Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 5

Your Mindset Can Set You Free

This is a fantastic time of the year to bringing you Season 5 of the Quest for Freedom Podcast on Mindset Freedom.

Why is that?

Well it’s typically the time when you’re winding down for the holiday season and also planning ahead to think about 2018 and why it’s going to be different.

But it’s not going to be different until you’re prepared to start working on the very thing that can make the most significant difference to your life.

I’m talking about your mindset. That’s because your mindset can set you free.

Mindset is the foundation that freedom in its widest possible sense comes from.

You are the product of your mind. Every thought and belief you have stored inside your mind shapes your experience of life.

Your values and beliefs shape your perception of reality and as a result your ability to achieve anything in life.

I’ve found that over the years, when I am not focusing on a growth mindset, when I’m not actively learning and applying new techniques to grow my mindset, to become more focused, to get rid of those negative thoughts, those comparison game moments, things don’t go quite as well.

And it feels less free in my mind.

For me personally, this year has been a roller coaster in terms of reshaping and reframing my identity from Suitcase Entrepreneur to Natalie Sisson.

I’ve been through a business sabbatical, a complete 180-degree shift and a complete change in what I am doing and how that fits into my meaning in life and my purpose.

For you, you may too also have had quite a full on year, or perhaps you’ve been really focusing in on what it is within your mind that you can strengthen.

Or what it is that you can quiet so that it makes way for more of those thoughts that allow you to be your best possible self and give you freedom in your mind.

We’ve all been there. We’ve had the mind tells us things we don’t really need to hear.

Our mindset can be our best comrade or it can be our worst enemy and so much of that is under our control.

I think about that every single time I’m faced with a big decision or a reaction to something.

Most of the time I’d like to think I’m pretty calm, but I am also a passionate Aries and every so often something will just piss me off and my emotions will well up and I’ll react in an instant.

So I probably need to go back and revisit some of the mindfulness freedom from Season 1, Mind Your Mindfulness and recommend you do too.

Making decisions in the moment of how we think, of how we act, of how we grow, of how we fundamentally believe is all part of having the right mindset.

The Definition of Mindset

The mindset definition varies across different sources according to Dictionary it is “1. an attitude, disposition, or mood.” or “2. an intention or inclination.” and “1. a mental attitude or inclination” or “2. a fixed state of mind”.

Yet none of these actually yield the true meaning and real definition of what it is. So what is the true meaning?

A more accurate definition of mindset is the sum of the way you think.

Mindset is how your values and beliefs shape your thoughts and lead you to be the way you are.

The way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world.

If you have thoughts which are negative or limited then you will experience challenges and likely find success and freedom almost impossible to achieve.

If you are into people like Tony Robbins, into personal development and self-help books, you’ll come across a lot of these tactics and tools.

You’ll look into your neuro-linguistic programming, regression timeline and EFT (emotional freedom technique).  I’ve only touched on a few of these myself throughout my life.

There’s other tactics like meditation, mindfulness, transcendental meditation, looking at your chakras and all these exciting things like brain waves and binaural beats.

It’s incredible how much information is out there.

If we come back to the fundamental message here, which is “the way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world“, you can start to see pretty quickly that anytime you are having a bad day, it’s most likely because of the way that you are thinking and then acting.

So how can you change state, how can you get yourself out of that to get back on track and into a frame of mind that serves you best?

Sometimes it’s good to be angry, sometimes it’s good to be emotional but if you can channel that into something that really helps you, serve you and helps others then we are talking about reframing and using your mindset for the power of good or even greatness.

And we want to move out of a fixed mindset, negative or a limited mindset into a growth mindset. I have talked about this research from Carol Dweck in Learning with a Growth Mindset.

But what I am most excited about is that I am bringing on a special guest, Osmaan Sharif who is my freedom mindset go-to guy.

I’ve had him attend three of my last freedom mastermind retreats in Bali and Portugal and he honestly has the most amazing set of tools to be able to help people shift their mindsets in minutes.

He is the founder of Rapid Transformation and he can transform people quite rapidly if they are open to it and if they are willing.

We are going to cover off on some really fantastic topics including

  • comparison-itis – how your mindset can be negatively impact with those you look up to
  • could you be attempting to solve the wrong problem when it’s really our mindset needs to be transformed
  • negative stories – what are we telling ourselves and how is that impacting or limiting our beliefs
  • when you are really not in control and that the unconscious mind is and how we can tap into that.

I would love for you to tune in every single time we put out a podcast and that’s going to be every Monday and Thursday from now on.

And if you want to Master Your Mindset in 2018 get details on our new Freedom Lab starting January 2018.

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Blog

3 Juicy Tips for Designing Your Dream Lifestyle

When you’ve reached the final stages of constructing your ideal lifestyle vision, you are going to start working on the most important factor of your transition into a life of freedom: the plan.

Your plan, complete with goals, tasks, and deadlines, is going to usher you into your ideal lifestyle. It is going to help you become the person that you’ve always wanted to be and live the life that you’ve always wanted to live.

Without it, you would be ineffectively chasing your dreams and holding yourself back from getting to where you need to be.

Don’t get too excited too quickly. Planning out your dream lifestyle is not a thing to be rushed. It’s a thing of beauty to be crafted, and molded to your heart’s content.

I am going to help further help you construct your plan by sharing with you 3 key characteristics of a successful plan.

Are you ready to hear them? Here they are!

Step #1. Devise a Plan That Is VERY Specific

Specificity is…

  • Necessary if you want to avoid having to go back to your plan and making edits
  • NOT OPTIONAL

With that in mind, I want you to take a look at your current plan, which you crafted with me in the third section of my e-book, 3 Steps to Living Your Perfect Day, and I want you to expand upon it.

Let’s say, for example, that one of the aspects of your lifestyle vision is to be able to work from home selling a whole range of beauty products. In response, you wrote something like this:

As soon as possible, I am going to start making my own beauty products, open an online store, and begin selling them.

Do you see what’s wrong with this plan? It’s not exactly a plan.

All you’ve accomplished in writing this down is creating another dream for yourself. It’s not specific and it’s certainly not going to help you do what you want.

How do we change that?

Well, we figure out what it is you have to do to reach your goal.

Map out all the necessary steps, give yourself a time frame, and then rewrite your plan. A finished product may look a little something like this:

By next December, I am going to learn about all the aspects of planning and running a home-based business by doing an online course through Udemy on this topic.

By January, I want to have learned all about the permits, laws, and taxes associated with home-based businesses in my area.

