Let Go, Move On

#MoveOn2018

Last year, I created a hashtag that I referenced in a lot of my personal social media – #RiseIn2017. I created meaning for it within myself over the course of the year and used it to hold myself accountable to my goals and plans for the year. I also allowed it to be a reminder that things would not always go the way I expected them to, but I must continue to rise past it and push forward, to become the person that I needed to be for myself and those around me.

When I wrote my first post, Goodnight 2016, I was sitting on the spare bed at my grandmother’s house in Victoria. I wrote from a place of reflection – analysing what I had experienced in 2016 and what I wanted to achieve in the new year. At the end, I wrote a bio for myself as of December 2017 and what I wanted my life to be. By writing this bio, I concreted in my own mind who I wanted to be and what I wanted to achieve, and I’m very glad I did because a lot of it came to be! I did end up moving to Melbourne and studying further. I did lose the 15kg that I wanted to (admittedly, I’ve put some of it back on again, whoops!) and I have begun to build my financial position to one that will grant me a lot more freedom in the future. There were a few things that came up along the way that I didn’t expect too, like my deeper involvement in the Salesforce world and finding my niche in the broad IT industry. However, there were some things that weren’t so pleasant that I did not plan for 2017. My beautiful puppy of over 11 years passed away in October, and it threw my mind into a darker place than I’ve ever found myself before.

This is the last photo I took of Cindi, a mere 12 before she passed away.

I’ve been following Shay Carl’s family vlogs on YouTube for years, and this Christmas was the first in a long time that they did not publish a video. You see, in February of 2017 Shay suffered a relapse of his alcoholism and made a personal decision to focus on rehabilitation and stay away from the internet for the foreseeable future after years of being a public figure.  Recently, his wife Colette posted her first video in a long time and she said some things that resonated with me.

She talks about a section of a book called Codependent No More by Melody Beattie that talks about accepting the things that are. The reality of the world around us. We may or may not have control over these things, but this is the way things are. Colette points out that we need to learn to accept difficult realities and push past denial so that we can stand confidently in our own truth and receive freedom within ourselves, and this line struck a chord for me:

“Sometimes, in order to accept what is, we have to allow a dream to die.”

I have dreams that I hold onto so tightly to the point that they begin to burn a metaphorical hole in my chest. There are things that I have been fighting so hard for even though I knew nothing would ever happen. My problem is I will completely ignore the signs and continue holding on, giving more, and sacrificing myself for the dreams that will never come to fruition.

In 2017, I think my greatest lesson was to learn that I can’t control everything around me and that I need to learn to simply accept what is. Not only is everything as it should be, but it is as it must necessarily be. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to wrap my arms around everything in my life and make it the way I wanted it to be. However, toward the end of this year, I’ve learned that letting go of everything and allowing reality to be as it is and must be grants greater peace than I’ve ever known in my life. I won’t go into too much detail on causal determinism in this post, but it’s something I strongly recommend you read up on.

In summary, my 2018 will be a continuation of my current journey; the only difference being that I am taking my first steps into the new year with a new perspective – I will make an effort to learn the difference between the things I should be trying to control, and the things that I need to let go of and allow reality to proceed as it must. I have decided to let go of things that I’ve held onto for years – I have let go of anger towards those who I felt wronged me in the past and made amends, I have let go of some traditional thinking that was holding me back in life,  and I have let go of a dream that I held closely and thought the outcome was entirely in my hands. I have made the decision within myself to accept 2018 however it comes and be at peace throughout it, peace which will hopefully overflow and make an impact on those I come into contact with.

I leave you with a traditional Taoist parable that got me thinking when I first heard it a few months back.

Who Knows What is Good and What is Bad?

When an old farmer’s stallion wins a prize at a country show, his neighbour calls round to congratulate him, but the old farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The next day, some thieves come and steal his valuable animal. His neighbour comes to commiserate with him, but the old man replies, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

A few days pass and the spirited stallion escapes from the thieves and joins a herd of wild mares, leading them back to the farm. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s joy, but the farmer says, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The following day, while trying to break in one of the mares, the farmer’s son is thrown and fractures his leg. The neighbour calls to share the farmer’s sorrow, but the old man’s attitude remains the same as before.

The following week the army passes by, forcibly conscripting soldiers for the war, but they do not take the farmer’s son because he cannot walk. The neighbour thinks to himself, “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” 

The Importance of Rest

I’ve set myself the goal of posting three times a week to this site, and I enjoy being able to share great content and encourage others. I’ve had some fantastic feedback from many people saying they’ve been inspired to make life changing decisions, and that makes me so happy.

