The Comfortable Uncomfortable – Overcoming Your Fears

All of us have some kind of fear built in.

Some fear is silly or unfounded, while other fear is necessary for survival. At one time I was afraid of being in high places. Now I can not get enough of them. Why, you might ask? Because I exposed myself to heights enough that they were no longer a big deal. It took some time, but over time I challenged myself to get closer to the edge of a cliff and look down. In all fairness, I still will not dangle my legs off the sides, but I still have something to push myself towards.
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Taking Back Travel – The Ultimate Freedom

Something you experience while you are traveling that you don’t typically experience while doing your day to day routine is what I call, the ultimate freedom.  This is the time where you can escape your 9-5, see amazing places and not be bound to your home responsibilities.  You can just pack up the car, and start driving.  Or pick a random place on a map and go, even if it is overseas.  Everyone has their own version of this that suits their budget and available time.

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There is a lot of value in getting this time away from your chains of responsibility to open up and see who you really are.  This is your chance to reflect on your life and see where you want to go next.  It is the time where you make lasting memories and yearn for more exciting times to come.  There is so much to see on this planet, and it would be a shame if you never even left your home city or country during your life.  It took me 38 years to finally leave the U.S. and I regret that it took so long.  Now I can’t wait to do more international travel.

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I strongly encourage people to take a vacation that is overseas in a location that doesn’t speak their home language.  While English is spoken all around the world, it is not spoken well in places like Japan.  It really makes you think about how small you really are when you go somewhere completely different than you are used to.  Knowing that there are other ways people live and work that are different from your own, helps you become a more well rounded person.  And who knows, you may just discover something that would be useful in your home town that wasn’t available before and start a niche business like a themed cafe for example.

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With so much intolerance in the world and so much fear of immigrants and people different from you, this is an opportunity to flip the page and be on the other side of that. You become the foreigner.  I believe as long as you respect the home countries values and customs, you will be welcomed.  If you go in all “I’m an American and this is how we do things in my country!” you will definitely be frowned upon.  Take time to understand the culture and do your best to take part in it.  It is a blast!  People naturally fear the unknown and this is the best way to overcome that fear.  It is kind of like the first time you go snorkeling, you are scared at first and then you overcome your fear and it is one of the most amazing experiences of your life.

Once you experience the ultimate freedom, it becomes addictive.  You become a different person, and your view of the world changes.  While you are taught your home country is “The best country in the world”, it may not be even though we all take pride in where we are from originally.  There may be places you would rather be as happiness is not defined by our wealth, location, or our possessions, but instead how we choose to live each day and the connections we make with other people.  I don’t consider myself or my country better than anyone else’s, it is just different.  This isn’t a sporting competition, we are all human beings that share this world together.

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I plan to visit my third country in a couple months and have ambitions to do trips that are longer than any two-week vacation entails.  There are ways to do this cheaply and this site has incredible information on how to do just that. World traveling isn’t for everyone, and I realize that. But for those of you who are adventurous, it can’t get much better.

I would like to hear about your travel experiences or any questions you have on how to plan an international trip in the comment section.

Au Revoir
お別れ
Adios
прощальный
อำลา

 

 

 

 

Taking Back the World

With the world changing every day, you generally aren’t able to make a huge impact on it. But you can do small things for yourself and others that bring back your spirit and humanity.  As a new year begins, we can look back and reflect on what is great in our lives and what is not so great.  We should all do this periodically to have an opportunity to change what isn’t working out well. For me this has been a few key things.

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One, my career is unfulfilling and merely a paycheck.  It seems to get in the way of the things I really want to do.  I always seem to need more time.  I have discovered I have more passions for life such as videography, travel, and sharing my experiences through this blog.  But my daily life is like a machine.  I go to work, then home to do even more work that I don’t want to do, and then go to bed and do it all over again the next day.  Weekends are consumed with grocery shopping and cooking. Finding time on the two days a week to get serious about what I’d rather be doing is limited.  I feel trapped in an endless cycle that I can’t get out of.

I’m finding ways to simplify cooking for my picky diet, and buy more prepared meals so I don’t have to do it from scratch.  I plan to dedicate blocks of time to my passions instead of it being something I do when all of my other obligations are complete.  As for my job, I plan to dedicate time to explore my passions to provide a new perspective of life.  Maybe I will come up with a plan to start my own business or try a new career.  You don’t know your passions unless you start trying different things.

