What Did I Write to Myself 4 Years Ago That Changed Everything?

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“This is it. This is my manifesto. This is when I start to make changes to the life I want. It starts now. Stop wasting time. It’s been more than five years since you’ve wanted to find a new career. You need to start doing it now. Today. Tomorrow and every day until you reach your desired lifestyle. Life is too short to be unhappy when not working. You deserve the best. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have all the money in the world to go along with happiness. Start working hard every day to find your passion and reach your goals. Focus. Focus. Focus. Open your mind and allow it to attract great ideas and answers to your questions.”

121 words that came from the heart. I wrote that in October 2010. It’s still taped on my wall right above my stand up desk.

It came from being tired about how my life was at that point. I came home after a long day at a job I so badly wanted to leave for so long. It was busy that night, and I was mentally and physical tired. I drove home staring at the road. It was 11pm, so there were not many cars on the road, there was only a truck from the Shiply company full of cars ready to get delivered. The music was on and really sound great with the Pioneer DJ deck. I was just alone with my thoughts. The drive home and those feelings were ones I had experienced thousands of times, but something about that night was different. I don’t know why. Was this my breaking point finally? It must have been because I came home and did something I hadn’t done before.

I typed a message to myself. I called it my manifesto because I was making a declaration.

I just typed whatever was on my mind and finished. I didn’t go back to change anything. I wasn’t angry at myself though I could have easily laced that letter with expletives. At that time, I was too exhausted from a long night at work and just at life in general. The manifesto was there to lift me up and not put me down. So I think that’s why it didn’t feel as angry.

I still have this taped on my wall as a reminder of how far I have come. When I typed it, I didn’t know what was going to be the outcome, but I just knew it would be better than what I had up to that point. I was so determined to make it so.

In today’s blog post, I wanted to analyze what I wrote and why I wrote those particular words at that time.

This is it

The first words I summed it. I was tired of wanting a better life. I was tired of not doing work that made me happy. I was tired of so many things. I had tried and stopped countless times. No more excuses. No more waiting until next year to start again. It was time to change. No more half assed attempts.

Stop wasting time

All I did when I had free time was waste time. I was doing things that weren’t getting me any closer to where I wanted to be. Instead, I was doing things that distracted me from real life. I had lots of free time. Working in the restaurant business meant I didn’t have to wake up early. I did have days off and even a break in the middle of the day. I had so much free time but used it instead to watch TV and get on the computer for no reason at all.

Not only did I need to stop wasting time doing stupid stuff, but I needed to stop wasting time hoping and waiting for change to happen. I needed to do something about it.

It’s been more than five years since you’ve wanted to find a new career. You need to start now. Today. Tomorrow and every day until you reach your desired lifestyle.

I wrote that because I knew what was missing the past five years. I need to take massive action. Not just for one day or two days, but every day until I made my dream come true. Without taking action, nothing would ever change.

It had been a long time since I knew I didn’t want to work in the restaurant. As each day, week, month and year passed with no idea of what else I wanted to do, my frustrations intensified. That’s a long time to be stuck in a job.

I knew that change wasn’t going to happen overnight. I knew it would take time so I wanted to tell myself to not give up because it would be too easy too.

Even when I released my first app and it started making money, I hadn’t reached my desired lifestyle. It wasn’t making enough to quit my job. I made more apps hoping to increase my online income. I created a couple courses. The majority turned out to be epic failures. I’ll go into more details in a future blog post.

I wasn’t ready to give up yet though. I had to keep going today, tomorrow and every day. In June 2013 I officially quit my job. It wasn’t cause I reached my goal.

The reason was when I quit my job it was because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Even a minute spent at work was too much for me to handle. I decided that getting a paycheck wasn’t enough for me to stay.

My online income, mainly from apps, wasn’t enough to live off, but I needed to be more serious about it. By having a job, it gave me a security blanket while I kept trying to replace my salary. Looking back now, I believe that mindset held me back even more. I wasn’t serious about being an entrepreneur. Up to that point, making money online was just a hobby. If I wanted to be serious about my dream, I had to go full time with it.

It was a leap of faith, but I was determined to look forward and not back. 2013 was spent living off savings and saving every penny we could. We ate out less, and didn’t travel. Things started to turn in October 2013 and by the end of the year my new business of reskinning apps, I earned over $10k in December alone.

In February 2014, my wife and I took a trip to London and Paris. One day I realized that I didn’t have to ask permission to come on this trip. Each day while we were sightseeing, I was making money online. I could monitor it and do work if necessary cause I had my laptop. When the trip was over, and I came back home, I didn’t have to go back to a job I hated.

40 months later from the time I wrote that letter I had achieved my desired lifestyle. All I had wanted to do was make money online, be my own boss, and spend more time doing what I want and when I wanted.

Not everyone will want to wait that long until their desired outcome is achieved. I kept trying over and over despite failures and wondering when I could finally quit my job. I didn’t have a plan B, C, or Z. I wasn’t thinking about finding an office job, or even go back to work at the restaurant. My plan A was to make money online.

Life is too short to be unhappy when working.

Life is too short, and sadly it gets taken away too soon sometimes. There is no chance to do it over. Work takes up a majority of our life because we need to work in order to make money. I spent the majority of my adult life unhappy. The majority of my day was spent unhappy too. Even if I were home on a day off, I’d start to get unhappy knowing that I had to work the next day.

I didn’t want to continue to be unhappy.

You deserve to be happy

I wasn’t expect anyone to hand me what I wanted. For too long, that’s all I hoped for. I was waiting for a miracle. I expected to have happiness and success because I followed the checklists in life. I wasn’t a bad person, so I felt I deserved a happy life.

