This is what we are all looking for, a future filled with beautiful landscapes and no worries, but we will not get there without thinking for ourselves.
In recent weeks this blog has grown to over 300 subscribers, and for context that has taken me over two years to get there, additionally it has been in previous weeks that I have had so much to do that I have not posted a single thing, however when I was following all the recommendations about how often to post and what to write, I struggled to get over 150 subscribers, but I was tired, and over worked trying to complete my day job as well as the blog on a regular basis, I forgot why I started ironically by pursuing the goal with more and more dedication.
OK so I have noticed as well that a lot of people that have started subscribing are online marketers or people involved in affiliate marketing and such, while this is not a bad thing I challenge you to think of this, if you are following another GURU’s advice and working on it every night religiously to the cost of your freedom haven’t you just actually given yourself another drain on your time and another way to spend money?
And we all fall into the trap of thinking if we just spend a little we can get that extra hit that will create a sale and the viral sales avalanche that will make us rich, problem is for most of us that will never happen, and by most I mean literally 99.99%
I want to propose another way.
First Time Bullshit
Anybody Recognise this ?
The other day I was looking through Linkedin and I noticed a post from the owner / starter of the above brand, talking about how he built the company from nothing and how he stayed up all night packing parcels and printing t-shirts, if we ignore the fact that basically the brand is simply just that, a marketing exercise, the fact is that he was the first person to try social media marketing, that is a fact, they sent some of their clothing to people that had established youtube channels and they basically sold the product for them.
This can never happen again, I am not bitter or stressed by it, I just want people to stop chasing the advice of people that got there first, if you do not believe me then just look how many clothing brands are out there trying to be Gymshark, you don’t see their CEO’s on Linkedin talking about how much money they have because they don’t have any.
So to listen to how this guy did it should be a lesson in how to spot a gap in the market, or get lucky, or simply just for the entertainment value of listening to somebody who has what you want flaunting it in your face and charging you for the privilege of sitting there being told they have more money than you.
All the time you spend listening to the Bullshit is more time that you could be building your business.
Two Ways to Freedom
So there are only two ways, unless you have made it and are just here for a laugh, the first is of course to come up with an original idea, by original idea I do not mean just a new product or a new way of selling, this can mean (and often does) just a new way of approaching advertising.
Like the Amazon’s and Gymshark’s of this of this world you can find a way to do something that people have never seen before and then work at it till you are blue in the face, you see I don’t say that the people behind those brands (and many others like them) didn’t work hard, they did and they also worked against great adversity, being the new person on the block is always harder because people seem to actively want you to fail, you only have to look back at when Jeff Bezos started Amazon to see the ridicule that he got in the press and on the internet that in a twist of irony he now just about owns.
if you manage to find something like this then for gods sake keep plugging away at it because it will succeed (with a few caveats obviously)
The second way is the way that most of us will need to achieve in order to succeed, that is to take something that somebody is already doing and throw enough money at it so you can ram it down peoples throats 24/7 until they start buying, best example is Bang energy drinks, that guy just kept appearing like a bad smell and threw millions at advertising in an already saturated market, he succeeded where others had failed because he had money to throw at it.
However for most people who are on the internet trying to make money that is simply not an option, drowning slowly in debt, barely keeping up payments, we have become exactly what the establishment wants us to be, drones.
F**K You I Won’t Do What You Tell Me!
Now I am not some crackpot radical that believes that we don’t need money to be happy, and that the path to true happiness is to shed the bonds of commercialised consumerism, hell no! I am as materialistic as the next person, but I believe in wealth not credit lifestyles with glass floors just waiting to crack.
What the Establishment Want
I have said this many times before and I will say it again, the establishment, governments, law enforcement, societies, the rich and the famous, need to keep people like us moving through the meat grinder process.
The steps that keep the rich rich and the poor short lived are obvious if you look long enough at the people around you.
BORN – Be born and start on your way down the path of servitude, enjoy this time because it is the only time you are truly free as an individual.
GO TO SCHOOL – Education is essential, you need to learn to read and to write, without this you are at a constant disadvantage, however the education system is designed condition you from the outset and teach you what you need to be a good productive cog, here you learn enough to know what you want and that you will need to finance it to get it.
GET A JOB – Ever stop to think when you clock on in the morning why you are picking up the shit and the guy that owns the company is on a beach somewhere not giving a damn if you live or die, even leaders like Richard Branson showed is true colours during the pandemic when he made the decision from his private island to lay off loads of employees due to budget issues, this job is your prison it is your ball and chain that you begin your productive life with.
GET A MORTGAGE – Mortgage (Death Contract) a house built with financed money that does not exist is given to you for a payment each month until you die or pay it off, there is no value to the house, there is no value to the contract but you will give earned money to the bank making your liability their asset.
PROGRESS – Just through the job market though until you can pay as much tax as you can earn while huge corporations delay tax payments for years and then pay only what they see fit.
