Plug Your Money Leaks (and have fun with it)

Personal Finances, Money Leak

There was nothing fun about going broke and having a large, powerful bank breathing down my neck. And yet, it led to massive personal growth for me. I got my act together and learned about personal finances (and of course, paid back every last cent I owed), and I learned incredibly useful lessons along the way.
 

Easily the best and most useful of these lessons was the realisation how much stuff I don’t need in my life. My clothes didn’t fall apart even after three years. I didn’t need to order in pizza, I could bake the frozen version from the supermarket just fine. I realised with relief, that neither my happiness nor my self-worth depended on anything I needed money for.
 

It also taught me a lot about my spending style, and the reasons why I had always been terrible with money up until then. One major point is what I call “money leaks”, and it’s so big, I decided to dedicate an entire article to it. Heads up: If you identify and plug the places where you’re “leaking money”, you’ll end up with much more, without penny-pinching.

[bctt tweet=”If you identify and plug the places where you’re ‘leaking money’, you’ll end up with much more, without penny-pinching.”]

 
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Identifying your money leaks

 

We all have different spending habits. That’s why it’s important to track your spending for a while. Don’t worry, you won’t have to write down every croissant you buy forever! Just stick with it for a month and see what you can learn from it.
 

A lot of money advice seems to focus on frugality. My approach is a little different: I recommend you save money in order to finance more joy with it! Plugging the money leaks is much easier this way. By the way, if you haven’t done my free online training yet, you can sign up for it here – it’ll give you 3 days of lessons and assignments you can put into practice immediately.
 

A money leak is an expense that’s not strictly necessary and doesn’t contribute to your joy and passion (or passions) in the long term. In the following, I’m going to give you a list of common leaks, in order to give you an idea. Yours might be completely different, of course, but it’ll be easier for you to spot them once you know what to look for.
 
 

Subscriptions

 

These are recurring, often monthly, expenses which seem completely insignificant on their own. How much can those few bucks for Netflix really hurt? The problem is, that it’s a constant “leak”, and if you add up all your subscriptions, the amount you spend on them per year can be rather frightening.
 

The solution: Ask yourself if you can get the same thing for free. Could you pool your Netflix account with a friend, or watch the same shows on DVDs a friend owns and could lend you? Do you get a newspaper whose main articles are all available online for free? Is your TV really enhancing your life, or taking time from your reading and your passion? Are you paying for an anti-virus program when a free one would work, too?
 
 

Clubs and gym memberships

 

Do you still pay for that gym membership although you’ve stopped going six months ago? Or do you pay for a social club whose meetings you hardly ever attend? It might be time to weed those out.
 

The solution: The gym is not the only way to get into shape. Look for online workout videos and find a sports hobby you actually enjoy. Try running with a friend or playing volleyball with a group at a public volleyball court. You’re more likely to stick with it this way, and it won’t cost you a thing!
 
 

Special offers

 

Certain shops and websites run regular offers which are so cheap, it seems insane not to buy them. The problem is that this tricks you into buying things you would never have got otherwise, and a lot of the time you end up buying additional stuff, spending even more.
 

The solution: Before you hit the “Add to Cart” button, ask yourself if this pretty porch lantern is really essential for your passions and your joy in life. You have lived, how many years, without it – could you perhaps do without a little longer?

[bctt tweet=”If it’s something you wouldn’t buy if it wasn’t cheap, then even the cheap price is too much.”]

Once you’ve plugged those money leaks, you’ll be surprised how much more cash you have left every month. It’s time now to invest this – into savings, into “play” money (a certain amount you’re allowed to blow each month), and of course into your passion! Have fun with this, and always think in terms of what else you can afford now, rather than what you’re denying yourself.

You’re Not As Lazy As You Think

Lazy, Laziness, pursue your passion

What would you guess, is the one thing all my different clients have in common, when asked why they don’t pursue their passion? People from diverse backgrounds, education, interests, passions… What is the one thing they all say about themselves?
 

They all call themselves lazy.
 

I would be hard-pressed to come up with another thing practically everyone has in common. And that’s astounding, especially considering how untrue the statement is. People are in fact far from lazy. They get an astonishing number of things done, only they fail to count those and dismiss them as “normal”. Some run an amazing household. Others kill it at work. They may spend lots of quality time with their children or pets – or indeed, any combination of the above.
 

All these amazing people share a nagging feeling that they should be doing more, that they should be on top of things and have it all figured out. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, one of them being how easy it is to compare ourselves to others these days, especially on Social Media where everyone emphasises the positive aspects of their lives. The impression one gets from scrolling through friends’ status updates is that they are all at the top of their game, and we are somehow… lagging behind.
 
