How to Be Free, Fulfilled and Live the Life of Your Dreams

How to Be FreeBeing 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?

Are you?

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?

Do you want to write, make video, knit, create clothes, conjure up raw food recipes that people love, or help them live a minimalist life? It’s up to you.

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.

Creating Wealth

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

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Comments

  1. Hi Henri,

    This is a very inspiring call to action.

    People tend to think that discovering their passion – then living it out – will make everything in life perfect. True, you’ll be closer to achieving happiness and fulfillment, but there will be other factors which appear that don’t appeal to you. A different life will have different pressures, issues, and challenges to face. Of course, you’re more likely to stick through the tough times when the overall direction is what you want.

    Taking that very first step on the road to freedom is the hardest… many don’t ever get that far. If we spend the time to think through some of the points you mention above, we can better prepare ourself for both the ups and downs of our dream life right from the start.

    • Couldn’t agree more with you, Scott. It’s not all effortless floating on clouds once you find your passion. Hard work it is, but a lot of fun, too.

  2. Hi Henri,
    I believe this is my first comment on your blog but I have spent much time here recently reading and absorbing. You truly have a gift that you are sharing with others, thank you! I find it amazing that you have such depth and understanding at your age.

    I found this so true… “Sometimes one of those factors is just that I’m being open and authentic about my own journey…”, you are speaking from your heart and that forms a deeper level of communication with others.

    I left the corporate world about 12 years ago to live my life passionately and follow dreams. It’s an ongoing process that constantly requires adjusting and fine-turning but the freedom is wonderful. Your blog has inspired me to step out of a stagnant period and move forward again. Thank you.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Tania

    • Thanks for the kind words, Tania :)

      I like your attitude, and it sounds like you’re rocking. Thanks for finally commenting and sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

      Have a fantastic day!

  3. Committing to start a new business or to live a life full of passion really is hard work, whether it’s getting your self to do it in the first place, or doing the one last thing you need to make it all work. I encounter this challenge every now and then, and it’s usually that last step that is missing and that takes time and “emotional re-evaluation” to put it in place. It’s hard and it happens because we are at a place where everything could change for us very quickly. That is why people who have been through it always say it takes courage and being ready to take a risk.

    It’s interesting that you said how people’s paths change through time because I often talk about this, too. It’s natural that we doscover new things we want to learn about and master, it’s normal that we are more passionate about different subjets at different “stages” of our lives. We are always interested in more then one thing at the time, so it would be mad to think we have to hold on to one thing from our twenties to the rest of our lives. But what’s really the problem, I think, is that people still haven’t made the distinction between doing something for a living, making money and doing what they love.

    • Yup. Your interests will change, but we have to realize that sometimes we have to stick with something and make it work before we move on. It’s not always a dance on roses, or a walk in the park.

      Sometimes it takes discipline, but once you’ve gotten going, you can have projects, or websites in my case about many different interests, which is kick-ass!

  4. I love writing and sharing the information that has helped me with others. One thing that I have noticed in since I made the decision and followed my purpose (taking action) is that the doors begin to open up. Many opportunities show up, resources and money arrives…one thing that I have noticed is when you start listening to your heart the “shiny things” start showing up- such as an office job that pays well.

    The road to freedom isn’t easy. Most things we want in life, require hard work, prioritizing, and perseverance.

    • Hah, that’s funny. Yeah, I’ve noticed that as well. Both resources and temptations come your way, almost mocking you and asking “are you sure about this? don’t you want the comfortable desk job that you really will end up hating in 6 months?”

      It also comes in phases for me. The resources that came to me 6 months ago are very different from the ones that appear to me know. It’s the standard hockey stick effect. When you’re really ready to commit, stuff will happen.

      Thanks, Kim!

  5. The art of being you…I love it.

    Some people forget that movement does not always mean progression. It’s conscious, meditated movement that does the trick.

    Very inspirational post, Henri.

