Inspiration

Is The Nomadic Lifestyle What Its Cracked Up To Be?

Photo by  Chris McClave  on  Pexels

Photo by Chris McClave on Pexels

Working by the beaches, in the jungle, on top of a mountain, in exotic locations.

That all sounds amazing.

We’ve all seen the cool Instagram pictures of the so-called digital nomads. They seem to live the perfect life.

I’ve been a nomad since June of last year. Before that, I had left Canada to travel for 1 year. This is what triggered my interest in officially becoming a nomad.

It’s definitely a cool lifestyle. I would not have it any other way right now.

But it comes at the cost of a few sacrifices, some harder than others.

You Will Lose Friends

You will create a lot of new memories abroad that you won’t share with your old friends.

Some friends are open to that, but others will not understand what you’re going through.

Your friends back home will have moved on. They will get married and have kids. You’ll miss a lot of these moments.

You Will Miss The People Back Home

After you’re done doing amazing things for the day or night, you’ll start thinking about people back home.

You’ll think about the things you’ll miss by not being there.

You’ll think about the little things you enjoyed about the people you liked.

You will wish that sometimes, it would be nice to just warp back home for a day or two.

Working By The Beach Suck

It’s uncomfortable, it’s sandy, you don’t see anything on your screen, you are sweaty, etc.

Working by the beach just isn’t as nice as it sounds.

The traditional work-from-a-desk approach is just very hard to beat.

You Won’t Have Time To Establish A Productive Routine

A lot of nomads move around too much. I’ve been there, but mostly when I was traveling for fun. I used to like the idea of working from a new place every 7–30 days.

The reality is that it’s just too fast.

What I’ve come to realize from my experience in Cambodia and Spain is that staying in the place for longer is far superior work-wise than staying only a few days at a time.

But then again, it’s not all bad. As I said, I would not change that lifestyle for anything.

In fact, I’m leaving for India on March 14th. I don’t know how long I’ll stay there for. I’m guessing 3 months, but we’ll see how things go.

There are many good reasons to be a nomad too. Just using the bad parts from above, we can shift that around for the positive:

You Will Make Stronger Connections

The people you will meet on the road will have a similar mindset to you. In a short amount of time, you’ll make more friends than you ever did back home. And these friends understand what you’re going through.

And for the friends you had back home, those who choose to stick with you will become stronger friends than ever before.

You Will Not Miss People Back Home That Much

When you leave for a long time and come back, people are happy to see you, but it ends there.

Rare are the people who are genuinely interested in what you did. In fact, a lot of your friends and family will not even ask a single question about your adventures.

And every time you go back, you’ll notice that you’ll miss these people less and less.

Going To The Beach Rocks

We’ve established that working by the beach sucks, … but going to it definitely rocks!

In Spain, I’ve had a lot of creative bursts just taking a short break and going to to the beach to enjoy the sun, the waves, the vibe.

Relaxing by the beach is a great way to meditate and clear your mind.

You Can Establish Productive Routines

I was most productive in my entire life when I stayed in Cambodia for 2 months and Spain for 3 months.

I’ve developed really powerful routines, some of which I’ve shared on my blog.

Working from co-working spaces and being around like-minded people really helped me at least triple my productivity.

I’m currently visiting family and I have to admit really missing my routine. I can’t wait to settle for a bit in India and find a new place to work from for a 2–3 months period of time.

Conclusion

There’s no right or wrong here.

A nomadic lifestyle is great for some people.

It’s great depending on circumstances.

It’s great when you’re ready for it.

Like all good things, you have to make sacrifices to get the best it.

  • You’ll lose friends, but you’ll make new ones.

  • You’ll miss home, but not always.

  • You’ll enjoy the beach, but not work from it.

  • You’ll build productive routines, but only if you stay longer.

What about you?

Are you a digital nomad?

Are you considering the lifestyle?

Have you done it before?

Are you still doing it?

What do/did you like/dislike?

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/is-the-nomadic-lifestyle-what-its-cracked-up-to-be-c6531f7f3f88

What Do You Want To Be Most Proud Of In The Next 3 Months?

Photo by  @joeypilgrim  on  Unsplash

A few days ago, I wrote about a question I was asked by a friend I hadn’t seen in four months: What are you most proud of from the last 3 months?

It’s a great question that leads to deep self-reflection.

