Hey friends, this is something important you should keep in mind.
First, Happy New Year’s Eve! What are you doing? Have you grown in 2018, are you satisfied with your improvements?
Or do you still have work to do, and wish you had tried a bit harder?
Regardless, I wanted to share a little thought with you all.
2018: Strong Start
I’ll be honest, I am kind of disappointed in myself with how my 2018 ended.
2018 began literally with a new relationship- we became official on January 1st, 2018. We fit together so perfectly, and we transcended over problems very quickly.
I also was living in Sofia, Bulgaria at the time in my most favorite apartment I’ve ever had. I would live a total of 6 months in that apartment, which is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one apartment besides my family home growing up.
It genuinely felt like home. In fact, I’ve been struggling recently with depression, disassociation, etc. because returning to the USA feels like a foreign country!
Who would’ve guessed Sofia, Bulgaria would feel more like home to me than my actual country?
2018 also began with me having the most money I had ever had in my entire life.
My extremely conservative spending habits I had developed while living in Canada faded over to Bulgaria. Even though I could double my lifestyle, I didn’t (at first), so the savings were massive.
Finally, I had a beautiful social life in Bulgaria. It was so amazing that I told a friend, “if I get a girlfriend, I’ll extend my visa.” I didn’t stay just for the girl (although it was for her/us too)- I was also fighting for my happiness, home, and other friends.
Now, 2018 wasn’t perfect of course. My health was still struggling. I had chronic pain. I had a lot of emotional shit to get over. But on the surface, things at least were growing better a lot faster.
Mid-2018: Heaven & Hell
By my 6th & 7th month in Bulgaria, I was quite happy. I had the best birthday party of my entire life, thanks in part to that amazing girlfriend whose family let me use their home.
My health had actually improved a fair amount too. While it wasn’t perfect, I was making huge leaps and expected to fully recover (and I eventually did through the hell section).
No relationship starts perfectly. Both parties are asserting their boundaries, learning things about the other, etc. so it’s bound to have some silly drama.
By mid 2018, we had “leveled off” and found balance. We could love each other without the drama. We were improving rapidly, we were committed, and I have so many wonderful memories of her over at my apartment cooking or watching a movie together.
The heaven in Bulgaria was about to come to a quick halt however.
First, my spending habits had increased greatly. I had gotten accustomed to my “4 hour work week” lifestyle of hardly working but spending tons of money.
I was buying her things, living luxuriously, etc. In the beginning of Bulgaria I didn’t have to track my budget because I would just live how I did in Canada and somehow still manage to save ridiculous amounts of my income (such as 50%+!).
I felt amazing and on top of the world, which unfortunately detached me from reality itself. When problems came I was too idealistic, grandiose, and too self-confident in my ability to fix things.
My ego had inflated a ton, but I hadn’t even realized it. Through the “hell” period I did have the opportunity to close a medium-sized account for my business, but I asked for more money, when really it would’ve been wiser (and fixed 90% of my problems) if I just took the deal and worked harder.
My visa extension for Bulgaria would be expensive. The lawyer & people helping me out would make some power moves, forcing me to give them a lot of money (think hundreds) otherwise I’d have to leave Bulgaria the next day.
My spending habits were dangerously high, and I was also investing a ton of money into my health which further drained my savings & income.
My visa extension for Bulgaria ended up getting rejected; I would be forced to leave in one week. I was devastated & unprepared.
In one week I lost so much money, my home, my social life, lifestyle, and had to be away from my girlfriend. The relationship was just 6 months in and not prepared to handle such large of problems!
I made a bad choice to stay in Cyprus instead of Thailand. Cyprus is quite expensive so I lost even more money. Because I was idealistic and too self-confident in my abilities to get new clients and grow my business I assumed I could so easily “just get new deals.” I got no deals.
My spending stayed high (old habits die hard) which 2-3x the rate at which I was losing money. The relationship suffered. I under-estimated my need for social contact and did not make hardly any friends. I let myself fall into a deep depression & victim mindset which further hurt all facets of my life.
What would ensue in the next 5 months would be that I wander literally around the entire world, the relationship breaks off, and my finances continue to suffer.
My health is the one thing that improved through all of this as I channeled a lot of the negative energy into working out & moving as best as I could.