TAKE OUT LIFE INSURANCE – Pay the same institutions that you are paying for your house to insure you against the ultimate end, providing more money for them to lend to others and make more interest on, and when you die they simple wipe the debt based on the insured amount, pursue your family for the rest and then somebody else comes along and “buys” the house from them as they are the ones that can provide the Mortgage.
DIE – And don’t forget to pay for your funeral upfront because if you don’t and your family don’t have the money it is a bin bag for you!
Screw the System
Screw Robert Kyosaki, his first successful business endeavour was the book he wrote on becoming rich, the man is a puppet of the banking system, in fact I will go further it is people like him that rely on us mere workers to live their lavish lifestyles, in previous posts I have fallen into the trap of thinking that may be the way, if you look back you will find them as I do not delete anything, this blog is about a learning path, not me trying to claim I have the answers, before you start and indeed where I have started and am continuing to progress through is clear your debt.
If you owe money on something then it is not yours, you only have to stop paying for a month or two and see, so here is the first really harsh lesson, however you choose to do it, through working extra jobs or doing some low paying online stuff, take that money and pay off your debts, own your life, take it back from the establishment and start to live.
Once your life is yours you will have started the journey, don’t invest money when you have debt as you will never get a return that is higher than the debt you are paying out, in the worst of scenarios, you could actually be making yourself more poor by having investments.
This weeks Takeaway
I encourage anybody who has taken the jump to buy their life and the lives of their children and partners back from the establishment meat grinder, however you are doing that, but please think carefully about the way you are doing it, anytime you owe money you are owned, stop being owned, stand up and be your own person, you only need to make it through the first year or son before you amass enough money to be able to purchase the people that are required to really make money, once you make that money you get the power to stand at the devils right hand as opposed to being in his path.
Spend this year or more if needed buying your freedom, then once you have done that spend another year making that freedom exactly what you want it to be, and don’t fall for the meat grinder.
I wanted to point out some of things that are missed by the Guru’s, you are everything at first, and what I mean by that is that you are marketing, sales, picking/packing customer relations, social media, and purchasing, the buck really does stop with you.
You are probably thinking YAWN I know!
But unless you are doing it you don’t know, listen the fact of the matter is, unless you can have all your products sold through Amazon Fulfillment Which cost a fortune in stock initially,
You will have to be the person that is responsible for purchasing marketing picking packing and selling, the problem this presents is never addressed in any of these marketing Guru videos, these millionaires telling you how they did it and how you should be doing it, and the people that are apparently making $10,000 a second from selling rubber dog poop,
My working days have extended from the 10 hours daytime working, to around 18 hours on an average day and that’s 7 days a week, this is because there is no start your site and become a millionaire, there is no no fast track to getting your goods to the top of the Google search engine, and although shopify YouTube all these are brilliant places to sell Amazon is fantastic you’ve got to bear in mind that you are there with hundreds of thousands of others all trying to do exactly the same thing.
The history of life has always been written by the winners, and ultimately the winners in life have always been the people that have got the largest amount of resource, as much as nobody wants to hear it and as much as it would be lovely if it wasn’t the case, the fact is that resource equals directly the amount of money you have to spend, this isn’t a myth this isn’t me being all upset and sad and bitter that I haven’t sold a million protein powders and now I’ve got a Bentley in a big house and we never have to worry about money again, it’s literally a fact, when you look into the background of a lot of these gurus (as I have said before), normally it is the case that “when I started this business all I had was a dream and 3 million dollars”..
YOU CAN MAKE IT!
But you can make it, the internet as I’ve said many times before, is still a very very fertile Goldmine, the only reason I have made this particular post, is because it has come as a huge shock to me just how much time this is taking, unless you have a lot of money to invest, the best thing you can do is just accept that for the next 12 to 18 months you’re going to see hardly anything of anybody.
The one comfort you can take is the fact that the vast majority of people that started at the same time as you, will give up before that time, they just will the amount of times I have sat here and so I can’t be bothered if this is literally going nowhere, and nearly given up, is difficult to count, just do what I do always remind yourself why you started in the first place, and actually the further into it you go the further into that reason you wonder, what I mean by this is that you will start to distance yourself from the people around you, they normally the people that you started doing this for, financial freedom is generally to benefit our family, and these are the ones you’re going to miss during this 12 to 18 months.
So as a final reminder, Work hard realised that it’s going to be hard work but keep going because the rewards are going to be there, this is the only place where the little guy or girl can compete with the big guys and girls with the big budgets we just need a little more patience.
So I’ve been experimenting today and yesterday with varying ways of advertising, you could have literally the best product in the world but if nobody knows it’s there or they can purchase it well you know they ever gonna make any money, so listed below are the top 5 ways I drive traffic to my site read on!.
Oddly, Actually in order!!
Facebook.com – has to be the first one, however it should be noted that it isn’t a panacea, frankly the ways of getting Facebook advertising into Shopify were so complicated and convoluted that it literally took the longest time of everything here, the linking of ad accounts, business accounts, that it wants to know who’s going to pay the bill (obviously) it is massively over complicated, and if I’m going to be completely honest 48 hours later I’m still actually no further forward, not strictly true but I haven’t set it up completely yet.
