Disappearing from the Face of the Earth: My Time in the Lake District

Have you ever thought about disconnecting from the world as you know it, and unplugging yourself from the “familiar” life that you live?

Social media – people – your surroundings. All of it.

Removing yourself from the ‘known’ and plonking yourself in the “unknown” with nothing but a few bare essentials and your thoughts to keep you company.

Well, about 3 weeks ago I decided to do just that.

Life can get overwhelmingly noisy with the constant pings of social media and the relentless pace of social obligations. Recognizing my need for a break, I decided to step back from it all—deactivating my social media accounts and setting aside my usual social activities. Instead, I ventured to my retreat in the Lake District, seeking tranquility and a deeper connection with myself.

Why I Stepped Away from Social Media

The decision to take a break from social media was spur of the moment and was ‘instant’, and the benefits were immediate and profound. Without the distraction of always reaching for my phone and the unnecessary need to present a curated version of my life, I found a greater sense of freedom. Each day without social media restored a bit of calm and allowed me to appreciate the moments without reaching for my phone. This break helped me realize how much of my time and mental energy was being consumed by digital platforms. It’s refreshing to live without the urge to document every experience or check for updates constantly.

The Beauty of Nature and Solitude

The Lake District, with its serene lakes and impressive mountains, provided the perfect backdrop for self-reflection and rejuvenation. As I walked through the lush trails and set up camp under the open sky (wild camping! I highly recommend it), I felt a connection to the natural world that was both grounding and uplifting. The simple acts of hiking to the rhythm of my own footsteps and sleeping under the stars helped clear my mind. The quiet hours spent in nature were not lonely but filled with a rich sense of solitude that nurtured my inner self. Nature’s simplicity became a canvas for my thoughts, helping me to brainstorm ideas and solve problems that seemed insurmountable in the hustle of everyday life.

Learning to Enjoy My Own Company

Spending time alone in the Lake District further re-enforced the idea of appreciating my own company. At first, the quiet can seem unfamiliar, but it soon becomes a comforting presence. Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely; it means having the space to meet yourself deeply and honestly. This time alone has strengthened my confidence and taught me that my own company is not just enough—it’s enjoyable. These moments of solitude are precious, as they allow personal insights and a deeper understanding of one’s desires and fears.

Focusing on What Matters

Away from the noise, your priorities will become clearer. You’ll realize that much of your stress is related to things beyond your control, driven by the world’s demands and the complex web of social expectations. By stepping back, you can focus on your own personal goals and values. In my case, this mental space opened up new paths for creativity, allowing me to concentrate on work projects that needed my attention without the usual distractions. More importantly, it reminded me of the power of making choices that align with my own happiness and well-being.

Sharing this journey is not just about recounting my experiences but about encouraging you to find your own peace away from the digital chaos. Whether it’s turning off your phone for a day, exploring a local trail, or spending a quiet evening with your thoughts, the benefits can be profound. Disconnecting from the digital world or even social circles even for a short time can help reconnect you with what truly matters—yourself, your loved ones, and the simple beauty of the world around you.

It’s important to embrace the opportunity to slow down and savor life’s simple pleasures. After all, the most meaningful moments often come not from a screen but from our real-life experiences and the introspection they foster – and most of the time, these ‘moments’ won’t cost you as dime. As the saying goes “The best things in life are free!”. They truly are!

My Future Plans

As I look ahead, the next chapter of my journey is just as thrilling. Soon, I will be setting off for Australia, followed by a month or two in Bali. This marks the beginning of an extended period of travel that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.

In recent months I have traveled to Bali, Thailand and India, as well as some European destinations but I’ve decided to ramp this up further and treat being ‘overseas’ as more of a home than a ‘holiday’.

These destinations promise new adventures and experiences, and I’m excited to immerse myself in different cultures and landscapes once again. My commitment to exploring more of the world is about living fully and embracing the diverse beauty our planet has to offer, and there really is a lot of beauty in the world if you know where to look.

Also, to make the most of the time I have. We aren’t immortal and tomorrow is never promised.

As I prepare for these travels, the overarching message I want to leave you with is simple: do what makes you happy. Whether it’s traveling to far-off lands, spending quiet days in nature, being home with family or anything in between, remember that you have one life to live. Make it count.

