I have spent a lot of my time talking about how to improve your health and your wealth, I and millions of others (you included) are all chasing the dream of financial independence, we live it, breathe it and try every day to find the one thing that will push us over the threshold and onto the land of milk and honey, but, how many times have you stopped to think what that threshold is ? what is the goal all about, and after all what is financial independence really?
There are some who believe in a new form of slavery, not bonds of chains and rope but rather we are bound be finance agreements and mortgages, and I have to say that after having given it some thought I have to agree, everywhere we look there is an advert for the latest thing we need to own or do or go to in order to feel successful, and a valued member of society, well it is on the latter that I wish to start.
If you stop and have a look around it is not difficult to see the holes in the fabric of society, consumerism has become king and we have started to allow the creation of global mega corporations that control all aspects of our lives, more now than at any in history society as a whole has become obsessed with consuming and the acquisition of goods, in the absence of leisure activities able to keep up with our “on demand” expectations we have created our own digital escapism and in turn been infected by it’s influence, the YouTube stars we created through our own boredom are now the billionaires that we look up to and aspire to be, we have attempted to become gods and we have failed, en mass we are declaring bankruptcy and filing for divorce children are uprooted and their loyalties tested as parents scrabble for the last vestment of their borrowed life, meanwhile war, famine and global poverty rage through the developing countries like a storm across a meadow, destroying the crops and killing off life with no remorse, so we turn to mentors, motivational speakers and preachers for answers, so desperate that we do not check any credential preferring instead to listen to the mantra of success and happiness that will extinguish the darkness we have created in our lives.
Pretty Grim right? although I have taken some artistic licence I do stand by the above completely, social media has provided a platform for easy money and peoples true colours are showing through, girls young and old post erotic pictures to gain followers and money, lads generally set about doing bizarre things on video in order to attract enough followers to be rich, and motivation evangelists preach their lessons on a 24hr loop to get your subscription, the problem with this is simple, if we created this phenomenon then what can we learn from it? it has been formed by us for us and now we turn to it to help make our lives better?.
This is an example of reactive living, and it is probably the most destructive thing we do, it will prevent you from truly excelling or changing your situation or (as is my main motivation) making a better life for your children and partners.
You see most of us live in a reactive state, a problem comes along and we react (because we have to) we see what needs to be done and somehow we find a way and do it, but stop for a moment, is this the best way ? has being reactive ever got anybody anywhere has it ever been a good solid way to plan a future? the answer is no, if you have to react to a situation it means the situation has become critical within it’s own context of course, and if you have ignored a bill for instance and then a collector arrives on the doorstep you have to react and it always costs more money than it would have to speak to the creditor and work something out, if you are falling off a ladder because you did not secure it properly you will need to react, sure you could aim for a bush or a porch that can break your fall, but you are still going to hurt yourself a lot more than if you secured the ladder correctly and didn’t fall.
In short a reaction tends to save a situation and you can always say “it could have been worse” but what we don’t stop to say is “it should have been better”, over time we have been taught to react, to allow things to get to a critical point and then to make one big herculean effort to clean up the mess, it is what finance and relationships and social media have come to be about, and yet when you speak to successful people nine times out of ten they had a plan, sure they had to react to situations, Richard Branson had to react during his bankruptcies, but the plan remained the same, the drive and the pro-action were identical to the plan prior to the set back, and in this respect a retaliation to a set back is not reactive living it is enforcing your will upon resistance to your cause.
Have you ever wondered when you look at the huge swathes of people that are successful how they got there? in some cases it is easy to see, expert business people who have studied and learned their trade only to make it in their chosen profession or career, to entrepreneurs who picked the right product at the right time and made a fortune probably after a whole load of products that didn’t, but this now extends to the social media types who are famous for nothing more than being famous, they have sold out themselves in some cases and in others they have sold out their children and families for fame and fortune, and for the ones that have really made it there is a lot of fame and fortune, while I hold the majority of the latter in complete disdain it is not because of money, it is because they feel that they have something to give the world other than the tedium that is their life supported by the bored and lonely and they try to educate when they used luck and being pro-active to get where they are not intelligence and reason, you see the one thing that cannot be taken away form these people is the fact that they just did it, whatever it was they decided to do they got up and started, they took a pro-active stance on life and changed the world if not for everybody else then at least for themselves.
And that is the moral of this post, being pro-active should not need any explanation as to how it makes your life better, if you pro-actively change your energy suppliers before the tariff changes you do not lose the money that they take between the charges going up and you noticing enough to do something about it, if you start a business and keep going at it always trying to get that step further along you will be successful in no matter what you do, and you don’t need any earth shattering idea to do it, you just need to shout louder than the other guy, health works on the same principle, if you leave your health until you are hugely overweight and unwell it will take longer to get right again and you will pay the cost of that time of being unhealthy through long term illness or ailment, mental health too, if you start to feel that you are struggling then see someone immediately do not wait until you have drawn a blade across your wrist and are asked why in the emergency room, one of the best things about this as a strategy is it is simple to do, you just have to do it, pick up the phone, design the website, go to the gym or sit down with your partner and work stuff out, but do it and do it now, start today and make a better future for yourself by yourself as nobody else can do it for you no matter how much they may want to.