This is YOU

31 07 2009


 “This is YOU… every day.

There are no days off.

There is no compromise.

There is no compass that comes with this life, just eyes.

So to map it out one must look inside.

Sure books could guide you, but your heart defines you”.

– Jay Z, lyrics from “Beach Chair”


Relativism, Logic & Philosophy

29 07 2009



Here’s a brain workout for a change.

I recently came across this thought-provoking paragraph, while browsing a notebook I had scribbled thoughts in some years ago:

If relativism is true, then the thesis of relativism itself must be only relatively true. Because it would be self-contradictory to say that relativism is true in an absolute sense. But while you could affirm that relativism is true in a relative sense, to say that relativism is only relatively true has no general force. In order for the thesis to have general force it should include itself and should be presumed to be absolutely true. But that, again, would be contradictory.

Look at it in another way:

John might say, “There is no absolute truth”.
Mary replies, “Are you absolutely sure about that, John?”
John: “Of course! Absolutely!”
Mary: “But you can’t make a statement like that, because you just said that nothing is absolutely true / you cannot be absolutely certain about anything”
John: “Oh…….. Hmmm… *thinks hard*!”

GK Chesterton, once named by Time magazine as “one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century”, had this to say – you have to concede that he makes an interesting point:  

‘But the new rebel is a sceptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it.

Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the dignity of women, and then he writes another book in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Western girls lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time.

A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a silly trinket, and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take away that silly trinket. The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.

In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.

Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything, he has lost his right to rebel against anything.’

 (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 1909)

What do you think?


Infinite Choices, Miserable People?

27 07 2009

Have you ever had someone point something out to you which you never consciously thought of before, but which becomes stunningly obvious once pointed out? You have one of those “aha” or “wow” moments when you sit there and think, “I can’t believe I never thought of that or noticed it before!” Of course, the reason such a moment is so powerful is precisely because you DID notice it, but you are only thinking of it now, in retrospect. Stand-up comedians use this alot in observational humour – they point out the little things that happen to all of us in everyday life, and we laugh not just because it’s funny in itself, but because it’s funny that we all experience exactly the same things, and it’s even funnier that someone else can describe exactly what we experience!

Anyway. This morning, while crossing Sydney Harbour on the ferry to work (what a privilege!), I came across an article on the Art of Manliness which blew me away. It blew me away because it connected to a truth which I suddenly recognised. I have thought about it before, but not in such a focused, specifically described way – I’ve felt this for a long time, but never quite been able to put it into words (or thoughts). The article was about the strange psychological effects that modern consumerist life has on us. In the words of Kurt Kobain, we are the “Here we are now, entertain us” generation. We are offered endless choices and we are told that we have infinite potential and can do anything we want to do. This sounds great, but has a big downside. The downside is this: we can’t do everything, and that can be disconcerting, frustrating, and even downright depressing. Ever been in a dvd store and felt frustrated because you could only pick 3 dvds, and didnt know which 3 to pick out of the 10 in your hand? In the end, you finally make a choice, but still felt dissatisfied when you walked out because you “might have missed out” on the best choices. This is a fascinating and profoundly true aspect of our lives today. Please take the time to read this, and have a good think about how this affects you and what you can do about it – because whether you realise it or not, it does affect you!



At the turn and beginning of the 20th century, life was changing rapidly for Americans. People were moving from the farm to the city and taking jobs in the new industrial economy. Consumerism as we know it today really began to take root in society. Where most people had previously made the things they needed to live, now mail-order catalogs made thousands of products available to anyone in any part of the nation. New laws were shortening the work day and work week, and people finally had some leisure time. Amusement parks like Coney Island drew huge crowds, as people poured into the park to forget about their troubles.

New technology was being developed every day, and life was moving at a faster pace than ever before. It wasn’t an easy transition for everyone. People believed that all this new hubbub was making them ill, leaving them with headaches, fatigue, depression, insomnia, weakness and a whole host of other symptoms. George Miller Beard was the first to diagnose these symptoms as “neurasthenia,” an ailment he believed to be caused by modern civilization’s taxing effect on the nervous system.

