How to Ditch Your Car, Get in Shape, and Follow Your Dreams :)

IMG_1976

My whip & Shasta 🙂

For the past few months now I have been riding my bike everywhere. On average, I have been riding about 8-10 miles per day. This milage might seem like a lot, but sometimes it is split up throughout the day, depending on what I am doing. Other times it is all at once. Either way, you are probably wondering why I would do this?

About 2 months ago, I quit my job and started working on Life Tools full time. I saved up enough money from my job that I could have all of my living expenses covered for about 5 months. I would like to sound like I have life all figured out and that I had planned it this way from the start, but I didn’t. I just got tired of my job and realized that I really didn’t have to work and I could give 100% of my attention to Life Tools and my blog (side note: I have some AWESOME things coming very soon for this blog so stay tuned because it is about to be great!). So that’s what I did! If you read my previous post, I am on a journey this year to become happier than I have ever been in my entire life (so far) and I knew that doing this would greatly improve my happiness.

So what does this have to do with riding my bike?

A lot, actually.

The only problem I had was that my job provided me with a work car to drive that I took home at night. I was also allowed to drive to do my own personal errands and grocery shopping after work, and do pretty much anything I needed to do if it wasn’t too far out of the way. So at that time all I needed was my work truck, but when I quit my job I also lost my set of wheels. I didn’t want to buy a car because it would use most of my fund I had saved up to live on and I wouldn’t be able to pursue my passion and dream! So, inspired by Mr. Money Mustache’s blog, I decided that I could just ride my bike for a while until I need a car. Right now I simply don’t need one. Would I like one? I guess. Would I enjoy it? Sure. Probably not much more than my bike. But is it an absolute necessity right now? No. It is far more important to me that I work on my passion until it not only can support me financially, but can also more importantly impact thousands of lives in a positive and enlightening way. I would much rather work on this than have the material comfort of a car. Besides, cars are kind of expensive and then you have to pay registration, insurance, and you are at the mercy of the gas prices. Not to mention pollution (for most cars, at least).

What I have noticed when I ride is that you smell the most wonderful fragrances as you pass by beautiful gardens. You see things that you never would have noticed in a car, like a for-sale sign in front of a house or a new park, etc. You can hear everything around you and feel the wind and sun on your skin. And of course, you get in great shape (at least cardio-wise)! Plus, once I get to wherever I am going, I am always alert, energetic, and ready. That is just naturally how you feel after getting a little exercise. Plus, if you are trying to get in shape or get some cardio in, it is a lot easier to do it when it is your only way to get somewhere. Riding your bike also helps you prioritize the things you need to do away from your house and it really motivates you to chunk together all activities that are close in proximity to each other. Another nice thing I have noticed is how kind the drivers are to bikers (at least in my area). They will usually go way around you when they pass, they will slow down and let you by, and they are typically really careful. Whether they truly care about my safety as a person or they just don’t want a lawsuit, they are very respectful and it makes me feel grateful for all of the good people in the world. What a difference from when you are in a car! Everyone just seems to cut you off or drive ridiculously. So basically, with a bike you just become more efficient, more energetic, more lean, and more appreciative of everything around you. 🙂

Is this no-car, only-bike thing for everyone? Of course not. But my point here is that we need to look beyond what we think are necessities and understand that we can live life very simply – AND still be happy! Am I ever going to be a hard-core biker? Probably not. I don’t really have a desire to do that. I just use the bike as a tool. Choosing to ride my bike instead of spend money on a car allows me to have more time and freedom to do what I love and help others do the same.

I have learned that not having a car is really not that big of a setback and biking is not only a great alternative, it is really enjoyable. Do I feel like riding it every day? No. But am I grateful that I am riding my bike and working on my dreams (no matter how much of a headwind there is) instead of driving a car to a job that doesn’t fulfill me and sitting in terrible traffic. There are other options, of course, if you don’t have a car – depending on where you live. For example, I am really lucky that my surrounding area is pretty flat. If there were lots of steep hills, I would probably not be riding my bike – especially since my bike is a one speed. There is public transportation, Uber and other driving services if you are in large metro areas, carpooling (which I do when I can), motorcycles and mopeds, etc., even walking! There are many options! Honestly, many things in life just come down to how creative you can be. And guess what? This makes life very interesting!

If you want to follow your dreams and passions, there is nothing holding you back but yourself. No matter what setbacks you face, the only one who can decide to persevere or quit is you. You are the only determining factor as to whether you can do it or not. Chose your dreams. Choose to make decisions in favor of them. Go all in! And NEVER, EVER give up!

 

To living your dreams,

Alex 🙂

PS– Here is one of my favorite speeches by Les Brown that will really inspire you to go after your dreams and what you want in life. I have listened to it countless times and it still motivates and inspires me each time. Listen and/or watch it on Youtube here. 

