Success sometimes doesn't mean what we think it means.
Every time you achieve something you set out to achieve, you're a success. If you tell yourself you're going to go jogging for an hour and you do it, then you have succeeded.
Too often we associate success with money and careers. You can be successful at anything. Parenting, painting, cooking, dieting. It doesn't really matter what it is as long as it is what you want.
When we started this adventure we wanted to do 2 things successfully.
1) Create the opportunity for our family to travel the world together as a lifestyle.
2) Create a blog that worked and could potentially open doors and create opportunity in the future.
Well, I'm happy to say we have succeeded. Are our successes big successes? Sure, why not? All successes are big. I'm not going to compare or downplay what we have done, and you shouldn't either. If we all took pride in our small, daily success stories, then the world would be a better place! So go ahead, and embrace your success.
I wanted to put together a list of some of the bigger changes we've made that have impacted our success. I don't think it matters if you want to travel the world like us. The formulas for success are always the same. This stuff can work for anybody, on any level, for any goal.
Anyway, I hope this helps those of you who are looking for your own success. Stick with it, it will come.
1) Learning To Make Decisions
No matter what it is you want to do, you have to decide to do it. I know think sounds rather obvious, but it's not. Making a decision can be tough, and that's why so often many of us give up. Once you get excited to do something - start doing it. Don't wait for doubt to come in or the phone to ring. Do. Do. Do. Your idea is a good idea, it just needs a bit of help.
Grab your idea. Set a goal. Work towards the goal. And don't stop 'til you reach the goal.
2) Paying Off Our Debt
No way we could travel the world while carrying debt. At one point I thought we could, but I was way wrong. All debt does is hold you back. It is the constant dark cloud hovering over all of us. First thing you should do before making any big change is pay off your debt. For us, it has made a huge difference in our lives and how we plan on traveling.
Check Out: Debt Free For Life
3) Learning To Work
In the past I failed at things because I didn't know how to work. That's not to say I was lazy, but I just didn't know how to get things done. I talked a lot. I second guessed a lot. I had lots of ideas, but very few results. Once I learned how to work, things took a big a turn for the better. I highly recommend Getting Things Done and Zen To Done. Both have really helped me learn how to work and accomplish the things in life I wanted.
4) Saving And Simplifying
These two go hand in hand! The more you simplify your lifestyle, the more you will save, and the less complicated your life will be. At this point, we can't cut back much more than we have until we start traveling. We are living modern, simple lives - and we are saving a lot. Our debt is gone, our expenses are minimized, and we just don't buy stuff. At this point it is pretty easy, but this wasn't always the case. For most of us, we are trained to buy things. We think we need much more than we really do. We think we like things we don't really like. At one point I loved TV, or at least I thought I did, but now I don't have any use for it. We move on and forward.
Simple is always best, no matter what your plans are. And the good news is you don't have to wait. You can start getting simple today. Right now!
5) Getting Connected
I think most of us have yet to realize the power of social media. Social media is changing the world, and it can change your world. There are 2 things that make a good blog: Content and Connections, and I think the same applies for businesses and careers across the board. If you produce something good, and you know people who can help you share it, then you're all set.
I was pretty much a hermit until I started this blog. I didn't see the point in social media or connections, but I was wrong again. Getting connected is important. You can learn a lot. You can teach a lot. And you just might be able to make your life a whole lot easier by having a few more helpful friends.
Check Out: Having The World At Your Fingertips
6) Changing Our Idea Of Security
Security is a weird and wacky thing.
Is security a house? Insurance? Retirement? A job?
Is it happiness? Education? Fulfillment? Freedom?
Throughout this process I started to learn that security for me had much more to do with my skills and abilities than my job and savings. If I was to feel secure, I had to find a way to count on myself instead of everyone else and their systems. A tilt towards self-reliance I guess. I realized I don't want to depend on systems. I want to use and help systems, but I don't want to count on them. I want to count on me. My knowledge, abilities, creativity, work ethic, connections - these things add up to my security.
Check Out: Where's You Security?
7) Ignoring The Doubt
I don't care what form it comes in, doubt is pointless. What good can come of doubt?
Maybe we doubt we can succeed. Maybe someone else doubts our ideas or our abilities. Whatever the form, doubt is debilitating and it will keep you from doing a great many things.
Don't doubt. Even when you think it is justified and makes sense. Even when everyone thinks you're nuts - don't doubt. Doubters do nothing.
Check Out: The Uncertainty Book
8 ) Making Family Priority #1
The easiest and most obvious thing on the list is also the hardest - at least for me. I don't really have a problem finding time for my family, but I do struggle to keep my mind from wandering when I am in those family moments. This is something I have to work on, and something I hope travel will help me learn to do better. I guess for now, knowing this is an issue for me is a step in the right direction, but by no means a finished product.
Any Great Family Escape should be about getting closer to our families and making the most of our lives. Don't forget that.
9) Getting Educated
Maybe more than anything else on this list, my education over the past year has helped me realize that traveling the world and starting a new life is not so crazy! Self-education is underrated. We rely to heavily on systems and others to give us our knowledge. Really, we can just teach ourselves. Read blogs. Read books. Watch documentaries. Fiddle with the new software. People often ask how to do this or that. How exactly do you start a blog? How do minimize? How do you travel for a living? Easy, you just start doing it. Doing is education. Doing is the trick!
Check Out: It Might Not Be As Hard As You Think
10) Quitting Was No Longer An Option
You want to know the not-so-magic secret of success? Ok, here is is: Don't quit! That is it, and that is all.
You can do pretty much anything you want, as long as you stick with it. When you fall, get back up and keep going. It sounds cliche, but cliches are often cliche for a reason.
Everyone fails. Michael Jordan missed more shots in his career than he made. The Beatles performed 1,000 gigs before anyone knew who they were. Success of any sort takes time and will. Odds are, if you think your idea is really good, then it probably is. But no one will ever know it unless you keep it alive.
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