Every now and then an idea just hits you like a ton of bricks.
Have you ever experienced that?
You’re reading something, or listening to something, or driving to work and thinking about nothing in particular, but then a couple of dots connect in your head and kapow!
It’s something that just CLICKS for you.
There is a idea I already have in mind that I want to share with you today.
This is something that clicked for me many years ago and it has had a profound effect on me ever since.
It’s the idea of living like nobody else.
I first heard this phrase nearly 15 years ago when my wife and I were newlyweds. (Side note: Almost 15 years in, and Anna is more lovely than ever.)
Anyway… When Anna and I were first married, we were young and living on a very humble salary.
I was a habitual spender with very little financial discipline. And so I brought several thousand dollars of consumer debt into the marriage because when I was single I’d owned an, first-gen old Toyota 4Runner that I spent way too much money on.
I sold the truck before we got married, but still had debt. So, during our first six months of marriage, we focused very intently on getting our finances in order.
We read one of Dave Ramsey’s books and that helped us tremendously with getting a budget and building the courage to tackle our debt.
Something Dave Ramsey says repeatedly in his book is that if you will live like nobody else, later you can live like nobody else.
His point is that it’s time to stop living like a child. Look at your life and be intentional and grown up about how you manage your money.
He writes about how so many lower- and middle-class Americans try to live as if they were millionaires: driving new and expensive cars, living in large homes, eating at fancy restaurants, etc.
However, most real millionaires actually live like middle-class (this is what the book The Millionaire Next Door is all about).
The average millionaire’s annual household income is much lower than you may think. However, since they live far beneath their means, they buy things with cash, and they invest early and often, they’ve accumulated enough wealth to be worth more than $1,000,000.
. . . . .
This metric of living differently than most people goes far beyond just how you spend your money.
It’s also an excellent metric for how to spend your time, energy, and attention.
Lifestyle creep and workflow creep put a ceiling on our potential. They rob us of our much-needed resources of time, money, and energy.
This is why I had to make a drastic change to my work schedule in order to give up unncessary control at my work.
This is the idea I want to share with you today.
The idea of living like nobody else.
It means to be careful and aware of lifestyle and workflow creep.
Did you know…?
- The average American spends 5 hours or more watching television and 2 hours on social media every day.
- The average retiree at age 65 has only enough in savings to pay for less than 2 years worth of living expenses.
- One of the most common regrets of the dying is that they worked too hard and neglected their relationships, values, and even their own happiness.
- And who knows how many men and women have a dream to start a business, write a novel, paint a painting, or build something meaningful, but never try.
It is a logical impossibility that you can waste your money and end up wealthy.
And the same is true for your health, your time, and your attention…
It is a logical impossibility that you can squander your time and end up accomplishing your goals.
Something I have written about before is the sad fact that, unfortunately, most of us are not surrounded by focused and successful individuals who can set an example for us and remind us to keep on keeping on.
How many of the close friends and family in your life are examples of intentional and considered living?
However, we probably have plenty of examples of how to watch TV, check Facebook, and live above our means.
What then if you simply lived differently than the “average”?
- Don’t spend hours each day watching television or scrolling through social networks.
- Don’t let your work life dominate over family time, personal values, or happiness.
- Don’t ignore the importance of investing over the long-run and planning for the future.
- Live as far below your means as is reasonable, and don’t derive your happiness or self-worth by the fanciness of the things you own.
- Don’t let laziness or busywork keep you from building something meaningful.
- Don’t assume you need a better tool in order to do better work.
It’s a bit funny. Simply doing the opposite of what most people do can actually open up many opportunities for you to do meaningful work.
And that is the idea that has been with me all these years.
When in doubt, act the opposite of average.
. . . . .
Focus, diligence, relationships, wealth, art — anything at all that is worth pursuing — is a moving target.
And we are guaranteed to face resistance when we take that path of doing our best creative work, living a healthy and awesome life, and building meaningful relationships.
If you want to watch more TV, the universe won’t bother you.
But if you want to do work that matters, it’s going to be a fight.
If this article hits home for you as well, then I believe you will love my flagship training: The Focus Course.
While you may not feel clear on how to get from HERE to THERE, you can get breakthrough.
You can do work that matters, build momentum in your life, establish habits that stick, and bring a healthy balance between your work and personal life.
The Focus Course can be the secret weapon you need to get moving in that direction.
What’s unique about the Focus Course is the way it leads you along a path that starts out simple and fun and culminates in deep and lasting impact.
I hope you’ll consider investing in yourself, making a change, and join The Focus Course.