By February, I want to have learned all about how to run a home-based business including marketing, shipping, packaging, etc.

By April, I will have learned to create the beauty products I have in mind and I will have some samples ready for launch.

This is by no means an extensive example and it can certainly be improved but now you understand what we’re looking for.

The better you know what it is you want to do and by when, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals.

Step #2. Make Your Plan Actionable

As I just stated, dates are also necessary when it comes to good planning. In the example above, we have a general monthly date.

However, this will not be acceptable when it comes to crafting your plan.

Your plan should consist of very specific goals followed by exact dates. If we continue using the example above, it may look a little more like this:

January 10th- Call my local city hall and ask them about what is required of home-based business owners in the area. Talk to them about zoning laws, permits, sales tax, and any other information that is necessary for me to know.

January 20th- Look deeper into each of the aspects that were discussed on the phone so I will know what to expect when I register my business in my city.

February 1st- Start taking a 4-week online business class that will help me learn about all of the aspects of running my own business.

March 1st- Research business coaches who have worked in my industry and look into receiving coaching to be prepared for what I will be doing after launch.

You see the pattern here, right?

The more you research your goal and the work that needs to be done in order to reach it, the easier these mini goals will be to come up with.

Even this can be broken down into smaller sections so if you feel as though your goals need to be more tightly scheduled, do it.

Remember, however, that these goals need to absolutely be done by their time frame.

If you fail to meet your deadlines, you may go off course or become so discouraged with yourself that you give up on your ideal lifestyle vision.

Who wants that? Not us!

Step #3. Keep Your Plan Realistic

I think the biggest issue that happens when we are pumped up about our exciting dreams is that we tend to overlook the minute details.

For this person above, they really want to run a home-based business creating beauty products and that’s great.

What may not be so great is if they’re creating this plan and they have absolutely no business experience, money, or experience creating beauty products.

I’m not saying that they won’t be able to reach their goals. What I’m saying is that they need to be more realistic about how they’re going to accomplish them.

If you were this person, I sincerely doubt that the 5-month goal you planned above would be sufficient time to learn everything you need to know.

Although it’s totally possible to get everything done within that timeframe, you have to look deep enough to see if you truly can accomplish it.

  • Do you have the funding?
  • Do you know how to get the funding?
  • Is that really enough time to learn all about how to run a home-based business?
  • Will that one class you are going to take be enough?
  • Do you have the extra money to spend on classes and coaches?
  • Are you in the right place and mindset to launch your business right now?

Asking yourself these questions will help you set realistic goals and give you confidence to make your idea a reality.

It is okay to take a little more time to achieve your dream. It is okay to take only a couple of small steps at a time.

If you could achieve freedom instantly, there wouldn’t be a need for books or a process!

Know yourself and take time to develop a plan that is best suited for you.

  • Maybe you need to extend that time frame from 5-months to 12-months.
  • Maybe you want to take a longer class that will further benefit you.
  • Maybe you want to get in touch with some of your old contacts who may be able to help you.

Whatever it is that you think will be the most beneficial for you, write it down and don’t put yourself down over the time frame or the steps.

The plan, besides being the most important part of cultivating your ideal lifestyle, also tends to be the most difficult.

If you need help crafting it, I definitely recommend that you check out my Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Online Doing Workshop to achieve all this in 90 minutes or less!

I will show you how to:

  • Phase 1: Setting your vision for 2018 and figuring out your priorities.
  • Phase 2: Mapping out quarterly, monthly, and weekly actions that are aligned with your yearly goals and vision.
  • Phase 3: Helping you craft a Content, Marketing and Editorial calendar that will help you achieve freedom and success. I will give my exact template to use!
  • Phase 4: Teaching you my 6 step daily success plan that will help you unlock your productivity potential.
  • Giving you questions that you need to ask yourself in order to get the most out of my workshop and your year ahead.

On top of all this, I will also be providing you two super valuable bonuses to make sure that you take action straight away.  Head to nataliesisson.com/workshop to get started.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Blog

3 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning Your Ideal Life

I think that we all tend to grow up watching people chase the same stereotypical life plan.

You know that typical path of:

Study at college, get a degree or qualification, work your way up to a high-paying job, get married, have a child, purchase a house with a white picket fence, and be the all-around perfect person that everyone approves of.

Newsflash!

There has never been and never will be one path to happiness, success, and freedom.

We each have a unique road that we must take in order to fulfill our true destiny, and the only way to uncover it is by looking deep within yourself and being brutally honest.

Take a look at your current ideal lifestyle plan that we have crafted together and read between the lines.

What does each action you are taking mean to you?

Why is it that you plan to do what you dream about doing?

Better yet, what do these actions accomplish for you?

You are going to have to ask yourself a lot of questions and evaluate each aspect of your life plan before you even consider moving forward.

It may seem like extra upfront work but it will save you from having to rework your plan and avoid any potential misalignment or damage in your life.

Here are a few questions that I would like you to start with:

#1. Is This Something I Would Enjoy Doing Frequently?

Your life, likes, and tastes are going to change over time. That is inevitable.

However, you should expect a lot of your likes to remain the same for at least a good chunk of your life.

That is why I want you to ask yourself if you would enjoy doing each event frequently.

If you don’t think that you would like working at an office job, or waking up to teach personal training clients at 6am each morning, please don’t put it on your list.

This will just lead to you being unhappy again in the near future.

#2. Once I Finish Working Towards This, Will I Be Happy With My Choice?

Let’s imagine that one of your goals is to become a dance instructor. You absolutely love dancing and you have some positive experience teaching dance to children.

Overall, this seems like a great plan.

However, we need to look to the future. Perhaps this dream of yours is going to take at least five years to achieve due to setup costs, gaining the necessary experience and exposure, and finding the perfect venue for your dancing business.

Flash forward five years from now.

Will all this hard work pay off? Will you still have the burning passion for teach dance that you have now? Will it be worth all the time you have used to get there?

If so, then this is a great dream.

If not, you may need to reconsider your choice. Nothing is worse than working towards something you don’t want in the end.

#3. Will This Make Me Feel Free?

This is the most obvious and the most important question. While we can’t always determine what type of outcome our actions will have, we can estimate how we are going to feel.

Will that beach house make you feel like you are finally free? Will that job that’s paying you six figures annually give you the type of freedom that you are craving?

Answer these questions honestly. If you can truly say that you’ll feel free having that person, place, or position, then it should be fine to keep on your list. For those of you who weren’t able to say that it would make you feel free, evaluate why it didn’t and come up with a better solution.