Google – These two should have been joint first place, and it could be argued that they do go hand in hand, but where they are similar mainly, is the fact that they are literally the go-to for their particular reasons so exactly the same as vacuum cleaners becoming known as hoovers because that was the familiar brand, social media has become Facebook, and searching for stuff on the internet has become known as Googling which of course I don’t need to tell any of you, this actually was fairly simple, you add the sales channel, then you add it to an account, you are given a merchant account and it then syncs all your products to google shopping search, this takes between 24 to 36 hours to start coming into effect, so don’t expect to set this up and suddenly make a million and one sales, there are also two ways of doing this, there is the unpaid version, which is simply referred to as Google Sync, and this simply syncs your products to Google pages to be suggested along with other purchase suggestions when people look for products, and there is a paid version, Which is called smart shopping, and this is as I say paid for and you require a budget and for that see my last post.
Additionally specifically through Shopify you can setup a sync to an eBay account, of course this requires an eBay account and as at the time of writing my business partner is sound asleep and therefore I can’t get the account details to link it so when he calls I will update this post with those details as well, but I would imagine and then it’s going to be simply using eBay’s API to pass advert and products across to their site on your account eBay again is a huge resource as far as selling products is concerned because it is one of those go-to sites for consumers.
Instagram – The old favourite, this is where things start to get a little complicated, because you end up in a situation where you almost have a reciprocal and cyclical advertising loop, when you link to Facebook you have to remember that Facebook is inherently and natively linked to Instagram, my advice really is to make sure that you are not paying twice or setting up multiple advertising campaigns, inadvertently replicating each other, be aware that your business account on Facebook is also going to offer you the ability to advertise on Instagram and vice versa, so when creating the sales Channel in Shopify bear that in mind.
Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Mix – and indeed all the other photo and lifestyle sharing sites, Although last on the list, they are of massive importance, however I don’t regard them as directly and purely marketing applications, the one thing we’re all trying to achieve, is brand awareness we all want people to know what our brand is, Where it can be found and indeed how good it is, it also doesn’t hurt to have many people using it and speaking about it at length.
Now I have bored you to death!
As I stated previously the social media Revolution has allowed anybody and everybody with the right tenacity and patience to make a lot of money online, it is now no longer the mutual domain of big companies with investment plans and a huge loan from the bank that can go on and make the money, the only thing you require is the ability to keep pushing when it looks like you’re getting nowhere, this business and indeed any online business is simply a matter of figuring out the Mathematics and equations, literally if you build it and you tell them it’s there they will come.
So very short post this time just to keep people updated, hopefully enough people care, I appreciate the fact that a lot of my advice appears to be to not take people’s advice and to learn for yourself, the reason I say this is because there are too many people who have failed or who have tried to run a business and haven’t made it then go on to sell the process they used for great profit, and I personally don’t like that.
That being said, if there is anything you think I can help with other is anything that you think you want me to try and clarify that I haven’t put across particularly well, please by all means leave a comment, and I will reply as soon as I possibly can.
It is now obvious that this is going to be a long drawn out process, businesses are closing their doors and funded with government money are putting employees on furlough, given the complete inability of the Great British public to stay indoors it looks like even more restrictive measures will be put in place to slow the spread of this virus, for some however this presents an opportunity, a way of leveraging the falling markets for their own gain, as millions is stripped off of stocks seemingly every hour they are buying up cheap stock as if it is going out of fashion.
I, as a capitalist cannot with a straight face say that this is a bad thing and you, like me may well be tempted to speculate with what money you have based on the now numerous YouTube videos from these millionaires telling you how they are going to make so much money in the future.
It is a great idea, but stop to think for a minute, this (in the UK at least) is only just beginning to take hold, there are a lot of companies that will not be able to sustain the downturn and their stock will dwindle to nothing, remember the markets and a lot of business was not doing so well before Corona came along. there is actually now reason to think that it will suddenly all go back to normal after the pandemic is over, in fact it is my opinion and one that is growing steadily among others that life will literally never be the same after this, too many firm held beliefs and control structures have been challenged and show to be incorrect.
Traditional business models
Already on the ropes, traditional business models may well see this as the final curtain call, long commutes congested over crowded city centres, huge budget air conditioned offices and constant flights among business users may well be a thing of the past, seen currently as a necessary evil in the name of business progress, new ways of working are being utilised now more than ever, just as some of the biggest medical breakthroughs came from war and famine, so to will come the implementation of a better way, a cleaner way, and one that costs a lot less money, business is being conducted over the internet and work is being done remotely, all with relative seamless adoption, this adoption is based on need, substantial change never comes from patient lobbying, or protest even if the protest or the point is valid, change is only tolerated when it is required to meet an adversary head on, to fight back against great odds and win at all costs because we are fighting for our way of life, how easy will it be to justify the recommencement of wholesale business trips or large office space when we have already proved that business will not stop because we can’t travel, or that people can just as easily work from home because the infrastructure was put in place when they couldn’t get into the office, with all this in mind it would be beneficial to look at any company that looks like a good investment and consider how their business model will change post covid-19.
