Twice a month I’m going to showcase a new person (normally a blogger) who I think is being really awesome and taking control of their own lives. They’re the people in the driver’s seat, and are choosing to be more purposeful in getting what they want. Benny Hsu, from Get Busy Living definitely inspired me and I even pasted a quote from that post onto my wall to remind me of what I learned. Check out his interview with me:
1. What is your ideal day like? Are you close to living that right now?
My ideal day would be filled with doing what I want to do. From the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. I’m doing that right now so it’s pretty good. However, I’d be nice if I was answering these questions from a balcony overlooking the ocean, but it’s going in the right direction.
2. What is it that you desire the most for your life? What would you want your obituary to say?
What I desire most is a life of excitement. That doesn’t mean jumping out of airplanes, but excitement from having something to look forward to each day whether it’s work or watching a movie I can’t wait to see. As for my obituary, I would like it to say that I had the biggest smile all the time, made someone’s life better by knowing me, and I was the best husband and father.
3. What initially sparked you to go about creating the type of life you want? (ie: Some people get broken up with, laid off/fired, etc before changing their mindset).
My catalyst was knowing what I was doing wasn’t right for me. I thought after graduating college that I’d be in a regular job, moving up to maybe being the boss one day, and making lots of money. I thought a job and money would equal happiness. Then I got tired of my job working in the restaurant business. The long hours, working weekend, and dealing with the day-to-day problems in the restaurant were not for me. I had that feeling for a couple years and then I read The 4 Hour Work Week. That opened my mind to living this new kind of lifestyle he was talking about. From that day, I wanted to create a lifestyle business. It took three years of frustration still trying to figure out how I would do it, but I’ve found my answer.
4. Do you have a favorite mantra or saying you repeat to keep yourself motivated / centered / clear on your goals?
I just like to remember to keep taking baby steps. When we start on a project it can feel really overwhelming when we think about what we have to do. It can feel stressful so we don’t even want to start. What I do is just do a little bit each day. Do something related to it. Each day that I do, it moves me closer to finishing it. It might still be a long ways away, but at least I’m making progress. So I always remind myself to take baby steps.
5. What are you working on right now that’s bringing you closer to the life of your dreams?
I’m working on creating more streams of income. I don’t want to just rely on one. I want to diversify. I develop iPhone apps so I’m working on a new app right now. I’ve had some hits and some misses, so I’m still working on finding more hits. Also finished a course called Get Busy Living in 30 which takes people through a 30 day program to help them get unstuck in life.
6. What piece of advice would you give someone who is nervous or scared about stepping into the unknown (in terms of going after what they want)?
One piece of advice I would give is to imagine the best case scenario if you achieved your goal. Too often people will imagine the worst case scenario, get freaked out of course, and decide to not even bother to try. One problem with that is that our minds can create vivid imaginations. So it creates these scenarios that never ever happen, but they feel so real in their minds. So think about how it would feel if you achieved your goal, how your life would be, and the benefits because of it. You get more excited by it and it helps motivate you to step into the unknown.
7. How did you figure out what you wanted to do. Was it a childhood dream? Or did you discover it later on?
I was a late bloomer. I never knew what I truly wanted to do. Even in college I had no idea what to major in. I decided on sports management cause it sounded interesting. I wasn’t sure if I would work in sports after college. I just had to pick a major. After college, I did try to apply for some sports jobs, but when I didn’t have success, I didn’t know what else to try. I knew I didn’t want to work in the restaurant forever. I always had an interest in creating an online business. I just had to try different things to figure out my niche.
8. How has your mentality changed (if at all) since you’ve begun creating your life in your own image?
It’s changed tremendously. No doubt it’s the #1 factor why my life has changed. If I never changed my mentality, I’d still feel stuck in life. I had always tried to improve my external world, so I’d feel better on the inside. That never worked. This time I had to change from the inside first and it’s brought me the changes and success I have always wanted.
Bonus: I really love your pieces on epic living and being more aware your mentality. So I’m curious – what are some of the things you say to yourself if you encounter something that’s difficult or might make you second guess yourself? How does your mentality about your life and career compare to what it was in 2009 (or even earlier)? Did you have a hard time changing your mentality or was it like flipping a switch?
One thing I say to myself if I encounter something difficult is instead of saying to myself “I can’t”, I think “How can I?” That perspective leads to trying to find a solution. You’re telling yourself there is a way, but you have to find it. When you think “I can’t” it completely shuts your mind down. It doesn’t look for a solution. Those two words can also physically weak you instantly. Your body reacts according to what you think. That’s why “I can’t” should never be used.
My mentality about my life and career is so different than when it was before 2010. Back then I wasn’t very optimistic at my chances of having the type of life I wanted. Yes I wanted it, but I felt hopeless that it could happen. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I tried some online businesses, but they all failed after a month or two. It didn’t help that every day I had to go to work I hated it. Being so negative clouded my thinking too. I couldn’t lead a positive life when all my thinking was so negative.
I had a hard time changing it for so long before 2010. I read personal development books to find the answers, but I didn’t practice what they were teaching. Reading the books would temporally get me excited that I could change my life, but it quickly went away. In October 2010, I was absolutely fed up with myself. For the past five years or so I made that same drive home from work. I felt frustrated, sad, and angry at myself for living that way. I didn’t know how much longer I could handle it. So that night, I came home and typed a letter to myself. I taped one copy on my bathroom mirror and one on the wall behind my desk. It was a reminder to myself of how I felt and what I needed to do to stop living life like this. Basically I needed to take massive action and not stop until I was living the life I wanted.
It was like flipping on a switch. Change didn’t happen overnight, but I had this drive to change as a person and find work that I actually enjoyed doing.