This is the reason why I will never post for the sake of posting. I understand the responsibility of putting content out for others to read, and I don’t take that lightly. You can rest assured that my work will be quality and as  meaningful as possible.

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything last Friday. The reason for this, to be 100% honest, was that I needed to rest. We all need to rest sometimes, and that’s not a bad thing. As much as we always want to be going and going (insert Energizer bunny here) and never stop, rest is beneficial.

Resting ensures that we have time to recover physically. It also gives us time to rest and recover mentally, which can lead to many great things. The first of these is that we won’t burn out. This is pretty important if we want to achieve greatness and reach our personal success. Another great thing that comes out of rest is new ideas, new perspective, and a fresh outlook. It is so important to realise that the world does not consist entirely of the thing that we’re focusing on; there’s a lot more out there than our small world even though it may feel like this is not the case.

This brings me to the reason that I didn’t post last Friday: I was tired. I needed rest. And I needed to recover. Unfortunately I was bedridden yesterday due to stress and not taking care of myself well enough. I’ve had the weekend off and am starting to feel a bit better. In this rest time I’ve had some brilliant new ideas and have started working on great new things. This exciting new stuff came from taking a break, how cool is that?!

Rest is wonderfully important for many reasons.

  1. You need it.
    Like I said, your body and your mind need some time to recover and rebuild. Allow yourself the time to do so.
  2. It can help refocus you.
    Often we can get sidetracked, or lose focus on why we started doing what we’re doing in the first place. Resting can help to clear out what is unimportant and realign our goals.
  3. It can help generate great ideas!
    New ideas come when you take yourself out of the mundane and repetitive, which can often mean when you take a break.
  4. You can spend time with those who matter.
    When we’re constantly pushing for our goals, we can sometimes neglect those closest to us. Remember – we have one life. Everyone has one life. And that life is short in the long run. Make the most of it, spend time with family and friends.

I hope you understand the importance of rest, and why from time to time I may take a break from posting. I encourage you to take a rest and refuel yourself!

Making a Difference in the Professional World

Those who have worked professionally with me more recently would know that I am a massive fan of Salesforce. In fact, those who know me personally have probably heard about my passion for Salesforce. To those people – I’m not sorry. You should love them too!

Now why on earth would I be encouraging people to fall in love with a CRM platform? That’s ridiculous, only certain people love data the way I do! This is true, but Salesforce is much more than a CRM platform. In fact they’re much more than a cloud based software company too.

Salesforce Ohana

Those who know Salesforce have likely heard of Salesforce Ohana. I’ll give you a little backstory! Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, decided to go to Hawaii to take a little time for himself. While on this trip he learnt about the Hawaiian concept of Ohana. Ohana is the concept of family (whether it’s blood, or other) and how everyone in the family is responsible for each other and cares for each other. When he came back and founded Salesforce in 1999, he made sure that this was a big part of the company. Today we see Salesforce engaging in more than professional cloud based services. We see them taking CSR very seriously with their 1-1-1 model, their stance on diversity and equality, and their commitment to sustainability.

This is just one small example of a big company making a difference in the world. Personally, I believe all business should be more than making sales. Anyone who is part of an influential business has the incredible opportunity to brighten someone’s day. Everyone has the chance to change the world for the better. I believe it is our responsibility as professionals to do so.

How I Make Tough Decisions

I’m not going to lie to you, life has been tough for me recently. But I know that life does indeed get tough sometimes, it’s normal. As I’ve said previously, it helps to surround yourself with good people and to build up a positive lifestyle around you. Sometimes, you are faced with making decisions that don’t feel great at all. You may feel like there is no good path to take. These are incredibly tough decisions to make.

Here’s how I tackle these decisions. I’ve borrowed a lot from Richard Branson’s method , please give it a read as well.

    1. Understand WHY you’re making this decision
      There will be a good reason that you’re faced with this decision, and a good reason why it’s not so easy. Remember to keep these things in mind when analysing and deciding.
    2. Analyse the Pros and Cons thoroughly, involve others if necessary
      Be as detailed as possible in noting down the good and bad sides of each option that you have. Keeping the first point in mind, analyse each option and how it will effect your end goal in a good and a bad way. This is how to fully understand the repercussions of your decision.
    3. Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment
      This is critical. At times, you may think a decision is right in the heat of the moment and later realise that it was actually only right because your emotions had control of your mind at the time. Sit on a decision. Wait overnight, or think about it over the weekend. Allow your mind to be cleared before settling on a decision.

 

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Today is Friday. I am writing this at 8:39am in the morning, and I think today will be a day that I look back on.

