which would lead me in the right direction.
Where is here?
Here is having not had to wake at a certain time for work in almost a year, here is traveling the world as I want to. No trying to squeeze a holiday into a month, no trying to hit all the spots before time runs out. Just traveling as we see fit, when and where we feel like. Sure I still work every now and then, but it is work I enjoy, I get to be creative and build websites, create art, and just mess about with opportunities that inspire me. When I’m not feeling inspired, I don’t have to do anything. It is a marvelous way to live.
I am not boasting about my incredible lifestyle, just putting into perspective how I got here, what life choices I had to make, and how almost anyone can do the same thing. It all comes down to choices, and being willing to make the necessary sacrifices to enforce those choices. A few years ago I decided that I did not want to work at a normal job, that I wanted to travel the world, and that I wanted to continue to learn and accomplish new things. Upon having made the decision, I sat down and worked out what I would need to accomplish this dream. Small steps led to bigger steps, and bigger steps led me all the way here.
Save, Save, Save
The first life choice was to realize that I needed to save, save, save. As such I stopped spending so much money on stuff and things, I still enjoyed myself, going out for dinners, a holiday once a year, a new computer or such every now and again etc, but mostly food was had at home, going out was kept to a minimum, and toys became thin on the ground. For the most part any spare money I had went straight into a high interest savings account.
Work, Work, Work
Secondly I worked my arse off. At one stage I worked three jobs, I was a freelancer and worked in Graphic design, created art for show homes, and did a bit of store renovation and sign installation. There was a period of about a year where I worked seven days a week almost every week, and was working about 18 hours a day for most days, sometimes I would work for 2 days and nights straight. It sounds hellish now, but when you have a worthwhile goal in mind, you can more easily brush aside the discomfort and fatigue, because you have your life choice to focus on.
Working these three jobs I also taught myself web design, as a potential income when eventually the goal was achieved and more conventional work was not an option. It took really only the last two years to achieve a decent bank balance, with a high interest account it means I make a bit of money every month doing absolutely nothing! The web design thing is picking up, and although I am not earning anywhere near as much as I was while working, I now need less to live on, and we are managing to travel while only just touching our savings, which will change as our respective income options develop (Sarah has worked hard on her blog, sarahsomewhere, and has quite a large audience now).
Just Do It!
The bottom line is, almost anything is achievable if you really, really want it. Despite all the reasons and road bumps you perceive to be holding you back, if you were honest with yourself, you would realize that you can have the life you want. Most people are not willing to forgo the lifestyle they are accustomed to, to find a lifestyle which can seem like a silly dream. It is most likely not a silly dream, just different, and you won’t achieve it if you don’t make the life choices, or rather life decisions, needed to get it, saying I want is easy, actually believing you will is what will get you there.
I made sacrifices, I figured out the life choices which would truly make me happy, and voila, here I am. Whether you want to travel the world, be a millionaire, thrive in finance, run your own business, or have lots of babies, you just have to want it enough, make the decision, and you will have it.
What life choices have you made to get where you are? What have you had to sacrifice to reach your goals in life? Or what dreams do you have which seem almost impossible in your current life situation?