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February 24, 2012

What I`ve learned from Smart People.

I’ve been quietly sourcing information from my friends to get their best advice on what they’ve learned so far in terms of the largest outputs for the smartest inputs towards success.

The general feeling I have gotten was that people keep moving, that there is very little time to stop and reflect. Sabbaticals just don’t happen any more in this country. This group of friends vary from senior CEO’s to PRO athletes and everything in between.

What I would love more than anything, and perhaps this is a pipe dream, is to be able to have the manoeuvrability to be able to drop everything (i.e. it can roll on without me being an active part of day-to-day maintenance) for a big idea and have the means to put everything into this big “opportunity”, whether it be a business, the opportunity to climb Everest or the chance to ride the Silk Route with my fretten.

I am looking for significant financial freedom by my mid 30’s and that is what my life is centered on at the moment. I want complete financial freedom in my 40’s to have the opportunity to raise kids the right way. This is one of the primary drivers in my life.

Lives, and opportunity, have a shelf life. There are windows to follow our dreams; become elite athletes; start a new business; spend time with grandparents; and watch our kids grow. If we don’t grasp those opportunities then the window closes. New windows will open later, but they will be different. You can never get back a closed window.

One of the things I am absolutely grateful for at the moment is my physical power. In my early 30s this is about as good as it gets. I am very aware of that and I plan to be powerful for many decades to come, but I realise how good I have it right now, something I don’t see around me that much.

While living in the present, I keep an eye on the future.

Gordo Byrn recently posted that his successful friends advised him to “put yourself in the middle of people that are what you want to become”. This is huge advice.

This is also good relationship advice. After my last failed relationship I took a year to turn myself into the person I wanted to meet. Only once I was happy with myself did I meet the person who was perfect for me. I am ridiculously happy and this is one of the key reasons for this. I am surprised that more people don’t see this. I am surprised that it took me so long to figure that one out, but grateful that I did.

When I look at my friends that have an enviable lifestyle, regardless of wealth, they follow their own advice to simplify as much as possible. Specific quotes are:

• Things that send bills and demand interest are the devil.
• Sometimes you may not realise the energy something takes from you until it’s gone. I`ve always maintained that true friendship allows me to disappoint you by being true to myself.
• New stuff is overrated. Shoot for new experiences.
• Make sure to be doing one thing really well at a time, rather than being the Jack-Of-All-Trades-Master-Of-None.
• The ability to say NO is one of the most important skills you`ll ever learn.

To quote Gordo again: “It’s important to remember that a simple life isn’t financial management. While it will save you money, the largest payoff is not financial.”

I am feeling the itch to clean out again and next week if you keep an eye out on Twitter, TheHub, etc. you`ll see evidence of a big spring clean for me. Keep it simple, do it now, be true to you.

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