I have made a decision today and will take action on Monday. Unfortunately I can’t go into detail about this decision until I’ve taken action, but for now here are my ramblings on why I made this decision. It is an important decision for my personal and professional life.

Here’s my biggest mistake from the last few years. Recently for me, success has looked like things. Like buying the newest iPhone every year, keeping my car clean, and making sure I’ve got money to spend on silly things. This isn’t right for me. Writing this blog over the last few weeks has helped me to realise this.

The Actually Important Things

I want to encourage you to take a step back and look at your life. Look at your relationships, your finances, and how you feel on a day to day basis. Take all of these things and dwell on them for a minute. Then I want you to imagine you got hit by a car tonight. Your life up to this moment is all you’ll ever have.

Are you really happy? Are you really achieving your personal success?

I am willing to bet that there are a large number of you who would not be happy with your life if it ended today. Good! Remember what you’re feeling right now, and make some changes.

If you’re having a problem with a friend, make amends. If you’re not spending enough time with a family member, make time. If you’re not as healthy as you want to be, find some people who will encourage you and make some lifestyle changes.

Build your life. Make it yours again. Own yourself.

 

I took on a motto: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. This reminded me, and continues to remind me, to follow what I truly want from life regardless of what the outside world may think is a good idea.

I could not encourage you more to do the same. You only have one life, and one day, you’re going to die. Let that push you to achieve the goals you have in life and let nothing stand in you way.

Who Are You?

Who am I?

Duh, I’m Tim. I work a full time job as a Salesforce Consultant and I am extremely passionate about technology.

Great answer! Unfortunately, that’s not what the question was really about.

“Who are you?” As simple a question as this seems, it’s actually quite complex.

At your core there is a dream that you’ve always had. There’s something you’ve always wanted that you may or may not be pushing for. This post will be short, but will pack a punch.

Follow our dreams. It is the ONLY way to achieve what your heart truly wants and to be happily successful.

Success is not something that you can find by looking at others. You may look at a billionaire as success. You may see fame as success. That’s the problem! Success cannot be found my looking outside, but looking within. Listen to what your heart is telling you. Listen to what it wants. Listen to your dreams and aspirations.

Be successful.

 

What are your dreams? What does your heart truly desire for your life?

I’d like to encourage you to comment below.

Purpose and Success

Purpose and Success

Success is a weird word. I have pondered the topic for a mere 10 minutes and the word has already lost all meaning to me, which is a great start for someone who is about to attempt writing at length about the topic, don’t you think? Nonetheless, here I go.

The reason that success can be so difficult to define is because it varies from person to person. Success for one person could mean something entirely different for another. This is because it someone’s definition of success is mostly derived from one’s purpose. Oh good, we’ve stumbled into questioning the meaning of life already. Bare with me!

“It is purpose that created us. Purpose that connects us. Purpose that pulls us. That guides us. That drives us. It is purpose that defines us. Purpose that binds us.” – Agent Smith, Matrix Reloaded

Purpose can mean the reason for which something is done or created or exists. Alternatively it can mean someone’s sense of resolve or determination, which happens to be the product of a little thing called free will, or, self-determination – the process by which a person controls their own life.

We live in a messy world with people of innumerable variety. A world of many different colours, genders, and tastes, which are all influential factors that boil down to our own unique ideas. This can cause frustration to those whose ideas contradict those of their neighbour. These frustrations have manifested in the past with terrible consequences. But frustration most often comes from a lack of understanding. So I think it’s time that we all understand something:

It is not our purpose to change the other persons mind.

Trying to do so often results in conflict, whether that be infighting between friends, or, on a larger scale, international terrorism. It all revolves around the same mindset of “I’m right, you’re wrong, you need to see things my way or I’ll force you to understand.”

But what if them being wrong is hurting them in the long run? What if they don’t change??? It can be difficult, I get it. If you love a person, you only want what’s best for them. But sometimes I have to remember to be patient. In fact, it’s all about strategy.

Let me throw some science at you to help illustrate my point. Have you ever made slime? It’s usually made with a mixture of cornflour and water. I remember making some in primary science class. Slime is what’s called a “non-Newtonian fluid”. A Newtonian fluid is like water, it takes the shape of the container it’s in and does not resist stress like a solid would, so non-Newtonian fluids do the opposite. If you apply a force to such fluids, the sudden stress can cause them to get thicker and act like a solid (Or in some cases the opposite will happen. Science is weird).

People are like non-Newtonian fluids. Try to force someone to see things your way, and you can expect them to resist you, even if you are right. So how do you persuade your person to understand your perspective? The answer is simple, but it’s not easy.