Even those who didn’t feel they were suffering from neurasthenia’s physical symptoms felt plagued by a sense of “unreality.” They felt shiftlessness, anxious, and restlessness. On the farm their lives had been guided by the changing seasons, they ate what they grew, and scratched out a life from the land. Now they lived in a tenement apartment, used indoor plumbing and electricity, and ate canned food. Cars were replacing wagons and changing the way life was lived. Magazines, consumer goods, and movies had opened up an entirely new world of horizons and possibilities. It seemed as if life outside one’s door was pulsating and vibrant, yet always frustratingly out of reach. Life felt flimsy and insubstantial compared to what seemed possible. Popular lecturers, authors, and quack doctors promised to rectify this problem and imparted advice about how to restore and find greater vim, vigor, and vitality. And yet the more people looked for it, the more elusive it seemed.

Modern “Neurasthenia”

While the cause of neurasthenia was never agreed upon and it’s no longer considered officially recognized as psycho-physical condition, the feelings associated with it are quite real and seem to be experiencing a resurgence these days. Men have become stricken with what I’ve decided to call “modern neurasthenia.” Do you have it? Well pull up a chair and we’ll see if we can’t get you diagnosed.

The Symptoms

Do you feel lost, restless, or shiftless?

Do you feel like there’s this great life you should be living but you just don’t know how to make it happen?

Do find yourself wishing that life would finally start for you?

Do you feel anxious about your life, sure there’s something else you’re supposed to be doing but you don’t have any idea what it is?

Do you feel like you’re life is generally going great and you’re doing the kind of things that you want to do, but you just have this sinking feeling that maybe you’re missing out on something?

The Causes

Neurasthenia is back for the same reason it plagued our forbearers; our expectations have not kept pace with changing technology and culture. Technology has leapfrogged ahead in the past couple of decades with the internet, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, and Blackberries putting us in instant touch with anyone in the world. With Google maps we can virtually zoom anywhere on earth and a wealth of information is right at our fingertips.

Our lives are also saturated with media. We’ve been exposed to thousands of commercials, movies, and televisions shows. How many images have we absorbed of SUV’s powering to the edge of a cliff, awesome rooftop parties in LA, sweet Manhattan apartments miraculously rented by struggling 20-somethings, vacations on private islands, legendary road trips and so on. The images we consume are full of moments showcasing life at its most vital and extraordinary.

And so our minds are filled with the vast possibilities the world has to offer, and technology makes us feel that all these possibilities are just within our reach. But the realities of our lives really haven’t changed much. Many aspects of our lives have sped up and become easier, but lots of things haven’t. We can instantly chat with our friend in Argentina, but we’re no closer to instantly teleporting there. Tons of information is available on the web but it still takes just as long as it ever did to read and absorb it. We still need to get jobs and pay rent and work at our relationships.

It is this gap, the gap between our expectations about the world and how we really experience it that causes our modern “neurasthenia.” New media and technology has seemingly brought the whole world just within our reach. But we can never seem to grasp it. We want to magically take it all in and we can’t. And so we feel depressed and anxious. We are sure that unlike us, others have found a way to lay hold of all the good stuff out there. We have this feeling that somewhere beyond our life, real life is taking place. It feels as if they are so many possibilities and choices out there, so many that we’re absolutely overwhelmed by them. We don’t know where to start, where to dive in. We’re thus paralyzed, and don’t do anything. And then we feel shiftless and restless because we feel bad that we’re not doing stuff. Because there’s so much we should be experiencing! But then we feel overwhelmed again, and then, well, you get the idea.

The Cure

Neurasthenia used to be cured with quack elixirs and electrotherapy. But there’s really no need to zap your junk to feel better. If our modern feelings of restlessness and shiftlessness is caused by the disconnect between our expectations and reality, then the cure lies in closing that gap. Instead of being overwhelmed by the seemingly endless possibilities in life, you must hone in on those things you truly want to do and can do.