Human habit will change
One of my pet peeves has always been the pursuit of money for money’s sake, as in literally the desire to have more money just so you have more money, and not to do anything with it, the fact is that money has always bought opportunity, it has always bought time from the rat race and the “paypacket enslavement”, as we move forward through this situation and notice the huge sums of money that governments can now access to help with the worries of business and of the person on the street, we work from home and see more of out families than at any point in recent history, we cannot escape the feeling that society as we know it is a tissue of lies and mi-representation, additionally when forced to go back to more traditional ways of living, cooking on a regular basis, spending time with children and significant others, the vast majority of people will inevitably question the way we lived before, chasing from one place to another, living life through a phone screen and children who know what Instagram is before they know their times tables, it is not too much of a stretch to say that life has become so cynical (on the whole) that there may be some good to the human condition that comes from this, of course we may just go back to our previous ways once the danger has passed but if enough people think clearly, we should be able to see the benefits of using modern technology as a vehicle for something more than trying to be a millionaire for nothing more than pouring ice over yourself, we can enjoy holidays with loved ones and still cut the planes in the sky by a significant amount, and no matter what you may or may not think about pollution the fact is that they do pollute and the less of them in the air the better, and possibly if more people can work from home we could make the air in our cities breathable again, rather than just trying to make more money by charging people to be able to pollute the atmosphere.
Panic Bringing out the worst in people
Any event such as this runs a certain way, people panic and cause more chaos in the first few weeks of the situation than the underlying cause, in the UK there is no supply chain issue (at the time of writing) other than that that has been caused by the panic buying of some of the most ridiculous items, Don’t get me wrong I understand the panic that must be setting in among certain groups of people, and of course the reality is that no matter how much moral high-ground you take and refuse to join in with the hysteria eventually you have to, maintaining morals for too long in a situation like this just means that you starve, but it is important to realise that this not merely people being scared and panicking because they fear any kind of extinction event, the thin veneer of social politeness is easily scraped away and we soon see modern society for the ugly egotistical and self serving animal that it is, there are no justifications for what is going on in the country right now but we have to queue with the rest first thing in the morning to get milk and bread just the same, because if we don’t there won’t be any when we go later, this is a lesson that will be well remembered after this disaster has passed, make no mistake this is a disaster and it will get worse before getting better, but when the dust settles and the smoke clears remember that when push came to shove you only had yourself and a handful of people that you could truly rely on, so after this is all over think very carefully about all the “friends” on Facebook and the “followers” on Instagram, think about the time that is taken from your life and that of your family while pandering to these people that ultimately would stand on you to get a pack of toilet roll.
Don’t expect that you will be a millionaire after all this.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the vast majority of us do not have the kind of money to invest that the YouTube “guru’s” have so any upturn we are likely to see will not improve our lives indefinitely and is actually likely to just provide a nice little lump sum when whoever we invested in gets back on their feet, with enough time spent fighting this thing the way we use and value money itself may change, and we should be prepared for that.
All in all the best thing to do at the minute is think with a clear head, think slow and act with purpose, frivolous action could have a massive detriment on a far wider reaching mass than we can imagine, life now is the butterfly effect.
Regardless of how bizarre a theory sounds (and these are all theories at best psuedo science at worst) the classification of a theory changes with the amount of people that believe it to be correct, a theory becomes and idea, and idea becomes an inspiration, inspiration becomes research and research leads to documentation which then becomes widely regarded as fact, and one such theory is self-fulfilling prophecy, or our ability to somehow place a barrier to a goal or state of being based on our constant denial of our ability to achieve.
I love bodybuilding, I really do, it has been part of my life now for 31 years, but I have always had my own personal doubts as to my ability to compete so I never did, I simply carried on training but never even tried to compete or diet down for that matter, why? because I had already decided that I would not be able to, now at the risk of sounding like I am trying to brag (which I assure you I am not) a quick idea of what I did achieve is, I had 38 inch thighs, a 32 inch waist and was rapidly growing out of 56 inch chest jackets, so at the tender age of 19 I was actually doing quite well, so why didn’t I compete ? well it is a lot of extra work and pain, lifting big weights when you have lots of calories and the right amount of protein and supplements going in is easy but the same tasks dieted down not so much, and after all I was not good enough so why bother?
Progress in any form of life is normally facilitated by the perseverance or person through the application of pain or discomfort, for every goal there is a sacrifice and we weigh up the benefits of an action against the potential cost every day in a mostly sub conscious state.
Realisation of the reasons for failure is the key, you can take a person who feels they cannot do something and put them in a position where they have either no choice or to not do it would cost more than to participate and they can find that extra something deep inside and complete the task, moreover you generally find that they then go on to repeat the task in the future without concern and can become quite good at it or very comfortable with the feeling, that is what we are trying to achieve in our daily lives, and the initial key is to understand why the “self-fulfilling prophecy” is so detrimental and what we must do to get around it.