 

 
 

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Why we think we’re lazy

 

When we think about why we aren’t doing everything we want to – when I, for example, ask someone what keeps them from pursuing their passion – we quickly jump to the conclusion that we’re simply lazy. After all, not every minute of every day is taken up by different tasks. We often even sit in front of the TV or the computer doing nothing but wasting time! If we weren’t so lazy, we’d be out exercising, or crafting, or pursuing some other passion, right?
 

Wrong.

[bctt tweet=”If we weren’t so lazy, we’d be out exercising, or crafting, or pursuing some other passion, right? -Wrong.”]

You see, the assumption that every moment of our waking time should be filled with some productive activity, is simply wrong. It’s also completely against anything we’re equipped to do from an evolutionary standpoint.
 

I’ve read several accounts of anthropologists (anthropology is one of the subjects I studied at university. Did I mention I’m a multi-passionate?) who went to live in tribal cultures that haven’t been touched by technology. They all observed that there’s no “laziness”, no reluctance to work or do things, in these cultures. Very rarely, there might be someone who doesn’t want to work, and they’ll be regarded as sick and left alone, until they “feel better” and come to join the others in their chores again.
 

Isn’t that interesting?
 
 

Information overload

 

A lot has been said and written about the fact that our modern lives aren’t particularly suited to our human nature. We get overstimulated by media, advertising, traffic, noise, artificial light, and a myriad of other things. We have access to practically all information available to humanity, at our fingertips, and more opportunities to work, practice, create, and do whatever we please than we ever had before.
 

A lot of these things are marvellous, but they also carry the danger of constant overwhelm. To go back to the example of tribal societies: One thing they seem to have in common is that the pace of life is slow. There is a lot of work to be done, but people aren’t in a rush all the time. The phenomenon of stress is unique to our “civilised” culture.

[bctt tweet=”So maybe, just maybe, we aren’t lazy at all when we scroll through Facebook instead of writing a novel?”]

So maybe, just maybe, we aren’t lazy at all when we scroll through Facebook instead of painting a picture or writing a novel? Maybe sitting on the couch munching a takeaway, rather than going for a run, doesn’t make you a bad person, but is simply a symptom of a life full to the brim with impressions and stimulation already? What’s more, we all have different tolerance thresholds and different needs for rest, which makes it even more pointless to compare ourselves to others unfavourably.
 
 

Overcoming inertia

 

Isn’t it perhaps time to let yourself off the hook for your “laziness”? Beating yourself up isn’t going to solve anything. At the same time, you shouldn’t just accept that you’ll never get to pursue your passion or live your dreams. When you think you’re lazy, it’s a sure sign that your life is too full. It’s time to de-clutter, simplify, downsize.
 

One thing Coaching does for people is to make them feel better about themselves because they go into action mode. Humans aren’t supposed to do it all by themselves. In tribal societies, people always work with at least one other person.
 

Get the support you need, sign up for Coaching, join a Mastermind group… You’ll be surprised how motivated you suddenly are to make the changes you wish for.

Why Circling Is Your Secret Weapon

Circling, Mastermind

Have you ever tried to keep up some kind of positive routine? Ever tried to eat healthy when everyone around you celebrated junk food and alcohol? Or to pursue your passion and consciously seek joy when TV and stress are the norm? I don’t know about you, but I fail fairly regularly.
 

Being aware and conscious and making good choices can feel like a constant uphill struggle. It’s like “normality” pulls us back down more effectively than gravity connects us to the surface of our planet. I choose quotes around “normality” because it is, of course, BS. What we think of as a normal life has been established within the last 100-200 years, tops. It’s not even particularly suited to humans, this way of life we’ve chosen, and yet it’s anchored in our heads as the way the world works and the only possible life.
 

If you’re committed to positive change, you automatically set yourself up for what can feel like hard work. You are constantly swimming against the tide of the rest of society. Add to that our human tendency to take the path of least resistance with ourselves, and suddenly the sofa and a TV series look a lot more appealing than that book you’re trying to write or your dancing shoes.
 

There’s a very good reason though why this is so, and ways to make it easier for you to stick with what brings you joy. Let me show you!
 
 

 
 

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Circling for empowerment

 

Humans are herd animals. On our own, we’re actually fairly weak and not very suited to survival. The way homo sapiens survived from the beginning of our existence, was by banding together in groups, and this behaviour is deeply ingrained in our subconscious.
 

Of course, in today’s society the individual is celebrated, because we’ve created a much safer way of life and are no longer in danger of being eaten by wild animals. However, we still have that urge to stick together. It’s been with us for tens of thousands of years; a habit that has been so long established and used to be this crucial to survival, is not so easily broken.
 