Pursue the experiences that enrich your soul and open your heart. After all, happiness is a journey, not a destination, and it’s yours to shape with each bold, brave step you take.

Find your inner peace and happiness won’t be far away.

Love and light!

Andy Black

P.s. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever done anything ‘spur of the moment’? Taken a break from social media or disconnected from the world around you? Feel free to leave a comment below.

What’s Really Holding You Back? An Important Lesson that I was Reminded of During My Trip to Bali

On Wednesday my 5 week trip to Bali came to an end, and what an amazing trip it was. I instantly fell in love with the island and that fondness grew stronger over the duration of my stay.

However, there’s one particular part of this trip that had really struck a chord with me. That reminded me of something important that I would like to share with you.

One day I decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Canggu where my villa was and spend a night at Lovina beach with is a 2-hour ‘motorbike’ ride up towards the top of Bali.

To get to this part of Bali you have to ride up into the mountains before coming back down them into Lovina. It was a breathtaking journey and I loved every minute of it. However, I saw something whilst starting my ascent up the mountain. Something that blew my mind in disbelief.

After passing through a crazy amount of bustling traffic and making my way through the sweeping roads was a sight that was both astonishing and inspiring. At first, all I could see was a mountain of merchandise, an eclectic mix of stock items that seemed to defy gravity. It was only when I looked closer that I realized there was a moped underneath, and riding it was a man whose determination was palpable even from a distance.

This wasn’t just any moped; it was a small, humble machine, clearly not designed to carry such a heavy load. And the roads? They were steep, with sharp bends that would challenge even the most experienced rider. Yet, here was this man, navigating through traffic, balancing his business on two wheels, and heading towards the mountains with a purpose that was as clear as day.

A quick photo I snapped just before I passed by

It made me wonder: How many times have we held ourselves back, waiting for the perfect moment or the right tools? How often have we let the lack of resources deter us from pursuing our dreams? Here was a man who, by all accounts, didn’t have the “right” equipment for his journey. Yet, he was pushing forward, undeterred by the challenges, driven by sheer passion and ambition – and probably the need to provide for himself and his family.

This man’s journey on his overloaded moped was a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and tenacity. It was a vivid reminder that the path to our dreams is often laden with obstacles, but it’s our will and determination that determine our success, not the tools we possess.

Starting a business, pursuing a dream, or taking that leap of faith requires courage. It’s easy to find excuses: “I don’t have the right resources,” “The timing isn’t right,” or “I’ll wait for the perfect moment.” But the truth is, there will never be a perfect moment. Conditions will never be just right. Waiting for the stars to align might mean waiting forever.

The moped man of Bali didn’t wait. He didn’t let the size of his moped or the weight of his merchandise hold him back. He took action, fueled by a burning desire to succeed. His journey was a powerful lesson in perseverance, a reminder that it’s not about having the best tools but about making the best of what you have.

So, to anyone reading this, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a dreamer, or someone standing on the precipice of a significant decision, remember the moped man. Remember that the road to success is paved with challenges, but it’s our passion and ambition that drive us forward. Don’t wait for the perfect moment or the right tools. The best time to start is now.

In the grand tapestry of life, it’s the threads of passion, ambition, and action that weave the most beautiful patterns. It’s the stories of people like the moped man that inspire us to push beyond our limits, to defy the odds, and to chase our dreams with unwavering determination.

As I continued my journey up the mountain with a warm, happy smile on my face, the image of the moped man faded into the distance, but the lesson he imparted remained. In that fleeting moment, he became a symbol of hope, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit. And as the sun set on that beautiful Balinese day, I was reminded of the infinite possibilities that await us when we choose to take action, regardless of the circumstances.

So, here’s to the dreamers, the doers, and the believers. Here’s to those who, like the moped man, teach us that there’s no excuse not to start, no reason to wait, and no obstacle too great. All you need is passion, ambition, and the courage to take that first step. The journey might be challenging, but the destination is worth every twist and turn.

To your health, wealth and happiness.

Andy Black

P.s. – Feel free to drop me a comment below!

9 Ways to Become Financially Free and Protect Yourself from Debt

Over the last year or so I have been reflecting on my life and ways in which I can improve it.

One particular area is FINANCES.

Yes… Money!

Although money isn’t the most important thing in life it can impact us in many ways. Both positively, and negatively.