Then yesterday I had a nice comment by Heide Lindgren; she went to a group where that same question was asked, but also a subsequent question:

What Do You Want To Be Most Proud Of In The Next Few Months?

For her group, it was actually focused on a more distant future. But I prefer shorter-term goals, so I’m adapting it for 3 months.

I personally really like that question too. It’s the kind of question I think about when I journal.

Think About Pride

Every new year millions of people make New Year resolutions that they end up breaking. It’s just an idea they tossed around near the end of the previous year.

They don’t think about what would make them proud.

Pride is a strong feeling. We all want to be proud of ourselves. Here’s a good definition of personal pride:

“a feeling, deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements[…]”

When you think about the goals you want to achieve in the next 3 months or so, think about how it will make you proud.

A lot of times, it’s a great motivator to accomplish things you procrastinate on doing.

What I Will Personally Be Proud Of In The Next Three Months

Few things really.

I’ll have published my company’s first game: Soul Reaper — Unreap Commander.

I’ve been working on Soul Reaper on and off for 4 years now. I’m so proud of nearing the completion of a first version of the game.

I’ve received grants for it and I’ve had a successful feature by Square Enix Collective.

And finally it will be released!

I’ll have published my first book: 31 Stories To Motivate And Inspire You To Work Harder And Build Momentum.

I never aimed to write a book. In fact, I’m not writing anything new. It’s a compilation of the things I’ve written here on Medium. I’ve written so much more than I thought I would and the content has been appreciated so much that I’m putting it in book format.

Publishing that book is a stepping stone in my writing journey and I’m really proud to make it happen.

What About You?

  • What Are You Proud Of From the Last 3 Months?

  • What Are You Proud Of Currently?

  • What Do You Want To Be Proud Of In The Next 3 Months?

By thinking about that strong feeling, you’ll have a deeper desire to accomplish your goals.

Think about it when you set goals. When you procrastinate. When you achieve things.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/what-do-you-want-to-be-most-proud-of-in-the-next-3-months-cd7e9593bf6a

Getting Paid By Productivity Changes Your Mindset For Life

Photo by  Barn Images  on  Unsplash

Photo by Barn Images on Unsplash

I’m currently visiting my family which I haven’t seen in 6 months. My three brothers had changed their jobs during that time. Very recently in fact.

My youngest brother changed jobs two weeks ago. He’s already by far the best employee where he works. He injured himself while snowboarding last weekend and he has to take two weeks off because he can’t use one of his arms. His boss already misses him and said that even with one arm, he’d be more productive than his colleagues.

One of my older brothers became supervisor after only 3 months working at his new job. Some people have been wanting that promotion for more than 5 years.

My eldest brother just passed his interview for a new job, and he did so well on the field test that they’ve already showered him with extra benefits, bonuses and a raise.

I’ve had similar stories myself. Many times as I was growing up.

And we’re not a family of super geniuses. Far from it. We’re not even more skilled than others.

So I’ve been wondering why my brothers performed better than the others, and I’ve narrowed it down to one thing all our family did growing up:

We worked and got paid by productivity from age 8 to age 18 and beyond for some.

That’s at least 10 years of working hard to earn more!

Getting Paid By Productivity

We grew up in a small town called Lavaltrie. It’s one of the oldest towns in Canada. It’s famous for its exorcist priest… and its farms. My brothers still live there.

We grew up in a very poor family, raised by a single mother. In order to have some luxury for ourselves, we worked on nearby farms.

All four of us become extremely good at picking strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

The more baskets we filled, the more money we made.

At 12 years old, I had bought a Playstation, a big-screen TV and a surround sound system.

Getting paid by productivity was addicting. If we wanted more, we had to work for it. And man did we work. Rain or shine. Hot or cold.

When I was 13 years old, I started working for a flyers company where I had to put flyers in bags, to be distributed to all households in Quebec. It’s called Publisac. I was paid by how many bags I would fill. I was a pro. My two older brothers were even better.

The Mindset Change

Once you work for a company that pays you by how productive you are, it changes your perspective on work ethics.

Even though the motivation back then was all about money, it’s hard now to settle for anything less than great work, even if we don’t technically get paid more for it.

Working hard is satisfying. I don’t like to do half-assed work.

“There’s no substitute for hard work.” — Thomas A. Edison

My employers have appreciated it in the past, and the people I work with appreciate it now (I work for myself now).