It’s this which can pull us down when we try to soar in joy and fulfillment, but the same mechanic can also work in our favour. Basically, in order to succeed at anything, we need the support of other humans. It’s not a weakness or a lack of individuality, it’s simply the way we are hard-wired to operate. Coaching is of course one way of getting support. Another is circling.
 

When I say “circling”, I mean a wide variety of activities. Basically, I would count as a circle any type of group coming together regularly with a similar goal. I’ll give you a few examples of groups, but in reality, the possibilities are endless! Find something which works for you, and transforming your life will be a breeze.
 
 

Mastermind

 

I’ll start with the most powerful way of circling. A mastermind is a group of people who support each other to reach certain goals. Often, it’s business people who meet either in person, or online (or by phone conference) to share goals, brainstorm possible solutions to a challenge one of them might be facing, and support each other. Masterminds are so powerful, people spend hundreds per month to be part of one.
 

The concept is applicable to everything, though – people who pursue their passions, for example! Why not brainstorm ways of creating space for passions every day, and support to stick with doing what you love? The possibilities are endless.
 
 

Hobby groups, drumming circles, etc.

 

Two of my best friends joined a drum circle and couldn’t shut up about it. There’s something incredibly empowering about sitting with others and drumming out a free rhythm which will eventually merge into a group rhythm, a voice beyond the individual’s. It’s synergy in motion.
 

There are all sorts of hobby and interest groups if your passion is something shareable. There are crafting groups, knitting circles, dance groups, you name it. The great thing about those is that the fees are mostly nominal – usually just the cost of the room you’re meeting in.
 
 

Women’s circles

 

Women are still brought up to be competitive with each other. Society can be rather toxic for us! Really, there’s nothing more powerful than a bunch of women who unconditionally support each other.
 

Ever since the 70s, women circling have been changing communities and more importantly, women’s own hearts and lives. More recently, the “Red Tent” movement (google it) has brought forth safe spaces for women to express themselves and evolve in. Get up, get going, and get involved! You’ll wonder how you ever did without.

Passion Or Success?

Pursue Your Passion, break through to success

“Passion” is a buzz-word right now. Wherever you look, there’s another guru telling you how you need to pursue your passion above everything else. The pursuit of passion is so relentless, it can make you feel exhausted just thinking about it.
 

And here I am calling myself a “Passions Priority Coach”. Why’s that?
 

Well, whenever there’s a lot of hype around something, there’s usually a reason why it became so popular in the first place. Passions are a case in point. I’m far from telling you that you need to feel passionate 24/7 or else you fail at life, but I am telling you to take a good look at the amount of joy and passion present in your days. They might just be the key to a lot more things than you ever suspected.
 

 
 

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What’s a “passion”, anyway?

 

The way I define “passion” is simple: It’s anything that lights you up. Your passion is that thing you could do all day, that makes you forget time. You feel inspired, pumped, wired, or simply very, very content.
 

Your passion could be an art or craft. It could be music, dancing, reading, writing. For some, their passion is a hobby or a particular interest they love pursuing. And remember that you don’t necessarily just have one passion. A lot of us are multi-passionate, or multi-potentialists, meaning that we have different interests which light us up, and they may change over the years.
 
 

Passion or success/money!

 
When I speak about passions, it’s easy to get agreement from people. Everybody wants to follow their passions, don’t they? It’s self explanatory.
 

The reason why I’m doing the work I do, is that most people see passions as something of an afterthought. They have their work or business, which is ideally related to a passion, but it’s a serious undertaking and it has to come first. Passions are relegated to the 30 minutes on a Sunday evening when the “real” work is done.
 

And that, right there, is the issue. People focus on success and “making a living” – or a fortune, even – and neglect what living is actually all about: enjoyment. Passion. Love. The moments that stay with you.
 
 

Centre or periphery?

 

You may well argue that you still need to pay the bills, and a business can make you feel fulfilled, too. You are absolutely right, of course. I’m not for one moment suggesting that you give up on the practicalities of life in favour of your passion or passions. My point is about focus.
 

You see, something happens to our souls when we realise that joy, passion, the expansive feeling of doing exactly what we love most, are really what life is all about. If we start putting our main focus on our passions, a shift happens. It’s like our DNA changes, like every cell in our bodies rearranges itself in a new, lighter, joyful pattern.
 

This doesn’t crowd out necessities like paying bills; on the contrary, once we have our priorities right, time seems to expand and “busy” becomes a thing of the past. I see it time and time again with my Coaching clients. They gush about co-incidences, serendipitous meetings, and new levels of success in jobs or businesses.
 