You can always find your freedom if you come up with the right solution!

The most important thing to remember is that life happens.

Your ideal lifestyle is going to change as you navigate your way through life, develop new interests, and learn new things.

I don’t expect you to construct a life plan that is going to last your entire lifetime. However, I do expect you to relentlessly chase a life in which you can live out your ideal lifestyle daily.

Need some assistance? Then check out my Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Online Workshop.

In less than 90 minutes with me and I will be helping you to…

  • Phase 1: Setting your vision for 2018 and figuring out your priorities.
  • Phase 2: Mapping out quarterly, monthly, and weekly actions that are aligned with your yearly goals and vision.
  • Phase 3: Helping you craft a Content, Marketing and Editorial calendar that will help you achieve freedom and success. I will give my exact template to use!
  • Phase 4: Teaching you my 6 step daily success plan that will help you unlock your productivity potential.
  • Giving you questions that you need to ask yourself in order to get the most out of my workshop and your year ahead.

Plus, I have included two special bonuses you’ll get immediately when you enroll. Are you ready to craft a life of freedom?

Then make sure you check out my action taking online workshop.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Blog

Perfect Your Ideal Lifestyle Vision By Doing These 3 Things

If you’ve been working through the 3 Steps to Living Your Perfect Day Guide with me, you have most likely developed your own ideal lifestyle vision already. You’ve already outlined your goals, your dreams, and the steps you need to take in order to live out this vision.

What you may not have done, however, is eliminate some of the things from your vision that you don’t actually want.

You may be saying:

“Things that I don’t actually want? I created this vision with everything that I wanted Natalie! How could I have something in my vision that I don’t actually want?”

I know, it seems silly to eliminate events and people from your vision. Before you disregard this piece of advice entirely, however, let me explain why this is necessary.

Some of Your Desires May Be a Result of Someone or Something Else

Some of the things that we do in life may be done out of guilt, convenience, or fear rather than out of true desire.

What do I mean by this? Let me give you an example.

Let’s imagine that there is a woman named Gertrude who has been hosting holiday parties for her entire family for the past 10 years.

She has absolutely no desire to speak to most of her family because they judge her and treat her poorly.

She continues to do so, however, because it was something that her mother valued and asked her to do before she passed away. Therefore, she continues keeping her family together during the holidays out of love and respect for her mother.

While it’s wonderful that Gertrude is honoring her mother’s memory, it is doing absolutely nothing for Gertrude.

It is actually harming Gertrude and preventing her from living life on her own terms.

Let’s also assume that Gertrude has also began following me and is attempting to create daily freedom for herself.

She dreams of spending time with her family but soon realizes that this isn’t actually what she wants. She is doing this because she loved her mother and wanted to respect her wishes.

What is my advice for Gertrude?

Cut it out and live life on your own terms!

If you want to be free everyday, you can’t afford to keep things in your life that prevent you from being happy or growing as a human being.

It doesn’t matter what your mother wanted, it doesn’t matter what other people expect of you, and it definitely doesn’t matter what you’ve been trained to believe.

At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, the only person that you have to answer to and live with is yourself.

You OWE it to yourself to make sure that every action you take is the best for you.

That being said, here are three things that you need to eliminate from your ideal lifestyle vision.

#1. Guilt-Related Individuals and Events

Family is something that is valued in our society. We are expected to love them deeply, spend every holiday with them, and do everything that we can from them.

Sometimes, however, these individuals can be poisonous, draining, and unreliable.

Do you have any individuals in your life like that? Did they show up in your vision because you are expected to love them or because you expect yourself to love them?

Here’s what I want you to do: cross them off your list. These people are not worth your time.

Why should you waste your life being with people you don’t want to be with only because it makes you or other people feel better?

The same goes for certain events that may show up in your vision. If your rude aunt Beverly wanted you to live in France and you’re putting it in your vision because it would make your mom happy, scrap it.

We’re not here to make other people happy. We’re here to make YOU happy.

Because a happier you, benefits everyone else you come into contact with.

#2. Events Imagined Out of Convenience

It’s only natural to imagine ourselves at a high-paying tech job instead of performing onstage if we’ve had 20 years of tech experience and absolutely no experience as a performer.

Last time I checked, however, I asked you about what you wanted. I didn’t ask you about what would be the most convenient for you.

Don’t imagine yourself in a job, house, or with a certain person because it’s convenient for you. Take this opportunity and examine yourself and your dreams in a way that you haven’t before. What is it that you really want to do?

It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely no performing experience. You can get there! That’s why I incorporated a planning section in my Guide to Living Your Perfect Day!

#3. Fear-Related Events (or Events Not Listed Because of Fear)

Don’t list events because you’re scared of what might happen if you don’t. Also, don’t forget to list events because you’re scared of what might happen if you actually pursue that specific thing.

Here’s the truth about life: it is filled with scary events. We all will come across an event that ignites fear and anxiety within us. What matters is how we deal with that fear when the time comes.

Can you think of something that sparks fear within you? Can you think of something that you’ve truly wanted to pursue that scares you?

Think about doing that thing or going to that place. I bet that you can find one more feeling hidden deep in that idea.

That feeling is excitement.

If you feel that feeling along with fear, you’ll know that you have something amazing within your grasp.

Evaluate your dreams for these mixed feelings and you’ll find a lot of things that you should have put on your list.

Did you find anything that didn’t fit well with your ideal lifestyle? Awesome!

It doesn’t benefit you to keep these types of people and events in your life. It only prolongs the process and it makes it harder for you to be the best, free version of you that you can be.

If you found this part to be easy and you want to move on but are having some trouble with the process, you should enroll in my Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Action-Taking Workshop!

This is an online course broken into four phases that will help you plan your upcoming year in 90 minutes or less.

  • Phase 1: Setting your vision for 2018 and figuring out your priorities.
  • Phase 2: Mapping out quarterly, monthly, and weekly actions that are aligned with your yearly goals and vision.
  • Phase 3: Helping you craft a Content, Marketing and Editorial calendar that will help you achieve freedom and success. I will give my exact template to use!
  • Phase 4: Teaching you my 6 step daily success plan that will help you unlock your productivity potential.
  • Giving you questions that you need to ask yourself in order to get the most out of my workshop and your year ahead.

Plus, I you’ll receive two special bonuses when you sign up for my online workshop.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 4

How to Task Out Your Lifestyle Goals

Think back to the last time you had an outing with a friend or significant other. What did you do prior to actually spending time with them?

