The other day, my friend sent me a message that sent me off on a rant. Wanna hear it?
I thought so!
Quick background, my friend and his wife came here (to Cozumel) over a year ago on a cruise ship for the day. After a day of fun, I planted a big fat seed by saying, “Why don’t you guys move here? This could be your life you know!”
The seed apparently sprouted some roots because they took me seriously! Long story short, they sold a lot of stuff, rented their house out, started teaching English online, and moved here.
In fact, they’ve been living here in Cozumel with their 6 kids for the last 4 months! My friend told me that moving here has helped them in more ways than they could’ve ever imagined.
Most of all, it’s given them perspective.
Now, back to the message. He said that he was talking with his parents and they alluded to the fact, that what he was doing (living in Cozumel with his family) wasn’t actually “reality”. My friend said that to his parents, working 50 hours a week was reality.
Oh man. It made me go a little crazy.
First, I thought, “well what the heck is reality anyway?”
And isn’t that SUUUUUPER subjective?
My friend is American. So are his parents. To Americans, working 40-50+ hours a week is labeled “normal”. Or, that’s their “reality”. Oh, and they get two weeks of vacation a year.
What if my friend was French or Spanish? His parents might have said, “You need to work 30 hours a week and take the month of August off for holiday. That’s reality!”
Or on the flipside, what if they were Japanese?
“You need to work 80+ hours a week and never go on vacation. That’s reality!”
Obviously, I’m stretching this a bit but I’m making a point.
Reality is subjective. It all depends on your family, your education, your culture, your country, and so on.
YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF ‘WHY’
When dealing with what we call reality, you need to ask yourself some hard-hitting questions.
- Do you do things simply because that’s how it’s always been done?
- Do you welcome change or do you resist it?
- Do you actively try and take charge of your own happiness?
- If so, would you say you’re generally happier than those around you?
- If you have a job, why? Do you do it because you think it’s the only way to make money?
- If you don’t have enough time for your family and friends? Why?
- Do you travel as much as you like to? If not, why?
- Do you have time for your hobbies or the projects you want to get done? If not, why?
- If you’re not happy, why?
Seriously ask yourself these questions. If you can, then you’re braver than most people. It’s scary to question everything you’ve ever known.
But if you’re current reality sucks, then you need to change it. And it all starts by asking the right questions.
Please, please, please don’t do things because “well, that’s just how it’s done” or “that’s the way it’s always been done”.
Please don’t be a clown and copy what everyone else is doing. That’s what average people do. If you’re reading this blog post, you’re not average. If you were, I would have already offended you.
You, amigo mío, are bound for something greater. A better, richer life.
HERE’S THE BIG FAT SECRET
You can define your own reality!
I know, it’s so scandalous of me to even say out loud let alone publish on this blog!
But I’m going to say it again because if you’re reading this, you need to help me share it with the masses.
The key word there is “can”. As in, will you be brave enough to actually do it? Will you be able to let go of your parent’s expectations? What about your university professors? What about your country? What about society as a whole?
I have ranted about this already when I said that the so-called “alternative lifestyle” should actually be the new normal lifestyle.
I am a fiercely independent person. It took me a while to fully realize that but once I did, and started being true to myself, it changed my world. My wife is the same. This is why we decided to cast aside the lifestyle our society told us we should be living and actually begin to live our dreams.
Because we’re so independent, it makes us incredibly intentional about everything we do. That includes shaping what our reality looks like – especially shaping what our reality looks like!
To me, it’s crazy that:
- people in 2018, still sit in traffic for literally 2+ hours a day to go to a job
- with all of the information available online, there are still people complaining about not having enough money
- people still start off life in the hole with $100,000+ of student debt to get a college degree to try and get jobs that don’t exist anymore
- people accept that they only get to see their friends and family on nights and weekends and maybe the occasional holiday
There are a lot of things that society says is “reality” that I just plain, flat-out, 100% do NOT accept.
It’s not MY reality.
And it doesn’t have to be yours.
If you’re providing for your family, as in, you are making good money in an honest and legal way, then who cares how many hours you put in?