Money can be liberating, and can set us free. It can also weigh us down and if we’re not careful, bury us.

It’s no secret – Getting your finances in order is important. However, many people get dazzled by lifestyle and ‘stuff’ and before they know it, their financial situation is out of control.

Here’s the thing – I’ve made some really bad choices when it comes to money.

Choices that have cost me a lot of money and have caused me many sleepless nights over my lifetime.

If you can relate to this then the purpose of this post isn’t to rub salt in the wounds, but rather provide you with some ‘rules’ that can change your financial situation and steer you on the right path.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and interviews recently. All of which are from successful people.

People who have made the RIGHT choices and avoided the common pitfalls that many of us fall into – and have become millionaires as a result.

I’ve taken down notes from all of these podcasts and interviews and have collated I’ve taken down notes from all of these podcasts and interviews and have collated 9 common ‘mantras’ (rules) that these successful millionaires have shared.

Rules that they applied to stay debt free, build wealth and live a less stressful lifestyle.

Here they are – So take notes!

#1: Live Below Your Means

Although this is an obvious one I wanted to include it because it’s one of the most common pitfalls that leads to debt.

This rule is simple: Spend less than you earn.

The majority of people need instant gratification. They buy ‘stuff’ on a whim without really asking themselves if they can afford it or not.

Credit card purchases can snowball, and trust me, if you have to purchase an item using a credit card because you don’t have the money – You’re unlikely to have the money later to pay off the credit card.

It’s a viscous circle – Don’t do it.

Live within your means, because living above that will eventually bury you financially.

#2: Don’t Try to Keep Up With the Jones’s

I’m assuming you’ve heard this term before. It means stop taking note of what other people have around you, and then trying to outdo them.

Buying things you don’t want, to impress people you don’t even like, is a sure way to get yourself into debt.

What others have is of no concern to you. Stay in your own lane and focus on yourself.

#3: Make Sure You’re On the Same Page With Your Partner or Spouse

If you have a partner or spouse then it’s important that you’re on the same page when it comes to goals and finances.

There’s no point in one of you being careful with money, or saving – If the other is being frivolous with money.

You need to be on the path. The same journey – together.

If you’re not then you’ll see the push / pull affect. Not only will this prevent you from achieving your financial goals, it will also cause severe problems in your relationship or marriage.

So, sit down and talk – and get on the same page!

#4: Don’t Change Your Standard of Living When You Get a Raise

When people get a raise with their salary, or their income increases, the first thing that they tend to do is increase their standard of living.

They spend more. They buy more stuff. Buy a bigger house. Buy a better car. Buy expensive clothes. Eat out more. Etc.

People who are successful and have reached a high level of wealth usually do the opposite. They retain their standard of living and make smarter decisions with the extra income. This leads us perfectly onto rule #5.

#5: Save or Invest Money Frequently

Saving or investing money is what builds wealth. You should invest frequently, no matter how small.

Saving and investing money has the same mechanics as accumulating debt, but in a different order.

Debts can snowball easily – But so can saving and investing.

By putting money aside each and every month, no matter how small – It will soon grow.

Remember: Consistency is key here!

#6: Think Carefully Before Any Significant Purchases

A big mistake that many people make is buying something that they didn’t really need, and often with hindsight, didn’t even want.

Instant gratification can feel good – in the short term.

But delayed gratification will help prevent you from making hasty buying decisions. Decisions that you may regret shortly after.

Take a day or two before buying anything sizeable and ask yourself whether you REALLY need or want it.

#7: Keep Yourself Free from the Love of Money

That’s right! Keep yourself free from the love of money and be satisfied with what you have.

When you are grateful for everything you already have in your life, you’ll stop chasing the things you don’t.

The truth is, if you’re always chasing ‘more’ you’ll never be satisfied with what you have.

It can become very costly too! Do you really want to live your life that way?

#8: Don’t Buy Brand New Cars or Have Hefty Car Payments

In a normal household, cars are usually the 2nd largest purchase you’ll make (after a house or property).

The truth is that car repayments can often be more than a mortgage repayment, and often with a higher interest rate too.

One of the secrets of obtaining wealth is to NOT buy a new car until you have reached financial independence.

Those that have achieved financial freedom state that if you can’t afford to buy a new car outright, you CAN’T afford the car.

