• The Case For Beginning Now


     

    Abstract:
     

    You’ve heard me make fun of the “Take action! Crush it!” mentality before. It trains us to ignore emotions which is very unhealthy and can cause great damage to our mental health.
     

    However, putting things off isn’t healthy either. Often, when we have something we’d love to do, we postpone it for reasons that sound sensible. I argue that we need to stop this.
     

    Your mission today is to learn why beginning now is so important.
     
     

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    Task 1: Understand that you’re not weak

     

    You’re not weak or lazy for putting things off, let me say this straightaway. The reasons for postponing that you tell yourself (or others), are valid.
     

    We’ve just come through two incredibly tough years where a pandemic, and now a war, were occupying our minds and for many people, make living their dream life or pursuing their passion, next to impossible.
     

    Therefore, forgive yourself for any inactivity. This is important to do before you move on.
     

    beginning now
     

    Task 2: Why and how beginning now is possible

     

    Whilst there may be good reasons for postponing, I’m telling you that beginning now is still possible. More than that, it’s important for you to start.
     

    You’ve probably heard it said before, that there will never be an ideal point in time. And while you could argue that there will still be a *better* point, I’m telling you it’s not worth waiting for that.
     

    If there’s anything you want to do – prioritise your passion, start a business, get coaching, learn a language – beginning now is always possible. Examples:
     

    • Is your passion a team sport? Start getting fit and training relevant muscle groups, as well as endurance, on your own.
    • Study online.
    • Connect to people who share your passion over the internet.
    • Reach out and sign up for the next available post-pandemic course.

     
    Far from being blind activism, getting into doing what you dream of, means to re-start life as it’s supposed to be. If you wait, you’re choosing inertia.
     

  • Money For Passions: How do you protect your budget in difficult times?

    protect your budget
     

    After I mentioned coming up against some of my old money beliefs in a vlog, a lot of people came to me and asked how I deal with this kind of thing. It’s a valid question, because budgeting is good and well in times of a stable, secure income – but what happens if part or all of this income goes away, even temporarily?
     

    Freelancers and other self-employed people have more experience than others of dealing with fluctuating streams of cash, but even those in permanent jobs can be affected. Unemployment, longer illnesses or otherwise challenging circumstances aren’t something I would wish on anyone, but they can and do happen.
     

    In the following, I’ll give you an overview as well as a few detailed steps you can take in order to safeguard your living, and that includes your passions. I’m paying special attention to passions not just because this happens to be my area of expertise, but also because they’re often the first thing to fall by the wayside when things get tough.
     

    Let’s dive in.
     
     

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    It can happen to everyone

     

    First of all, I want to invite you to take notice of this even if your income is stable. I hope with all my heart that you’ll never need to apply any of this knowledge, but having the tools and the ability to deal with eventualities never goes amiss, and as well, there simply aren’t any guarantees in life. Ask the people who recently had to flee perfectly normal lives in the Ukraine, who may have lost not only their livelihood, but their homes as well. Life can be unpredictable.
     

    Those who are entrepreneurs or freelancers, know what I’m talking about in any case. Unless you’re in a particularly reliable industry, your income likely will fluctuate to some extent. In some industries, there are seasonal differences, others react to factors like world markets and the political situation. Again, it’s worth it to build the knowledge of what you’ll do if your income is suddenly much lower.
     
     

    What needs to be in place

     

    In order to sail through a sudden decrease in income, you need to prepare in advance. It’s the same as building yourself a shelter in the wilderness, in case it’ll rain – if you only start when the first drops fall, you’ll likely be soaked by the time your hut is finished! Therefore, it’s important to think ahead.
     

    I’ll come straight out with it: You need to know exactly how much money you’re spending each month. Sorry, but that’s a must. You also need to create a budget. If you’re subscribed to Wild Spirits News, you’ll regularly get advice on the categories that should be part of your budget; for the full instructions, you could read money management books or consider my 1-on-1 Wild Money program which includes creating your own budget, tailored to your individual situation.
     

    Here’s an abridged version. First, you need to track your spending for at least one month. Yes, it’s a pain in the neck, but it has to be done. Find out how much you’re actually spending. Then create different categories such as “house”, “bills”, “groceries”, “car” etc. One of the categories should be for “passions”! Another should be savings, divided into long-term savings or investments and short-term savings for larger purchases such as a house or a car.
     

    wallet
     

    The emergency plan to protect your budget

     

    When I run into difficulties – and the last two years have been full of ups and downs, I’m not going to pretend they weren’t – I switch to emergency mode. This is why my Word document titled “Finances” contains more than one budget.
     

    Your main budget should be based on your normal income and your regular expenses. As a freelancer or self-employed person with a fluctuating income, you should also have a budget in case your income increases. The easiest way to achieve this is by budgeting in percentages, rather than fixed amounts. That way, if you always save 20% of your income, the sum will automatically increase when you have a particularly good month in business or any unexpected windfall. Similarly, all other categories will automatically adjust.
     

    Everyone, employed or self-employed, also needs what I call a bare-bones budget. This is the one you use when the shit hits the fan. It contains the absolute necessities, such as rent or mortgage payments and the non-negotiable bills, as well as the minimum amounts needed for food, provided you’ll shop only in discounters and don’t go to cafes or restaurants. Basically, this is the money you’ll need to not get in trouble with any debt collectors. Anything you don’t need to survive, such as clothes, books etc., gets cut out.
     

