In this post I am going to layout how I intend to transform my life to become more fulfilling. It is going to be fairly personal not because I love myself so much that I want to talk about me all the time nor for any other reason you might possibly think of. I just want to layout my reasoning hoping that this could work as a template for you and help you, even a little bit, to draw your own first steps down to your own unexplored path.
Prior to that, I just want to quickly point out a few personal characteristics that I think that they affect my decisions and my attitude towards life. I have a quite analytical way of thinking to the extent that at times I cannot stand it myself! A free spirit trapped in such an analytical mind… Anyhow… I am also an eternal optimist by nature and by choice! And being an architect, I am a problem solver. I don’t believe that there is any problem without solution, so the only option you have when you encounter a problem (in this case to transform your life completely) is to find the solution because there is always a solution! I mean usually more than one but let’s not dive into such deep waters, at least not now.
The Rat Wheel
So let’s start by giving you a picture of where I stand at the moment. I am a 32 years old… rat, my rat wheel has the form of an architectural practice and I race around the City of London from 9.00 to 18.00, Monday to Friday. If you add the commuting, then my work blocks out 11 hours from my day. Or almost half of my life. Or around 70% of my awake state. Phew! That’s a pretty substantial percentage – poor me… I am not the kind of person that will compromise and live only for the weekends, I am not exchanging 5 days for 2. In fact, I do want all my 7 days. Hey, that’s my life after all!
So, 11 hours of sitting down on a chair – office chair, bus chair, tube chair, restaurant chair, whatever chair… The thing is that I am towards the hyperactive type of person. I am also well into fitness. As a result, I hate sitting for prolonged periods of time. In fact, I find it a quite hard task to accomplish and there are those moments every now and then when I wonder how my colleagues can do that while I am constantly trying to make friends with my chair. Not to mention that I cannot see my friends under daylight for the biggest part of the year!
But I think the worst thing when it comes to my job (apart from social life implications implied just before) is that it is not challenging for me. Not any more. It doesn’t make me better any more. And even though I am part of an established company working in a highly prestigious project, it is not something that really adds value to the world – or the local community for that instance. It is rather a reproduction of the built environment as you know it according to almost purely financial criteria. Well, this is not the architecture I once dreamed of. So, no thanks, I will pass.
I have left out the salary… Partly because I have a hard time to approach it in a few lines rather than in few pages. And partly because it is fairly low in my priorities. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about it. I do care, I just can never make it a life driver. I work in an industry that doesn’t pay too much in the UK and even though I have managed to have a relatively nice salary, it doesn’t offer me much in such an expensive city as London. If money was my top priority, then I could go somewhere else, probably in the middle east, for at least a year or two having a six figure salary from day one. In fact, that could help my entrepreneurship ambitions since I could stack up a nice sum to help me start with. But again, that would have been a decision driven by money and such a decision I cannot take. It is just not me.
Ok, my life sucks. Or to phrase it properly, my life doesn’t fulfill me. But what can I realistically do for that? Well, that’s impossible to answer without defining the kind of life I want to live. So, Iet’s try to define it. I want to work, meaning I want to produce. I don’t think I would be happy if I was on a constant holiday state. But I cannot stand working in fixed hours and in a very specific place. Instead, I want to have a flexible working schedule. Maybe I feel like working very early in the morning or way too late in the night or having a very random working-hours pattern. I don’t want to be based on a specific desk. If a computer would be required, that shouldn’t be a particular computer based on a particular place. Ideally, I would like to spend some time working on the road, meeting and working with others as well. I want to keep developing myself both physically and mentally. The latter means that during the productive hours I should acquire new knowledge and outside my productive hours I need to have enough time to take care of my body through physical activities and my mind through mental engagements. I also need to have time to spend with others – my family, my friends and my yet to be found significant other. This is huge in maintaining my emotional balance, my mental clarity as well as in developing my ideas. I also need time to see what other creators produce. And finally, I want the outcome of my productivity to be something that could help other people improve their lives.