Until you reach that point – stay within your means and buy a cheaper, used car that will have less of an impact on your finances – and that will depreciate at a slower rate.

#9: Create a Budget

This should be the first step you make when deciding to get out of debt and build wealth.

Without a monthly budget you’re essentially stumbling around in the dark.

Every dollar / pound that you earn should be accounted for. Create a list of categories that relate to your outgoings and set STRICT amounts for each one.

Stick to those amounts and then any remaining money that is left over can be paid off debts, paid off your mortgage, or invested.

A budget allows you to spend your money, but in a controlled way.

It’s also required if you want to achieve financial freedom.

Remember – Pay no attention to those around you who flaunt big houses, flashy cars, expensive clothes and luxury holidays.

The majority of the time it’s simply ‘smoke and mirrors’.

You see, debt can look good – But most of the time these people are broke and living from paycheck to paycheck, trying to keep up with payments whilst trying to keep up appearances.

So, don’t be like the Jones’s – Play the long game. The smart game, and financial freedom will be within your reach.

To your success

Andy Black

Are You a Student of Life?

As a 46 year old, it’s only been the last few years that I have really taken stock of my life and realised what is important, and what isn’t.

If I’m facing any kind of struggle or dilema I ask myself these questions.

‘Does this really matter?’

‘Will this matter in a year or two from now?’

‘Will this matter when I’m on my death bed?’ (Hopefully many years from now).

Usually, the answer is ‘No’.

  • – We get consumed by so many things in life.
  • – We argue with those we care about.
  • – We get embroiled in drama.
  • – We spend far too much time worrying about things and being anxious.
  • – We stretch ourselves too far financially, buying flashy things to impress other people we do not even care about.

The list goes on.

Over the last year I have directed my energy into aspects of my life that will ‘enhance my life’ and make me a better person.

For me, it’s all about personal growth. We never stop learning, and nor should we.

Instead of worrying about the things I don’t have, I’m grateful for the things I do have.

My family, good friends, my health – and the health of those I care about. The sun on my face, fresh air, and long walks with my dog.

Every day is a blessing. It truley is.

It’s not all about having the latest gadgets, cars or a flashy life-style.

When you start to live a life of gratitude, and are thankful for all the good things you do have in your life, it’ll make you a much more fulfilled, happier person.

Having goals is one thing – But forever chasing ‘stuff’ will distract you from what’s right in front of you, right here, right now.

Never Stop Learning From Others

I love learning about mindset, happiness, relationships, gratitude, forgiveness, business, and life in general.

Two Podcasts I have been listening to lately are ‘School of Greatness’ and ‘Super Soul’.

They include many interviews with some exceptional, inspirational people. I recommend you have a listen to those.

Question: Do you listen to Podcasts? If so, which ones do you listen to?

Feel free to drop a comment below and share your favourite Podcasts, and why.

That’s all for today.

Wishing you health, happiness and success.

Andy Black

5 Things that Will Help You to Succeed in 2022

First of all – Happy New Year!

Although the world around us is uncertain at the best of times, we essentially define our own future and outcome.

What we put in, we get out – When we apply the right mindset and attitude.

So to help you start your new year with a bang I wanted to share 5 mindset practices that you can apply to make 2022 a successful year for you.

Have Goals

The first one is to have goals. Goals give us direction in life and without them we would merely be stagnating, procrastinating and spending too much time on the wrong things.

Goals lead us to a sense of achievement and it’s important for us to get excited about our goals. When we get excited about the prospect of reaching our goals, we enjoy the journey more.

When we enjoy the journey, we’re ‘doing what we love’. So find passion in what you do and work towards your goals.

Believe in Yourself

Believing in yourself is important. We live in a world where others pull apart your dreams because they have none of their own.

It’s easy to be influenced by the opinions of others, and often it is by those closest to us. If every successful person listened to the opinions of others, they wouldn’t be where they are now.

Set your goals, get passionate about them, grow a thick skin and consistently push forward. It’s okay to make mistakes – It’s normal. But don’t let people sat on the sidelines pull you down to their ‘comfort zone’.

Stay Motivated

I recently wrote a blog post about motivation. We all need ‘Motivation’ to start something, but it’s not enough to ‘finish’ it.

It’s good practice to stay as motivated as you possibly can, even though you’ll have days that you won’t feel motivated at all – and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

A good way to keep motivated is to keep reminding yourself of your goals and track your progress. Add in small rewards when you reach certain markers, or complete a set of ‘micro tasks’.