End of 2018
I am writing this today a bit disappointed in myself. When I first entered Bulgaria November of 2017, I had the mentality that “I could do anything in the entire world.”
I’ve learned that there are rules, such as that you can’t just “extend a visa” to any country so easily. In fact, they might kick you out… no reason provided.
This led to me getting depressed, victim mindset, etc. and further letting my life fall apart. I dragged down the relationship and didn’t do what was legitimately required of me to grow my business.
2018 started so strong, with a BANG! But what I learned is you have to keep the fire going yourself.
Success is more dangerous than failure my friends. Living like a king on the other side of the world detached me from what got me there in the first place: hard work, persistence, learning, determination, and self-belief while maintaining a grounding in reality.
There are things you can’t do. You can’t magically grow a business in one month. You can’t just show up to any country and expect you can live there. You can’t avoid paying your taxes- I didn’t pay mine for 2018, so I shall have a huge bill in a few months that I will have to work hard to pay.
Sometimes a little “I can’t” is healthy. When I used to play piano one of my teachers told me to stop free-styling so much; by forcing myself to commit to a structure and limit what notes I could play, I crafted the most beautiful songs I had ever wrote in my life.
Happiness is the same. You can do anything, but only 3 things… do you get what I mean? 90% of people in the world need more of an “I can” attitude, but some of us need a little “I can’t” to keep us grounded in what’s realistic.
Anyways, I felt disappointed in myself because I started with so much and fucked a lot of it up (finances, relationship, location). In terms of location I am considering immigrating to Bulgaria, but even on that front I feel lost & confused as to where I should live.
But Here’s the Epiphany…
And this might apply to you too if you’re self-attacking or disappointed in yourself. Let me start with my case, and then apply it to you.
I realized that I did improve my health, which was my #1 priority in the beginning of the year. I can now run, workout, etc. like a normal person and I’m developing a slightly athletic physique!
I did grow a ton, learn a lot, and improve myself as a human. Even though the relationship ended I’m a better person. I learned a lot about relationships which I shall carry into my next one.
And I still have all of my friends & lifestyle in Bulgaria, if I immigrate or visit, so reclaiming my social life will be rather easy in this year.
What I’ve learned most in this year is not to focus so much outward. Yes I lost outward a lot, but I also developed skills & grew as a person which will make it easier for me to reclaim these things in 2019.
But the biggest epiphany is this:
I started 2017 with…. NOTHING.
And this is when I stopped feeling so disappointed in myself but relieved.
I began 2017 suffering from post-concussion, chronic pain, and other damages from a snowboarding accident. I had no money, no social life and no girlfriend and not even a girl interested in me.
I began 2017 with no health, no money, and no love.
I began 2018 with no health, money, and love.
I am beginning 2019 with health, a little money, and no love.
I say “a little money” because I still have the main income stream, and I have the skills I need to grow… it’s just a matter of doing the work. I also owe tax money so technically I am in debt (no money), but I can file for an extension or find another trick to evade the taxes while I make more money.
And in this case of “health wealth love” love also includes social life, friends, etc.
I’m saying I have “no love” because in Phoenix I don’t have an amazing social life like what I had in Montreal or Bulgaria. Part of it is the fact that the family home is so far away from where the events are, so it’s simply impossible.
The biggest epiphany clearly explained is this:
If every 2 years I take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, that’s alright.
In fact, it’s more like 2 steps forward and half a step back!
Even though this is a much slower rate of growth than I’d prefer, it’s completely acceptable. It means that after 4 years (when I’m 24) I’ll have health, wealth, and love, all at once!
I’d encourage you to look at your life in a similar fashion. In 2018 you may have broke even or fallen behind- that’s okay because you grew as a person and you can apply that to 2019 to get ahead.
Look at your life from 2017 – now, or even 2016 – now instead of 2018 – now.
This will give you a better perspective of whether you’re going up or down.
In my case I’m going up, so even though I fucked up bad in the middle/end of this year, that’s alright because I’m getting things right more than half of the time.
You only need to win 51% of battles to win the war.
And if you’re going down, then you should accept that and make proper adjustments. Even though I go up every 2 years, I am preparing changes so that I can go up every 1 year.
Did you find this post helpful. Let me know.
Also let me know what’s been new for your life!