How can you have the freedom to live anywhere you want in the world, travel as often as you please and live your ideal lifestyle?
It’s simpler than most people think.
In the past, I used to believe that living like that was “too good to be true”.
(Especially at 20)
I would dream myself holding an engineering degree and working at a good company for 80K per year. That money used to seem like a lot then.
And they were, if you consider that the average wage in Greece is around 500-800 euro a month.
Of course, I would have to move somewhere abroad in order to get hired by a good company and make that money.
So many people are poor because they have a poor vision.
Don’t think about just getting a job somewhere. Think about owning the place.
— Damian Pros (@dareandconquer) April 13, 2016
And as far as it comes to travelling, I could probably get a few weeks a year off to spend the money that I earned by selling my soul and time to make another man’s company rich.
Would that be a good life?
Who knows? I personally doubt it.
It would certainly be a good life according to society’s stereotypes and what my family expected of me. But I am pretty sure I would be really miserable, had I followed that life path.
Right now, as I am writing this piece – I am on the plane back from Rome.
I had visited Rome in January, but I went back again for a hip-hop dance convention.
And my business paid for the whole trip.
Had I followed the conventional path to “success”, I would probably be at the university right now – having a deadly, boring thermodynamics class.
And right before that, I would have gone to the Uni’s restaurant to drink some crappy milk and eat bread with marmelade.
Instead of that, I was walking around Fontana Di Trevi, ate a delicious prosciutto pizza and had a frosty, mouth watering, nutella ice-cream for dessert.
You know my friend, freedom of choice is something rare in this world.
And I personally vouch that it’s one of life’s biggest pleasures.
A pleasure that people who follow the conventional way will rarely experience. Or won’t experience it young enough.
After all, what’s the point of being rich at 60?
Why not be rich at 25 and enjoy life to the utmost for an extra 35 years?
Common-followed paths lead to common-produced results.
Remember that. Read that again. Read it 5 more times. Write it down on a paper and stick it on your wall to see it every single fucking day.
From my experience, and from what I have seen other successful people do, success is the result of NOT following a common-followed path.
It’s the result of blazing your own path. How can you do that?
It’s really, really simple.
You Have To Swim Upstream
All successful people I know have done this one thing. They all decided they should swim upstream.
Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, used this simple yet powerful strategy to become the richest man in the world.
Swimming upstream paid off for Sam, who had a net worth of approximately 65 Billion Dollars before he died.
Yes, you read it right. Billions. Not even Millions.
That’s more than what Bill Gates or Warren Buffet have. And these are 2 of the 3 top richest men in the world right now.
For those of you who don’t know, Sam Walton was the man who founded Wal-Mart in America and one of the best (and richest) businessmen in the world.
If you read his autobiography – which I highly recommend you to do – Sam Walton has named an entire chapter as “Swimming Upstream”
After all, that’s probably one of the behaviors/traits that really made him a rich billionaire.
For some reason in business, I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been – Sam Walton
Sam Walton was in the retail business for years before he founded Wal-Mart. He had been running a franchised retail store.
But he really wanted to do one thing with his business: massive discounting and offering the lowest possible prices.
He couldn’t do that with the franchise model, so he had that crazy idea to start his own discount stores.
It might not seem like a big deal, but back in the 60’s, that was a pretty crazy idea.
Let’s say you wanted to open a store nowadays, where you would sell Diesel Jeans for just $5 a pair.
That’s probably an extreme example, but it works in order to illustrate my point.
If you told any rational person that you are going to sell $5 Diesel Jeans, he would laugh at you and call you crazy. He would say that “it can’t possibly work”.
Well, that’s what happened back then with Sam Walton’s discount stores.
Most people were skeptical, while others thought he has lost his mind. Even his own brother didn’t really believe that he could pull this off.
Sam Walton did the opposite of what everybody would consider normal and he became insanely rich.
Is that a coincidence?
One year ago, I was broke as a joke living off the $200 my parents were giving me each month.