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The next thing is I am surrounded by constant negativity, whether it is on Facebook or the local news.  These media sources always show the worst of humanity and it sometimes consumes me and makes me depressed.  Social media expands on this, especially on political views.  I try my best to stay out of the comments section.

I’m moving my news apps on my phone so they are less convenient.  I am limiting watching the morning news and instead will watch YouTube videos that are not related to news, but instead my hobbies or other interests.  These two things have greatly improved my mood, which has improved my sleep and my motivation to do great things.img_6537

Everything I have mentioned  so far, has impacted my relationship with my family and friends.

Relationships and social connections are some of the most important aspects of life.  They help you stay healthy and sane.  The people you live with matter even more.  If the situation at home is stressful or negative, you need to better balance home life with everything else you do and even prioritize it.  Because without family, what is the point.  This is your support network and if you don’t have them, then you could fall flat on your face and not get back up.  I’m making my home life more of a priority, going back to my roots with my wife and kick-starting it towards a more happy and fulfilling relationship.  I am also finding ways to be more social and get together with friends more often.  finishedbri-2984

What things are you doing to reboot and take back your own world?  Let me know in the comments.




How to overcome limiting beliefs

Everyone has that one dream that they will achieve someday, or when they have time or after they get married, etc.   Does this sound like you?  This is something I think all of us face at some point in our lives, and if these limiting beliefs are stopping you from pursuing your dreams then how do you overcome them.   First, lets determine what common things may be getting in your way and need to be overcome.

You are:

  1. Making excuses
  2. Procrastinating
  3. Worrying about mistakes or failure
  4. Trying to be perfect
  5. Hesitating
  6. Thinking negatively
  7. Complaining
  8. Forming bad habits

For example, you have a goal of purchasing your first rental property in the next year.  It may be a very realistic goal, but you may think to yourself.  I don’t know what I am doing and may fail.  Or a year passes and nothing has happened and you say: maybe in another year I will get a property.© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Your first step will be to identify what is getting in your way of achieving your goals.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How did I form this belief?
  2. Why can’t I overcome this barrier?
  3. Why do I continue to maintain this belief?
  4. How am I attaining happiness from this belief?

From there you should be able to identify the limiting belief and think differently about it. You may think that you aren’t very committed to the goal, don’t have the time, don’t have the energy, don’t have enough money or need more skills to accomplish it.  You need to instead determine if the goal is important to you and how you can make the time, get the training you need, and reallocate your priorities so that you do have the energy to accomplish it.

Going back to the rental property example, write down the steps you are going to take to accomplish that goal within a year.  Or even challenge yourself to get it done sooner!

Example steps:

  1. Listen to podcasts, read books, network with local investors to overcome the lack of knowledge limitation.
  2. If you don’t have time or energy to dedicate to the goal, find out what is eating up all of your time and decide what is time suckers are absolutely necessary and how you can make the time you need to accomplish your goal.
  3. Money is a tricky one, but if you focus hard on cutting spending or making some extra money on the side, you can have what you need to get started.   You can also look for others who you can borrow or invest with in order to get going sooner.  There usually are ways to either find money or do this with little or no money out of your pocket.  Be creative!

Think about the consequences of holding on to your limiting beliefs to help you transform your thoughts to work towards your desired outcome.  The simple step of changing, I can’t, with how can I, can really help you shift your focus.  You may regret it later down the road if you never overcome your limiting beliefs.  Step out of your box, discover your dreams and make them happen!

Take back your passion!  Please leave comments of your own experiences below.  

Photos by LotsaSmiles Photography

Taking Back Passion

Everyone has that one dream that they will achieve someday, or when they have time or after they get married, etc.   Does this sound like you?  This is something I think all of us face at some point in our lives, and if these limiting beliefs are stopping you from pursuing your dreams then how do you overcome them.   First, lets determine what common things may be getting in your way and need to be overcome.

You are:

  1. Making excuses
  2. Procrastinating
  3. Worrying about mistakes or failure
  4. Trying to be perfect
  5. Hesitating
  6. Thinking negatively
  7. Complaining
  8. Forming bad habits

For example, you have a goal of purchasing your first rental property in the next year.  It may be a very realistic goal, but you may think to yourself.  I don’t know what I am doing and may fail.  Or a year passes and nothing has happened and you say: maybe…

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