  6. Jennifer Hart says:

    Great article that popped up in my e-mail :) Thanks for being so real and true to yourself and others. Following our hearts is key, but it also takes work and consistent action to create that masterpiece we always dreamed of. And, like you said, you never really know how it’s going to turn out in the end. Wonderful post Henri!

    • And sometimes we realize that it doesn’t even have to be a masterpiece, because it will be what it will be, and we will love it.

      I like your style, Jennifer. I hope you’re doing well :)

  7. This post could not have come at a better time for me. I spent years working in retail management and lost my passion for it long ago. Thanks to the many fine writers blogging about minimalism, finding your passion and how to use the internet to start your own business, my wife and I have been simplifying our lives. I recently quit my retail management job and have just started a blog of my own.

    Being so new at this, the doubts and fears sometime take hold of me. I have some standing offers for retail management positions and when I dwell on the doubts I am sometimes tempted to take the safe way out and take one of the offers. Nut when I listen to my heart, i know i am doing the right thing. Thank you!

    • The doubts and fears take hold of us all from time to time, so no worries there. I’m glad you’re listening to your heart. You’re at the beginning of an awesome adventure, so buckle your seat belt and prepare for a fun ride.

      Thanks for commenting, Rich!

  8. Hey Henri!
    Thanks again for another awesome and inspiring article!
    Really connect with what you write about.
    Thanks man!
    Richard

  9. Henri,

    This is so much helpful wisdom in this post! I loved the section on how to listen to your heart. So few people have the courage or give themselves the time to actually sit and focus on their heart for 15 minutes and simply listen. Thanks for this really clear step by step approach. I also really like your call to have an accurate view of reality. Mostly, I love this because it feels very genuine!

    • Thanks, Sandra!

      Busyness has taken over our lives. It feels like so much time to give up, even when you’re only thinking about 15 minutes to listen to what’s going on inside.

      I know, because I sometimes feel like that. Oh well ;)

  10. True wealth is when you find what you are meant to do, and then make it happen. The rest is just “stuff” that we hang on to in the meantime. Sounds like you’re well on your way. Enjoy :)

  11. Hi Henri,

    I think everybody will agree that you should follow your heart first and then the money will follow.

    You statement: “When you listen to your heart, don’t expect miracles, expect whispers and subtle hints.” is really good and accurate.

    Many people hope and expect this epiphany type of revelation when they finally take time out to think about what they want to do with their life. If you’ve spent a lifetime surpressing your inner voice it will be quite weak, at least to start with and my advice is to be patient with yourself. Your inner voice that speaks from the heart will increasingly get louder – just give it some space.

    As you say ” have the courage to be true to yourself” and I would add “have the patience to be true to yourself.”

    Jan

    • Yeah, I was the epiphany-expectator a few years ago, but I’ve since then realized the power of whispers.

      Keep rocking, Jan!

  12. What is my heart trying to tell me? That I am almost ready to take the plunge into the world of location independance and online income. Although my head keeps getting in the way with endless what ifs. I need to conquer some of the issues (like being in debt) before I can really break free. But in the process of minimalising and learning online strategies I am growing ever confident by the day. Hope to bump into you soon possibly trapseing across europe. Thanks for the post Henri

    Cheers

    • The what ifs will always be there. I have no doubt that if you go down the minimalism route that you will have no trouble getting rid of your debt once and for all.

      Good luck, Justin!

  13. I like this line…… ”You have to learn how to market yourself, how to package things, and how to listen… true words. I have come to find out that much of success is a personal thing. You really need to help yourself get up. The things that contribute most to your success are things that require your personal involvement like taking action, reading, finding your passion, thinking etc. I have been working and investing heavily on myself for a while now and i believe the result will soon show up in massive terms because its a principle i’m keying into and the manifestation just have to happen.

    To be candid, making it in life requires hard work. I repeat real hard work. We need to keep moving towards the right direction and taking actions that will birth the kind of success we desire. Resist the urge to copy people. Just be your true self as this will encourage and promote your originality. You succeed more when you have a unique voice that is different from others.