PPS– Peace of Mind Natrual Blend (the wonderful supplement for less stress and better sleep) now has a brand new label on Amazon! I just wanted to let you guys know about it so that you can check it out if you want! 🙂

Stop Living a Mediocre Life!

What exactly is a mediocre life? Well, you could define it like this: A mediocre life is your style of living (made up of habits, actions, people, thoughts, responsibilities, etc.) that you have settled for, which is not up to your hopes or standards and gives you feelings of boredom, monotony, and a fixed mindset.

If you feel like your life is boring, pointless, just the same as everyone else’s, monotonous, or just not that great, then you are living a mediocre life. You are more than what you are settling for. Now, if you know what you are worth then go out and get it! You are attracting your mediocrity because you subconsciously believe that it is all you can do, and that this is the best life you are able to live. But deep down, there are desires and talents that must come out! You can live an amazing life. You can be all that you want. You are the one. You are powerful. You are here on this earth at this time in this form as you, to do all that you would like to do, and be all that you would like to be.

It is time to stop living a mediocre life! Don’t wait until next week, or next month, or even tomorrow. It stops today! It’s time to get up and do something about it! Don’t have time? Make time. If you don’t have time to do something that is this important, then you don’t have your priorities in order. This is your life. You only get one. There is no excuse. It is time to change. It is time to become satisfied and proud of yourself and the life you are living. Are you ready? Doing this is much simpler than you might think. Here is what you need to do:

First, carve out some time for yourself. Maybe a Saturday morning, or a Tuesday afternoon. Whenever you can get a good chunk of time alone to just be with yourself and not be interrupted. Get a pen and paper. Ask yourself these questions below. Write your answers on the paper.

  1. Why do I consider my life to be mediocre? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  2. What exactly is holding me back and keeping me here living this mediocre style of life? 
  3. How can I change each situation listed above so that I can live the life I desire? Write down 3 actionable steps for each.
  4. What habits do I have that are keeping me away from being a better person and enjoying a better life?
  5. How can I change these habits into something that will benefit me and my life? (See previous post Living From Intentional Habits (Or: Killing Bad Habits and Monotonous Routines) to help you with this step.)
  6. What exactly do I want my life to look like? What is your dream life? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  7. Why? Why do you want your life to look like your previous description? Why is each of part of your dream important to you? Does it solve a problem? Is it something that you have always wanted? Is it something that you think is really cool? Does each part of your dream life excite you? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
  8. After asking why, is there anything that I need to change about my dream life?
  9. What is the one thing I can do today that will be the best step toward my new dream life, and away from my old mediocre life? What is the most efficient and effective thing you can do today (or right now) to propel you toward your best life?
  10. What can I move around in my schedule so that I can work on this every day until my new life is a reality?

That’s it! It is a simple process, but it is not necessarily easy. Anyone can ask these questions, but it takes a lot of effort and concentrated thinking to find the answers. Most people don’t get this far. They try to answer the questions above and they give up because it is hard. But you know what is harder? Continuing to live a life that does not live up to your dreams and values. Answer the questions and you will know what you must do next. Here are a couple more things to keep in mind:

Believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. You must believe in you. Invest in yourself. Develop your spiritual side. Focus on personal development and connecting with your inner spirit. If you don’t like being alone with yourself, be alone and make peace. Inner peace. It is a way of living, not a destination. Simply know that you are perfect and ready for the world just the way you are. You are important to the world because it only takes one to change the world. If you change your life, you change your world.

Take time to ponder yourself and your life. Meditate and relax. Clear your mind. Reflect. Journal. Visualize the future and other positive visions for greatness. Take time to do this at least once per week. I carve out a few hours one day per week for this. I also spend some time doing these things almost every single day. Specifically, you could set a time, or a reminder.

People who live amazing lives are also amazingly thankful. I have a sticky note up on the wall in my bedroom right next to my bedside table that says, “I am thankful for…”. I purposefully put it in a place that I always look so that I am always thinking of something I am grateful for that can finish the phrase. Most of the time our mediocre life does not come from our situations in our everyday circumstances. Most of the time, it comes from our fears, false beliefs, and fixed mindsets. By taking time for yourself to meditate, think, visualize, etc., your quality of life will improve.

If you want to live an extraordinary life, stop being and doing the ordinary. Do what makes you happy. Do things for you because you decided to and because you want to. Think and act for yourself. Don’t just blindly follow what everyone else is doing. Just because most people do something doesn’t mean that it is the right way or the best way. Most of the time, these people have no idea what they are doing or where they are going. If you find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, you should probably think about whether it is right for you. If not, no matter how many other people are doing it, you should choose another direction.