Figure out what you can do. A lot of men were raised by parents who did a bit too much coddling. They praised their kids for everything and anything. They told them that they could do anything in the world they wanted to. These parents were concerned about their children’s self-esteem, but this coddling often withered their kid’s ability to find a place in the world by robbing them of the chance to hone in on their true talents and abilities. Convinced that their potential is infinite, many men today cannot pick a major or a profession and feel lost, ever on the search for what they were made to do.

Every man must have lofty aims and ambitions. But he must temper his expectations with a dose of reality. Not all of us are going to be rich and famous. We need to honestly assess what we’re really capable of:

“I have said that a high ideal is essential to a completely successful life. But in the realization of our aim it is quite necessary to form an ideal commensurate with our abilities. Many a man has failed in his life-work because his notions of what he ought to do were marvelously beyond his power of execution. Such a man forms so high a conception of what he would like to accomplish that he has no heart to attempt anything in earnest. . . This intense burning desire on the part of common people to become millionaires, or merchant princes, or railroad kings, or something beyond their powers and opportunities has filled our American communities with hundreds of restless, discontented, useless men.

One of the most valuable lessons for the young to learn is that it takes a great man to accomplish a great undertaking, and that both are necessarily few in one generation. If this lesson were learned and heeded half the heartache of our mature years might be avoided. Effort, and high resolve, and noble purpose are excellent qualities of character; but they can never enable a man to lift himself by the boot-straps nor accomplish the unattainable. It is at once the weakness and greatness of some to conceive what they attempt to do of so high a degree of excellence that no human power can reach it. The natural effect of this is a restless desire to accomplish something far beyond what is ordinarily attained even by surpassing talent. When such a desire has taken possession of the heart, the usual achievements of men seem poor indeed. With their broad views and far-sighted stretch of thought, it seems trivial to come down to the common affairs of every-day life. It is to them a small thing to do good and get good in the plain old common-sense way. J. Clinton Ransom, The Successful Man, 1886

While we’re big believers in the idea of the self-made man, if you don’t have the talent, you’ll never bootstrap your way to being LeBron James. Stop drowning in the sea of infinite possibilities; take an honest assessment of what you’re capable of, figure out a realistic goal to put your abilities to use, and start working for that goal.

Remember, every man should want his life to be extraordinary. But no one’s life is extraordinary in every respect. Figure what areas of your life you want to be extraordinary in. If it’s clear you’re never going to be a world famous author or actor, then be an extraordinary friend, husband, and father.

Figure out what you want to do. We often feel restless because there seems like there are so many amazing opportunities out there in the world. We flip through magazines and see people scuba diving in the Caribbean, men camping in Yellowstone, and guys partying in New York City. We turn on the TV and see shows where guys are living it up in cool cities, dating hot ladies, and working at a cool job. We’re like a hungry kid window shopping at a candy store. Everything looks so darn enticing but out of reach. And so we feel anxious. We don’t have a net big enough to capture all of these cool possibilities.

We’re drowning in these possibilities, and we need to turn the faucet down. The truth is that we don’t actually want all of those choices. We have to separate what we think we should want to do from we actually want do. You might have been told that you should study abroad, you should backpack through Europe, you should live in a loft in some big city, you should, blah blah blah. These “shoulds” lodge in our subconscious and make us feel anxious; if we don’t do these things we worry that we’re missing out on something. But this anxiousness often prevents from doing anything at all. Afraid we can’t do everything, we do nothing.

But you have to evaluate which things you really want do and own that choice instead of feeling ashamed of it. If you’re a homebody who hates traveling, stop feeling bad about that. If you want to become a carpenter instead going to college, go for it. If you want to hike the Appalachian trail, do it. If you don’t, stop thinking about it and move on. If you hate the big city and love living in the burbs, embrace that. And vice versa. Our anxiousness comes from standing in the middle of a decision. We know we don’t really want to do something but we feel bad letting it go. We’re afraid it says something we don’t like about our identity. But you have to embrace your likes and dislikes or you will forever drown in choices.