Did you give them a vague idea of what you’d be doing? Did you tell them that your visit could happen whenever you felt like it? Did you show up to your outing without any expectations of how things would be going?

If you’re the average person, the answer is most likely a no. You and I understand the importance of planning when it comes to major events.

Similarly, you need to apply the same type of careful planning to major lifestyle changes as you do to visits with friends or dates with significant others.

Only through planning, goals, and expectations will you be able to transition into the type of lifestyle that you have dreamed about.

#1. Categorizing Your Lifestyle Goals

Josh and I have been playing with a system to bring meaning and purpose to our lives called ‘Project Life’ – working title. It is something that we love doing and we do it every single day. We have this weekly and monthly check in. And later this month we are doing a quarterly check in and we are doing that as an away weekend. It is something I hope to release as a program or app in 2018.

We’ve drawn on other tools like my personal favorite Zig Ziglars Wheel of Life that helps you to achieve a more balanced lifestyle of your choosing.

Ziglar’s Wheel consists of 7 different sections that include the following:

  • Personal and Social Goals
  • Work and Career Goals
  • Family Goals
  • Spiritual Goals
  • Financial Goals
  • Mind/Intellectual Goals
  • Physical/Health-Related Goals

We may not realize it yet but the way in which we approach our lives can be entirely unbalanced.

For example, someone who is fulfilled in their career may be devoting every available minute towards working but they may be deeply suffering in the family aspect of their lives.

Another person may be at peak health but could have absolutely no social life.

We are each unique and there is always an area in which we could improve. Take a look at the categories above and make a list of things you would like to do in that area.

The actions don’t have to be large in order to make an impact. A goal in the financial area could be as simple as saving $10 by the end of the month or $100,000 by the end of the year.

However, you need to be sure that the goal you set is realistic. If you never work out, you can’t expect yourself to lose 50 pounds over the course of a month.

Plan based on your habits, personality, and motivation to accomplish your goal.

#2. Tasking It Out

It’s great to have goals but it’s better to have actionable steps that you can take to be able to reach those goals.

Let’s pretend that one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months. It’s a great goal and it’s realistic. However, how are you going to get there?

This is where you need to further specify your goal and map out your actions. A sample might look like this:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months.
  • I can do this by cutting back on sweets, tracking my calories, and ditching my daily soda.
  • I can also do this by being more active and moving during my off time.
  • One thing that may help me is an exercise program I found here…

Once you feel as though you have sufficiently come up with all of the actions you can take to reach your goal, you can write them down and look at them daily to start incorporating these important habits into your day.

Under Ziglar’s Wheel, he also provides seven of his own steps to create actionable goals.

  1. Identify the goal you want to reach as specifically as possible.
  2. Come up with a list of benefits that will come out of reaching your goal.
  3. List some of the obstacles that might hinder your progress.
  4. Figure out what you need to know or learn in order to reach your goal.
  5. Think about some of the people who can help you to achieve your goal.
  6. Create a plan of action.
  7. Set a deadline for your goal.

#3. Ensure Passion

Without passion, whatever goal you set for yourself is going to fall through. If you don’t feel the need to lose 20 pounds, then working out will be a chore and a waste of your time.

Only set goals for yourself that you truly want to achieve. You’ll know when you want to truly take action because you’ll be excited every time you take action towards your desired result.

Along with tasking out your goals, tools such as journaling and vision boards can be extremely helpful in creating the lifestyle you have always wanted. This is what we will be tackling on the next podcast.

While you are waiting to continue your lifestyle freedom journey, feel free to visit my website because you are in for a treat at the end of November, I am running the How to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Workshop”. It’s the 3rd year that I am running this and I absolutely adore doing it.

In it:

  • We set out and achieve your perfect 2018 year and we get started on planning it out
  • I show you exactly how to prioritize what you are putting into your calendar for next year.
  • We move into goal setting.
  • You get my content, editorial and marketing plan template.
  • We look at how we can plan out your entire content for all of next year regardless of what business you are in.
  • And so much more!

It’s a 90 minute DOING workshop. So if you want to find out more details about that, head here. And the most genius part about it is even if you can’t come along live, after it I get it split out into a mini course that you will always be able to refer back to and look at.

So if you want to enter 2018 like a rockstar, I think it’s probably going to be a pretty awesome deal for you.

Tune into the next episode where we are going to be talking about the lifestyle freedom journey and continuing on with what we’ve been doing in Season 4.

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 4

Discovering Your Ideal Lifestyle

In the previous episode, we discussed two major emotions that can hold you back from living out your ideal lifestyle.

Now that you’re prepared for what is to come, we need to discuss the most important question you will encounter along the journey to lifestyle freedom.

What is important to me?!

It’s both extremely simple and extremely complicated. We all seem to know some of the things that are important to us such as maintaining our fitness and cultivating meaningful relationships.

However, very few of us have actually explored some of the most basic human needs and figured out the type of actions we need to take in order to thrive in those aspects of life.

Today, this is what we’ll be discovering together.

Discovering Your Ideal Lifestyle:

Imagine that you’ve woken up one day with the ability to do absolutely whatever you wanted. You have no monetary restrictions, all of your friends and family are ready to join you in your adventures at a moment’s notice, and you are able to travel anywhere with ease.

What would you do?

It’s a difficult question to answer. You may not be able to answer that question because you have never considered lifestyle freedom a possibility before.

Since we were born, we have been surrounded by societal trends such as 40-hour workweeks, flawless bodies that require extensive gym visits, and family lives that are more stressful than fulfilling.

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be this way!

In life, you are your own boss. You control what you do, how you go about it, when you do it, where you do it, and who you do it with.

You may be thinking, Natalie, I do have monetary restrictions and other things holding me back from living my ideal lifestyle!

I understand you completely.

While you may not be able to sit down right now, map out the rest of your life, and make it happen by snapping your fingers, you do have the opportunity to make the choice to start moving into a place of freedom.

Make that choice right here and right now. Take the leap with me and begin your journey to a life of freedom by figuring out what it is that you truly want.

Step 1: Dream, Dream, Dream

Remember the question I asked you earlier about your ideal day? I want you to answer it right now. Most importantly, I need you to answer it as specifically as you possibly can.

For example, this is how I envision my perfect day:

“I wake up in the morning with no alarm and no phone next to my bed and I wake up naturally. I turn to my lover Mr. Josh and I give him lots of kisses, hugs and cuddles.

And then little Kayla, who is not so little anymore comes around my side of the bed in for a cuddle, who just snuffles her nose into my hand and I just lovefeel so much love for my white German Shepherd puppy.