The common term today is to “stay in your lane”. This means that I do my best to focus on living my best life, and I’ve found that as a result the people around me see the evidence of what I believe. When they start asking questions, THEN they make themselves open to what I have to say, and my words will have a far greater impact than ever before.

Let’s revisit that word from earlier: self-determination. Ultimately, how a person chooses to define success is the result of the purpose that they’ve chosen for themselves, which is an expression of the fundamental human right of free will. Maybe I think they are wrong, and that’s okay. There were wrong people in the past, and there will be wrong people in the future. But I am not accountable for other people, I am accountable for me. And realising that fact makes me feel like I can take the world off of my shoulders.

Just as well too, it’s terrible for my posture.

Much love,
Katelyn Anne

P.S. Thanks to Tim for letting me write a post for his blog! He will be back to posting regularly again soon. In the meantime, if you liked this content and would like to see more posts like this, you can check out my blog here.

Positivity Mindset | The Not-So-Secret Superpower

How many times have you woken up and it’s been too cold, or you’ve not had enough sleep? How does it make you feel at that moment? You feel bad. You feel tired. You’re in a negative frame of mind. How difficult is it then to get out of bed, get ready, and get yourself set up for a successful day? Not so easy. Other days you’ll wake up with an extra spring in your step! It’s Friday, or pay day, or the day of a concert. Your day, from beginning to end, seems to be much better, almost as though the event that you’re excited for has power over the rest of your day. I have news, it does! Your day is effected not by the event itself, but your outlook on it. It’s about your mindset. Everything is about your mindset.

The Power of Excitement

I went to sleep at probably 11pm the night before WWDC this year, I was super excited! This means I got three hours sleep before I was wide awake and watching Apple’s presentation. Three hours of sleep, normally, would lead to a grumpy Tim. How had I gotten up so easily and with such little sleep? Excitement. The day Apple announces a new product or service is like my Christmas. The warm fuzziness, the ‘rumour season’, all of it. So good!
The only thing is that by 7am when the event is over and I have to start preparing for work, my mood is down… not! I am still super excited! It tends to stay with me for the entire day, often many days! This is an example of how your mind can effect your life in a very powerful way. A single good mood can stick for days on end if you allow it. Alternatively a bad mood can do the very same. This is why it’s so important to be in control of what you think and what you feel.

The Negative Power of Darkness

A few years back I experienced a very dark period of my life, the worst so far. I was in a terrible mental place. I had alienated myself from my family and friends, and allowed myself to be manipulated and lied to. I had no self respect, and no sense of ambition whatsoever. This brought with it a very bad mindset, and I won’t go into full detail. I’ll just say I was in a very dangerously bad frame of mind. Looking back, this is something I could have avoided. Now that I understand that everything that happens to me in life is secondary and that the way I act and think is what truly matters, this period of my life is a blessing more so than a burden.

Positivity in the Face of Hopelessness

We’ve all had bad days. Some of us have suffered terrible tragedies. Others have woken up and wished they hadn’t, or wondered how they were going to survive the day. This is tough, I get that. I really do. Sometimes it feels like there’s no point to going on, and it’s unbearably difficult to get out of bed or even breathe. The best way you can combat this is by setting yourself up for when dark times come, because they will. You cannot immunise yourself against bad things, that’s not how this works. You need to learn how to deal with these bad days.

Five Closest Friends

It is critical to surround yourself with positive people and influences. I’ve spoken about this before, but I will reiterate because this is so important. Jim Rohn famously said that “you are the average of your five closest friends”. This statement is powerful, and true. You need to deliberately choose who to spend your time around because they will influence your life in a much more powerful way than you realise.

Mindfulness

I’ve always known (and unfortunately ignored) the mental benefits of healthy eating and frequent exercise. Building these habits will be immeasurably valuable for your mental wellbeing and help you to achieve your success. There is a third element that I’ve learnt about recently – mindfulness. For me personally, I first learnt about mindfulness when watchOS 3 was announced last year for Apple Watch at WWDC 2016. They included a new app called Breath that would remind you to do a minute of intentional breathing every few hours. I’ve since started learning about the WIM HOF Method – a mixture of conscious breathing, cold therapy, and commitment. I’m not yet taking ice baths, but I practise conscious breathing every day, and found that it helps me keep my mind in check.

Creating and Maintaining Your Lifestyle

I’ve been questioned and often criticised about my excessive spending on technology, specifically at Apple. People wonder how someone who is saving for a house can afford to buy just about every new product that they put on the shelves. It’s very simple, this is the lifestyle I have chosen. These are my passions, these are the things that I want in life, and I am sure to balance my Apple passion with restrictions in other areas.