Rewarding yourself is good as it adds a sense of gamification to your work. This could be a new watch if you hit your monthly target, a night away with your significant other, or even a nice takeaway. It will encourage you to work towards your goals.

Be Disciplined

Motivation helps you to start something and DISCIPLINE helps you to finish it.

Discipline is vital if you want to succeed at anything. If you have no discipline you won’t make progress.

Discipline is doing something no matter what, even if you don’t feel like doing it. When you master this mindset, you’ll be unstoppable.

The best way to keep disciplined is to break down larger tasks into smaller tasks, and only commit to the next smaller task.

Large tasks can overwhelm us and they can be mentally tiring just thinking about them – Whilst small, simple tasks don’t carry the same burden.

Make a list of micro-tasks and commit to them one at a time. When we complete one, we’re more than likely to move onto the next one with ease.

Be Willing to Adjust and Adapt

This is one of the most important practices to apply in your life.

None of us are perfect and when we’re building a business or working towards a goal – we get things wrong.

It’s normal. However, if we keep doing the same thing when things aren’t working out, we’ll never get it right.

We’re essentially swimming upstream and getting nowhere.

That’s why it is vital to down tools and evaluate what could be going wrong, and look at ways to change it.

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb back in 1879 and it took him over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before he succeeded.

It’s also noted that his teachers famously said that he was “too stupid to learn anything”.

Well, it was a good job he didn’t let others diminish the belief he had in himself, and was willing to adjust and adapt with his quest to invent the lightbulb.

Remember, we all learn on the job. If we were meant to get it right first time, everyone would be a millionaire and highly successful.

The truth is, we will fail more times than we succeed – But that is what creates our journey. Pretty exciting, right?

Final Thoughts

The world is your oyster and you steer your own boat in life.

Those that have reached a high level of success have often battled through high levels of adversity to get there.

You can do the same!

Carve out your plan – Set your goals – Get excited – But most importantly, enjoy the journey.

Here’s to a successful, happy and prosperous 2022.

Andy Black

Why Motivation Alone isn’t Enough to Succeed

It’s true! For many of us, motivation is ‘key’ to take action and do something. Whether it is work related, fitness related, or something else – when we are motivated, we ‘get stuff done’.

However, motivation alone isn’t enough to succeed and reach our goals.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and have come to this conclusion.

Motivation is a ‘state of mind’ that is needed for us to start something. To pluck up enough will power to take action and ‘move forward’ with something.

However, motivation fluctuates and isn’t sustainable. Motivation works in much the same way as our moods. Some days we can feel happy, whilst other days we can feel sad. Motivation is a phase. It’s a peak that we reach when we are excited about something. But it never lasts.

Have you ever wondered why so many people join a gym at the start of the New Year and then quit before they reach the end of January?

It’s because they saw the New Year as an exciting, fresh start, and pictured themselves looking slimmer, sexier, and more athletic – ready for the summer ahead.

The ‘vision’ that they focused on gave them enough excitement and motivation to ‘start’. But not ‘finish’.

So, what is lacking? What do you need to finish something you have started? Or stick at something for longer than a few days or weeks?

The answer is – Discipline.

Unfortunately, discipline isn’t as easy to master as motivation.

It’s easy to get motivated and excited about something – but much harder to develop a discipline ‘mindset.

So what is discipline?

Discipline is doing something even when we don’t feel like doing it. It’s about doing a specific task no matter what. Making it a rule – a non-negotiable.

When you have a discipline mindset it becomes a habit. Habits are formed through repetition. The more we do something ‘repetitively’ the stronger, and easier that habit becomes. That’s discipline!

How to create a discipline mindset?

The best way to start forming healthy habits and creating a discipline mindset is to break your overall task down into smaller commitments.

These are micro-commitments that lead us towards completion of our task.

Let me use ‘going to the gym’ as an example – Although this concept can be used for anything.

For many people – taking a day off from the gym is easy to do. It might be raining. They have to ‘get changed into their gym gear’. They may have to drive to the gym. It’s not always doing the ‘task’ itself that leads people to failure – It’s often the steps that are required to get them there.

(And they’ll find any excuse NOT to do it, to justify themselves)

In this instance what you need to do is not think about the entire task, but simply the first step – Getting ready.