I throw open the curtains and right outside our windows this gorgeous creamy white rose which is just in full bloom right now.

It’s the first thing that I see in the morning with the sunlight coming up and all the trees and the gorgeous greenery in our garden, and looking over to the hills in the distance.

It’s a pretty spectacular way to start the morning and given that it’s spring here right now, the sun is already shining on me. So when I’m on my yoga mat I’m getting heated up by the warmth of the sun.

I typically do about 30 minutes of yoga with Adriene. I recently did a Facebook live about her and I think she is fabulous. She has a free Youtube channel and I just love her yoga.

She’s funny, she’s joyous, she’s grateful and she doesn’t take life too seriously and it’s just a pleasure to do yoga with her.

Then I will roll into anywhere from a 10-30 minute meditation. I’m working my way up into doing more of that and by this stage and really like Joe Dispenza’s work.

Otherwise I will walk to our barn with Josh to do a boxing or crossfit workout in our gym and put on some great motivational music. The sun streams in through the roller doors and the fresh air is magic.

Then I have a lovely hot shower which I am so grateful for.

I go through to the kitchen and typically make breakfast with Josh and make a green smoothie with something really awesome from my garden like kale or spinach that I grabbed after my workout, and then frozen strawberries, blueberries, banana and coconut water .

I also will have visited our five chickens to pick up the fresh eggs so that we can make a delicious omelette, scrambled eggs or poached eggs with avocado and smoked salmon or bacon because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!

And then and only then, do I actually head over to my laptop and I either set up in the lounge or in the study or out in the coworking barn.

I start working in my most important action of the day which I have typically written up the night before or in that moment into our Project Life (working name) spreadsheet.

We always try and balance this out across the week between the 8 sort of areas of life that are really important.

And that my friend is just the start of my Perfect Day and I am living it right now which is pretty fantastic.

I want you to be able to describe the type of room that you are waking up in. I want you to be able to describe the food that you are eating throughout the day. I need you to be able to envision the exact temperature on the thermostat of the home you are living in.

Why am I asking you to be able to state the exact temperature of your house? While it may not seem important, specificity is key to designing your ideal lifestyle.

In fact, one study conducted by Gary Latham and Edwin Locke found that 90 percent of people who set challenging, specific goals were able to actually meet them rather than those who had simple goals with no direction.

No matter how silly it may seem, think about every possible angle of your perfect day and write it down. You may not need every detail but you will be better prepared for the next step.

Step 2: Determine What Matters Most

Now that you have a better idea of what you would like to be doing with your time, take a look at your list and go through the 5 W’s:

Who- Who was it that you wanted to spend your time with? Did you list your spouse during your perfect day vision? Did some of your old friends crop up while you were daydreaming? Review your notes and come up with a list of the people who appeared most.

What- What were you doing during your ideal day? Were you working from home rather than in an office? Were you working out in your own yoga studio? These actions will help you to identify some of the major areas that you want to focus on in the future.

When- When were you the most active? On the other hand, when were you experiencing the most relaxation? You may find out that you are currently working when you want to be relaxing and relaxing when you are most energetic.

Where- Did you travel? What type of house were you in? What did nature outside of your living area look like? As the saying goes, “if you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” You may not be happy with where you are currently living and this daydream session will tell you exactly that.

Why- Why are you doing the things that you are doing? If this is your perfect day, you must care about the actions you are taking. Evaluate each action you have written down and ask yourself whether or not you care about the thing you are doing, if it adds value to your life, and if it helps you get towards where you want to be.

Make sure that you have done this thoroughly. Each category helps you to better determine what you will be working towards once you’ve decided to live a life of freedom.

Step 3: Come Up With a Rough Life Sketch

Take what you’ve collected over the past few steps and compile it into a rough plan.

For example, let’s pretend that I’ve come up with my own life vision where I am living in France, running my own clothing business during the day from my large, well-lit apartment, and spending the majority of my time with my friends during the night.

Although this a brief example, I’ve identified who I want to spend my time with, where I want to be, when I want to be doing things, and what I am doing with my time. Why am I doing this?

Clearly, I’ve crafted this plan because I truly want to live in France, I love the idea of running a clothing business from home, and I want to be spending my time with friends who care about me.

This is by no means a list that will help you to reach said goals and lead a free life. Instead, this is the foundation upon which you will build your ideal life.

In episode 3, we will be discussing how to categorize and task out these goals in order to assure complete domination over your ideal lifestyle.

In the meantime, sign up below to download the free guide.

 

If you want to take your goal setting even further in 2018, and make some real changes that last, then you need to plan your year out differently. And I offer a completely different approach to doing that and setting your goals in my Plan Your Ideal Year Online ‘Doing’ Masterclass .

I show you how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters – we will map this out real-time together and I’ll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018!
    Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control – I’ll show you my calendar as a real example of what’s possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year – no seriously.

Make sure you sign up here and get started today. In 90 minutes or less you could have your entire 2018 on track and all planned out for personal and professional success – and of course freedom!

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  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

 

Posted on / by Natalie / in Personal Freedom

My New Found Freedom

Yesterday I made a pretty damn big announcement that I thought might surprise or even shock many people.

Instead it ended up rocking my world with over hundreds of heartfelt and insightful comments on my personal profile and well over 5,000 views already!

So what is this news you may ask?

Watch this Facebook Live Video to find out.

 

I am still nervous, yet also excited, to let you know that after seven years, I am stepping away from my beloved business and brand, The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Instead I’m fully embracing stepping into being ME and my own brand as a FREEDOMIST, and focusing on YOUR personal daily freedom.

I’m going 100% in on developing a freedom framework from the research that started in late 2015 over at Right2Freedom, and through my new podcast that started in January this year, Quest for Freedom.

This is my calling and I feel so much more FREE to expand both personally and professionally now.

Yes, this will mean some significant changes coming up that you will be the first to know about. But for now all you need to know is that I aim to bring more joy, happiness and freedom into your everyday life from now on.

PS. This was the best decision ever I’ve ever made and, it seems from the overwhelming feedback, is needed now more than ever.

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  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

 

Posted on / by Natalie / in Personal Freedom / 1

How To Have More Personal Freedom

I am on a mission to help you find more personal freedom in your life every single day.
That’s why I write this blog and produce the Quest for Freedom podcast.

In order to make my mission a reality, I’ve been working on a bit of research background around what personal freedom really means to you and I.

This is really what the true essence of this podcast is and it’s going to become much more about this from today on.