Take small steps. Sometimes I actually don’t like browsing a bookstore because there are so many books, and I can get to feeling overwhelmed by it. All of these books to read! I’ll never be able to read them all! It almost makes me not want to start. I just have to tell myself to pick one that looks interesting and simply start there. As it is in the bookstore, so it is in life. Often we feel restless and unhappy because there seems like there are so many things out there that we want to take hold of. We want to have adventures, and get a dream job and meet our dream girl; we want to learn a craft, read 100 books, and learn how to dress well. We want to live life to fullest! But we put so much pressure on attaining this ideal that we end up being overwhelmed and paralyzed into inaction. Once you understand what can do and what you want do, you can start taking steps toward those things. You have to just choose one thing at a time to tackle. Making small, steady victories will cure your restlessness. Your mind simply wants to feel as if you are moving forward. So make that first step.

At the end of the day, you have to accept that “real life” isn’t something somewhere out there happening to other people, it’s what your living right now. This is your life. Start living it.

It Never Gets Easier Than NOW

20 07 2009
Do it now!

Do it now!

Hello there.

You – yep YOU, sitting there at your computer – are about to read one of the most challenging, sergeant major “kick-butt” articles you have in a long, long time. Actually, you can’t read it and not feel yelled at to “get your act together”. I’m sharing this post with you because it’s a big favourite – I came across it yesterday on (great website). It’s more than worth the three minutes and forty two seconds it’ll take to read. Just promise me that you’ll DO something different after reading it. Brace for impact, and “hold your nose cos here goes the cold water”.



Just do it!

Just do it!

Have you ever heard friends say they’ll start a company “someday” or start investing “next year” or even just hang out on a weekend “another time”?

Every time I hear someone say “I’m too busy” to do something, a little puppy dies and I want to stab myself in the eye with a katana blade. I don’t think people realize how good we have it right now: We’re young, we’re only responsible for ourselves, and we can do basically anything we want. If you think about the responsibilities we’ll have in 20 years–or even 5–you start to appreciate that doing almost anything will never get easier than it is now.

Here are 10 examples:

1. Saving money is never easier than now. If you don’t think you can save 25%+ of your salary today, think about this: You have no one else you’re spending on. And while your salary will go up, the increase won’t be commensurate with your expenses–unless you start developing habits right now. Let’s think about some of the expenses we’ll face soon: insurance, a new home, homeowner’s insurance, remodeling, moving costs, a car, car insurance, car repair, medical costs, vacations, giving to charity, giving wedding gifts, giving birthday gifts, giving graduation gifts, a babysitter, diapers, baby formula, kids’ sports, and, finally, unexpected expenses. As Chris Yeh wrote, “Just this morning, I calculated that our monthly expenses are about 10X what they were when my wife and I were just a single couple living on our own, mostly due to our two bundles of joy.” If you think you’ll be able to save more in the future than today, you’re out of your mind. Read my site, read others, start a budget, and find a way.

2. Working out. We’re in the best natural shape of our lives. There’s a school near my place, and when I run, I see older men sweating like Patrick Ewing after only one lap. I scornfully lap those 72-year-old men over and over again. It’ll never be easier than today.

3. Eating fast food. With that said, our metabolism also makes it possible for us to eat the greasiest, most delicious food on earth without causing our thighs (or whatever) to show it. So maybe we shouldn’t feel guilty about enjoying that filthy KFC bowl.

4. Starting your own business. Here are some common reasons people give for not starting one “right now” that make me thankful I am not a dragon (my sigh would ignite them): “I’ll just wait until I save a little more money,” they say. Or “I just have to learn some more before I do it.” Now, most people won’t start their own companies and that is perfectly cool. But for those that want to, there’s nothing like learning by doing–and if you fail, what’s the worst that can happen at our age? You don’t lose your house or wife and kids. You go and…get a regular job. You can always go to the corporate world. Going the entrepreneurial route gets harder and harder.