Filling the gaps
Ok, I think now there is a quite clear direction I would like my life to take. I just need to add a few things that I really enjoy doing currently and I would like to keep doing them or even do them more. I enjoy fitness and meditation, I enjoy challenging both my physical and my mental limits and constantly trying to explore their balance. I am constantly pursuing excellence, always trying to bring the best out of me. I get intrigued by technological progress – I can get overjoyed with an advance that someone(s) did and I find particular interesting. And I enjoy writing. I have always been enjoying writing and frankly I think it is the one form of communication I can express myself at best.
As for money, I would like to have enough to do the things that I want. I don’t want to have any moment in my life that I will have a limitation imposed by my inadequate finances. I also want to have enough money to grow my business, provided that it is a business that actively helps others and it will be my medium of giving back to society.
All the above should be and are enough ingredients to play with and start giving form to an action plan. The only thing left is to quickly identify the constraints. The constraints are that I like London, in the sense that is such a dynamic environment that helps me develop myself too much too fast. I wouldn’t mind moving somewhere else in the world at least for a while. But having my UK Naturalization application being reviewed as I am writing this post, leaving cannot be a very immediate option. And in any case I think I will always be connected with that city not only mentally and emotionally but also physically. There is a rather strong bond here. Financially, I have never managed to save money all these years here. So there is no budget to start with. Which also means that quitting my job now it is more of a recipe for disaster rather than a wise option. So, my full time job has to be maintained. Being single, I don’t have any love affair imposing respective constraints.
The action plan
Finally, here it comes. Once you layout your life in front of you, then the answers that used to be nowhere to be seen, start emerging to the surface themselves.
For me, this will be a website about healthy lifestyle – it will be around fitness, healthy nutrition and mental balance. Fitness has become a big part of my life last years. I started by stepping to a gym one day not knowing what to do and strolling around the machines and throughout the last three years and by exploring several aspects of my training and nutrition, I walked all the way to completing the Crossfit Level 1 Training Course, enrolling in a Weightlifting team and consistently practicing yoga, among others. As a result, I have considerably improved my physique, my fitness level and my health and have gained a lot of knowledge on this matter. Now, I look around me and see how wrong people train, how wrong people eat, how ignorant they are about those facts and I know how easy it is to implement just a bit of knowledge and a few habits in their training and nutrition that have the potential to improve their lives so much. So I will start creating content around that idea.
A website could work well because I can work on it weird times if required, since I have a full time job, and it can be done for free or with minimum cost. Also it has the potential for creating a recurring income in a format that wouldn’t require me to work full time for the business to run effectively.
I am Greek and my first idea was to target Greece since the competition there is not so strong but I am currently debating that – mainly because I don’t want to live in Greece, which will probably be required if I manage to turn the website into a successful business. But also contradicts with my idea of helping people improve their lives, in the sense that I want to try to help every single human being in this planet if possible. I don’t want to exclude anyone in the first place.
Anyhow, it will have the form of a blog in the beginning and I will try to build an audience. I think I have something different to say, I enjoy writing and being an architect/designer I would be able to produce some decent images if required. Once the website starts attracting some traffic, then I have a couple of ideas about potential products. But I will think more about those when the time comes – for now, I’d rather take it one step at a time.
This is the last and by far most important section of this whole process of setting yourself up for creating something new from scratch. Creating a successful business is not easy, not at all. Even more when everything starts from something as little as a blog. Blogs take a lot of time to accumulate significant traffic, if they ever achieve to do so. They also take time to create and promote content. So I had to make myself a promise. A promise that I will not give up. Even if I create content that no one sees for months, I will keep doing it the best I can for at least a full year, the very least. It the leap of faith I have to take. It is the leap of faith that you have to take as well. And I do believe that this is the most important step for everyone that wants to try his luck out.
Promise yourself that you will not give up, that you will not let yourself down, that you will give it a try the way you know the best
If you generated any thoughts on what you just read, either good or bad ones, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is invaluable in one’s strive for progress. If you think that this post could possibly motivate people to take more action on their lives, then it is worth sharing it. Until soon!