That’s because, a couple of years back I had this HUGE vision. It was so big it scared me.

How was little ol’ me going to conduct the world’s first research into freedom and create a framework that allowed people to figure out where they were on the scale of freedom?!

Despite my fear (that always comes after a burst of enthusiasm at a new idea), I put together the vision at right2freedom.com and started getting survey responses when I put it out to my community.

Maria Nicholas came on board to volunteer her time looking into how we could turn my vision into a framework and I created the 7 Phases.

She flew over to New Zealand even to make it happen and we worked away looking into successful social enterprises, non profits and frameworks that have been proven out.

I had my CFO at the time,  Jon Roberts, look over some of the survey responses and start to pull out some trends and findings – he liked data, I preferred the findings from it.

I engaged with the group of lovely Right2Freedom volunteers, who’d taken the survey and then offered up their time to help in various ways as indicated here, to start helping with some initial research on articles, blogs and books to define freedom.

Michelle Frost kindly headed up some Zoom calls to delve into this deeper with them.

And then I stalled, and the project stalled.

I left it alone for a bit, focused on my business and let other things distract me away from it.  It still felt too big.

Then, along came the idea for this blog and podcast. What about doing the research and experimenting real-time, on my own journey to personal freedom, while helping others.

That felt much more doable. A way to dip into it and make some progress, without letting the pressure of my own expectations get to me.

A few months ago, after a discussion with one of my Freedom Plan members Nina Frankowski, I felt reinvigorated with this project.

She, like me, is fascinated by freedom and loved the concept behind Right2Freedom.

With her background of making sense of research and data and analysing into something meaningful, she set to work looking at everything that had been done to date, to pull this into a framework.

It felt like overnight she brought to life what I had been dreaming of from the beginning.

She dug through the surveys and found the nuggets of gold. And now with over 600 global responses and counting, she’s done an incredible job of making sense of it all.

Then a few weeks ago, I asked the team at Lifehack if I could write a topic on personal freedom and unleash the first initial findings and thoughts behind this framework in the blog post.

They loved the idea, and so as a contributing writer I published this piece originally

It’s based on some of the ideas in my TEDx Talk, but it’s the first time I’ve released this information around this new freedom framework that I am working on.

So with Lifehack’s permission, I’m sharing the article here (and on the podcast).

How to Break Free From Your Own Constraints And Live the Life You Want

I’d like you to imagine waking up tomorrow with no limitations whatsoever.

How would you spend your day?

Who would you spend it with?

Where in the world would you be?

How would you feel?

Over the past 6 years I have asked hundreds of people this question. And guess what? 99% of them have no idea how to answer it. They have never thought about what their perfect day looks like, let alone how to describe it in vivid detail.

Somewhere along the way, people stopped chasing their dreams. They stopped imagining what their perfect day looks like and they started handing over the reigns to society who told them what to do and how to live. I found myself in this place too, where I’d given away my freedom. And I wanted it back.

What Exactly Is Freedom

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. But is that really what true freedom means to you?

I shared in my TEDx talk The Surprising Truth About Freedom that I believe freedom is a right not a privilege, and it’s up to YOU to create your own freedom plan.

I personally spent the last 6 years living out of a suitcase, traveling the world to 69 countries. I did this because I wanted to explore the world and experiment with living and working from anywhere and everywhere until I designed and created my perfect freedom business that supports my ideal lifestyle.

Then in early 2017, I chose to flip my life 180 degrees when I bought a beautiful house and 2.5 acres of land in New Zealand with my partner, got five chickens and an adorable puppy and put down roots.

I discovered a different type of freedom that’s based around family, friends and a sense of community, as well as a profound connection to being on nature’s doorstep for my ideal lifestyle.

Why Freedom Feels So Elusive

As I’ve already stated, your version of freedom is totally unique to you, so it’s up to you to choose.

Freedom for some people it’s sailing around the world. For others it’s living in a yurt in the forest. For others it’s the right to vote. To get married, or stay single. To have a beautiful home or to have no home at all.

When I ask people if they feel free, they almost always respond with saying that the answer depends on something out of their control. For example “when I have more money and feel financially free”.

Or “when I can make my own schedule and do what I want”. Or “when I’ve quit my job and can do my own thing”. Or “when I don’t have to be stuck in one place”.

THEN I’ll be/ feel free.

Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize though:

Freedom is a state of mind rather than a specific condition of existence.

True freedom starts with your thoughts, and freeing yourself from your own inner critic, or limiting beliefs that tell you what you are and aren’t capable of.

We may not have been born with the same privileges, access to education, money or political rights, but we are all given the same amount of time in a day to pursue our dreams and make them a reality. And if we can’t control our external circumstances, we can definitely control our internal ones.

Freedom is the possibility to have choice and purpose helps you choose. Freedom is the space around you, where your purpose is your compass showing you where to move in that space.

Choosing Your Version of Freedom

I’m obsessed with Freedom and the definition of it. I created the Right2Freedom survey to ask people this very question. Over 500+ responses later and there is ONE universal truth emerging.

Freedom usually is split into positive and negative freedom. “Freedom from” (absence of constraints) and “freedom to” (freedom to do what we want). There is also a third level “freedom to be”, which is also a positive freedom but on a deeper emotional level; inner freedom.

It is this inner freedom that I believe is the most important, and that we intend to research further.

Your definition of freedom may be completely different to mine, but one thing remains the same, it’s our ability to CHOOSE that makes us feel truly free. Through the answers we’ve collected so far we’ve identified four elements of freedom.

  1. Flexibility – What you want, when you want and where you want. In short this is independence and choices free from restrictions.
  2. Self-actualization – This is about fulfilling your dreams, being free to pursue your passion while being free from judgement. This is strongly linked to doing work of your choice – a career or business you love.
  3. Responsibility – Creating stability for yourself and others by having control of your own security, health and financial situation ultimately makes you feel more free.
  4. Contribution – The ability to contribute, help others and to make an impact is a feeling of freedom on a whole other level.

Going For More Freedom

How do you go for achieving more freedom? Follow these baby steps:

Step 1 – Awareness of (your) definition of freedom (what do you want)

Not many people have truly thought about the definition of freedom and what it means to them personally, but when asked, most can tell you a few things that makes them feel free. These are usually literal things they attribute to the meaning of freedom.

So ask yourself the question “What makes me feel free?” Then write down your answers, discuss them with friends and start the conversation with people who matter in your life.

Step 2 – Understanding of (your) needs and purpose of freedom (why do you want it)

Not everyone thinks about why they define freedom a certain way, but everyone does have a deeper reason for why they desire freedom.

