Being free, fulfilled, and living the life you’ve always dreamed of living is fantastic, but how many are truly willing to take the steps to achieve it?
Living a life full of passion takes a lot of work. I knew at the age of 16 that something was seriously wrong, and that I didn’t want to live the life that everyone else was living.
At that time, I started studying the stock market, which is where my independence really started. I bought dozens of books on the subject. I really wanted to learn, but it wasn’t until I started playing poker to try and fund my stock market adventure that I really started tasting success.
It is impossible to know what your path looks like. At 16, I thought I would be some kind of stock market mogul when I grew up. At 21, I thought I’d be playing poker for the rest of my life and buy a lot of real estate.
At 23, I discovered that something was missing, so I started writing, writing, and writing some more. Now, at 24, I feel like I will be helping people for the rest of my life, but I know that my plans will change, and that something unexpected will happen, so I’m more humble about the journey ahead.
Take this blog as an example: during the lifetime of the Wake Up Cloud, I’ve not only met awesome people, but I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve gone through rough times, and I’ve grown as a person.
I’ve constantly felt the pull of my mind in different directions. Sometimes I feel like writing about how to make money online, and sometimes I want to write about how to listen to your heart and live the life you want.
But in the end, all of these things are just pieces of the whole. Making money online isn’t just about making money. We need money to survive in today’s society. We may not need it in 50 years, but right now it’s a necessity.
Making a living online is my way of doing what I love while supporting myself, and sharing my message with you.
What Do You Really Want?
You and I both know that money is essential to freedom in the world we live in. This realization can be both good and bad, but for most people it’s a big mud trap that gets them all sticky and stuck.
If you make your priority to chase money, you will fall for a lot of money making scams, and completely useless get rich quick courses.
I went through the phase of wanting to have a blue BMW and sitting on a pearly white Caribbean beach working on my laptop. Luckily, I realized that this wasn’t what I really wanted.
When you figure out what you truly desire, you start to see what your purpose really is. Money can come in second or even third place, but you have to put your heart first, because if you don’t: who’s driving the car?
You can look to others for advice, but in the end you will have to make your own choices.
Where will you start your journey?
How will you move forward?
It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it probably never will be, but in the end you will have to make a decision. What most people don’t realize is that not making a decision is still making a decision.
As I said above, I’ve gone through many stages of personal development. This is an evolving process, so take action, take names, and go kick some ass.
Listening to Your Heart
How do you know what you really want? You could consult with your mind, but I think you will get a better answer from that red, beating thing in the middle of your chest.
Your heart knows things you have no idea were even possible. It is your guide, and it will take you where you need to be, if you listen to it.
Before writing this post, I hadn’t felt like blogging for weeks, but when I let go of where I thought I should be with my blog and listened to my heart, this blog post started pouring out.
When you listen to your heart, don’t expect miracles, expect whispers and subtle hints.
It’s all too easy to look for others to guide you through life. I’ve been there and done that, and while it certainly is helpful if you’re completely new, at some point you have to take your heart into the equation and start following your purpose.
Listening is as simple as putting your attention in your heart. If you haven’t done this, you may want to take a 15-20 minute time-out, close your eyes, and sit quietly feeling your heart.
Accept whatever comes up. You may feel a host of feelings that have been lingering in your body and heart. Acknowledge them, learn from them, and let them be.
The Art of Being You
You weren’t born so you could spend most of your life working a job you hate, sitting inside on those beautiful summer days day dreaming and hoping for a better life.
You were born to do what you love.
The word love has a strong meaning behind it, so let me clarify a bit: if you are going to make money doing something you love, it has to also be something that people want.
There are no crystal balls. No one can guarantee your success. Your journey probably won’t end up looking anything that you thought it would be.
The universe works in mysterious ways, never forget that
If you’re a blogger and you aren’t seeing results; it may mean that you’re doing something wrong, or it may mean that you aren’t really doing what you were born to do.
Life is a journey, and parts of that journey may mean going through nasty storms that throw up a heap of confusion, but that doesn’t mean you are the storm, and it definitely doesn’t mean that the storm won’t pass, even if it feels like that from time to time.
A common way of trying to get out of the storm is to start running in all directions instead of keeping a steady course. This may mean running west for 5 miles, and then running east for 10 miles. It leaves you where you started.
You will know when you are sharing your gift because not only does it feel extremely good, but people are telling you that it is transforming their life.
When I started this blog, I wasn’t getting any praise from people, but within a few months of writing and writing from the heart, I started getting the odd email here and there from people telling me that my writing had really inspired them.
This is what you want to be looking for. It may come in different forms, but the feeling is unmistakable.
Creating And Delivering Value
The best way to make a living while doing something you love is to create and deliver value. You see people talking about this all the time: create value, do what you love, and you will make money. I might even have said it myself in the past.
I still think it is true, but many people need further details, otherwise the whole message is misunderstood. You still have to use common sense and realize that you can end up broke while doing something you love.
This is something you will learn as you move forward. You may not be able to make a lot of money with a free blog that has a crappy ebook for sale even if you’re doing what you love. You have to learn how to market yourself, how to package things, and how to listen.
If you’ve read this far, this article is probably speaking straight to your heart, and you feel connected to what I’m saying. As you feel this feeling, think about why it happens. There are several factors that have to come together.
Sometimes one of those factors is just that I’m being open and authentic about my own journey, and sometimes it may be a factor that you cannot put your finger on.
Many people try to take simple statements such as “follow your passion and the money will come” and use them as rules. But the truth is that you have to stay open, flexible, and you have to adapt to what happens.
How much money do you really need to support your rent and food habit? It is often a lot less than you think. Kill your TV, get rid of your car, sell your crap, and get serious about what is really essential in your life.
Here’s a hint: it isn’t the stuff.
When you realize that you don’t need $5,000/month to survive, you realize that creating an online business that sustains you is a lot easier than you think.
I personally don’t have to worry about making huge piles of money because I live a very simple life. I’ve lived in Spain for 11 months and heading back to Scandinavia soon to see what happens.
[Update: I've now lived in Scandinavia since 2011 and I love being back. I also became a father in 2011, which has been an interesting ride, but more on that later.]
Why am I going back? Because I want to, and it feels good.
The reason I love online income is because it is location independent. I can work from anywhere in the world, as long as I have an internet connection.
This is what I do and teach. I cannot be everything to everyone, and neither can you. I focus on the people that really want to change and create websites that give them freedom.
Most have probably stopped reading long ago, because long articles put off most people, but I’m not really trying to reach most people. I’m trying to reach you, because you’re serious about making stuff happen.
An Accurate View of Reality
If you want to be free, fulfilled, and do stuff you enjoy, you have to be realistic, and you have to have courage. You still have to learn how to create websites, how to write content, and how to make money online. This is why I sometimes write about these strategies and tactics.
They are the middlemen. They are what allow me to live the life that I live, and they are what will allow to live the life you want to live.
You have to have an accurate view of reality to make this work, and the way you reach a point where you start tasting success, tasting freedom, and being fulfilled is by learning from the people who have already done it, taking action and learning from your mistakes.
If you’re serious about taking control of your life, think about what you can do right now to get started.
What is your heart trying to tell you?
Image by Nicolas