Scary question isn’t it? It’s not a question that you hear often, but when you do, it nearly always stops you in your tracks. Other similar questions have the same effect like:

What sort of person do you want to become?

Who are you?

Are you happy with your life?

Are you happy with the person you’ve become right now?

What have you actually accomplished with your life so far?

Blimey, I’m getting goosebumps just typing those questions. I’ve often been labelled as ‘an over-achiever’ but when I sit down and ask myself these types of questions I always feel that I’m massively lacking and falling short. Is it just me? Or do you feel slightly underwhelmed with who you are, what you’ve done and where you’re going? These are questions that we tend to hear a bit in school and from our parents when we’re younger, but when we enter the big world, we all become insulated in whatever we land up in. Whether it’s Uni or a job, all too quickly LIFE just takes over and routine sets in. For the average Joe, that routine tends to be the 40/40/40 Plan where you work 40 hours a week, for 40 years and then retire on a pension 40% of what you struggled to live on in the first place.

In parallel, people tend to buy a house, settle down, raise a family and at some point the mid/late life crisis kicks in. Again, from research, it tends to be those probing questions that get us all riled up! ‘Seeders!’…that’s what I call this collection of digging and gnawing questions. They either spark positive growth or wallowing internal pain. Now although they may present inconvenient truths, the good thing here is that only you chooses your attitude. No one else. The past is the past, it can’t be changed, but you are the only one that controls your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Therefore if you’re not happy with your lot, you can 100% change you, your situation and your future.

A pertinent saying that we all pay lip service to is “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got…” So if you have burning goals, wishes, dreams and targets, what are you actually doing differently in order to achieve your goals? Everything you want in life is outside of your comfort zone, so are you currently stretching yourself and learning new information and skillsets? Or are you comfortably complacent in your comfort zone? No one can help you but you…

Also what I’ve found from long and painful experience is that if you’re stubborn and would rather try to change other people than yourself, it’s not that time and energy efficient. It’s far easier to change yourself and also who you hang around with. The late and great Jim Rohn once said “You are the sum of the 5 people you hang around with the most.” This is so true. If you spend most of your time with 5 drunks…you’ll end up being the 6th. If you spend most of your time around 5 millionaires, you’ll be the 6th. So when you’re confronting these ‘Seeders’ it’s totally up to you if the plant that stems from it grows into an inspirational flower or an ugly self-pitying weed. It’s all on you.

If you’re currently nailing life, and you’re stupendously happy. Great effort! Just keep on doing what you’re doing. But if you’re in the 99% of people who aren’t totally happy, then what is there to do? How can we change our life and head towards something more fulfilling? So here’s a good place to start.

Extrinsic Clarity. You need absolute crystal clear clarity in what you want and when you want it. Don’t worry about the ‘how’ for now, that will naturally become apparent once you commit and start embracing all of this. So…

  • You need to dedicate a good 30 mins on your own somewhere with pen and paper and write out every single materialistic thing that you wish to have/own in an ideal world. Like what cars and houses you want etc. Be specific. If you really want your dream car, don’t just write, ‘nice car’, be specific and write down ‘Black Aston Martin Vanquish with cream leather interior’ etc. (That’s going to be my next car by the way when I upgrade my existing Aston).
  • Once you’ve completed that list, then you need to make a list of all the things you wish to do, experience, see and visit. Things like hobbies, activities and holidays etc.
  • So now you have a big list of things that you desire. Now you need to put a price tag next to each and every thing you put down. And be generous. If you’re not sure how much your dream holiday to the Maldives is, just put something silly like £10k. Once you’ve got the costs on every item on your lists, total them up…you should have a large figure that will shock you. That’s good by the way.
  • Now we need to break things up on that list because you can live like a millionaire without actually being one. We are all too obsessed with ‘owning’ things. This really is a fallacy and most billionaires don’t actually like owning things. They want control of things. That’s the difference. So for your dream car for example you may have put down £250k for it. Well you can drive that car for a lot less! With a £15k deposit you can have that car on finance for just £4850 per month. Some of you may be in the mentality that financing or renting things is bad, but just put that to the back of your mind for the moment. We don’t have time to go into that here, but please read previous Insights. But a good (very wealthy) friend of mine once said that the best day of his life was when he sold his yacht! The second best day was when he bought it! He then went on to say, “If it floats, flies or fornicates, rent it!”

For the sensitive readers, they are his words, not mine! In fact he used a different word than fornicate! So work this out for as many of the things that you can and what you’ll end up with is a total lump sum amount and a total ‘per month’ amount. Presto, you now know how much you actually need to live the life you’ve always dreamed of. I’m guessing that this is substantially less than you imagined. People say that they need £20m in the bank, but when you do the maths, really you probably only need £1-2m lump sum cash (to buy certain things outright like your home) and then about £20k per month. That’s the key thing here, most people can live like Kings and Queens on £20k per month. That’s only £240k per year! That’s easier to achieve than you think!

Intrinsic Clarity. So that’s the fun fluffy stuff out of the way. Now we need to get onto the serious things. Having intrinsic clarity on who you want to be/become is pivotal to your success. There’s no point in getting all of the things on your lists if you’ve accomplished them in a crooked way or by doing something you don’t believe in. You need to look yourself in the mirror and be filled with warm pleasure that you are exactly who you are, what you’re doing and that what you’re doing delivers proper value to others and those around you. Also you must not make money your end goal.

If it is, you’ll spend the rest of your life continually chasing an ever moving goal. It’s relationships, experiences and time freedom which is what ultimately derives happiness. So your goals and targets really need to align with your core passions, values and beliefs. Also it’s a bit of a cliché thing to say these days, but I really genuinely believe this: money is simply a by-product of delivering value. It really is. If you focus on helping people and by delivering as much value as possible, the money will come in. Just think of most billionaires. The majority of them have amassed their fortune by helping people with a problem of some sort or by making something more efficient. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs helped people become more productive with personal computers and a whole load of other things, Elon Musk helped online commerce with Paypal and Richard Branson helped people by bringing in great music to the public at good prices initially. So deliver/create value and money will follow…

  • Now have a quick ponder on who do you want to be? What sort of legacy would you like to leave behind? What would you like to say to people when they ask what you do? Granted, this is going to be a hard thing to write out. You may not know for a while, but keep on asking yourself these questions and you’ll discover the answers.
  • However whatever you wish to do, you’ll need to set up your own business. That’s a given. You won’t be able to achieve any of the things in your lists if you remain in a 9-5 job. No way Jose. To achieve those things, you need to become the person with the necessary skillset in order to be able grow and maintain a residual income stream of £20k per month. And working a job just isn’t going to cut the mustard. So what you need to do is first create a part time business alongside your current job in the early hours of the morning or from 7pm onwards. Eventually you’ll be able to leave your job when the income from your business is paying you enough to cover your outgoings. Then you’ll be able to work full time on your business and that’s where the fun really starts!

Obviously it’s going to be tough to answer a lot of these questions, but don’t fret. It will take time to get real clarity. But these steps should hopefully help somewhat. But I’m currently in the process of creating a workflow plan which you’ll be able to follow step by step. And this workflow/to do list will guide you to wherever/whoever you wish to be. And it’s going to be detailed! It should hopefully be launching in early 2016, so stay tuned. I’m positive that this will be a game changer! But I’ll leave you with a cracking quote to mull over from a book called ‘The Power Of Now’ which I think is great:

“The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions, the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships, person and family history, belief systems, and often also political, nationalistic,, racial, religious, and other collective identifications….None of these is you.”