I faced this exact situation when I was graduating from college: Google made me a great offer, the position was a nice fit, and the people there are really smart. Plus, the food is amazing. But I decided to go the startup route (to PBwiki) because I can always go back to the corporate side. The people at Google couldn’t have been more supportive.

5. Just hanging out with friends. It’s easier to go out with friends now than it will ever be in the future. Why? Because we all live in the same general area, live similar lifestyles, and have virtually no responsibilities to anyone else. “But Ramit,” you might say, “most of my friends live far away.” Even if they live on another coast, we have such few external responsibilities that we can take a weekend trip to most places. Also, on my comedy blog (Things I Hate), I wrote about the people in college who get “married” by only hanging out with their boyfriend/girlfriend. What a huge mistake. Your friends aren’t all boring and in serious relationships yet. If you have any married friends, have you ever tried hanging out with them? It’s like a giraffe trying to find a pair of lost contact lenses. Impossible. We’re young, our friends are young, and we’re all pretty available to hang.

6. Doing your own side projects. Good grief, we have more free time right now than we know what to do with. “But Ramit,” you might say, “I work 12 hours a day and then I study for the GMAT and then I build houses in Guatemala on the weekends. You’re full of shit.” Let’s keep it real: We all have lots and lots of time we use for leisure activities–whether it’s watching The Hills (Heidi surprised me on Wednesday), working out, or whatever. The question is, can you track what you spend your time on and redirect it to something you care about? Something that will have an impact for the next 5, 10, or 50 years? The answer is yes. And we’ll only get busier in the future.

7. Taking risks in investing and life. I’m going to describe some fears we have about investing, but you can apply this to anything.

Don’t worry so much about losing all your money. Don’t worry about not having the optimal asset allocation. Don’t worry about your friends making more than you. Worry about not getting started. In my 1-hour talks, I ask young people our age about what would happen if we lost all our money right now. After a couple of inevitable gasps, most people admit that it wouldn’t really be that bad. Maybe they’d go live at home for a few months, get back on their feet, and go get another job. But what happens when you’re 35 with a husband, 2 kids, and a mortgage? Losing most (or all) of your money would be catastrophic. And if you’re 65 and spending your money on pills and bingo, losing your money can be a matter of life and death.

To get higher returns, you incur higher risks. And at our age, we have a huge tolerance for risk–even an appetite for it. And if we invest well for the long term, time can mitigate any short-term losses. No, I’m not telling you to lose all your money. You have to get educated and get started (see a list of all my articles). But if you let a fear of losing money deter you from investing, you’re losing the best years of compounding to turn a little money into a lot.

8. Meeting interesting people. You wouldn’t believe how many people are willing to meet to share advice and connections. I meet them all the time, and it’s not because I’m some fancy guy (I’m not). It’s because I’m young and interested. CEOs, VCs, and even small-business proprietors and teachers are so friendly. I think it’s because of 3 things: First, people love to talk about themselves, and I’m interested in their story. Second, people love talking to young people, both to share their experience and to stay connected to young people; for example, last week, I taught a business friend what “Benjamins” are. God I loved it. Third, people love knowing that your intentions are pure and that you got in touch to learn, not to inject some corporate agenda. Who knows what could happen if you just asked?

9. Travelling. You think when you’re 30, you’ll be able to take a weekend trip to New York, stay out until 5am, then make it back in time for Monday morning? No way. I’m not 30, but aren’t most 30-year-olds plagued with arthritic joints and incontinence? Heh, I hope I don’t get in trouble for that one. Anyway, travelling to visit (or live) in other places is unbelievably easy right now. To visit, it costs about $200 roundtrip to anywhere in country. To live, we pick a place, get a job, and it’s done. We have no one to answer to, and imagine the amount you can learn by living somewhere else.