After getting ready – the next step might be to get there. Just focus on that. Don’t even think about your gym session at this stage. Just focus on getting there.

Once you’re there, focus on the first exercise. Don’t think about the HOUR that you have committed to this session – Just focus on that first exercise.

Once you have finished that, commit to the next exercise.

Do you see the pattern here? It’s about focusing on one small aspect of the overall task, at a time.

When we focus on an entire task it can drain our will power. If we’re not feeling motivated on that day, the prospect of getting to the gym and hammering out a full gym session can seem tiring and overwhelming. Hence why it’s easier to ‘just not go’.

And remember – When we skip once, it’s twice as easy for us to skip the next time. Hence why so many people quite when they don’t have a discipline mindset.

This technique can be used for all areas of your life. Fitness, business, for tackling large projects – anything.

The key to success really is a combination of motivation and discipline – and rarely will you succeed in life without them.

Stay motivated… Stay disciplined!

To your success!

Andy Black

Why We Should Be Moving to a 4 Day Work Week

Did you know that in the 1930’s, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that ‘eventually’ people would be working a 15 hour week.

His analysis shown huge leaps in technology, production and automation.

However, his prediction was wrong – and in modern times the average person works 5 days per week, equating to 37-40 hours of their life, each week, engrossed in work.

Do you know why? Consumerism.

After the 1930’s technology advanced and cars, computers, TV’s and electrical gadgets were in reach of the average person – almost.

People wanted stuff and ‘keeping up with the Jones’ became a thing. People wanted the house, the car, the electrical goods – and that all came at a price!

But here’s the thing – Humans aren’t biologically built to work long hours. In fact, humans are generally productive for around 2.5 hours per day – with regards to work.

Meaning that the rest of the time we are less productive – yet glued to our desks, work stations or place of work.

Over recent years there has been a movement. Groups of people who are campaigning for a 4 day work week – Giving people more time with their friends and family, and more time to live their lives.

After all – That’s the whole point of living, right?

So, what’s the thought process behind the 4-day work week?

Studies have been carried out that proves we can work less hours, and still achieve the same level of work (or even more).

In fact, trials for the 4-day work week were carried out in Iceland with overwhelming success.

People in Iceland had their work days reduced down to 4 days per week whilst getting paid the same, but for shorter hours.

Productivity remained the same for the majority of workplaces, and in some cases it even increased.

The reason for this is because working less results in less stress. Freeing up that extra day to spend as you like increases happiness, productivity and focus.

People found that due to the extra time off work, they were able to effectively compress their workload into a 4 day week.

Their work didn’t suffer, and their life was improved. Sounds like a win / win situation, right?

Over the last month or two I have been researching this, as this is something that I want to move to myself. In fact, my goal eventually is to move to a 3-day work week. Work Monday to Wednesday (and be extremely focused) and free up Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to do as I please.

Hike, explore, and live my life whilst I’m able to.

My business is VERY flexible as it is, and if I want to take time off, I do it. However, it would be good to make this a way of life, rather than a ‘spur of the moment’ whim.

Would you like to work less and LIVE more? Do you think you can find a way to do it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so feel free to post a comment below.

Remember, you’re in charge of your own life, and if you want to make changes in your life, you have the power and will to do so.

It’s simple – Formulate a plan and then execute it.

We have one shot at this thing called life and it’s your responsibility to create the life you want. I know I am.

To your success

Andy Black

When You Re-evaluate What’s Important in Your Life

Well, it’s been a long time since I have posted on my blog – but that’s about to change.

As we’re nearing the end of a difficult period (globally), there’s been a lot of lessons learned.

Probably more realisations than lessons, but this pandemic has certainly changed the way I think about life, in a good way.

Here’s why.

Since a fairly young age I used to have big dreams. I was never sure how I would reach those dreams but it was surely fun to focus on them – and hope that one day I would be living them.

Dreams of a big house with a pool. Sports cars. Designer clothes. Exotic holidays. Everything that ‘many’ people strive for, or want.

Well, that is what I thought I used to want – and for many of those things – I achieved it.

However, even though my dreams were always big, my core focus was always on creating more freedom and flexibility in my life.

Since March 2020 when the first lockdown happened I started to change my perspective on life. My thought processes changed, and as everything that I ‘sometimes took for granted’ was taken away from me, I started to appreciate the simple things in life.