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to know this number! This is your absolute minimum, and if you fail to reach it in any month, you need to take action immediately, even if that be getting a weekend job stacking supermarket shelves or waiting tables.
     
     

    Protect your passions

     

    Obviously a bare-bones budget won’t leave any space for your passions either. This doesn’t mean though that you shouldn’t do what lights you up during this month. If you need books, borrow from friends or a library. If you need materials, get creative – a client of mine whose passion is knitting had a bad month once and ended up asking her friends and the knitting circle she’s a member of, if anyone had any wool to spare. She got inundated with donations and ended up not having to buy any new wool for months.
     

    You don’t need to become a hermit either. Simply meet friends at home rather than in a bar in town. If your passion is travel, take day trips to nearby destinations. You might even discover how much there is to see and enjoy close to your home.
     

    Most of all, don’t compromise on the “three pillars” self-care, downtime, and passion time. Your mind and emotions need to be stable so you can recover as quickly as possible and start earning again, or look for new opportunities.
     

    A bare-bones budget is a survival tool, not a punishment. It’s what makes you secure, and in the end, it protects your ability to live the life you desire to the full extend again as soon as your income picks up.
     

  • Make Time For Your Passions With A Full-Time Job


     

    Abstract:
     

    Up to three years ago, I had a full-time job. I also had my business, and I was committed to prioritising my multiple passions. Believe me when I say that I know a thing or two about making time for your passions!
     

    From my experience, I can assure you, it’s not about getting better at juggling, well, everything. Your mission today is to learn how to make time for your passions with a full-time job.
     
     

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    Task 1: Understand what priority means

     

    First of all, I’d like to clear up a common misunderstanding. Prioritising a passion doesn’t mean spending more time on it than you do on your job or your family. Priority isn’t expressed in time, it’s expressed in commitment and dedication.
     

    We’ve all sat through hours of school with zero interest or motivation. No matter how long these lessons were, they clearly weren’t a priority. Similarly, spending two meaningful hours on a passion can mean more than ten hours of going through the motions.
     

    time for your passions
     

    Task 2: Make time for your passions

     

    Here are the steps you can implement to make sure that you’ll always have time for your passions.
     

    1. Get rid of distractions. Rather than trying to cram even more items into your daily schedule with “time management”, look for what you can cut out and let go of. Disinstall social media apps from your phone. Limit your screen time (no, it’s not just for children!). Cancel obligations and memberships that don’t fulfill you.
    2. Block off chunks of time. In my busiest years, I kept one day a week free and I wouldn’t compromise on it. I often worked six days a week, so having one day for my passions is what kept me sane. It’s also much easier than trying to make room for half an hour every day.
    3. Up your self-care game. You absolutely cannot compromise on your sleep, movement, and basic nutrition. These things will give you the energy to do everything you want to.

     

  • Vlog 15: Back In Ireland For A Month


     

    Ireland for a month

     

    It has been a deeply emotional month, visiting home for the first time in nearly 2 1/2 years! Let me take you on a journey and see the beauty of Ireland through my eyes (and lens).
     

    You’ll see footage of breathtaking scenery, cosy cafes, friends, archery, music and laughter. And then it all finishes off with my trip back to Croatia and more friends and beauty in the South-West of England.
     

    I truly hope you’ll enjoy it. If you do, consider subscribing to my YouTube channel or the newsletter below! If you’d prefer to watch the vlog on YouTube, you can find it here.
     
     

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  • Stop Worshipping Strength


     

    Abstract:
     

    Being strong is a great thing. Physical strength helps you in everyday life; mental and emotional strength make you more resilient to the trials of life.
     

    However, there’s a danger in worshipping strength – in others and ourselves – too much. In our society, there’s almost a cult around strong humans. Just look at most Hollywood movies if you don’t believe me.
     

    Your mission today is to learn why it’s important to stop worshipping strength – and what to do instead.
     
     

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    Task 1: What’s wrong with being strong?

     

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with it! Someone who survives cancer and manages to keep a positive outlook, is amazing. People who win olympic medals, are admirable.
     

    But what about weakness? What about people with physical ailments who’ll never be able to run, jump, or ski? What about someone who succumbs to depression and take their own life? Are they bad people?
     

    The truth is, that strength is needed only when things aren’t right. Our worship of strength almost makes it seem like awful experiences are a good thing. They’re not. It also makes it seem like ease is superficial and silly. It isn’t.
     

    stop worshipping strength
     

    Task 2: How to stop worshipping strength

     

    Nobody should feel bad for being strong – on the contrary. But nobody should feel bad for being weak, either. What we should do is support everyone according to their needs, and work on building a society that leaves nobody behind.
     

    By all means admire people who are strong, but resist worshipping strength and instead, invite ease into your life. Pursuing passions, doing something for the sole reason that it brings you joy, is contrary to strength worship, and accoring to the cult, they aren’t worth anything because you don’t suffer for it.
     

    Life does not have to be hard all the time. Look for ease. Let go. Do less. And actively, consciously, and relentlessly pursue what lights you up. Both you and the world in general, could use a breather.