10. Living in situations your parents would abhor. As we get older, we naturally demand a more comfortable living situation. When we travel abroad, for example, we can stay in hostels with no problem. When older people travel, they need a hotel. In college, we lived in like 150 square feet with 2 other people. Older people measure their homes in the thousands of square feet, and they have things like “dens” and “islands” in their “kitchen.” (Funny thing: You should have seen some of the parents’ horrified faces when they visited Stanford, where the dorms are actually really nice. And then to buy sheets (”linens” to them) at Target? Oh my god!) Ok, that went off on a huge tangent, but the point is that we can live in a way that older people cannot. So whether that’s saving on rent by living in a cheaper place, or driving your 10-year-old car, or just realizing you don’t need that much…it’s never easier than it is now.

Think about it. Is this going to be just another blog article you read and then go on with your day? Or can you think of something concrete, right now, that you want to do – because it’s easier now than it will ever be?

Translation: Sieze the day, trusting little in the future. - Horace

Translation: Sieze the day, trusting little in the future. - Horace

Have More by Choosing Less

13 07 2009



As I search for simplicity in my life, I’ve realized that it’s not just about purging Stuff. Stuff is simply the physical representation of an overall pattern of clutter. In order to accomplish what I want to accomplish, I need to sort and purge the mental mess, too.

Over at yesterday, author Erin shared her guide to “having it all”. She explains how she’s able to lead a full life without getting bogged down by Stuff — both physical and mental. Her eleven tips are all worth reading, but they basically boil down to:

Prioritize. Determine what matters most. Choose the objects and obligations that bring meaning to your life, and make those your focus. Learn to say “no” to the things that don’t matter.

Minimize. Eliminate the non-essential. Pursue activities that you enjoy and/or that allow you to be productive. “Have the minimum amount of Stuff for you to be comfortable,” Erin writes. Get rid of everything that is toxic in your life.

Organize. As you reduce your obligations and the things you own, put everything in its place. Create a routine and develop the discipline to stick to that routine. If you take care of the essential, you’ll have time and room for fun without feeling stressed.

Economize. Following the first three steps ought to reduce your spending. As you continue to simplify, live within your means. Develop a budget. Save for retirement. Buy quality instead of quantity. Be an intelligent consumer.

Energize. Finally, be industrious. Don’t procrastinate. Pursue your passions with passion. Eat well and get enough rest so that you can work hard — and play hard, too. “Carpe vitam,” Erin says — seize life.

I often wonder how it’s come to this. How did I — a guy who craves a life with little to do — become bogged down by so many obligations? There’s only one me, and only so much time in each day. If I want to achieve my personal goals (Get fit! Learn Spanish!), I need to follow this advice. I need to prioritize, minimize, organize, and economize so that I can energize my life.


Speak Up For Those Who Cannot

12 07 2009

I recently watched the 2007 movie “Amazing Grace”. The movie is based on the life of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce, and is an inspiration which sets us up for the current issue which plagues our society even today. And even a simple glance at the issue reveals that Wilberforce’s work to rid society of slavery is far from finished.

Probably the most startling statistic is the estimated 27 million slaves still in the world today. These slaves come in varied forms, and may be very different from the slaves in the days of Wilberforce. But they are slaves nonetheless.

Millions across the globe are bonded into slavery with men, women and children toiling on plantations. Then there is the deplorable and prevalent trade in humans to serve as sex slaves.

Let’s look at the statistics: an estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year; approximately 50 per cent of all victims are children; 126 million children work in the worst forms of child labour – one in every 12 of the world’s five- to seventeen-year-olds; there are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers involved in over 30 areas of conflict worldwide, some younger than 10 years old.

These people have no choice over the course of their lives, no rights, and are often beaten, abused and threatened with violence. Slavery is flourishing in many parts of the world and it is every bit as ugly as it was 200 years ago.

The deplorable facts remind us of our obligation as human beings to put a stop to this evil. As we approach the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade, many campaigns are underway to bring the issue of modern day slavery to the public’s attention. So much so that as the statistics are revealed to us, Wilberforce’s words are echoed to us today:

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.”