I it simply because in that moment we made a decision, a decision based on the pain level we were feeling and the possibility of relieving it by carrying out an action that was unpleasant or counter intuitive to our beliefs or fears but nevertheless it was the better option, what we lack in our daily lives is the impetus to make the decision, just as people live with failing eyesight through the ageing process until it gets so bad that they have to go to the opticians we adapt to the pain and stress of our lives as it is applied gradually from birth, what we need to do is recognise that the limits we set are indeed set by us and the same delivery of dialogue that oppresses and controls us , if altered to a positive message will free us from not only the bonds of society but from the boundaries we set ourselves through lack of belief in our own ability.
Begin by taking each situation you find yourself in that is painful or stressful and reinforce to yourself that you do not deserve it, you deserve a better life, and it is within your power to attain the solution and to live that better life, conversely when enjoying yourself actively remind yourself that you do deserve this and that you have worked for that moment of calm or day in the sun, by doing this we change any negative self fulfilling prophecy and turn it into a positive and through practice and action derived from personal reinforcement of a positive message and a belief that you deserve a better life you will change your actions to suit your goals.
I believe, truly believe that while we are a product of upbringing and environment we also have the ability to change our lives for whatever we decide we deserve or we should be doing, modern life has a need to keep people within boxes and limitations in order to prop up the financial culture of debt and the insecurity in social circles that feeds that debt culture, life is far to short to remain in a planetary gear in the corporate debt machine, it isn’t fair and the fact is that although a level Utopian playing field would be nice, we passed the time to make that change at the beginning of civilisation, now is the time to fight for the happiness and success of yourself and your loved ones by living your best life.
Most of us have been there, stuck at the back end of a failed relationship or social situations that don’t go right, employers that don’t value you, and it starts to feel like there is no way out, things will never change and you get depressed.
It is easy at these times to start self deprecating behaviours, in desperation from a break from the pain or pressure we turn to drink, drugs, eat more or less, anything to give us control of a situation or remove the feeling even if for a brief moment.
During a fight or an argument I have never seen somebody begin punching themselves or start to shout down their own opinions, this is became we are fighting for something, the imposition of our will over another, or control of a situation from somebody who was out to harm us, this is because it would be counter intuitive to do so as harming yourself will not win the situation over,
So why do we allow ourselves to act that way when faced with stress and pressure of life or say the end of a relationship ?
There is no better revenge than being in shape and successful, this was said to me quite some time ago now, and there has been many anecdotal evidence of it in my life and I am sure that there has been in yours if you think it through.
Any kind of detrimental action is only going to exacerbate things more and lead you to feeling worse, you should look to improve your life and focus on the positives no matter how difficult they are to find, build on them and create a different reality than the one you are not happy with, people will act in a way they think is acceptable both in interpersonal matters and official, nearly all situations can be controlled if we take ownership of it and act in our own best interest, sometimes it is time to be selfish.
It was with sadness that I saw yet another book extolling the virtues of not giving a F**k as a way of selling copy, I cannot possibly believe that I am alone in being just a little tired of this sudden trend to get the F word in as many places as possible to sell books, get readers for blogs or simply as a way of covering up a persons disappointment at how their life has turned out, I mean after all I have even included it in this title to entice more readers!
the sad fact is that it does sell books and make people look twice at a blog that they would normally just pass over, the F word is still very much a taboo in polite society ( and probably should stay that way ) and so the sudden appearance of this on book titles or even as the headline for this post spark interest in the same way as we all slow down at the site of a crash on the motorway, we are not inherently bad people or wish any ill on the unfortunate people involved we are just captured by the shock of the situation, and so we gaze on and then have forgotten the event once we are a couple of miles down the road.
I have in the book section written a short opinion of the first book I became aware of that uses this strategy (in my opinion) to sell a basic collection of simple facts and re-tell them with the authors own style used expertly to disguise the fact that you (and I) have read and listened to this same message a million times.
My main source of despair is that the message is incorrect in every literal sense, we cannot and indeed should not go through life not giving a F**k, there is literally a medical term for people that live like this, and we usually get introduced to them under the glitz and glamour of the front page headline when they have committed some heinous crime, sociopaths are generally devoid of emotion and lack empathy as a result, there is no sense of right and wrong and they generally do not function well within society, or do they?
You see it is my theory that the reason we are so obsessed with not giving a F**k is because we see people that live that way and they seem to be successful and happy, in fact it often a positive comment about somebody and said with awe and respect “Dave is awesome, he literally doesn’t give a F**k!” problem is that we have missed the point for the same reason we blindly follow people on Instagram and YouTube believing that their lives are as glamorous as they would have us believe, as a general rule we don’t tend to dig below the surface, we simply take things on face value and move on, the problem is not entirely with the varying publications or the authors of these publications, it is what happens when people read and then try to implement the lessons contained within, the “motivational” industry is vast, it has the ability to package and sell the opinion of a person as fact without requiring a shred of evidence that they used the same techniques to get success or that they are qualified in any shape or form to offer counselling and life advice to the general public, in fact with the growth of the internet it has quickly become “he who shouts louder makes more money”, we have all but forgotten the flip side to that which is “the empty can rattles the most”.
