How To Save More Money!

I have touched on Minimalism in the past, but it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life – a lesson worth learning.

Based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, my personality type – INFJ – is one of the least likely to be financially successful. While I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw yourself into a category and believe you are destined to only achieve so much, it’s probably quite accurate.

Those of us who make creativity a priority are unlikely to strive for much in the Corporate World of business and making money from our passions is not always easy, or possible, despite what all those self-help guru’s suggest. Many of us work just because. Many HSPs really struggle to hold down a job, always searching for the perfect fit.

I have certainly found working to be quite strenuous and uninspiring thus far in my life. Minimalism is excellent in this regard, because it helps you to take a step back and to question whether you really need something, and whether it will really add any value to your life.

Let’s face it – If you struggle to make money, and don’t enjoy doing what has to be done to make that money, then money is especially valuable to you and should only be spent on things that create joy and excitement.

Without wanting to repeat myself like a broken record, I used to spend most of my income on material items. I built up a large collection of DVDs, Blu-rays, Books & Video Games. I have come to learn (the hard way) that you cannot buy happiness. Happiness really is a feeling generated within. You may have noticed that on some days, playing a video game or watching a TV show make you feel really content and peaceful. You aren’t worrying about achieving loads of goals, and you don’t want to be anywhere else. These feelings may be rare, but they go to show us that things are not the answer.

In fact, things often just get in the way of our happiness and leave us feeling like we never have time to do anything important. If you have lots of subscriptions, like Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, WWE Network, Xbox Live – whatever, and you are also are a member of a gym … maybe it’s time to step back and ask yourself, ‘Do I need all of these outgoings? Am I getting value out of my spendings?’

So many people join a gym with enthusiasm and desire, going 4-5 times a week. Then life gets hectic and they struggle to make an appearance even once a week.

The richest people in the World can still feel very insecure and unhappy. While it’s nice to get away from a job you detest, extra money and extra stuff is unlikely to make you any happier … It’s like with food. When you have eaten and are no longer hungry, it loses it’s appeal. If you were a Millionaire, you would probably get very bored and only then would you realise a brand new car is not the answer …

I made a short YouTube video talking about this in more depth, so if you want some inspiration for saving your money (and using it more wisely), be sure to check that out here:

Thanks, as always, for taking the time to read this Blog.

I will see you in the next one.

~ Stefan.

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How to Overcome Social Anxiety

What is the root cause of social anxiety and self-doubt?

Without a doubt, it’s a lack of self-esteem and unwillingness to accept yourself as you are – flaws and all.

In order to be confident around people, you have to OWN your personality, the way you look and what makes you … you. If you are an introvert, or on the shy end of the spectrum, that is okay. But in your mind, you make it not okay. You isolate yourself and feel awkward around others, because you strongly fear their judgement.

What I have learned, after years of struggling with this stuff, is that:

  1. Most people don’t judge you nearly as harshly as you would imagine
  2. You create the reactions you get by the vibe you put out – they are probably looking at you weirdly because you are looking at them weirdly!
  3. It doesn’t matter if people like you. If you are not causing harm to others, then you are a decent human being, and you need to lay off yourself.

I made a YouTube video to emphasize these points, so be sure to check that out right here:

I actually set up a separate channel for High Sensitivity, but given that my existing channel already has a subscriber-base, you are more likely to see me creating content there – so be sure to Subscribe if you want to see more!

I’ll catch you in the next post 🙂

~ Stefan

Cluttered Home, Cluttered Mind …

Among the many days of dark depression and crazy self-destructive thoughts, I have learned a thing or two about this thing called Life through my struggles.

I have realised – sooner than many (and some will never learn) – that happiness does not rely upon external measures, although the outer World can certainly affect the way one feels.

For instance, imagine winning the lottery or being taken hostage by some men wearing masks. Both would obviously make it difficult to remain unchanged. Both are also unlikely to ever occur to you.