These were Wilberforce’s comments to the House of Parliament prior to its members voting on his Abolition Bill in 1789.

Eighteen years later, in 1807, the British slave trade was abolished. Let us not allow so many years to pass before we face the facts on modern slavery and stand up together to take action to free those still in bondage today.

For more information on slavery please visit:

On Dreams, Ruts, and Fear of Change

1 07 2009
Breaking free...

Breaking free...

I recently emailed a good friend to encourage and challenge them to leave a job they have been unhappy with for many months.

As I re-read the email I’d sent, it occurred to me that the message it communicated would apply just as well to any other area of life where you find yourself “stuck” or in a rut. The reality is that the human psyche is often the same across the board – the same fears that hold one person back from changing jobs, hold someone else back from moving overseas, starting a business, leaving a bad relationship, or finally doing that “one thing” they always dreamed of doing. We all get held back at times by fear of the unknown.. fear of failure.. and maybe even fear of success and the criticism or attention it might bring.

I recall a recent discussion with some friends of mine, where someone asked “if accountability is so motivating, why don’t we share our goals and aspirations more?” We concluded that either (1 You fear that your goal / dream might be ridiculed or dismissed by others, so you don’t share it, or (2 You fear that people might be impressed with the goal / dream, but that then you risk embarrassment if you fail to reach it after sharing it openly.

Two vital keys to pursuing your goals & dreams are:

(1. Realise that everyone has goals, dreams and aspirations – you are not alone. Yours may not be the same as everyone else’s, but they are just as important.

(2. Realise that it is human nature to fear change, but you also have the power to act in spite of that fear. I believe the biggest part of overcoming it is recognizing that it is there, acknowledging its power to hold you back if you let it. Consciously choose to master your fear – don’t let your fear master you without you realizing it.

Here is the message I sent my friend. Apply it to yourself (I am doing the same).


*** *** ***

This is the voice from the sky that you have been waiting for……… this vital message is not getting through! This message will be there, daring you to act – today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.. until you change your situation!




You should have done it yesterday, and you know it……. The fact that you haven’t makes you feel bad and powerless…. And you’ll keep feeling that way as long as you are still in the same place.

It WON’T change. The definition of insanity is doing the SAME thing, every day, and expecting different results.

You are not enjoying it, you have NO interest in what you’re wasting endless hours EVERY DAY doing… it is stifling and squashing your awesome personality – and if you do this for long enough, you will lose the capacity to believe in yourself and have faith in your ability to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals.

Change is SCARY and frightening….. you have this amazing personality but a part of that is that you don’t like confrontation, upsetting people or rocking the boat, and will do anything to avoid it if you can. BUT you have to realise that you cannot please everybody, and that everyone has their own lives to worry about – this also includes YOU. No-one else will do it for you. And at the end of the day, other people really don’t care about whether you stay or go – you could stay there for the next FIVE YEARS and no-one would be impressed – people would just think “oh that’s the nice person who has been here for five years”.. while you would be DYING INSIDE wishing you’d chosen differently.

Do you want to still be suffering dutifully, restricted in the same place, in 2014??

No? Ok, how about 2013?

2012? 2011?

No? Then what about 2010???

The time for change is not tomorrow. The time for change is NOW.

To get the right answers, you need to start asking the right QUESTIONS… instead of “Why am I still here”… or “How long till my situation changes”.. you need to ask “What do I need to start doing TODAY to get me to where I want to be TOMORROW (or next month). Start looking!!! Make a plan! One week after you introduce this change, I guarantee that you will be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner, and asking why you put up with that for so LONG! Change is a lot easier than you think it is……… it’s the IDEA of change that is scary. If you can get past that, your possibilities are ENDLESS.

In closing: the difference between who you ARE and who you want to BE, is what you choose to DO.


Learn to fly - just because you can

Learn to fly - just because you can