In spite of what everybody believed was the right decision, I decided to quit my Chemical Engineering major and build a website.
(Yes, the one you are reading!)
Most people told me I was making a mistake I would regret.
Several others didn’t exactly said that, but it was pretty clear from the expression on their faces that they thought I was wasting my life.
(Why is being financially free and travelling the world a waste of your life? LOL!)
Even though I haven’t read Sam Walton’s autobiography at that time, I also decided to do the opposite of what everybody told me and swim upstream.
One year afterwards?
I have turned my sofa into a money making machine and due to the fact that I work from my laptop, I can take my business pretty much anywhere in the world I want.
- Live a year in New York?
- Move to Los Angeles and rent an apartment in the Hollywood Hills?
- Relocate to Dubai and live the good life?
Just name it, and it could be done.
While I have no plans to move permanently in the next 1-2 years, there would be no limitations if I suddenly changed my mind.
At the moment I prefer travelling once every 3 months as it broadens my horizons without having to commit to a big change.
I enjoy having a daily routine as it helps me grow my businesses faster.
Pro Business Tip: Constant travelling messes up your routine. If you are serious about your business, your daily routine and habits are critical to your success.
Grab a copy of Unleashing You and see for yourself.
Anyway, the point is that living like that would NEVER be possible if I had listened to those doubters and naysayers who said that I should get my college degree first.
Swimming upstream and doing the opposite of what people suggested was the right decision for me – just like it was for Sam Walton.
Had Sam Walton listened to the doubters and naysayers, he would have probably never become a billionaire.
So, Why Do Most People Never Swim Upstream?
There are several reasons.
But, I will list the most common ones.
#1: Fear Of Criticism
When you do the opposite of what you are expected to do, you are signing a contract to receiving endless criticism.
It’s not that you should care, especially if the criticism comes from people who have never succeeded in life.
After all, listening to the advice of unsuccessful people is a SUREFIRE way to make you the same as they are: unsuccessful.
Unfortunately, most people are not willing to face this endless stream criticism. And if you haven’t achieved anything yet, the criticism will be even harsher.
Hence why I haven’t yet told my parents that I quit college. They would have not accepted it.
I did what I wanted to do without telling them about it, and saved myself from lots of doubting and nagging.
Soon enough, I told them to stop sending me money as I could live on my own.
They were relieved, but they were also curious and couldn’t really believe it.
Then they saw me travelling.
I paid off one of my mother’s debts. They visited me one day and I took them out for dinner.
They are starting to understand, but only because I have achieved some things in my life at an age that most people still haven’t figured out what to do with their lives.
I will tell them I quit college in a few months.
They won’t like it, but they will swallow it without much nagging and endless criticism because they can see the tangible results of what I did.
In my case, I decided to avoid as much criticism as I could.
Criticism and nagging are as dangerous as a snake’s poison.
I wouldn’t risk to poison my mind with doubts and nagging as, this could destroy my chances for success.
This doesn’t mean that I didn’t face any criticism at all. But I did my best ignoring it. And it paid off.
#2: Inability To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Humans like comfort and coziness.
Nobody likes feeling uncomfortable, insecure and afraid.
The solution for most people is to settle for less than they could possibly achieve, and flushing down the toilet their chance to get everything.
Humans are emotional creatures.
It’s not easy going against your emotions, swim upstream and do something that’s unpredictable, risky and unknown.
Think of your comfort zone like a bubble. The bubble’s inside is comfortable, warm and cozy.
Once you step outside, it’s cold, dark and full of predators.
That’s the Discomfort Zone.
But do you know what exists beyond the Discomfort Zone?
The “Everything Zone”.
The nicest place in the world.
Wealth, freedom, choices, success, happiness.
All the things that people long for are there.
Whoever wants to get them, has to inevitably break the Comfort Bubble, wander around the Discomfort Zone and get out alive.
For most people, sitting in the coziness of the Comfort Bubble is the right choice, as uncertainty can be frustrating and emotionally tiring.