Who says 40 hours is the right thing anyway? Some union boss from 1921?
That’s industrial age legacy thinking. And even though we left the industrial age behind, people still accept it as their reality.
THERE’S A BETTER WAY FOR YOU MY FRIEND
With my rant out of the way, here are some practical steps to define your own reality.
#1 – Accept That You Can Customize Your Own Reality
It seems obvious but you’ve got to embrace the fact that you are 100% in control of how you choose to live. You might have to wade through decades of social conditioning but you can do it.
Accept that your life is not already predetermined. You don’t have to follow any path you don’t want to. Really.
See that quote above? Everyone thinks they’re the master. But most people are usually the servant. Servants to a schedule, a job, a boss, a corporation, etc.
Here’s your chance to really be the master.
#2 – Look For Examples of People Who Are Free and Model Them
Take a good hard look around you. Who do you know is truly free?
I’m willing to bet if you do happen to know anyone like this, they do not have a job. They do not have an excess of consumer debt. They are generally in control of their life.
What you need to do is to model them. Observe what you like about their lifestyle and use it to build your own.
If you don’t know anyone personally, reach out to people online. Don’t be afraid to ask them hard-hitting questions about their income source, goals, dreams, etc. If they’re really living the dream, they won’t be shy with their info.
#3 – Decide What You Want Your Own Reality To Be
In the last point, notice I said to find people to model but you should NOT copy them. You need to decide what’s right for you.
For us, we had friends that were perma-traveling with their kids. As much as we love to travel, we wanted to have a homebase abroad and then visit other places. It’s what works well for us.
So do what works well for you. Look for inspiration from others but adapt it to you. Make it yours. That’s key.
#4 – Start Living Your New Reality
Start to live your new reality even if just by a little each day. For most people, they can’t just quit their jobs and live the dream tomorrow.
BUT, you can start your lifestyle business on the side and then grow out of the job. If you work it hard and consistently, you will be able to make the jump and leave the job behind forever.
Also, let’s say your new reality includes moving to another country or traveling. You can begin now to learn all you can about the places you want to go.
Before we moved to Cozumel, I watched every YouTube video I could about Cozumel, especially the ones with scuba diving.
Start doing a little every day that will lead you to your new reality.
#5 – Accept That There Will Be Pushback
When you start to go after your dreams, you’re going to meet resistance. People are going to try all manner of tactics (reason, logic, fear, etc) to get you to stay right where you are.
A sad truth about most people is that they’re not living their dream lives and when they see someone they know creating their dream reality, they get scared. This manifests itself in all sorts of ways from complaining to manipulation to straight up jealousy.
Just be aware that it’s going to happen and most likely from the people you know and love – friends and family.
It’s all OK though because you join a new “cool club” of people all living their dream lifestyle. I’m not kidding. As we’ve traveled and lived abroad, we’ve met so many people who “just get it”. Like we all woke up from some dream and now are living our happily ever after.
I’m not saying everything is rainbows and unicorns, but life is better on this side. Waaaaay better.
#6 – Wake Up Grateful Every Day
Seriously, not kidding. You worked your butt off to get here. Now enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Take time to recognize that you get to live like the REAL 1% – the people that have time freedom and who get to choose what they’ll do each and every day.
After my friend sent me the message about “reality” I told him, “Well, gotta go. Going for a swim with my wife. In the Caribbean. At 8:15am. When most people are clocking in.”
He said he too was headed to the beach for the day with his kids.
Be grateful. Never take it for granted. It will keep you happy.
#7 – Share the Message With Those Who Will Listen
Once you’re living it yourself, share it with others! There is so much room for people in the cool club! Seriously.
The majority of the population is still slaving away. They don’t have to be. You can show them how to be free through your example.
Will you do it?
And that’s it! That’s my 7-step program for creating and living your new reality.
I hope you do it.
Just do it.
Go for it.
Your future self will thank you.
Photo Source: My phone. It’s a pic I took at Aguas Azules in the state of Chiapas, Mexico on a trip with my fam. Beautiful right? 🙂