The free things – Such as long walks with my dog. Fresh air on a lovely Spring morning.

Travel was off the agenda. The pubs and bars were closed. Restaurants were shut, and the social amenities that were once accessible on a whim, were closed for business.

The usual things I could spend or squander my money on were no longer in arms reach.

As the reality kicked in I started to realise one thing. I didn’t NEED many of these things in my life. I mean, they were nice additions – sometimes. But I didn’t need them.

That got me thinking about how much money I could have saved if I weren’t so frivolous – and how that money could have been put to better use.

More importantly – It got me thinking how much time I could free up if I didn’t burden myself, or my life, with expensive – unnecessary hobbies, habits and past times.

As I started to enjoy the simpler things in life and valuing my natural surroundings more, it made me want to make real changes in my life and how I live it.

One of the things I now love doing is going hiking in the local hills, moors and countryside. Except for a little fuel money – It costs me nothing. Yet the rewards and benefits are immeasurable.

(Above are just a few photos of these fun outings!)

I now also value my friends and family more too. I always did value them, but I’m talking about a ‘higher level’ of appreciation. Really appreciating the moments I get to spend with them.

I always say – You don’t need many friends. You just need good ones.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about removing ‘stress’ from my life, and even downsizing.

Cutting out the clutter from my life, getting rid or giving away stuff I don’t need – and just living a simpler life.

I’m not talking about extreme minimalism. Just streamlining my belongings and removing things that will hinder my life moving forward. Generally speaking – Consumerism.

Many people work towards retirement. It takes them years because of the financial commitments they make and the lifestyles they lead. Keeping up with the Jones costs money!

For me – It’s about creating the kind of life you don’t need to retire from. That’s now paramount to me.

I want to live my life now, enjoy my life now, and for it to be on my own terms – Rather than grinding for years, hoping that I’ll reach the age that I’ll finally retire. An age where physical illness is more likely to rear it’s ugly head.

Keep an eye out for my next blog post which is going to be about ‘working a 3 or 4 day work week’, and WHY people should work towards that.

I‘d Love to Hear Your Thoughts and Feedback Regarding this Post

Has the pandemic changed the way you live your life? Has it shifted your mindset in anyway?

I’d love to hear your thoughts – So please do drop a comment below this post.

To your success

Andy Black

Things Turning Bad? Fed Up? Zero Motivation? This Might Help

I’ve been having a bit of a hard time recently that has prompted me to write this short post.

I wanted to share with you the 6 things that I think about when I hit these periodic lulls, and let’s face it. We all hit lulls at one time or another.

These 6 things help me to bring my life, work and everything else into balance – So here goes…

#1: Put things into Perspective

Your problems affect YOU and other people don’t or won’t always understand what you’re going through. However, it’s always good to remind yourself that there are ALWAYS people who are much worse off than you right now. People who are going through real trauma and tough times.

When you think about that, it makes your problems seem less significant, and it helps remind you how lucky you are compared to others.

#2: Accept that Life Isn’t Always Going to be Easy

Just like happy and successful times come along, bad and unhappy times can come along also. It’s life, and we have to deal with it. Times can be testing, difficult and upsetting but when you truly accept that this is part of your experience you can often turn those times into a positive. You can learn from them and develop / improve as a person.

Remember, it’s only during hard times you’ll really discover who you are and what you’re made of.

#3: Nothing Lasts Forever

It’s easy to hit a lull or fall upon bad times and forget that it’s only temporary.

You get caught up in your situation and your feelings start to snowball. You become disheartened, lose your motivation, become irritable, and maybe even want to give up.

But the truth is bad times do come to an end. Nothing lasts forever and bad cycles will pass – Brighter, more successful days lay ahead.

#4: What Seems Big Now Will Be Insignificant in the Future

That’s right! That relationship that is recently over and burning a whole in your heart will mean nothing in 10 years from now.

That debt that is hanging around your head likely won’t exist in 5 or 10 years from now.

That job that you didn’t get – Pfftt! A better one will come along.

The fact of the matter is, little things can stress us all out. But ask yourself this – In 5,10, or even 20 years from now will you even remember it? Will it have impacted your life in any shape or form.

The answer is, “probably NOT!”.