I am not saying that there is no place in society for ambivalence, quite the contrary I am positive, 100 percent convinced, that the ability to not care about something is valuable, healthy and some cases outright necessary to our well being, but this is seldom the message, and the popularised message is the dominant one.
You see there is two main issues with living your life “not giving a f**k” the first is possibly the most destructive and will certainly make you less happy than you were before, this is the uncomfortable fact that we are, on the whole, caring empathetic beings, we process information and then by default we consider the outcome and how we would feel in that event, so to try and force ourselves suddenly to not care, and to not give any consideration to the future is to go against every instinct in our bodies, as an example just think of something you are scared of, spiders, heights that type of thing and remember back to the last time you were in a confrontational situation with that fear I am sure you will be able to remember very clearly the feeling through your entire body that what was happening was wrong and the urgency to move away from it will have ultimately become to much to bear until you removed yourself from the situation, well, same thing here, if you are a generally caring person of very analytical and you try to change that to become hard faced and reactionary as opposed to pr-active you will feel wrong because it will be going against your grain, and this will make yo unhappy as you struggle with the situation that sparked the change in approach in the first place and now, on top the feeling of discomfort and conflict this new way of life is causing, secondly, if we adopt this attitude of not caring and not being emotionally attached to anything, simply dealing with life as it comes without thought just rational thought and action, the people around us are likely to notice a marked difference in our attitude and relationships with them, this will alter many dynamics most likely at the heart of the family and showing signs of hurting the people that you started down this path for, we have to realise that there is nothing wrong with us, it is all too easy to blame ourselves for every ill that befalls us without reasoning it out first, if we start to alienate the people closest to us then we are unhappy and lonely, this can be a very dark place unless you are a sociopath !
And that is why we need to practice the subtle art of giving a f**k, it is the ability to choose what we care about that gives us power, the focus on the here and now instead of juggling a million future events and losing focus on any of them, and most importantly it is the ability to know when to ignore a situation not because you don’t give a f**k but simply because it is out of your control, it will be what it will be because it is the will of others, it is legislation or rules drawn up by people external to us that we have no influence on, or it is the opinion of a person or persons that have no say in our lives and ultimately have no control over how our lives are to be run, that is the real power, and once mastered will set you free to accomplish the things that you put your mind to.
Levelling the Land
We are faced today with a plethora of problems that society is facing for the first time, as well as rising debt causing misery for millions, more and more people are becoming depressed and ill as a result of piling pressure, money as always is at the heart of this, companies buy up bad debt for pennies in the pound and then use bullying tactics to force people to borrow more money to pay them back at a huge profit, others, while trying to climb corporate ladders stand on the shoulders of others to elevate themselves to the next rung of the credit score ladder, our children ask for toys continuously after watching YouTube videos of children whose parents sold out their childhood for the mighty dollar and we try and keep up with the Instagram lifestyles we scroll through every day looking to escape the reality of life in our front rooms.
The first and possibly most important lesson is this, we are equals, I will just say that again we are all equal that means that the arsehole on the phone when you are behind with a credit card payment may very well be trying to sound superior but they have the same fears and worries as you, the interviewer at the job you want so desperately is probably as nervous about meeting you as you are at meeting them, and the entrepreneur selling you the program to make you rich was (if not still is) as skint as you are, this isn’t to say that you should approach any situation with a sense of superiority as this will lead to animosity and scupper any chance of negotiation or rapport, simply know that are equal and act accordingly, meet aggression with measured confident response, adjust to awkwardness with kindness and open consideration for the other person and do not hold anybody aloft simply because they appear to have money.
Know who you are and stand on that knowledge
Who are you ? what do you want out of life ? some people spend years trying to answer those questions when the answer is simple, look in the mirror and asses what you see, think about how you treat people and thoughts that pre-occupy your mind, then stand on that, whatever it is because that is where you will be strongest, that is the position that no matter how much people try they will not be able to move you inside, as an example think of a band that you like, the odds are that even if you know several people that are into the same music as you, you will also know people that are not, and they will inevitably express their opinion whether you ask for it or not, but they will never be able to change your opinion because music is something we connect to on a personal level, it is a reflection of our personality and so we stand on our tastes because they are who we are.
the same can be said of all other aspects of your life, if you are a vegan or a staunch meat eater, then regardless of company stand on that, do not try and bend to the will of others just to make an impression, nobody will than you for it and you will be disappointed in yourself, this will lead to a lack of confidence and that will show to all like a big neon sign above your head, and don’t worry about offending people because that is the art of giving a f**k, the people that pass through your life offended will quickly move on and be replaced by people of a like mind so worrying about offending people is futile and simply a waste of effort.