 

The highest form of Self Care

 

The truth is that catering to our passions, making them front and centre in our lives, is the ultimate act of Self Care. It leads to our filling up with joy and love, to the point where we overflow and this love seeps into everything else we do, until it permeates every area of our lives.
 

Yes, this does include success, careers and businesses, especially if we love what we do. It can, however, infuse even the most menial work with a new sense of meaning and purpose. Ever since I made the shift to passions-centered living, every day has become meaningful. I no longer live for the weekend. And every time I stop to think about my life, I’m immediately flooded with a deep, heartfelt gratitude, a feeling so profound it occasionally moves me to tears.
 

There’s only one feeling that beats this profound joy, and that’s witnessing the same joy grow in others. It’s why I am a Passions Coach! I can think of no greater privilege than to be around a fully realised human being, and having a hand in bringing this about is the best job I can think of.
 

Remember what used to make you happy. Think of the thing you always wanted to try. When will now be the right time to pursue them? Dare it, and watch your life unfold.

Language, Please!

language

In 2001, when I first learned about the law of attraction and the power of focusing on the positive, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of having to control my thoughts. If you consider that a human being has an estimated 50,000 thoughts every single day, you’ll realise that policing every one of them would be a 24/7 job.
 

Fortunately, there are shortcuts to mastering the thought process, and the single most effective of these is language. There’s a reason why psychologists tell you to eliminate negative self-talk if you want to improve your self-confidence – language simply is that powerful.
 

In fairy tales and folk myths, you’ll often have a sorcerer or a witch who alters the course of the hero or heroine’s life with a single word or curse. Another word or spell can set things to rights again just as easily. Rumpelstiltsken is undone by someone knowing his name, only one single word!
 

As with all folk tales, there’s a kernel of truth buried in the fiction. If people truly understood the power of language, everyone would dedicate a fair amount of energy to learning about it. In order to give you a head start, I’m going to show you how to use the power of language and the law of attraction when it comes to the two most frequent obstacles to increasing your happiness and pursuing your passions: time and money.
 
 

 
 

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Words of power: Time Management

 

We may not realise it, but we all have our own stories and beliefs around time. In our day and age, most people’s “time stories” revolve around never having enough time, or running out of time. Our lives are so crammed full of responsibilities, distractions, and opportunities, it seems like 24 hours per day can never be enough.
 

In his book The Big Leap (I know I keep recommending this, but it really is that good!), Gay Hendricks introduces a concept he calls “Einstein Time”. Basically, it’s about the realisation that time is a man-made construct. Time exists because we say it exists, and it’s anything but logical and predictable. We all know that “time flies when you’re having fun” and also that half an hour can seem like an eternity for a bored student or employee.
 

You can make language work for you in time management. Here are three steps to take:
 

  • Observe language around time for a day or two. You’ll be surprised at how often you or somebody else say they’re “busy” or “must dash”, or similar.
  • Think of ways to express these situations without mentioning or implying busy-ness. Try: “I’m off to xyz” or: “I’ve got a few interesting projects going on”.
  • Now that you’ve defused the “busy language”, you can re-assert your control over time. Think of statements you consciously want to use in future, such as: “I am taking the time to…”, “Today, I’ve decided to spend time on …”

 

Words of power: Money Management

 

When it comes to money, most people think of either frugality or a positive mindset. The latter in particular can be a challenge, especially if you’re paying off a mortgage or a loan, and/or never quite make enough money to live your dreams. Simply thinking “I’m rich” will feel like a lie, and any intelligent, honest person will resist doing this.
 

Instead, may I suggest simply adjusting the way you talk about money? Here are your three steps for this one:
 

  • Become aware of how often you or others talk about money in scarcity language, using expressions like “I’m broke,” or “I can’t afford it”.
  • Find alternative expressions for these, such as: “It’s not in my budget,” or “I choose to spend my money elsewhere this month/year”.
  • Now, insert positive statements about money into your language: “I’m so glad that’s done!” after you’ve paid a bill (instead of resenting it), or: “It feels good to be secure,” after your salary or any kind of payment comes in.

 

Playful language

 

The key to all this is to view it as a game, rather than a chore. Play around with language. Challenge yourself to use one of your new, empowering phrases around time or money twice or three times every day for the coming week, and reward yourself at the end of each day you’ve managed to do it.
 

These processes may take a while, but after a few weeks, your new language will come to you easily. And then you’ll be ready to reap the rewards! Brace yourself, because the law of attraction may just blow your mind.