The one thing I am learning this year is quite simple. It stands alone in a single word. Everybody knows what it means; we use it all the time. At work, at school, in marriage; this is often the magical word associated to those who succeed. It’s a word that I’m learning to love and hate at the same time. Because this year, I’m truly getting the meaning of it. I’m taking a break from my 6 days to dividend growth investing series to talk to you about my personal quest to perseverance.
Perseverance in my life in general
At the beginning of the year, once again I decided to lose weight and get back in shape. This is a super cliché and am sick and tired of seeing myself attempting (and failing) this objective year after year. After a strong start, I usually take a pause of working out around spring, beginning of summer. Then comes the wine and evening long feasts with friends and the belly slowly takes back the place it had lost a short few months ago.
I decided to do something different this year; I don’t allow myself to cheat. Instead of having a somewhat strict diet and workout routine where I can cheat once in a while, I’ve completely stopped eating poorly or larger portions. Once a week, I reward my discipline and it doesn’t become more than that, never. And this is the true meaning of perseverance for me. I run a never ending struggle against my desire to eat. I’m constantly hungry, but I keep going forward, grasping hope in every single pound I lose, in every half inch I lose around my waist.
I also apply this strict rule to my workout schedule. I train four times per week, without exception whatsoever. I even did my workout right before going on vacation two weeks ago and I brought my weights with us to the vacation property we rented for spring break. Perseverance was the key to successfully change my lifestyle habits. I now feel a lot better and I’m getting into seriously great shape! This is the first time I have ever felt this way.
Perseverance with my RV project
Life is busy enough just like that. I have a full time demanding job, I’m married with three kids, coach soccer and involved in other community volunteer projects. I’m not saying my life is busier than yours, I bet you have a busy schedule too. The thing is that we all have a very busy schedule. It is filled with excuses for not doing what really matters. This is what I have found out in my case anyways.
I couldn’t work more on my websites; my day job was already enough. I couldn’t paint my bedroom; weekends were filled with activities already, etc. As of January 2015, we have put our excuses in the trash and now work evenings and weekends when necessary.
In order to go on our RV trip next year, we have to sell our house. That’s the one thing we don’t have much control over; when and who will buy our house? This is why we are currently fixing all the little things in the house, we have painted to freshen it up and we have minimized each room to make it look better. We don’t have more time to do this than we used to, we now just take the time. It requires lots of perseverance to stay up at night to paint or to cancel our afternoon break to clean a room. But we do it, each week, with no exception.
We will soon be ready to put the house up for sale. Then, we have several other things on our to do list to achieve this project; learn Spanish, develop our itinerary across North and Central America and finally, to prepare a school program for a 9 and 11 year old.
Perseverance toward financial freedom
My RV project comes in hand with my financial freedom objective. I want to quit my day job and become my own boss. In order to be able to do this, I intend to live from my websites, mainly this blog and Dividend Stocks Rock, my paid membership site. While DSR is already a success to some extent (it is profitable and growing which is already a big achievement), I get just as excited when I make another sale (which happen every second day) as I am disappointed when I get a cancellation (which happens only 2-3 times per month). In the web industry, paid member lifetime expectancy with one product is usually around 6 months. This is only normal to have a cancellation each month as we grow by 15-20 new members per month right now. Still, each time I receive a cancellation request, it’s a bummer. It makes me forget about all the sales, all the great comments and all members I help on a daily basis by answering their questions by mail.
I work two evening plus one full day per week to grow this site and make my blog better. While I can already see the impact of my additional work after only two full months on my new schedule, I need to kick myself around from time to time to get me onto the computer and keep kranking as Robert, The Dividend Dreamer, would say.
Perseverance as a new moto
I’ll share with you my little secret. The reason why I can achieve what I do now when I couldn’t do that last year. I’m not a different person, I’m not better than anybody else. In fact, I have discovered that everybody can do anything they want in life. Possibilities are limitless, the only reason we don’t go to the end of things is because we restrain ourselves. Yeah… I know, you have read that a thousand times. And this is not my secret.
Here’s what made a difference for me; I make it happen. I don’t allow myself to doubt, to find excuses, to second guess my decision. I focus like a train going forward. I don’t stop, I don’t take a break, I don’t say “I’ll do it tomorrow”. I just make it happen. Many times, my brain sends me incentives to grab a piece of cake, to sit down and play on my brand new PS4 or simply relax by reading. I shut it off and keep going with what is planned. I write what I have to do and since then, I just make it happen.
I recently learned that once you understand what perseverance is, there is a new word coming. This is a word even more powerful than the previous one. And this is what I’m looking to achieve by the end of this year. This word is… resilience.
I know this piece was quite personal, and I am committed to sharing more of my personal story on this blog this year. This is part of my process to open up and share my whole experience. I hope you have enjoyed it. Thank you for reading.