If you understand your needs and reason for wanting those “freeing” things in life, it is easier to achieve them.

Again, write down your why. Why do you want more freedom?

Step 3 – Action: map out personal plan (how can you get it)

Mapping out a plan needs to be done on an individual level based on your needs and wants, so who is better suited to do it but you?

It starts by getting very clear on your ideal lifestyle and what that looks like to you. Let the questions at the beginning guide you to finding your answers.

For more expert guidance, you can start by picking up a copy of my book The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure In Life.

In it I talk you through the three stages of Mindset, Business and Lifestyle that have personally led me to being a Freedomist, and thousands of others.

So, what does freedom mean to you?

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  • HostGator won’t take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

 

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3 / 2

11 Benefits to Learning Something New

I don’t know about you, but I’m always curious about the world, and always aware of how much I still have to learn.

The day I’m not curious about anything will be a day I personally don’t want to see, as I’ll either be a know it all and completely deluded or on my deathbed!

Yet in an increasingly connected world experiencing information overload and a certain amount of burnout from that, it’s become critically important – and I do mean critically, to curate your learning experience and limit the information highway to some specific side streets and cul-de-sacs of your choosing.

I wanted to talk through how I’ve been ‘easing’ back into learning zone post my Business Sabbatical and what steps I’m taking to expand past my comfort zone, increase my skills and knowledge and deepen my understanding and perceptions around areas I’m not often exposed to.

But first let’s focus on the benefits of learning something new and why you should want to do this in just 50 minutes a day.

I was reading a piece on Lifestyle Updated about the seven benefits of learning something new, and the very first one was fun.

I thought to myself how often do we, especially as adults, do something for fun. The example they gave for this benefit was a friend who’d recently learned to surf and how much fun they’d had.

I thought back to the 20+ surf lessons I took in Portugal last year and how I was constantly out of depth (no pun intended) and challenging my assumptions about what I was capable of, while learning something new every single time, if not several new things.

I quite enjoyed being a complete newbie to this sport and taking a mix of private and group lessons. I loved how our instructor, crazy Nelson as I like to call him, would draw diagrams in the sand and make models of waves in the sand to illustrate a point.

Along with this there was yelling and enthusiasm, practicing the technique on land and of course getting out in the ocean and doing it.

Full immersion so to speak – pun intended this time!

FUN! Why on earth learn something if it’s not fun?

Everything that’s taught can be fun, even accounting, especially when you’re shown real case studies and examples that resonate with you and make your learning that much quicker and effective.

Another on their list that is obvious but often overlooked is..

A sense of accomplishment and pride.

I know back in 2004 when I had landed my biggest job to date as National Brand Manager at Schwarzkopf Professional, working quite long hours but loving learning on the job at speed, I also took on more learning for the ‘fun’ of it.

It still amazes me that not only did I start training in January of that year for a bodysculpting competition, I then decided to enrol at Otago University for an extramural 1 year certificate in Fitness Management.

I was also going through Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within book and working on some NLP for past events in my life, and listening to his CD series in the car on the way to work.

Once I’d finished with his CDs I recall listening to around 5 audiobooks (on CD of course) during my long-ish commute…back in the days when I actually commuted.

The results of this year were still my most impressive ever, at least in my mind.

I got straight As from University, and some A+ – proof that when you have experience in time management and a full time job you study much more effectively than when you’re doing it full time.

I won my Regional North Island Body Sculpting competition and went on to compete at Nationals.

And I had a rocking first year in my job running the best ever New Zealand Hairdressing Awards – most ticket sales and under budget.

And I felt immensely proud at what I was able to accomplish in just one year.

Naturally there were several things I had to give up in order to achieve that, like a life…no I’m kidding but I did literally eat chicken and brocolli all the time during my training and my boyfriend certainly didn’t get the time and attention he deserved during 2004.

So I’d hasten to add learning should be fun, give you a sense of achievement AND fit in with your lifestyle, not take over it. Much like my take on business supporting your lifestyle too.

So what else? Well Jon Lebreton from Sydney, Australia also shared 7 reasons why learning new things is important, what’s with the magic number of 7.

My favourites are, and I quote:

  1. You can grow as a person, develop your knowledge base and improve yourself for the better.
  2. Learning something new gets us access to new and different opportunities and the chance to try new experiences that might be the best ones you have ever tried
  3. You could potentially earn more money in your work life from learning a new and appropriate skill or by developing one that links to the work you do. You’ll rejuvenate your working life and get so much more from it.
  4. Developing a new skill will influence the way you do things day to day and they will make doing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress.

While these are all obvious reasons, it’s worthwhile letting them sink in. Because at the end of the day scheduling in time to learn and the actual act of learning takes time and effort.

But the payoff can be phenomenal.

To cap off the benefits may I point you to a final article written by CCSU Continuing Education titles The Top 7 Benefits of Learning a New Skill seriously again 7 reasons? I swear I didn’t search on that specifically on Google!

The 3 most important ones they stated in my opinion are, and I quote

Your brain chemistry changes.

The white matter in your brain is called myelin, and it helps improve performance on a number of tasks. The more people practice a new skill they are learning, the more dense the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better.

Your learning speed increases.

Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. By stimulating neurons in the brain, more neural pathways are formed and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel.

You could stave off dementia.

People who learn a new skill are less likely to develop dementia, which has been linked to demyelination of your brain. People who actively learn new skills don’t give their brains a chance to demyelinate, and their neural pathways are ready for new impulses to travel along them.

Perhaps the most important reason of all though is this….

Learning something new will make you happier

According to an article in Psychologies, I quote

‘It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.

It can also be a way of connecting with others too,’ says Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness. ‘As human beings, we have a natural desire to learn and progress. Psychologists call it mastery.’

There is evidence to suggest that adult learning seems to have its most positive impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy when the learning provided meets the needs of the learner, and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.

‘Learning also fuels our creativity. Ideas can come from making connections between seemingly unrelated things,’ says King.

‘Learning something new in one area of our lives can trigger ideas in another. So curiosity and creative thinking go hand-in-hand.’

This can also help with creating what psychologists call ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’ – when we’re so absorbed in what we’re doing, we lose sense of time and of ourselves.

‘It’s not passive, like when watching TV – it’s active,’ explains King. When we’re in flow, the level of challenge in the activity just exceeds our level of skill.

We’re also getting instant feedback from the activity on whether what we are trying is working, so we can adjust what we’re doing accordingly. As our skill increases, so does the challenge.