We’ve all got our passions, and that’s fantastic. It could be technology, fitness, cars, or something else, and that’s the beauty of humanity – we’re all different, and our different passions and interests do their little bit to build and influence the world. For me, I’m passionate about technology.

Budget

The biggest thing to me this year is my budget. I set the goals that I want and then build my budget around that. It’s really that simple. Let’S do some math:

My Annual Income is 100%. My Annual Savings Goal is 40%. Upgrading the Apple tech that I want every year costs me 10%. I’m always sure to add another 5% for other technology. So far, that’s only 43% of my annual income… as much as it seems a lot, it’s really not. I still have 45% of my income to spend on other things like bills (20%), food/rent (20%), and ‘miscellaneous’ purchases (or, spending money – 5%) . Done! It seems tight, and realistically I could spend a little less or save a little less, but that’s not the way I want to do it.

Work

Duh. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to write the part, but I’m here! And again, I don’t want to backspace.

Work hard. Working brings an income. Everyone knows this, but there’s a lot more to it than just money. Working not only brings an income, but builds your work ethic and builds a reputation. Take opportunity when you are given it. When you’re not given opportunity, make it for yourself. Nothing valuable in life will be handed to you on a silver platter. No great opportunity will wait for you. You have to run, you have to be vigilant for these opportunities, and you have to focus.

Sacrifice

I don’t often go to the cinemas. I rarely buy clothes. I spend the bare minimum on my car. I haven’t travelled overseas for years, and I limit my travel across Australia to seeing family. I sacrifice a lot of things to make sure I can maintain the lifestyle that I’ve designed around me. This goes back to the whole ‘$20 smashed avocado and toast’ concept. I understand what Tim Gurner was trying to say in this controversial interview, and I think it may have been misconstrued. What he was trying to point out is that you can’t have everything. If you want to buy that new car, you may have to avoid spending $5 a day on coffee. If you need a new phone, perhaps avoid spending money on new clothes every second week. If you want a house, stop spending $20 on smas- anyway, you get the point. You can’t have it all, but you can have what you want. It’s about finding your passions, sacrificing the luxuries you may not be as passionate about, and focusing on these goals and this lifestyle.

Focus

This is where it all comes together. It’s one thing to stick to a savings goal or to pay the bills you have to pay, but it’s another entirely to maintain the lifestyle you want and hold yourself not only to what is required but what you want. It’s one thing to go to work and earn your keep, it’s another to go to work from 9-5 and build your side hustle from 6-2 every day until you make it. 9-5 is the bare minimum, but it will not likely build your life and turn it from a good life to a great life.

Your Bubble

One final point, and I think I’d like to go deeper into this in another post, is in regards to your personal bubble. Remember back in primary school how teachers would refer to your personal bubble as the foot of space around your body? Similar concept. Your personal bubble are the people, activities, or influences that you keep close to you in your life. These things will effect how you live your life, spend your time, and deal with your money. It’s very important to surround yourself with people and things that build you up and encourage you to achieve your goals, not spend time with people who will bring you down. Love your friends, I’m not trying to say to ditch them entirely, I’m just saying to deliberately make friends – think about why you like certain people and what they do to benefit your life. Think then about what you can do to return the favour. Don’t leach from successful people, or you may find that they’re no longer around you as much  as they used to be.

Determination

What Drives Me To Success

I’ll give you a little background  about me. I am currently twenty years old and four years out of high school. I failed high school, I didn’t go to uni, but I am not letting these milestones pass without taking a lesson from them.

Life Happens, Regardless

Life happens, and some things will happen that we don’t have control over. We’ve also done things that have rippled through our timelines and effected our futures. We need to keep this in mind, and make the best decisions for the long run. Keeping this in mind, we also need to learn to move on from things that have happened in the past.

One thing that drives me to be successful is remembering who I used to be. I compare who I was to who I want to be, and then act on it. This is what got me past some of the worst points of my life and on track to achieving great success early in life, and I’m only just beginning.

Mindset and Reminders 

It’s all mindset, you’ve heard this before and will again. Determination and discipline are what I live by now. I remind myself everywhere of what I want all the time so I don’t forget: Red 2017 Tesla is my iPhone wallpaper, I subscribed to RealEstate emails, etc. It’s like when you go bowling and put up the gates to keep the ball on track, but in your head.

Environmental Factors

Finally, and I think this is the most important thing, your environment is everything. If you surround yourself with people who crave success like you do, the chances are that you will follow suit and be successful. You’ll also challenge them to do more. If you surround yourself with people who are always complaining and never make headway in their own lives, you’ll soon start to find that you haven’t been spoon-fed enough in life either. You’ll want more, and you’ll do less. It’s harsh, but simple.