Solution: You have to push yourself to feel uncomfortable, at any given time. You will get used to it.
When I was training for the National Kick Boxing Championship, I used to do sparring with a guy 20kg heavier than me.
What’s more, we used to fight for 5 minutes, even though the rounds there would be about 2 minutes.
It was uncomfortable as hell and hard as fuck. But it paid off and I won.
#3: Social Bias/Herd Behavior
I was reading a really cool book the other day.
One of the core principles the book describes is the Social Bias/Herd Behavior.
In simple words, humans rarely make their decisions based on their own judgement, but they rely on external clues to drive them.
Think about when you are in a library. Do you shout, dance and jump like if you were at a party?
Of course not. You are following the herd.
While in this particular case, that’s not a bad decision – there are cases that this can be really dangerous.
Classic example: going to a university just to get a degree on something you are not truly interested in, but telling yourself how much you like it because your friends go and your family/society say that’s the right thing.
Pure stupidity, but that’s the way people act.
Solution: Be a contrarian. Swim upstream. Do the opposite of what the herd does.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean to turn your library into a rave party.
But when it comes to critical, life-changing decisions – you should follow this guideline: do the OPPOSITE of what most people do.
#4: Instant Gratification
If you want to be rich and free, you have to win the battle against instant gratification.
You have to forego the present pleasure, and focus on the future reward.
So few people can do that, and that’s why so few people are rich, free and successful.
Here are some example of what it means to delay instant pleasure:
- Don’t go out with your buddies tonight, stay in and read a business book.
- Don’t eat sugar, sweets and fast food for a month. Instead, eat healthy food and push yourself hard in the gym.
- Don’t spend your money to get a new car, but INVEST your money on life-changing courses like the 67 Steps.
During the last year, I have been continuously sacrificing instant pleasure to secure a better future.
- I didn’t go out as regularly as I would do, even if that would mean separating myself from my social circle.
- I stayed in to write articles instead of drinking beers with my friends.
- I went to the gym and practiced dancing instead of going to the beach with my girlfriend.
- I didn’t waste any money on things that had nothing to do with my personal growth.
I can now work just 2 hours and have the entire day to spend as I wish.
I bought a brand new iPhone 6S without even thinking about its cost. In the past, I would ask my grandparents for some pocket money to get a cheap, super slow 80E smartphone.
I booked a beautiful 5-star hotel in the UK for my next holiday in May.
In the past, I wouldn’t even be able to travel, and if I did, I would have to stay at the cheapest motel.
The reason why I am rewarded now, is that I had the inner strength to forego instant pleasure, to have everything in the future.
I can remember the last summer when my girlfriend told me: “how long will this last?” – like it was yesterday.
I constantly told her: “I don’t know. As long as it takes. But it will be worth it. That’s all that matters”.
She didn’t get it back then. Now she does, and she knows what she has to do to also get what she wants.
Learning to control your cravings for instant pleasure is not an easy thing, but it can be easier than you think if you do one thing.
You have to be obsessed with what you are trying to accomplish.
You must be obsessed to the point of madness.
So obsessed other people think you’ve lost it, that you are paranoid and weird.
If you can reach that level of obsession, then instant gratification won’t hold you back anymore.
So, find what you want to do with your life and be obsessed about it to the point of madness.
Obsession makes it easy for you to swim upstream.
Sit down and do the work, every day without breaks, whether you feel like doing it or not.
E.g: how to succeed in life.
— Damian Pros (@dareandconquer) April 12, 2016
Swimming upstream is a must if you really want to live the life of your dreams.
If you carefully study the lives of successful people, you will notice that most of them have followed a not so conventional path.
Going against the grain is not something everybody can do, but it pays off for whoever has the courage and strength to do it.
Until Next Time,
Keep Daring And Conquering,
PS: Have you been swimming upstream in your life? Or have you compromised for less?
Let me know in the comments and then SHARE this post with your friends on social media to help them be financially free!