Every “successful” people we know work hard. Harder than we can tell. Conor McGregor said it best:

“There’s no talent here. This is hard work. This is obsession. Talent does not exist.” — Conor McGregor

Do It, Or Simulate It

I realize it’s not that easy anymore to find work paid by productivity. However, the concept of working hard for a reward is universal. You can simulate that in your day-to-day life.

There are times when I would not allow myself to play video games until I finished some of my goals. Sounds childish I know, but it works. I really wanted to play my games. Or sometimes I would not allow myself to buy something unless my goals were finished.

We teach it to kids, yet we don’t apply it ourselves. It’s a powerful motivator. At work, you’ve got camaraderie and competitive aspects, so it’s even stronger.

Conclusion

I dare you to try it. If you’ve got a job already, do a few hours on the side that’s paid by productivity.

You’ll earn more money, become more productive and have your mindset shift for life. You’ll achieve greater things and become truly grateful for what you have.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/getting-paid-by-productivity-changes-your-mindset-for-life-75ede0209ad3

Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time

Last night I saw one of my brothers for the first time in 6 months. It was really nice catching up with him.

In our family, we’ve always grown up playing video games, so it didn’t take too long before we started talking the Nintendo Switch, which we both own.

What’s nice about the Switch is that he plays on his big screen TV and I play in handheld mode, and we get the “same” experience. So even when I travel, I still manage to catch up on my video game time.

He’s had the Switch for about two months and he’s played 50 hours of Mario Odyssey, 135 hours of Mario Kart and 20 hours of Zelda.

He’s got a full-time job, his girlfriend, his nephews next door and he also draws frequently. It’s not like he’s not doing anything else.

If we do the math, that’s 205 hours of gameplay time in, let’s say, 8 weeks. That’s a little more than 25 hours per week.

If that sounds a lot to you, maybe it would be an interesting exercise to also analyze how you spend your free time.

Analyze Your Free Time

I frequently post my detailed and crazy schedule here on Medium. I know exactly how I’m spending my time every day. You don’t have to be that structured though when analyzing your free time.

Playing video games is easy since most platforms log the time you spend.

If you watch TV shows on Netflix, it’s simple math to add on all the episodes you’ve watched times the duration of the show.

We all know the duration of each movie, so it’s easy to add those up as well.

Sports and other physical activities are usually easy enough to calculate.

Make sure to count the commute time as free time. This can be one of the biggest time sink. By having close to no commute time, you get more time to spend on things you want to do, not things you have to do.

But Why Analyze It?

A lot of people are “busy”. They are stressed by time and refuse to do things because they are busy. Yet when you analyze how they spend their time, they could definitely spare some of their free time doing other things.

I’m obsessed with time. We all have limited time before we’re gone.

I’ve lived that yet again yesterday when I went to the veterinarian with my mother and she told her that would likely have to resort to euthanasia very soon if she doesn’t want her cat to suffer.

Life is short. We all have to go at one point.

I personally like to know I’ve spent my time here doing the best I could.

I very much enjoy learning, so I spend a lot of my free time learning new skills.

Tomorrow I’m seeing my grandparents. They’re old. I’m putting myself in their shoes and I want to think for myself at that point that I’ve got no regrets. At least on how I spent my time. I want to say that I’ve lived the best life I could.

And that starts with knowing how I spend my precious time.

Conclusion

We do have a lot of free time. We are not *that* busy.

When we analyze how we spend our time, we realize there are better ways to spend it.

Spend it the way you want to spend it. Don’t be a slave of your bad habits.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/analyze-how-you-spend-your-time-and-you-will-realize-there-is-plenty-of-free-time-4822adfc0659

Originality Does Not Exist, We Should Aim For This Instead

As I’m writing this, I’ve had a creative block for a few days. I typically write every day, and until recently, it has been pretty easy — much easier than I thought it would be.

My routine is currently completely broken by the fact that I am back home visiting family and friends. I’m jumping around from one group to the next and barely have any time to do my usual February routine. Here it is for reference:

Photo Credit: My crazy daily schedule/routine

Photo Credit: My crazy daily schedule/routine

Not having this routine completely destroys my creativity.

I try to come up with interesting and unique topics, but nothing comes up.

This morning I read some stories here on Medium to try to get inspired, and I realized that we all write about the same thing. Myself included.

I mean, it’s normal. There are not a million subjects to write about when you limit yourself to the topics of learning, productivity, self-improvement and life lessons.

But still, I feel like that’s one of the reasons I’m blocking currently. Nothing I write is original. Nothing you read is original.

