Aspirations, Fears, Thoughts, And Decisions
I arrived in Asia 6 months ago. I had $1,000 in my bank account, my laptop, and not much else. I jumped in and started working on a graphic design business, Graphic Design Experts.
While it did make some money, it never made enough to provide me a comfortable life on the road. After three month of cold calling the USA for 6 hours every night between 11PM and 5AM the results were small.
Fear Based Thoughts
With a steady income to pay for a comfortable life, I spent a lot of my time worrying about money. I was worried about having enough money to eat and pay for my apartment.
Even though I knew I would be OK, a feeling of fear was present every day. The worst of it was when I was down to living on $1 per day. After that experience I've pretty much always been on-edge about running out of money.
It's ironic, but worrying that I might run out of money made it hard to work efficiently. As soon as I started anything vaguely 'long term' my brain would sputter to a halt.
"You need money NOW! Don't focus on THAT thing, it won't pay you for at least two weeks IF it works out!"
... those kinds of thoughts
I made decisions based largely on fear.
I remember thinking that taking on full-time work (40 hours per week) just so long as it paid for a place to live and food to eat, would be a good deal. Those things would have cost me about $10 per day so that's about $1 per hour.
This shows you where your head goes when you're not sure where the next meal is coming from.
It's really easy to get lost in this fear-based thinking. Sometimes I would go a whole afternoon and my bigger goals would never cross my mind.
The decisions I made were typically SMALL and focused on ME.
How can I eat some food TODAY.
Where is a bed I can sleep on THIS WEEK.
When you're stuck in this headspace, it's no fun. Especially when you know you're not moving forward on your big goals...
Your brain can only focus on so much, so if it's being overtaken by fearful thoughts you need to crush those thoughts before moving on.
Only after you're out of a mentality of fear can you focus on...
Aspirational thoughts are typically BIG and focused on OTHER PEOPLE.
How can we open 5 SCHOOLS to GIVE A NEW FUTURE TO SLUM KIDS IN VIETNAM?
How can we help 200 PEOPLE learn to live LOCATION INDEPENDENT LIVES?
These are your goals, dreams, and ambitions. These kinds of thoughts lead to...
These are the actions that move everyone ahead. They're the activities that make life worth living and they're what you'll be proud of years from now.
They have a lasting impact.
They're what we want to be focused on most of the time.
The only thing is, if you're stuck in fear based thinking then you can't focus on aspirational thoughts and you certainly can't take big, bold aspirational actions.
If you're worried about your rent, focusing on earning money for the landlord is a worthwhile goal. Once you've got it under control, then you'll be able to focus on the bigger goals.
If you're worried that you won't be able to afford food, eat rice and beans but focus on earning the money to pay for the food you need.
Get these things stable. Then chase the dream with your surplus.
Doing otherwise is building on a shaky foundation. It could collapse at any moment.
I know from experience, losing a basic necessity halfway through achieving a big goal totally derails any progress you've made.