If you would like to live a mediocre life, then don’t change and keep doing what you have always been doing. But once you know that you are not living the way you desire, it is difficult to just simply ignore this truth and fade back to your old ways. It has your attention and now that you have noticed, it sticks out like a sore thumb. This is because parts of your life do not line up with your values and dreams. It is time to change! It is time to grow. It is time to become your best version and live an amazing life. No more mediocrity!

To living your best life,

-Alex

Take The Leap

Kjerag_BASE_jumping.jpg

For many of us, living our dream lives it is not a question of what we want- many of us already know the answer to that. It is more of a question as to whether or not we can believe in ourselves enough to do it. It’s all in our mindset. While we can live a lifestyle of living our best life every day, there are certain things that we might visualize ourselves doing in our dream lives which we are not doing at the moment.

When we think of what our best lives look like, many of us have some kind of big goal or dream that we have been putting off for a long time. These goals are probably crying out for attention. We really want to do it, and it causes us some stress that we haven’t done it yet, since we have been meaning to for so long. We also know that our dream life is not complete without attempting this pending dream that we have. Many people are scared to do what they know they need to do to live their best and most fulfilling life.

It is like if you are standing right at the ledge on top of a cliff, and everything you ever wanted was at the bottom of the cliff. There is no other way down but to jump. But you are afraid. What if something goes wrong? What if it hurts to land? It is hard to see everything at the bottom of the cliff clearly. What if it is not that great after all? How is this going to work out? You aren’t sure, so you try to find out for yourself. You read books all about the cliff. You ask others what they think. But you know that your questions and worries will only be answered if you jump. You are scared. All of this research took time, but ultimately, it is all up to you to find out. And now you are standing on the ledge, looking down. You can see all that you want below. You are so close that you can almost touch it! You really want it! And even though you are afraid of the unknown, you know what you have to do. You have to take the jump. You worry; you try to find an alternative to what you want. But deep down you know that the only way is to take the leap. Finally one day, you say enough is enough. No matter what, I am ready to go after what I want. You grab your parachute, shut your eyes tightly, and you jump off the cliff.

Usually, it is fear of the unknown that holds us back the most. Once you have jumped off the cliff, you will realize that you wasted a lot of time worrying and avoiding the cliff. Had you just jumped in the first place without over thinking, you would have been where you wanted to be a lot sooner, and saved your body, mind, and spirit a lot of stress. Procrastination, worry, doubt, and fear quickly lead to self doubt and unrest.

The leap is the unknown- the space between where you are and where you want to be in a goal. It is what everyone is so worried about before they jump. People get so focused on the process and the unknown that they forget to look at the results. They forget about what is at the bottom if they can just simply jump. Of course it is scary. Of course there will be things that you don’t know or don’t understand – you have never done it before! But once you take the leap, you are in motion. You are moving toward your goals and more into your dream life.

As you fall, you gain speed. You can see the ground getting closer and closer. Now you know that you are going to make it! The closer you get, the more you can see below. It looks similar to what you saw at the top of the cliff, but now you can see that there is way more here than you ever dreamed of having.

The process on the way down the cliff is not neccesarily an easy one. There are a lot of emotional and mental ups and downs, just like a roller coaster. But as long as you continue working patiently and persistently toward your goal, you will end up where you want to be. You just have to trust in yourself, and remind yourself that even if your goal or dream doesn’t work out the way you planned, it is better to try than to never know. It is never too late to change. You will always end up where you are meant to be.

And finally, you land. Now that you are on the ground you not only have a different perspective on everything you ever wanted, but also have a different perspective on life and on the cliff. Suddenly others are asking you what jumping from the cliff is like, trying to muster up their own courage to do it themselves. Although you went through good and bad times while you were falling down the cliff, the process was unique, beautiful, and so worth it. At the top of the cliff you had been living a happy and healthy life. Now you have your dream accomplished to enrich and enhance your life that much more.

Living your dream life is not just about living your happiest and healthiest life. It is also about realizing your dreams and making them a reality. These goals and dreams are just as important as being happy and healthy- in fact, they tie right in. If there is something that you have been really wanting to do in your life for a long time, it is time to take the leap. It is time to just do it. Jumping is the hardest part.

“An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” – Newton’s first law of motion, also referred to as the law of inertia.

Take a minute to stop everything you are doing and really search your soul. When you look at what you want your life to look like, what do you see there that isn’t in your life right now? What dream or goal do you have that you have been putting off? If you have more than one goal, choose the one you want the most, or the one that has been put off the longest.

This is your work now. Don’t put it off any longer. Put aside your fears; they are never going to subside unless you take action. Just take the leap.

To living your best life and being your best self,

-Alex