setting goals and dreams

There’s More Than One Way to Live

Personal Development and Lifestyle, Spirituality

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This blog, The Mastermind Within, is all about helping you become the person you want to be in life.

The Mastermind Within is all about helping YOU unlock your full potential.

You have a incredibly powerful brain and mind WITHIN you, and you can tap into this through the right mindset and actions.

One feeling I get when interacting with others when talking about my blog is that I have an ego and I believe that I’m some “mastermind” who knows everything.

Let me tell you a secret…

I really dislike gurus, and I will never seriously call myself an expert or guru of anything.

Sure, I know a lot about personal finance, self improvement, and other topics, but this knowledge comes from my experiences.

Here’s a fact: everyone is unique, and everyone is the expert of THEIR life.

For me, all my favorite coach/guru/expert can do is provide me with generalities for improving my life.

At the end of the day, I have to figure it out for myself.

For you, getting to your ideal life is a process which might take many years. Whatever your ideal life looks like, it starts with a few questions:

  • What are your dreams?
  • Why do you want these dreams?
  • What actions are you going to take to get to your dreams?

After answering these questions, you have to take action and live intentionally.

I’ve already written a number of articles about taking action, the principles of success, and mastering your life, but this article will be different.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the uniqueness of everyone’s life and how there is more than one way to live.

how to become patientThe Many Ways to Live Your Life

First, how should you live your life? What does it mean to live life the right way? Is it possible to live life correctly?

These questions confuse me, searching for the answers to these questions seem to confuse many others.

A search for meaning, and an intentional search for happiness, leads to frustration, confusion, and hopelessness.

Growing up in the suburbs, I was (and still am) on a path similar to many other people in the United States.

While I want to talk about life in general in this post, this path is most applicable to a traditional career.

This path is as follows:

  • Get good grades in high school
  • Take part in a variety of hobbies, sports and clubs to become well rounded
  • Get into a good college
  • Get good grades in college
  • Find a solid paying job
  • Buy a house, work forever, get married, have kids, etc.

This path is sometimes referred to as the modern day American dream, and while this can work for some, a lot of Millennials are questioning this way of life and realizing there are alternatives.

Include me in this questioning, as while I’ve been quite successful on this path, I wouldn’t say I’m 100% happy with my current life.

Being on this path has lead to a six figure job, a house that after house hacking I’ve recently sold for a profit, solid retirement savings, and a great financial foundation for the future.

However, there isn’t a day that passes where I’m not thinking about a different path.

Going Against the Grain and Being on a Path Less Traveled

Over the past few years, I’ve met and spend some time with a number of awesome people being on different paths.

One high school friend recently went to China for a year to teach English and travel, and now is back to “normal” life.

One friend quit his corporate job to travel, and focus on yoga, learning and fitness.

Another friend quit her job to walk the Appalachian Trail, and now is looking to live in hostels to continue to travel and meet new people.

These three friends are some of the happiest people I’ve talked to.

One thing I focus and think about a lot is money and how I’m building a strong financial future.¬†While some of these friends may not be in the best place financially, does this matter?

Money is very important and necessary to live, but having money is meaningless unless you actually use it to make your life better!

Some other friends of mine have quit their corporate jobs and now are hustling with online businesses and side hustles.

Zach, a friend I’ve met at the last two FinCons (a money blogging conference) I went to, quit his data science job this summer to pursue blogging and online entrepreneurship full-time.

Kevin, a friend of mine from Minneapolis and someone I hang out with often, quit his high paying law job to pursue his side hustles.

These two both think life away from the traditional grind of corporate life is awesome.

I think about doing things like this daily, but maybe I don’t have the courage to take the dive, or maybe I’m afraid.

I’m not sure, but as I’ve learned, timing is important when making big life decisions.

Experimentation and Figuring Out What Makes Sense for You

While the last section was many about career, I’m going to take a detour here and talk more in general.

Going back to the introduction, and talking about the purpose of my work here on The Mastermind Within, I’m looking to inspire and help you to become better over time.

You are unique, and you, yourself, are the creator of your life.

With this, you can draw inspiration from others, but you need to make it happen in your life for yourself.

You know yourself best, and you can change your life to what you want over time.

It might not happen overnight, but over time, it is certainly possible.

For me, I’ve experimented with many different things regarding my health, diet, relationships, and hustles over the last 5+ years.

With each of these experiments, I’ve been able to get a little closer to what I think is optimal and ideal for me and my life.

Conducting Mini Experiments to Figure Out What is Best for Me

Health and diet have been two constant experiments for me over the past 5+ years.