I wasn’t telling myself that it was just going to come to me. Instead, I wanted to remind myself that I am deserving of a happy. It could happen to me. It wasn’t an impossible goal since I knew people online who were living the life I wanted.

Start working hard every day to find your passion and reach your goals.

Again I was reminding myself taking action on a consistent basis. I knew a change wasn’t going to happen fast. I wasn’t going to achieve my goals in a month. It would take hard work. I didn’t know what I was going to do at that time to make money. I had no idea I would start a blog or an iPhone app months later.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and that’s why I remained frustrated and stuck for so long.

I wrote down find my passion, but I shouldn’t have written that. I don’t like that approach. Finding your passion is hard. It was hard for me. I had no idea what I was passionate about. I spent so many years trying to figure it out.

Instead, I began with what I was interested in doing at that moment. What I wanted to do was start a blog and develop an iPhone app. Those weren’t burning passions. Those were two things I was interested in doing. Was making money a goal? Sure but it wasn’t the main reason I began.

But by starting, I was taking action. I wasn’t just anaylyzing where my passions were. Starting a blog and an app were just two more things I would try. I had tried so many ways to make money online. I’ve tried to so many ways from trying to get people to submit their email address to win a gift card to trying to get people to buy baby strollers (not my best idea).

I still haven’t found my passion. I have an interest in so many things that I don’t think I’ll ever just have one true passion. That’s why I finally stopped looking for it and continue to focus on doing what I’m interested in.

Focus, focus, focus

I sorely lacked this. My focus was spent on useless things. If I wanted to change finally, I needed to have laser focus on whatever I was doing. More importantly I need to be focusing on the right things. I know a lot of you are thinking, “I wish I knew what to focus on. I have no idea.” I have an answer for that. Focus on what you can directly control.

I started by focusing on my health first. That was the easiest to control. Everything else, like finding out how I was going to make money online, I couldn’t control. I didn’t know when I’d have that answer.

I had become fat and out of shape. I wanted to be healthy and feel great. That I knew I could control. I could choose what to eat. I could choose to exercise. I focused on that first while waiting for the rest of my life to come into focus.

If you’re a person that has no idea what to do in life and you don’t know where to begin, start with your health or what you feed your mind. You can stop watching the news, spend less time with negative people, read more books, listen to audiobooks, surround yourself with people that make you feel better. Those are things you can control first so start with that.

If you already have an idea of what you want to do, but keep putting it off then your focus isn’t in the right place. It’s doing everything else, but what you truly want to do. The longer you put it off, the more it hurts you to not achieve it.

Open your mind and allow it to attract great ideas and answers to your questions.

I needed to see the world in a more positive attitude if I wanted to find the opportunities. The mindset I had up to that point created the life I hated. It had to change.

I began to change my beliefs and attitude through feeding my mind with clean water and affirmations. Instead of believing I was unlucky, or the world hated me, here is what I began to say to myself. I typed it and put it on my wall instead as a reminder:

I believe the world is doing great things for me. I can’t wait to see what they are!

Life is so easy! Life is so good! All good things come to me!

Might sound silly to some of you to say to yourself, but it helped me. I needed to believe the world was out to do good things for me. If I felt that way about life, I could see more possibilities. There was an experiment done with people who felt they were lucky and those who felt they were unlucky. This is what he did and discovered:

I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. On average, the unlucky people took about two minutes to count the photographs, whereas the lucky people took just seconds. Why? Because the second page of the newspaper contained the message: “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than 2in high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

For fun, I placed a second large message halfway through the newspaper: “Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.” Again, the unlucky people missed the opportunity because they were still too busy looking for photographs.

That’s why I had to focus on changing on the inside first. If I wanted to have success on the outside, I had to change first. I would have been the person that missed the large message. I felt unlucky in life. I felt sorry for myself when I was alone. That’s probably why success eluded me for so long because I had this outlook on life.

So if I wanted to open my mind, I had to change my mindset to allow it to see life in a different way.

What would you write in your manifesto?

Where are you in your life and where do you want to be? Do you constantly wish life was different? Was life better before but now it’s not and you want it to be back the way it was?

If you’ve had that desire for change, but can related to how I felt that night, then write out what you would tell yourself and post that letter somewhere you can see it.

Just writing that out didn’t change my life. There was still so much else needed to get to where I am today. That letter was a turning point though. It felt good to get it off my chest and use it as a daily reminder.

photo by Kalaab Pickering

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  • alex

    Hi Benny,

    I have been reading your blog for a long time, and you are Awesome!! You have developed a successful iPhone APP that Many professional mobile developers did NOT. You have re-skin iPhone Games that Many professional developers did NOT. You have very successful on Teespring that Many professional designers did NOT.

    Have you thought about the reason, have you

    analysis yourself. What kinds of spirit you have to make you such achievement?

    What make you better than these professionals.

    I believe you will be successful in any area. Bless ~

    Alex.

  • This is fantastic, thanks so much for
    sharing such a good material You have developed a successful iPhone APP that Many
    professional mobile developers did NOT. I
    am also planning to write Mobile and TV Tech article for portal http://www.AbhilashaTechnology.com. Thanks once again for writing Great
    episode!

  • Robert J.

    Benny, sent You a message but somehow deleted it. Real Genius! If You could contact Me via E-mail, please do? Time is so important and You will understand why If I could just explain. Your selfless Article is awesome and congratulations on Your Mind blowing profit!! I hope to hear from You soon.
    Thank You and GOD Bless,
    Robert J.