This article is written by John DeVries, author and creator of MotoVagabond. John is generally an amiable guy, but has been known to sleep in his truck, run barefoot in the snow, and consume exorbitant amounts of pie. If there’s one thing that characterizes him, it’s his commitment to his dreams, regardless of what it takes to achieve them.
Editor’s Note: I’m really excited to feature this post from John. He picked up my program Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty and has taken the ideas to an incredible level, and I’m really stoked for the stuff he’s got going on. Not to mention he’s a cool guy, and I highly suggest you check out his site and hit him up on twitter @johnkdevries. Ok enough from me – on to the post!
The Timebomb Principle: Commit to Your Ultimate Lifestyle
Many people dream about terminating their employment and starting a new and exotic life somewhere else in the world. But why don’t more of us do it? In today’s wireless, mobile society, why aren’t more people living the carefree, baller lifestyles that so many of us dream about? I’ll tell you why.
In short? Comfort.
For most of you, there’s no real pressure to get out of your current situation and into the kind of life you would actually like to be living. The Status Quo, while not ideal, is getting the job done. And the courage, obstacles, and work that would need to be faced in order to create your dream life all stand in your way. And they will stay there, staring at you for as long as you’re willing to entertain them with your cubical antics.
“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality, and then there are those who turn one into the other.”
In September of next year my life is going to seriously change whether I’m ready or not.
Two months ago, I told both of my employers that I’m leaving next September to ride my motorcycle to Chile, and that I don’t intend to return – ever.
I’m lucky to be in a position at both of those jobs where they aren’t going to fire me for giving them this news. I realize that’s not the case for everyone, but I want to talk about the principals behind my decision, not necessarily the decision itself.
You see, eleven months from now my income is going to disappear. Gone. Adios.
Both my employers have already started making plans to replace me. By the time next September rolls around, replacements will already have been hired, and I will have trained them to do my current job(s).
Now, this may not seem like the smartest move – and for many it may not be. However, I want you to suspend traditional thinking for awhile and hear me out on this one.
Limit Your Options
I now have one solid, real, and time bound goal to focus on for the next year. I have to find a way to either save up enough cash to get started on my journey, or create an income stream that can travel with me. If I do neither, best-case scenario is I go into a small amount of debt and head out job searching. Worst-case scenario, I go bankrupt.
But allow me to let you in on a little secrete I’ve since discovered about motivation. When you’re threatened with the inevitable close or end of something, it’s pretty easy to get your arse in gear and start creating some favorable conditions for yourself.
Editor’s Note: Truer Words have never been spoken on this blog.
Not surprisingly, I’ve started a blog this month, posted a bunch of articles, signed up on Twitter, had a phone conference with Sean, saved a few hundred bucks, and now I’m doing a guest post for Location180. Pretty productive 30 days I’d say.
And do you think I would have done all of that if I was just kinda-thinking-maybe-about-traveling-some-day, sorta? Nope.
“Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”
Set a Time Bomb on the Bridges Behind You
Now, before you write me off as a crazed lunatic, let’s jump back to the side of reason for a moment.
Metaphorically speaking my job is a bridge (or lifeline). It supplies my income, which in turn allows me to buy food, sleeping quarters, gas, etc. So, blowing up that bridge might not be the best idea, right? I mean, how will you eat if you eliminate your income?
Well, I can tell you from experience it can be exceedingly hard. When I got out of college, I started working in a warehouse to make ends meet. Of course I had plans to do something “else” in the near future, but you know how that goes. Well, two years went by and I was still chugging away in the warehouse.
I came home one night and suddenly just became intensely angry with myself. There I was, 24 years old, all the dreams in the world, and I was stuck in the Midwestern United States, driving a decade old truck, working in a warehouse, and essentially doing nothing with my life.
I was so pissed I started throwing heavy things around my apartment (normal behavior for chimpanzees in captivity, not normal for me). So, thinking I was some kind of courageous stud, I walked into work the next day and quit. Cool, I’m awesome (and poor).
The next few years after that were very hard for me financially.
(“Wow John, we’re shocked.”)
I was lucky in that my boss asked me to stay on part-time – that actually saved me.
Anyway, all of that to make this point.
Blow up the bridges behind you, but set a timer.
Make sure that you give yourself enough time to do some work, setup a new life, and create some opportunities before the bridge (your job) is set to blow up.
For me, a year seemed like a pretty safe bet. I should be able to save enough cash or get something rolling in that time. If not, it will have been a failed, but courageous experiment.
Other Ways to Use The Time Bomb Principal
Maybe you have no interest in lifestyle design or traveling.
What are you wanting to create?
It doesn’t matter if you’re wanting to run a marathon, go back to school, start a new career, or breakup with your loser boyfriend. You can set a reasonable timetable up for yourself with some consequences that you know will force you to commit.
For example, do you want to run a Marathon? Here’s how:
Find someone that hates you. Not “kinda doesn’t like you”, hates you. Create a legal document between the two of you that states if you do not run your marathon by date X, you will pay them $1,000 dollars. By date X. Boom – you’re now officially a marathon runner.
*pat on the back from me*
Need to finish that degree? Do this:
Ask for a promotion at work that requires the degree you want. See if you can edge yourself into the position with a caveat that you will finish your degree by date X or be demoted.
Is it time to dump your couch potato boyfriend? Simple:
Write an “I’m dumping you” letter and give it to a friend who doesn’t like your current man. Tell said friend to mail it to him in three months.
Hey! Look who’s single!
You can create whatever you want, and if you’re committed and are willing to take a little swim in the deep end, I have no doubt that you’ll be able to accomplish whatever goal or lifestyle you want to create.
Give yourself no other option. Burn the bridges behind you such that they will fall apart in a reasonable amount of time to accomplish the task you’ve set for yourself.
If you enjoyed this post be sure to head over to Motovagabond to see the stuff John’s got cookin’. ALSO, if you liked this, then you’re probably really going to like my new 6 part ecourse geared towards teaching you how to become location independent. Check out the side bar, and it’s free…so what do you have to lose??