I’m not sure if it was Henry Ford who originally said this or someone else but it rings true to people who are givers. If you’re a giver like me (clears throat) who’s constantly spending your time and effort to help others, I applaud you. Helping people feels good right? Of course it does! Until you started to realize that people expect that out of you!
If you have people taking advantage of you due to your kindness and generosity, don’t feel bad if you need to put a stop to it. Help people who deserve your help, not anyone who expect that out of you just because you’re nice. The other type of people, the takers…well, the name says it all. They will keep taking and taking until you have nothing left to give. Set the limit!
People are so driven by ego that they have forgotten the real purpose of social media. Instead of using it to connect and engage with people, particularly family and friends, they have turned it into a tool for ego boost.
There’s a constant pressure to post the perfect picture, video or story to show the world how amazing their life is, all in the name of gaining a couple of extra followers. Even companies and businesses are paying for ads to increase the followers instead of focusing on engaging their true fans.
If we don’t realise that the quality of connections we make is more important than quantity, we would be wasting more time and money in “collecting” people with no results to show, no profits to make and no valuable relationships established.
There’s a huge list of blocks that we all face in our lives that hinder our success. But if you group them together, it all boils down to these 3 major blocks that we should focus on overcoming. These major blocks can be on its own or you could also argue that one is related to another.
Whether it’s a fear of rejection or fear of failure, we have the tendency to let fear stop us from achieving what we want in life. We’re worried about the what-ifs. What if they think I’m pushy? What if the business fails? What if I embarrassed myself? What if I lose tons of money? Yes, these things could possibly happen but we’re letting it stop us from making even the first step. If we don’t even dare attempt it, how would we ever know if it would ever work out?
We should think of all the outcomes, regardless of good or bad as lessons or feedback. When we don’t view of the outcomes as rejection or failures, we will have a better chance at succeeding simply by learning from it and finding better ways to do things.
Being a perfectionist myself, I could totally relate to the numerous times perfectionism stopped…or rather, still stopping me in my tracks. Perfectionism gives you a message that you’re not good enough, you’re incompetent and the world is going to judge your flaws. It keeps you obsessed with the act of self-editing or polishing, agonizing over the details that don’t necessarily matter.
We must continue to remind ourselves that nobody is perfect and it’s okay to not get it 100% right the first time. It doesn’t define who we are. It only means that we’re not quite there yet and still in progress.
As mentioned earlier, these major blocks can be inter-related. Your fear of something or wanting to be perfect can also be a sign of you feeling insecure. When something is unfamiliar, we feel like we’re venturing into unknown territory. Fear starts to creep in along with our insecurity of not knowing what will happen. We feel that we need to prepare ourselves and have plans after plans (perfectionism kicking in) in order to ensure 100% success rate (which almost never happen.)
Insecurity comes from the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. We need to replace those limiting beliefs about our capabilities to liberating beliefs that we can do great things and make things happen.
Life happens regardless of whether or not we’re taking control of our destiny. If we don’t overcome these major blocks that deter us, we will find ourselves stuck in the same position and just going through the motion in a meaningless and purposeless life. It’s time for us to consciously “dig out the trash” in our head and fill it with beliefs that propel us forward.
For the past one decade, I’ve struggled with focus and staying consistent. Every new year, I would set my goals and failed to achieve them. I feel like I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my life going through a whirlwind of activities that didn’t serve me. I don’t know what 2020 will bring me but I have a strong feeling that it’s going to be my best year since 2010.
The following is my manifesto and the mindset I’m going to have for 2020 which I hope will inspire you too.
- Don’t just learn, act on it. I’m an avid learner. I’m obsessed with consuming knowledge and learning new things. However, I achieved very little success for one very simple reason; I don’t always practice what I’ve learned. Moving forward, I’m going to be more selective in what I spend time and effort to learn and place more emphasis on taking action.
- Things may not always go as planned, be flexible. That’s what life is all about. It’s unpredictable because there are so many things that are beyond our control. Instead of worrying about it like I always did, I must have a flexible mindset and go with the flow.
- Positive state leads to infinite possibilities. One thing I notice whenever I’m facing problems is when I’m in a negative state, all I see is doom and gloom. The moment I decided to take a breather, that’s when solutions start popping up. So, instead of worrying about things not going my way, I must maintain a positive mindset. Even
- Prioritise what (or who) that matters to you. For the past 10 years, I was constantly trying to do everything for everyone to the point that I suffered burnout and tremendous stress. It’s only when I decided that enough is enough that I can clearly see that I’m only one person and I can’t do everything. Besides, I also felt used and not appreciated. It’s time to prioritise the things I enjoy doing and the people who truly matters to me.
- Focus, focus, focus. This is the one word I’ve been hearing consistently from my family, close friends and mentors. They could tell that I was all over the place. This is the single most important thing for years to come.
Most financial gurus will advise you to not spend beyond your means and encourage you to live a life of frugality. But there are some of them that will tell you not to focus on savings, or not to deprive yourself from enjoying life or spending less means living less. The latter advice works very well if you’re a hustler who strives to accumulate as much wealth as you can get and if you have the means to achieve all your financial goals.
However, as a minimalist who doesn’t want to accumulate too many physical stuff, I’m opting for a simple and frugal life yet feeling contented with what I already have. At the very least, I can be certain of one thing: spending lesser than I earn will definitely ensure there’s a surplus at the end of the month where I could either save it or invest it. Also, people should really get it out of their head that living frugal means living cheap.
The difference between being frugal and being cheap
While spending less doesn’t mean living less, being a cheap is definitely living less. A cheapskate will deprive themselves just to save a couple of bucks here and there. They will buy counterfeit or low quality items or services. They’ll love free stuff and will not reject it even though they don’t need it.
Being frugal, however, means living a simple minimalistic and non-wasteful life. Frugal people are able to separate wants from needs. They would spend $100 on a high quality pair of shoes they can wear daily for more than one occasions than to own a few pairs of 20 somethings shoes that couldn’t last beyond 6 months. Frugality also means being able to live a debt-free life, paying bills on time and having savings or investments that will grow exponentially over time.
In short, cheapskates will save money in any ways they can, sometimes at the expense of others. Frugal people, on the other hand, are generous but choose to spend money on the right things or right people.