During my depression, I accumulated a lot of things. It was never my goal to do this … It just kind of happened. I wasn’t very sociable and didn’t piss away my income on booze at the weekends, like many late-teens/20-somethings do. I probably should have saved the money … I would be thanking myself now.

At one point, in 2011, I did have about £6000 in my bank account. But with how I was feeling, I decided to stop working a dull job and sat around doing not-all-that-much for 5 months until it ran out and I had to take the first job that came about. I was 21 at the time and so didn’t feel any real sense of urgency to sort everything out.

Anyway … you’re probably aware of what minimalism is.

It’s a very typical thing for someone like me to gravitate towards. Did I mention I am Vegan and practice mindfulness? How fucking original am I?

I am a certain breed – beyond the highly sensitive person. I am one of those people who just doesn’t ‘get’ life. I don’t get why people want to work their asses off in jobs they despise, in order to buy a shiny car – for what? A way to impress people and feel desired? That seems pretty shallow to me. And you will still get stuck in traffic.

Maybe I had to become a hoarder to realise material things only get in the way – of self-expression, growth and creativity. Too many material things, at least.

I stopped my ‘must-buy-another-item’ addiction a couple of years ago, or longer. But much of the stuff remains, largely covered in dust and worth close to nothing.

I have had a few clear outs during the last year or so, but there’s still a lot of clutter and it’ll be a bitch to move.

So, what kind of things was I buying?

Books, DVD’s, Blu-ray’s, Video games, Clothes … nothing too weird … a couple of butt plugs (joking! I only needed one). At one point, I spent £5000 on Invisalign, which straightens your teeth. My teeth are much better looking for it, but I could probably have saved £30,000 by now if I had learned to manage my finances better. Corr, that’d be nice.

I wish I could bring myself to get rid of everything. Part of me knows it’d be very helpful for my mind. It’s hard to come home and feel the burden of all those things – staring at me with judgement. ‘I’ve been sat here for 5 years and I’m still in a wrapper. You paid £35 for me and now I am worth pennies – lol’.

The most important thing is to break the cycle. I rarely buy clothes now, because there is no need. Most days I have to wear a shirt and trousers, so why bother owning so many t-shirts and pairs of jeans? And with Netflix, who the fuck needs to buy DVDs? I still love going to the cinema, but why buy something you will only watch once or twice?

In honesty, I am happiest when I’m just outside in nature with my dog or watching Netflix with my girlfriend, or reading a book. Seeing that none of those really cost a great deal, and with my surplus of supply, I have everything I need to enjoy myself …

That’s when going to work gets in the way.

Spending most of your waking hours in an office that you hate is no way to live. So … now, having learned how happiness works … I am careful with what my money goes towards. I have been saving money for the last year and could afford to be off work for half a year if I quit tomorrow. I don’t want a repeat of 2011, though. My long term approach is to reduce the distractions in my life and come home to an almost empty house. Without having to hide books under my bed, or stuff my cupboards with clothes.

If you can relate, maybe you should think about doing the same.

I would much rather spend my money on things that are freeing. Clutter will keep you tied down in one place, never feeling like you have time to get to everything. I want to explore, and reduce hours spent doing boring things like sitting at a desk answering phone calls and staring at a screen.

The thought of being able to live simply really appeals to me. Everyone is so stressed out because there is always something else to do. It’d be nice to step back to a time when people rode bike’s instead of just driving everything. Or played board-games instead of phone-apps. Or talked to each-other at a restaurant, instead of talking to people on Facebook.

A great quote I once came across was, ‘The Man who chases two rabbits catches none’ (Ancient Chinese Proverb). First of all, leave the rabbits alone. Secondly, the quote goes to show if you are striving to do so many things – you will only ever remain mediocre in each. You could be an amazing actor, singer, artist – whatever you want – if only you put in the time and committed to ONE THING. Maybe you need some degree of natural talent, but, more than anything, you need the staying power of practice.

Here’s a great video I watched yesterday about a guy who quit an $80K per year job to work part-time at a grocery store:

Thanks for reading and sorry I’ve not posted in a few weeks.

~ Alex.