Put simply stand your ground !
I hope I have illustrated why giving a F**k as as much of an art as people would have you believe not doing so is, we need to make sure we are true to ourselves and allow this truth to form our bonds with others, stand on your principals and you cannot be knocked down because they are your strength, the world would be an even worse place than it is now if nobody cared so give a damn and succeed!
All to often we allow the power of self fulfilling prophecy to work against us, for a job interview we will continually think we are going to be late and end actually making ourselves late, or we convince ourselves that the guy or girl that we like would never like us so we don’t make an effort for fear of failure and guess what ? they never notice us!
Internal dialogues and self talk happen all day, every day, if we are aware of it or not, decisions are made on a subconscious level that determine the directions our lives take, with the exception of the very urgent “fight or flight” decisions these are all made with Reason and after an internal dialogue where we weigh up the chances of success versus failure and then act accordingly.
The problem with these conversations is that for most us they are biased against us this is most likely due to self preservation, and is not something that we all feel to equal measure.
Believe in Yourself!
How many times have you heard this, just believe in yourself and all will be well, it is more difficult however than it sounds as this requires the changing of your whole inner dialogue, you must reverse a subconscious level of thinking (not easily done) and you must find a way to remove the limits that you have set without knowing it, I personally am a firm believer in the power of the human spirit, years of observation have seen me notice that on some level my inner dialogue, my narrative that exists only in the deepest parts of my mind, influence and shape the world around me, and very rarely for the better I can tell you.
Break the cycle
Human behaviour is learned through pattern and repetition, for both motor skills and thought process, we ultimately become a product of our upbringing because this is the behaviour we see everyday, and so it becomes ingrained into our thought processes and our personalities, but we can change it, we can make a shift from one cycle to another, there is no shortage of research on making and breaking habits and one in particular found that it took nearly 12 weeks to form a habit and some people took nearly 254 days so don’t be too concerned if you have been telling yourself in the mirror that you are great for three days and you don’t feel any different.
Make Your Gestures Big
I used to be a nightclub doorman (bear with me) and I feel that tackling this situation is a lot like that, by the end of the night people were largely inebriated and their thought processes were impaired, conscious thought was cloudy and they were mostly running on sub-conscious activity to find their way home, my job, among others was to clear out the bar / club at the end of the night and I found after working this job for some twenty years that there was a very effective and distinct way to deal with this situation, you see shouting and hollering was not the answer, because hostility is just returned and talking quietly and not really making your presence felt was also pointless because you weren’t enough of an annoyance to cause an effect,
The most effective way to deal with this was to stand just that bit closer than you would normally, so you are not threatening but you are completely unavoidable and speak loudly and calmly repeatedly requesting that they leave as the night is over, and if you kept your cool and were patient the message got through within about 5 minutes for the lest drunk and the ones that could hardly stand got the idea within about 20 minutes.
My point is that I was dealing with people in the same mindset as we are when addressing our sub-conscious and trying to change what it wants to do, we are comfortable where we are and we feel safe because we are familiar with our surroundings, conscious thought that can reason that change is a positive is not in play and so we do not want to move, getting angry with ourselves is futile because we just become angry back and break all communication and trying to change a habit by gently whispering to ourselves each day just won’t cut it, we won’t hear the whispers,
The only way is speak clearly and unmistakably every time you get the chance, challenging all the things that you are convinced you are no good at, and don’t stop, don’t give up on yourself.
Determination is measured by the progress you make through adversity.
Effectiveness is often mirrored by simplicity, I wouldn’t go downt he route of tying string round your finger or setting alarms to sit and concentrate on bigging yourself up, rather you need to start to listen, listen to your inner dialogues and start to recognise where they are working against you, and simply change the dialogue, as I have said previously change “I can’t” to “I can’t at the minute”, change “I am not good enough” to “I am not ready yet”, leave everything open ended, without the ability for your inner dialogue to close the door on a discussion you can modify the direction and message until you naturally follow the more positive path, take time to meditate, even if it sounds a little hokey and you feel silly doing it, by removing the outside noise of everyday life, even for 5 minutes, you can concentrate on what you are thinking and feeling and challenge all these beliefs you have about yourself,
Spirituality is not just banging gongs and Joss sticks (sorry if I offended anybody, seriously if you want to bang a gong then crack on!) it is about harnessing your own spirit and gaining from it, the foundation of success is much deeper than a bank account, but that account is much more achievable from a basis of inner strength.
So we are entering the final months of 2019, and I can bet that for the vast majority of us we are no further forward than we were this time last year and for some of us we may actually be worse off, and that will be further exacerbated by the up coming festive season and the pressure from both the media and advertisers as well as the personal pressure you put on yourself to spend money on presents and entertainment for your children or yourselves, often on credit cards or over-draughts or worse still loans, this time of year is really a hunting ground for capitalists and vultures looking to tie you into agreements that mean next year you will have to come back for more.