#5: You’ve Survived Your Worse Days So Far

You need to remember that up to the present day, you have survived your worse days and are still here.

You probably won’t even realize how many bad times you have survived already in your life – It will be a lot.

Give yourself some credit and realize that you have survived every hard / bad / sad time so far in your life and you’re still here moving forward.

Heart aches, failures, break ups, grievances. You’ve beat them all and you can do it again.

#6: Tomorrow is a New Day

There’s a reason the sun rises on a morning, and the clocks reset at the start of a new day.

It’s because it’s a new day and an opportunity to get out of bed on the right foot and start a fresh.

Yesterday was a bad day for me. Everything that could have gone wrong did. But I took 10 minutes out of my day, sat down with a coffee and thought about the things that I have outlined in this post and it helped me regain my emotions and focus.

Guess what – I woke up this morning feeling a lot better.

We all have good and bad days, but every single day is a chance to start a fresh with a strengthened mindset, new ambitions, and the willingness to move forward.

Let the above points embed themselves into your mind and every time things seem hard, re-iterate them.

You’ll be back on track before you know it.

If you can relate, or have any tips / thoughts of your own, I’d love to hear from you – drop a comment below!

To your success and future happiness

Andy Black

Measuring Your Success and Happiness Against Others, and WHY Not to do it

Today I felt compelled to sit down and write about something that I see so many people falling into the trap of.

And that is “Measuring their success against other peoples”.

I see this all the time, and at one point in my life, I was the same. To the point it sucked up my confidence, made me feel bitter, and left me wondering WHY everyone was successful and happy, when I wasn’t.

However, if recent years have taught me anything, it’s been HOW to focus on myself, my business, and my happiness, and not to compare myself to others.

If you find yourself always comparing yourself to other people, whether this is friends, family, neighbors, or even business associates – And find that it is affecting you, and your growth as a person – Then keep reading.

Here’s a few reasons WHY you should cut out the noise of other people, stop paying attention to what they’re doing, and focus on what YOU’RE doing.

  1. Worrying about what other people have got, what they’re achieving, or how much of an amazing life they “appear” to have only means you have LESS time to focus on yourself. It consumes your time, and time is one thing you only have so much of. Don’t get distracted by others!
  2. Comparing yourself to others can lead to bitterness, and leave you wondering how THEY manage to have it so good, and you haven’t. This bitterness can lead to a lack of confidence, low self esteem and prevent you from moving forward with your ideas – Not to mention, make you feel unhappy. Stop it! Comparing yourself to others is like comparing a chair with an orange. They both do completely different things, some better than the other, and vice versa… Just like you and other people!
  3. Other peoples lives, success and happiness have ZERO impact on your OWN life, success and happiness. We all have different paths, and are all individuals with our own goals, interests and aspirations. Focus on YOU and enjoy the journey, including the failures. It’s what success is built on!
  4. Smoke and mirrors. What do I mean by “smoke and mirrors”? Half of social media is smoke and mirrors, and if you judged peoples lives by their social media, you would assume they were happy, and successful 100% of the time, and living the kind of life you could only dream of. Stop! It isn’t real. They’re showing the best bits, and not sharing all the bad things going on in their life. Don’t think for one minute that everyone else isn’t dealing with curve balls, hurdles and struggles in life. They are, you just don’t see it! When you realize this your own life won’t look so bad.

So, whether you’re comparing your life, happiness or success against a friend, work colleague, family member, neighbor, or anyone else. Stop it.

The only person you need to compete against in life is yourself, and nobody else.

Focus on yourself, and what you’re doing. Trust me, it will bring balance to your life and you’ll feel a lot better for it when you stop comparing yourself to those that have no impact on your life whatsoever.

If you got some value from this blog post, or can relate to this, then feel free to drop me a comment in the comments section below. It would be great to hear from you.

Alternatively, if you own or run any type of website, blog, or even a Shopify store, and would be interested in a “little piece” of technology that will bring your visitors BACK, if they leave – Then feel free to check out a new product called TabEngage that has just been released.

(Simply click on the banner below)

It’s designed to bring those visitors back who open other tabs in their browser, and “lose focus” of your site. Everyone does it!

Just having this little piece of technology installed on your sites / pages will result in more engagement, more actions, and more sales – With no input required from yourself, as it will just work in the background.

To your success!
Andy Black