The lessons we learn from what we read are all the same.

I would have loved to think that what I wrote in the past was original.

I kind of didn’t want to write yet another story because of that realization.

But during my workout this morning, I realized I was wrong.

Originality Comes From Authenticity

Currently, my top story on Medium is: 41 Things You Should Say “No” To To Become The Person You Want To Be In Life And Business.

One could certainly criticize it for not being original, since after all, most of the content is quotes from other people.

I questioned it’s originality myself.

In fact, I received my first real bad comment on that story 3 days ago:

“You are probably a decent guy, just have no significant ideas, nor command of proper grammar & sentence structure.” — Mark Tulk

He’s not half-wrong. I write my stories in 40–60 minutes. I briefly re-read them before hitting “publish”. They are full of errors. Thankfully Grammarly helps, but I’m bound to make mistakes when I write 750 words in 40 minutes.

On the “no significant ideas”, well it comes back to my questioning. Am I original?

I choose to think that I am “original”.

Here’s why the article above is “original”:

  • With very few exceptions, I do say “no” to all the things on the list;

  • The things I don’t say “no” to, I’m working on;

  • Every subtitle comes with a short blurb on how I personally interpret the thing to say no to;

  • I organized everything into categories I thought made sense to me;

  • I chose the quotes that match the thing to say no to;

  • I chose the headline and the image; and

  • I wrote the introduction and conclusion.

Other people will say “no” to the same things, but outside of that, the story was quite original.

And I’m not being defensive here because someone wrote a bad comment. I had questioned it myself.

I analyzed some other stories I wrote and realized that my originality comes from my authenticity.

And it was the same for the other great people I follow here on Medium.

They write the same things, but throw in their personal stories and vulnerabilities. That makes them authentic.

Aim For Authenticity

A copy-pasted article with changed words is boring. An article with personal stories makes it interesting.

It’s not by accident that the top writers get to where they are now. It’s not by accident that the article I mention above did well. It was original. It was authentic.

And that applies to all the creative disciplines, and arguably anything really.

I make video games for a living. I steal good ideas from all great games. All the great ideas from Soul Reaper are borrowed from other titles that did it well.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” — Pablo Picasso

But I combine everything in a way never done before. This “glue” between the different concepts come from my own ideas. As a whole, Soul Reaper is an original game.

I’m a viking-looking dude who builds games and apps, writes here, takes photos, and sells things online.

Who else is like that?

No one. And I like that. It makes my encounters more meaningful. It makes my stories more interesting. It makes my success greater.

It makes me authentic.

Conclusion

The next time you or someone else questions your originality, think about what it is that’s different that you bring to the table. Chances are your authenticity makes you “original”.

Capitalize on your authenticity.

Show the world who you are and it shall reward you with deeper relationships and increased success and happiness.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/originality-does-not-exist-we-should-aim-for-this-instead-e575228b78c0

Do Talk To Strangers And Get Inspired By Their Stories

Yesterday I was walking down the streets of Montreal with my wife in search of an independent coffee shop so we could refuge ourselves from the cold.

The funny thing is, it wasn’t even that cold. At least not for the Montrealers. It was about -8 degrees Celcius. They had seen -30 and -40 the month before.

But when you’ve been in Spain or Central African Republic for over 3 months, that is COLD!

How cold does it get where you’re from?

Anyway, after a few minutes we stumbled upon a Café called Melbourne Café. It seemed inviting, so we went in.

Our barista was adamant about not making us Americanos. He insisted on us getting the filtered coffee.

He was right. It was amazing coffee!

We minded our own business until we were about to leave, and I asked the owner about the origins of his coffee.

That led to an inspiring story about how he become co-owner of the place, how he’s working on expanding, opening new shops and more.

His plans for 2018 were great, full of incredible ventures, stories and plans on how to make it all happen.

We introduced and shook hands. It was a meaningful encounter, completely triggered by a simple question and a ton of curiosity.

So my point is this: you don’t have to look too far for inspiration. The next time you go to your locally-owned store, spark a conversation with the owner. Be interested in their story.

They’ll tell you how the place came to be, what hardships they had to go through, how they overcome them and how it is what it is today.

In addition to receiving better service next time, you’ll have learned valuable life lessons.

And for those wondering, the coffee came from Ethiopia, roasted near Quebec city.

It was delicious and I highly recommend the place. Prices were good too.