Starting when I was in my 2nd year of college, I’ve looked to be intentional with my diet, exercise habits and sleep.

Throughout this time, I’ve done all sorts of different exercise programs:

  • bodybuilding programs
  • power lifting programs
  • “maintaining with weights” <- a joke
  • running
  • yoga
  • body weight circuits
  • and rock climbing

Right now, I rock climb three times a week, and also do different body weight exercises three times a week.

I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt in a while, and am excited to see my progress over the next few months.

With diet and my eating habits, I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the last 5 years, and look to eat a high protein, high fat, and low to medium carb diet.

I like keeping things simple. For me, if I get two meals with a lot of protein, and throw in a protein shake or protein bar to supplement my eating, then I’m happy.

I’ve tried no carb diets, and while they were great, I didn’t like the restriction it put on my eating habits.

Similarly, I’ve cut out coffee and caffeine for periods of time, but ultimately, I’m fine with 1 cup in the morning to get things going.

For sleep, I’ve realized I need to be in bed by 11, and then I will wake up around 7 and feel rested.

These are things I’ve found to be true for me, but I’m not going to suggest you do these exact things.

You have a different body, a different environment, and different goals.

Being a vegetarian might be optimal for you. Sleeping 10 hours might be best for your schedule. Eating high carbs might be best for you.

All of this is what you need to figure out for yourself – no one else can tell you what is best for you.

Thoughts on Lifestyle, Work and My Hustles

While I have a decent handle on my fitness and health, I’m still struggling in other areas.

I’ll be the first to say I’m not perfect, and I can make improvements in my life.

For one, while I’m having a lot of success in my career, and also have been making gains on my blog, I’m still not 100% convinced I’m on the right path.

I have an entrepreneurial itch which I’ve wanted to scratch fully for the past 3 years, but I haven’t made the jump.

The first year, I didn’t have the right skills, savings or ideas to do it, and was smart to stick around in my corporate job.

The second year, I started making improvements on my house and didn’t have the side income to smartly make a change.

The third year, I was making gains at my day job, and decided I should sell my house.

Now, I have the savings, some side income, and a flexible living arrangement to take a chance if I want to.

I’m not naturally someone who wanders and travels, but I’ve been thinking about traveling for a few months to gain new perspectives and meet others.

This would be a huge change for me, and would be a detour on my path to financial success.

But what is life without change and adventure? This is a question I’m trying to answer.

I don’t know what would be right and what would be wrong, but I’m the only one who can answer this question for myself.

On Judgment and Searching for What is Right

The purpose of this article is for you to think about what you are doing in your life, but also to think about how you view others and their choices.

One thing I want to emphasize to you is the importance of the fact that everyone is different and unique.

With this fact comes with the thought of “who are you to judge others?”

Here’s another fact: almost no one has their life completely figured out.

With this fact, how can we judge? I don’t know how to live myself, so why should I judge someone else for their choices?

If someone wants to buy a car that’s more expensive, then whatever. It’s their life and they can do what they want.

Obviously, there are things which are hurtful or detrimental (abandonment, abuse, addiction, etc.), which should be dealt with.

But for things which have no effect on your life, then it’s okay and important to let them go.

I try to focus on what’s important to me and my life, and I try not to let others bother me with what they are doing in their lives.

Again, there is more than one way to live life, and understanding this can set you free.

Be Open-Minded and Willing to Consider Other Possibilities

The purpose of this post was to give you food for thought into thinking about other possibilities, to be more accepting of other’s decisions, and to experiment to find what’s best in your life.

The main point from this post is realizing there is more than one way to live.

You are different and unique, and because of this uniqueness, you have to figure out what’s right for you.

If you aren’t completely happy with your life, then you can make changes to make it better.

And here’s the thing: you have the potential and power to make these changes!

By conducting mini experiments, by learning about what other people are doing, and by thinking about new possibilities, you can make tweaks over time.

Again, changing your life goes back to:

  • What are your dreams?
  • Why do you want these dreams?
  • What actions are you going to take to get to your dreams?

After this, it’s a matter of taking action, doing what you believe is right for you, and making tweaks along the way to get to the desired result.

For me personally, I’m still trying to answer these questions for myself, but I’ll be sure to share with you what I find out in the coming months and years.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and hopefully it inspires some new thoughts for your future.

Thank you for reading!

About the Author

Erik

Hi! I'm Erik, the creator of The Mastermind Within blog. I'm passionate about helping you improve as a person, get better with your finances, and create your dream life over time.


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