Be Your Own Gunpowder

I’m back in America in sunny Florida. Yesterday I went for a fun day of shooting at the gun range. 🙂

American Gun Range

Last week I was watching some educational business videos and heard a common sense quote with profound implications.


“You can only save money when you don’t need money.”


The only time you can put money away to invest or create a ‘rainy day’ fund is when you have extra money and are therefore not in need of money.


When a financial catastrophe occurs, you can’t save anything because you’re in financial distress, but you’ll wish you had saved before! It’s only when you’ve got an excess than you can plan for when you’ll be lacking.


This means that the best time to plan for a crisis is when things are going extremely well and the crisis seems a million miles away.


In order to do that you need to jump yourself into action, even if it’s payday and all you want to do it hang out and relax. You need to be your own catalyst. You must be your own gunpowder. You must create your own call to action.


This concept in relevant to many different aspects of your life in addition to your finances.


Fitness And Health


Don’t wait for a health catastrophe to start taking your fitness seriously. It’s much easier to start going to the gym when you’re relatively healthy than after triple-bypass surgery.


A reasonably healthy person putting off their workouts is the equivalent of a financially stable person unwilling to save a portion of their income. At some point the rainy day will come, (they’ll get sick, participate in a night of heavy drinking, have a hearth attack) and then they’ll wish their body had been prepared.


Love And Friendship


The easiest time to make new friends is when you already have a bunch of them. You’re already getting invited to parties, you’re upbeat and energetic, and all of their friends can become yours as well.


On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to meet new people if you don’t know anybody in the area. You can say hello to strangers (a healthy thing to do) but it will be more difficult.


Likewise, it’s easier to find a romantic relationship when you’re not desperate for one. If you look desperate to unload your emotions on someone it’s not attractive.


Happiness And Fulfillment


A 3-month steak of depression may be the catalyst to get you to buy a book on human emotions, but that’s a painful place to be. Unfortunately, most of us will have to deal with a lot of sad, depressing things throughout our lives. Don’t wait for them to be upon you for you to figure out how to fix them!


The best time to build up a strong emotional center in your own life is when you’re feeling pretty good already. If you’re feeling good on a daily basis, you’re in the right head-space to read philosophy, contemplate your own life, and plan an exciting, fulfilling future.


Don’t wait until you are missing something in life to try to figure out what your values are. Don’t try to plan your future when you’re in pain. Instead, start early when you’re feeling good! You’ll probably make better decisions.


Be Your Own Catalyst


Start taking action on these four areas of your life.


Money, Fitness, Relationships, Fulfillment.


If you don’t think there’s a problem then this is the best time to do something. A crisis will most likely arise in the future and at that point it will be too late!


Don’t let the crisis be your catalyst. It’s easier if you take on that role yourself.


As the saying goes – “Discipline ways ounces, regret weights tons.”


Specifically For Location Independent Digital Nomads


It’s especially important to be your own catalyst if you are a digital nomad, mainly because it’s so easy to make excuses why you don’t need to take action when you’re traveling.


  • I’m just settling in

  • This hostel doesn’t have a gym

  • I’m hopping on a flight tomorrow

  • I don’t speak the language

  • But, I’m going to the bar tonight

  • And on and on…


With these challenges and many more, it’s easy to tell yourself that today just isn’t the day to save some money, work out, say hello to that cute girl, or make long-term plans beyond your next country-of-residence.


Avoiding these activities, however, is likely to lead to a crisis far from home.