Here’s the co-owner’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/advanced__j/

Conclusion

Every local shop has their own story. Dare ask for it. Get inspired by it. You’ll make a new friend and have ideas for your own goals, both in life and in business.

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/do-talk-to-strangers-and-get-inspired-by-their-stories-10178958e1d2

What Are You Most Proud Of From The Last 3 Months?

This morning I had a chat with a friend I met in Cambodia last year. We hadn’t spoken for 4 months.

And when he asked me what’s new in my life, there was just way to much to give a proper answer.

So we caught up on each other’s life, and he asked me that question:

“What are you most proud of from the last 3 months?”

It’s a great question.

I had not thought about it. Of all the things I learned. Of all the things I did. It was hard to pick one I’m most proud of.

My answer was: sticking to the habit of learning 3 new skills a month. It’s a great habit. I’m proud of it.

Sometimes in life we’re lost and think we’re not good at anything. Most people have been through that.

But I like this question.

3 months is a long enough period that it’s likely you did something you’re proud of. Recognize it. Hang on to it.

Pride is a strong feeling. It can lift you up. In day-to-day life, we don’t spend enough time recognizing the things we’re proud of.

Pride brings happiness. Pride builds confidence.

What are you most proud of from the last 3 months?

Hopefully you don’t have to think too hard. Good habits are a good start. Stopping a bad habit is also a good starting point. Earning praise for something you did, finishing something you started, acting on something you didn’t think you could, etc. These are all good.

The next time I write in my journal, I’ll give this more thought. I’ll go back further. I want to build on this pride.

Conclusion

Review your last 3 months. Think about the thing you’re most proud of. Why are you proud of it? How did you get to it?

Pride is a strong feeling all of us should have. Hang on to it.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/what-are-you-most-proud-of-from-the-last-3-months-a06886b398cf

5 Ways To Be So Good They Will Notice And Remember You

Yesterday I was talking to a very successful writer here on Medium and at one point came the subject of how he became popular.

You and I read many articles both on and off of Medium about strategies on how to get your articles published, how to get many followers, etc.

I don’t deny their value, but being so good at something goes a long way.

In 41 Short And Powerful Quotes To Make You Feel Unstoppable, I shared the following quote:

‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.’ — Steve Martin

But I know what you’re saying now:

“I’m good, but no one notices or remembers me!”

Well, I’m proposing the following ways to change that:

1. Be Great

Are you good or are you great? That is the question.

In his book titled “Good To Great”, Jim Collins said it right:

“Good is the enemy of great.” — Jim Collins

Be honest with yourself. Are you good? Are you great?

Analyze the great.

Surround yourself with the great and you’ll become great yourself.

Never strive for good.

2. Be Interesting

Make A Good Impression.

If I need a business card to remember you, you failed to make a good enough impression.

When you network with people, do you stand out? What makes you more interesting than others?

  • Tell great stories.

  • Look different.

  • Find common grounds with the person you exchange with.

3. Be Authentic

A lot of times, you call tell if someone’s an impostor or not. If you are one, be sure to be a damn good actor to live up to it!

If you read my other stories, I almost always share my own experiences about the subject I’m writing about.

It’s no coincidence. I lived these things. People trust people who are honest, vulnerable and know what they are talking about.

Find your niche. Tell your stories. Give your own perspective on a valuable life lesson you learned.

Don’t just grab stuff from the internet you think may work for people.

4. Be Positive

No one likes a hater.

The stories I write that can be perceived as negative are much less popular than the positive ones.

People want to feel good. Showing a positive attitude in the midst of a crisis will get you recognized.

Be encouraging. Be grateful.

5. Be Consistent

Do things consistently.

I personally love that one.

  • The more you do, the more exposure you get.

  • The more you do, the better you get.

  • The more consistent you are, the easier it becomes.

  • The more consistent you are, the easier it gets to find you.

I write one story a day. I’ve been doing it consistently for 41 days now.

In this short period of time, I got published and became a top writer in 6 categories here on Medium.

Conclusion

Being truly great, interesting, authentic, positive and consistent are sure ways to get noticed and remembered.

Obviously, it’s easier said than done. But be honest with yourself.

Be aware of your behaviour and your surroundings. Take notes. Improve yourself in these 5 ways and your “luck” will turn up.

“In the field of observation, chance favours the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/5-ways-to-be-so-good-they-will-notice-and-remember-you-e4cfa07e6ab2