Moving on…

I’m not posting here anymore.

But do not fear…this blog will continue to exist at www.adamstanecki.com.au. See you there!

Babylon

A few posts back I wrote about money and worry. I don’t think that I know anyone who isn’t at least a little worried about money. They’re either worried about the recession/depression, their debt levels, the fact they don’t own a house or that they can’t afford a shiny new watch. Seems to me that we’ve got our heads screwed on the wrong way…again.

Earlier this year I read The Richest Man in Babylon by George Classon. It is a collection of stories that teach you how to get out of debt and become wealthy. And it’s not a bunch of crap like a lot of books on wealth. No get rich quick silliness. Just a lot of ideas that are so sensible they’ve been forgotten and are now uncommonsense.

Here’s the basic premise: of the money that you earn (no matter how much or how little) allocate 10% to savings, 20% to debts and the rest to living expenses. Never pay more than 70% for living expenses and never fail to save and repay debt. This method will get you out of debt, build savings and allow you to live comfortably (although you may have to forgo things you want in the immediate term).

It works. It’s not fast. It’s a simple concept that might be exactly what you need.

A quick challenge

Do you like to travel?

Where do you want to travel next?

What is stopping you getting there in the next 12 months?

How can you remove those obstacles?

What’s the worst that could happen?

What’s the most amazing thing that could happen?

Go and buy yourself a ticket. This week. I dare you!

Money = worry

I’ve worked out over the past few months that the only thing that I actually worry about is money. And I know I’m not alone.

When you break it down there are so few things that we actually really worry about. If you think about your worries I expect you’ll find out that 80% or more are related to money.

The silly thing is that there is heaps of money about. It’s just that you don’t ever seem to have enough of it.

I remember when I was at uni. I earned about $6000 for the whole year in 1995. And amazingly, I was able to go out on the turps, buy piles of CDs and generally have a good time. And I even saved a few dollars. (Yes, I did get a Government allowance too.)

Fast forward a few years I’m earning over $40K as a software developer and I seem to have less money to use freely. What the?

Sound familiar?

Perhaps the problem is spending rather than earning. Perhaps we are too keen to have everything now. Perhaps we really do have enough money and too many wants.

So, what to do? Delay gratification. Earn now, spend later.

And stop worrying damn it!

(I promise I am trying to follow this advice too!)

Catharsis and the art of reducing stuff

Does you own stuff or does stuff own you?

I once had this grand idea that I’d be able to pack my whole life into a 6×4 trailer and move to wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. A fanciful dream it seems because now – at the age of 32 – I have amassed a clutter of absolute crap.

It was never meant to be like this. I’m all for owning the things I need – a hammer, a screwdriver, a few pairs of shoes – you get the idea. So, how did I end up with all this stuff? I think I succumbed to the consumer lifestyle. I wanted it all, and I wanted it now. Thank God I didn’t allow myself to use credit. Perish the thought.

Anyway, I’m midway through listening to Timothy Ferriss’s enlightening book called The 4 Hour Work Week and it has made me take a good, hard look at my accumulated clutter.

So, yesterday, I put on my ruthless hat, told my wife to hold onto our son and clear a path. I was on a mission and I was going to break for no man (or woman). First on the list was my magazine collection, why did I still have magazines from 2003? Out they went. Then I took a look at my bookshelf. I hoarde books. But no more. Out went everything that I merely suspected I’d never be interested in reading again (I kept the ones I love). Then I sifted through the 50 or so books I’d collected and hadn’t read yet. About half I probably will never read, so I’ve sent them off to friends or boxed them up for charity. Then there was my CD collection. Somewhere over 350 CDs and I’ve culled about 30% (I’m going back for more this evening).

And, you know what, I feel great. I was dying under the weight of all my stuff. I was guilty for not reading, listening and watching. But now I can just relax. I’m not doing anything because my stuff demands it.

Feel the catharsis. Go forth and cull. Ruthlessly! And have fun doing it.

A new chapter

I’m in the early stages of launching a dedicated website to host my thoughts, advice and experiences as a young entrepreneur on the path to success. The idea is simple: I’m doing it, so why can’t you (or anyone else)? And I have had and will continue to have ups and downs, so why not let everyone else learn as I do?

Please take a look at The Business Rookie in the near future.

I will still be writing here with a focus on the practice of uncommon sense.

Clarity

The clutter in our lives is getting in the way. Look around. There is clutter everywhere. We are inundated with thousands of marketing messages each day, our work lives are filled with too many tasks to comprehend, we don’t have time to do what we want, we are being swamped.

The clutter is responsible for feeling overwhelmed, for causing worry and anxiety, for making us ill. By removing the clutter and simplifying our lives we can remove many of the negatives that hold us down.

Here are a few ways you can remove the clutter from your life and gain some clarity:

  • Focus on the tasks at hand and do not concern yourself with anything else. Put the blinkers on and dedicate yourself to completing one thing before you move onto the next.
  • Clean up your desk. Remove all the items and papers that have nothing to do with your immediate task.
  • Clean up your computer desktop. If your desktop is cluttered you’ll become confused with where you’ve saved files and your computer will run slower too (it doesn’t like clutter either).
  • Don’t try to please everyone. Know who your friends are. Know who isn’t that important in your life. Still be nice but don’t kill yourself to make everyone else happy except yourself.
  • Visit Zen Habits
  • Create a plan and stick to it (unless it really needs to be changed)
  • Meditate for at least 5 minutes every day. You’ll start to work out what is really important to you.