    The starting point is to first decide on what you want out of life? Do you have a vision of what you want your future to be like? First, put the intangibles in place then follow up with a plan and massive action. You don’t have to get things right the first time. Allow yourself to make mistakes as this will accelerate your learning. Don’t be too big to learn what works from someone who has achieved what you’re trying to achieve. There is tremendous power in MENTORING. No man is an island. You learn more from people: TEAM. The truth is that i like how henri writes so i take my time to consume his content and learn as much as i can.

    Go out there and make things happen. Henri, thanks for this wonderful piece. Keep increasing in knowledge.

  14. Quotable: “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.” (i got a laugh).

    - wow man you’ve come pretty far for a pretty young guy! I think about myself 10 years ago, and yeah, I was a mess, but i was determined to get my ass out of it. Can’t imagine if i had been born just 10 years later, what a different life.

    I think if you can give one person a smile who reads your blog post, you can consider that a pretty damn good success :)

    • I agree! What if we all could make just one person smile. Wouldn’t that make the world become much better? I certainly think so, but with the power of the internet, we can make even more people smile, and even laugh ;)

      Thanks for using the force for good, Satya!

  15. Tessa Zeng says:

    I’m actually a bit younger than most of your readers, and I’m currently in college…but about to leave school for good to pursue entrepreneurship! I’m somewhat terrified, but mostly really, really excited about what’s to come. I especially love what you say about “You still have to use common sense and realize that you can end up broke while doing something you love.” Because until now, I was content to drift along on my passions without delving into the business, practical end of things.

    Thank you for the encouraging post!

  16. You really hit home with this. I have no idea what I want, or how to get there. Not even a vague idea, but I let time help me. Meantime I work on letting my intuition and heart speak, and never to rush into something ( it never seems to work out for me). Maybe I want to travel around the world. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I want to be a blogger, maybe I don’t. Time will tell.

  17. Christina Crowe says:

    Hi Henri,

    It’s really great to see that there’s another young entrepreneur taking entrepreneurship by the horns! I always get told that I’m so young (just turned 21 today!), and sometimes I used to worry that maybe I started too early to really get anything going – that no one would take me seriously because of my age (I started my business at around 18).

    Now that I look back at my previous worries, I feel foolish because, the truth is, I wouldn’t be here writing this and doing what I’m doing (and truly love!) if I hadn’t of took the leap those many years ago. Despite my worries that I wouldn’t make a difference, I am now. I’ve met so many awesome people along this journey and helped so many writers get on their feet by simply sharing my views, providing my feedback, and following my passion.

    There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that you’re making a difference in someone else’s life – that you’re helping someone else to flourish and grow as a writer. And every time I get one of those emails thanking me for my time or an email from a writer so alive with excitement, telling me that my advice had actually helped the person get accepted somewhere, I can’t help but feel so amazingly good about myself. Because this is ultimately what I’ve always wanted to do – this is my calling – to help other writers like myself create an amazing business with their skills and strengths. It’s truly a wonderful feeling, and I wouldn’t ask to be anywhere else than where I am at this very moment.

    As for following your passion, I’m a great advocate of writing things down. I find that, by writing down your interests, what motivates you, your deep desires and dreams, and simply putting everything down on paper to look over again and again really helps me to stay organized. It also gives me something to look back to in the future when I feel like giving up or if I had an especially hard day because it reminds me why I started this venture in the first place.

    So whenever you’re stuck and can’t figure out what you really want to do with your life, I seriously recommend writing things down. Sometimes it’s just good to see your thoughts visually, and it can really clear a cluttered head when you need to.

    Good read!

    Christina

    • Being young has its advantages, but I do have to admit that I had the same worries as you, which kept me from getting started earlier. Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen, so I’m cool with that.

      Writing things down gets things out of the chaos that is your mind, so I’d have to agree on that.

      I’ve seen your stuff, Christina. You are making a difference, so keep rocking!

      And thanks for reading. I do appreciate it.

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