It is not our fault, advertisers and social media put us in positions that we simply cannot escape, and we borrow in order to “keep up” with the neighbours or our work colleagues be it through our children’s activities or through the car on the driveway, holidays, clothes even sports and hobbies all say something about us and our ability to pay out money, this is all well and good but what happens when you can no longer work? I don’t mean if something were to happen to you right now, more the inevitable end, Retirement we are all heading there and most of us with nothing planned to see us through.
I would like to push for another type of new years resolution, it will be something we are going to achieve in our house, that is instead of the standard “no chocolate” or “go back to the gym” both of which normally only last a couple of months before we find ourselves sitting on the couch eating chocolate while we should be at the gym, we are going to be working toward reducing debt and becoming more financially intelligent, after all how can you expect to master something without knowing how it works ?
Some startling statistics are that the average UK debt is £31k per adult! that is shocking and although I don’t know anybody quite there I am aware of people near that threshold, when you put that against the average UK household income of £28k the gap is clear to see, and of course as this comprised of borrowed money the interest is also staggering, an average of £967 in interest alone paid last year for every Brit.
All economies run on the least paid individuals, this is the case universally, as these economies are propped up on debt, the circle is vicious and relentless and designed to make it difficult to break, but not impossible.
Firstly bear this in mind, there are debt charities and advisories that offer free and payed advice to people struggling with debt, but this advice in my opinion is flawed beyond belief, the basic advice is centred around either declaring bankruptcy or entering into a sponsored agreement where you declare to the world that you are nearly bankrupt and asking for them to freeze all your accounts and let you pay off the balances, but let’s think that through for a moment,
Bankruptcy – Stays on your credit file for 6 years, and will affect your credit rating for much much longer, so let’s say that you have reached the point where you believe that is an option, you would normally be around 30 years old and may possibly have a mortgage, so you would need to sell the house and use the equity to repay debtors, everybody is made aware of the Bankruptcy as it is public information, and it will have to be declared when you apply for housing with private landlords, any credit over the value of £500 and could remain for longer based on how long it takes to become discharged, at the very best based on a 30 year old this means you are 36 when discharged and paying through the nose for credit while you try and rebuild a credit rating, then at around 40 you are able to start re-building your life and possibly look to buy a home again, all the while having to declare that you have been a bankrupt and paying higher interest for the rest of your life, this doesn’t sound like a good option to me.
IVA – Individual voluntary arrangement, this is a fixed term of between 60 and 72 months (so 5 years at best) possibly 6 and the conditions are no more relaxed, you will still have to sell any assets you have to pay into the IVA and then you are still the same age when you start to re-build your life.
And of course you could just bury your head in the sand and do nothing, but that leads to all manner of issues and most of these will ironically cost you more money because you are always viewed as not wanting to pay as opposed to not being able to pay and this is despite the fact that you haven’t got enough money for the initial debt.
The first steps in my opinion are to understand the nature of the debt, how much actually is it ? how much is the interest and how much am I paying off the capital ? often these questions are not asked and people simply start at the least amount and try to pay that off while struggling to keep up the payments on a debt that is costing them a fortune in interest every month.
Work out how much your utilities actually cost, it is surprising how many times we just simply pay the regular estimated payment without question and then are excited when the company gets in touch to tell us that as we have overpaid we can either claim the money back or allow it to be credited to our next bill (most companies assume this by default) under these circumstances we view this as good will on the part of the company but actually that money could have been better spent on a debt reduction rather than sitting in an energy companies account gaining interest.
Not everybody of course will be affected by the previous examples but I guarantee that if you are reading this you are either trying to make money to be more comfortable or you are stuck in a financial rut and are desperately trying to get out, what I am trying to illustrate is that lack of knowledge is often the most costly mistake we make, when we look at people that are financially savvy what we are actually seeing is people that have worked out how to not give all their money away, they look for value in expenditure and they look for return on debt, if you have a house that provides more rental income than the mortgage outgoing then this is good debt, if you consume any service or utility make sure that you are only paying for what you take, and never take anybodies word as gospel always check yourself where possible so you can say with certainty that you know how much you are getting charged and why.
As human beings we are forces of nature, we have the proven ability to change the world and explore other worlds, we can create our own futures, and deal with our pasts, capable of great acts of kindness and huge atrocity the human drive and spirit is the most voracious and uncompromising force known to man.
Make a list of every thing that is keeping you awake at night and worrying you in the morning, everything that makes you snap at family and friends because you are pre-occupied when they speak to you and realise that you do have the power to change it, end the cycle of debt by not taking anymore out, pay off credit cards quickly and realise that if you can’t do that then you can’t afford the lifestyle you are leading, but if you put that lifestyle to one side for a single year you may very well be able to afford a much better one, and not pay somebody else for the privilege.
Obviously I am not a financial adviser and any situation should be looked at on an individual basis to determine the correct course of action, but you cannot lose if you find a way to pay less interest to lenders, and borrow money or goods on inflated interest because we haven’t got a “perfect credit score”.