Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia

There are certain things you notice when you live an unconventional lifestyle. When you’re an expat, permanent traveler, or just a person with an online business who has a lot of lifestyle flexibility, people you talk with often say, “Oh, I’d love to live like that!”

If you ask what’s stopping them, almost every answer boils down to one thing: inertia. Each person is dealing with overcoming the inertia of their current situation. That’s easy to understand. We all get entrenched in our circumstances. The truth is that the inertia of everyday life— like all inertia — takes extra effort to overcome. Some are willing to face the struggle and overcome the inertia, others continue along the same trajectory into which life threw them.

So what’s the difference between those who have made it onto a new path and those who haven’t?

From my years in this business, I have found that one of the keys to getting where you want to go is, well… knowing where you want to go.

In order to overcome your circumstances and move toward something you would prefer, you need to know what you actually want. What is the end goal? If you don’t know the answer to that question right now, that’s fine, but don’t wait too long before you figure it out.

If you are ready to figure out the answer now, I have a little scenario — two proven tactics — that I like to use to get there. I call these scenarios the Good News and Bad News Tests.

The Good News Test

Suppose a distant, rich uncle of yours died and left you an unexpected fortune. While his death isn’t good news, your sudden prosperity definitely is. So what would you do with it?

Would you spend all your time doing exactly the same things you do now, every day, every week? Would you spend all your time living where you live now? If not, where would you live and what would you do?

Take a minute and formulate those answers.

No, really. Jot them down.

Right now.

Now that you’ve formulated those answers, it’s only a matter of finding ways to do those things (without counting on the death of your uncle). And I say “finding” rather than “creating” because there are already millions of people living the type of incredible life you’re dreaming of. Want to live on a tropical island? Millions of people already do. Want to travel frequently? Millions of people already do.

There are proven, viable ways to get from where you are now to where you want to be. You just have to decide where you want to go and what’s really preventing you from getting there. Take away the economic limitations and allows yourself to see what you really want. The liberating feeling of a windfall can trigger the kind of creative problem solving it takes to achieve just that.

The Bad News Test

Now let’s switch gears a little bit. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer here, but it’s much more likely we’ll all get some very bad news one day than it is that we have a distant uncle who’ll remember us in his will.

Imagine sitting in your physician’s office and being told some very bad news — like you only have two years to live and nothing can be done about it. Would that motivate you to think seriously about overcoming the inertia of your current situation?

Would you still go to an unsatisfying job every day? Would you still put off traveling? Would you continue telling yourself it’s not possible to live in that exciting place where you’ve always wanted to live?

Again, this is just a tool to rattle our thinking into a new area. A way of finding the means to make changes and take action instead of focusing on the factors that prevent us from taking action.

Human imagination is a wonderful thing. It’s the original Virtual Reality. We can imagine things that aren’t real and use them to motivate us in real life. Imagine bad news. Would you still be stuck? Would you still have excuses? Or would you take the action you’ve been putting off for far too long?

The transformative power of action

Human action is the greatest source of improvement on the planet. It’s almost miraculous in its scope and reach. Each of us has within us the capacity to take action and improve our lives and happiness. Often times we can even affect the happiness of other people in our lives. The capacity lies inside of us like a sleeping giant.

The single biggest difference between the people who are living in circumstances of their own choosing and those who are stuck where they don’t want to be is action. Those who are where they want to be are there because they chose to act and move towards a goal.

Life can be difficult and even harsh, but in every case the only way to move from where you are to where you want to be is to decide to take action and then do so.

My advice to the people who ask me how they can have more freedom in their lives is always this: Decide what you want and then take any amount of action you can. Some people will move by careful inches, some will explode with massive action. To each his own. But find a way.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Dec 26, 2019 at 10:29PM