Why happiness cost me £70,000

Why happiness cost me £70,000

I won’t slow down. I will never stop. I am on a mission: a mission to change the world – your world.

My vision is a world where everyone has the choice to live the life of their dreams. It’s ambitious, ridiculous even, but that day will come. The movement began years ago and it feels, to me, like it is gathering pace. Christopher Columbus, Albert Einstein, Emmeline Pankhurst, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Toby Robbins…there are people from every decade who are forging a new path: a path built on the freedom to choose one’s own destiny; a path where the action we take determines the life we build.

On my own journey to living the life of my dreams I have hit many obstacles, fallen into lots of traps and succumb to countless temptations. The biggest battle I face – and I believe we all face – is waking up to, and unplugging from ‘the Matrix’: this made up world where we all compete with salaries, home sizes, cars, job titles and power, giving up our own happiness to ‘keep up with the Jone’s’.

In 2011, I left the formal world of paid employment to set up my own business: to build my own dream. It took me four full years to realise that I hadn’t pursued my own dreams at all, I’d just followed the money to ‘be in business’. When I realised, I had a choice – push on and continuing taking the money (things were going well, after all and clients were very happy), or make a dramatic change and choose happiness by pursuing my dreams instead. The choice I made put me into £70,000 of debt overnight and I didn’t care. If I die today, I would rather die with £70,000 of debt than that with one regret. I have no regrets.

People will judge me for this (they have!) and again, I don’t care. I am happy and fulfilled. I am a good person and I took this decision for the right reasons. I should add, too, I’m honouring all my debt and am already down to £50,000, with plans in place to clear the debt by May 2016. It’s a short period of (high) discomfort, in exchange for happiness for the rest of my life. It’s the price I paid, for the most valuable lesson of all: money won’t make you happy and you don’t need to have a penny to be happy. Believe me, I know!

I mean, when push comes to shove, what does it all mean? I know a lot of ‘rich’, unhappy people. I know a lot of people with gorgeous partners but empty relationships. I know a lot of ‘successful’, unhealthy people. Why do we allow ourselves to give up our own happiness, sense of worth and even health to make other people happy – to fit in; to conform? It’s a mousetrap.

I refuse to do this and I always have, but it’s fair to say I am becoming more and more vocal about this and I’m taking bigger and bigger action to make this a way of life for myself and the people around me.

Things are about to get even more ‘raw’ at IX7. I’m finding my voice, I’m developing my style and I’m building a group of people who share the view that: happiness is a choice, you determine your own destiny and life is too short to waste satisfying other people’s expectations of you. Stay away from negs, build your own dream (not someone’s else’s), look to yourself for confidence and risk losing it all every day!

I was in London last week. Walking from Bank to Shoreditch I noticed how the greys and blacks of city suits, polished shoes and short-cut, tidied hair faded smoothly into the coloured trousers, boots of all types and tousled hair. Looking up to the city slick, corporate buildings I saw window upon window of people sat at desks and on the phone in cubicles. They were all staring at the computers, or screens of some sort, working away…”on what?”, I thought.

Life is short, and it’s precious. We’re granted a short period on this planet and every day you expend, you can’t get back. Steve Jobs once said that if he looks at his ‘to do’ list and realises he is spending too many days doing something he doesn’t enjoy, he makes a change in that moment. How many of us choose to complain about our jobs, homes, partners, friends instead of making a change like this?

I always say that “if I died today, I would have no regrets”. And that is largely true. I am making my own decisions, carving my own path and going in my own direction. I have determined a trajectory for my life and the actions I take either keep me on that trajectory, or take me off it. It’s all on me.

Therefore, things are about to get even more ‘raw’ at IX7.

I don’t care what people think of me, and if someone doesn’t like what I have to offer, I won’t hang around, not out of pride, not for money and certainly not for my reputation. If you know me, then you know what I stand for: empowering ourselves to grow, choosing happiness and taking big actions towards our dream lives. The path I’m walking isn’t perfect: there is no map but I won’t slow down and I’ll never stop in my mission to awaken more and more people to this life of freedom, choice and happiness.

Get ready.


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