So there you have it, more than 7 reasons to learn something new. The reason I’ve researched into this, above and beyond my natural curiosity, is that it’s important to have a foundation of your why.

A strong why linked to learning on a daily basis will keep you motivated during times when you feel you can’t afford the time or energy to learn.

And in the next episode I’m going to be covering off on exactly that, the how of effective learning and hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

Tune in on all good podcast platforms like Stitcher, iTunes and Anchor.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
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  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 3 / 2

How to master self learning

How do you decide on what you should be self learning and the most effective way to do it?

That’s what Season 3 of Quest for Freedom is all about.

I’ll be talking about hacking the way in which we learn and going down the unconventional route of creating your own learning University, plus throwing some stats and interesting factoids at you about why the traditional route of education isn’t the best.

Before we dive in, I just want to give a quick update as to why you might even be listening to this podcast (and reading this blog).

So hey, it’s Natalie Sisson and I am on a quest for freedom for you in 2017 to uncover what you can do to simplify your life, feel connected, live mindfully and develop true personal and financial freedom.

In Season 1, I covered off around personal freedom and I really delved into that mindset freedom through meditation, through mindfulness.

In Season 2, I talked about business freedom and all about the business sabbatical that I went on where I essentially fired myself from my business for three months.

I shared the outcome, I shared the results and the journey of taking that much time for your business as well as flipping your life 180 degrees which was an added bonus.

Season 3 is about self learning, a topic that has always fascinated me because I believe that if we really want to truly grow and learn and later very fulfilled life we need to be constantly learning.

We need to stay curious.

And yet as we get bombarded more and more with information, how do you consume it in a way that feels good, that feels fun, that feels like you are actually developing, growing and taking things in?

Where you are not just consuming stuff because it’s in front of you. You are curating what you want to learn, what you read and what you take in.

And so that’s what this season is all about – self learning mastery.

I recently read an article on Quartz by Zat Rana called ‘If you want to be smarter, learn to say “I don’t know’”

The Value of “I Don’t Know”

When you think about it, acknowledging ignorance is actually productive.

Sometimes, the best answer is simply “I don’t know.”

Now, that isn’t to give you a reason to exercise indifference or to avoid making difficult decisions. It’s just about choosing to stick to your circle of competence and awareness.

At any given point, there’s only so much information we can make sense of. On a daily basis, there will be things we don’t understand.

If they aren’t relevant, it’s okay not to know. If they are, it’s better to take time to think.

This may seem fairly intuitive, and yet, the vast majority of people rarely find themselves comfortable enough to be at ease with not knowing.

Instead, they recite from memory whatever has been ingrained into their mind.

They would rather stand for something with a loose foundation, and they prefer certainty even after being challenged rather than to reconsider.

In the long-term, none of these tactics tend to lead to a healthy outlook.

“I don’t know” not only keeps us in our circle of competence and awareness where the risk of potential harm is low, but it also works as a feedback tool.

It’s a competitive advantage because it adds an incentive to critically break things down rather to take the easy way out. It forces us to get smarter.

There’s no point standing for something if you have a bad reason to do so.

Life is complex and messy, and it’s okay not to know everything. It’s fine to take time to form an opinion, and it’s useful to acknowledge ignorance.

We live in a world saturated with ideas, and not all of them are good, and not all of them are right for everyone.

Ask questions, be critical, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. There are no solid rules against doing so.

No one makes progress by standing in the same place, and we didn’t get to where we are by always being right. Everything is trial and error, and if you truly want to understand the world, you have to be comfortable with that.

It’s okay to open your mind.

I want to share with you that I’m experimenting with up to 60 minutes of active learning EVERY Day.

Apparently it’s good enough for Oprah and Bill Gates and other super smart, successful people.

I’m doing this because if I can’t even commit that amount of time to invest in my myself, and in my mind, then I’m clearly saying I’m not worth it.

Robin Sharma believes you can grow effortlessly in 60 minutes and unlock your hero potential.

Robin is considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world.

His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs, so again I’m going to heed his advice and suggest you do too.

Listen to the podcast to get the snippet of him talking to Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, about why 60 minutes of learning each day can unlock your Superpowers.

They go on to discuss Traffic University – as in listening to a podcast when you’re stuck in traffic and learning something new.

Or Running College – where when you’re out running you go with someone you can learn from, or again you listen to an audiobook or educational podcast.

Or School of Walking – same concept.  Listen to a course while you are walking.

The real point being – anything that you’re doing you can be learning – working out, grocery shopping, walking to your airport gate.

What you feed your mind is ultimately what you will believe and become.

So why not take the time to curate it carefully with what you WANT to expand your mind with, not narrow your mind.

So how do you go about self learning anything faster and better?

Well as part of my self learning I’ve been looking into this.

In Elle Kaplan’s Medium article she shared some tactics on this very topic.

In fact Elle quotes research that says Robin Sharma’s 60 minute principle is 10 minutes too long.

And I quote:

“Ellen Dunn of Louisiana State University explains that “anything less than 30 [minutes] is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time.”

To put this into practice, make sure you’re scheduling your learning sessions for short bursts of time, using quick methods like flashcards.

Schedule at least a 10-minute break between sessions to give your brain some much-needed R&R.”

Elle also quotes Tim Ferriss who seems intent on hacking everything in life from your brain to food to health.

“He says you should focus first on the most important 20 percent of what you’re trying to learn, which will actually cover 80 percent of what you need to know.

Ask yourself: What are the most important elements that yield the biggest return on investment?

For example, if you’re learning a foreign language — what 20 percent of words are used 80 percent of the time?”

When I read that I instantly thought to myself: But of course!

I mean this is the Pareto rule we’re talking about here, where you aim to focus on the 20% of whatever it is that you do, that gets you 80% of the results.

I typically apply that in business whenever I can, but I hadn’t thought about applying it to learning before, and frankly I’ve no idea why!

Why do we learn all this extraneous stuff that doesn’t serve us, instead of narrowly focusing in on the most important.

Now to find a language app that does just that….anyone have the answer to that? I’m happy to put my hand up and say “I don’t know”.

And the final tip I liked most in her article was this one:

Think about modifying your self-teaching techniques as you learn.

A Johns Hopkins study found that “if you perform a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.”

If you use flashcards in one session, think about a more hands-on method the next time, or listening to a podcast or webinar. This will help your brain remember and recall information at a quicker rate.”

So I think that’s enough learning for today, I wanted to start off light, and build up over Season 3.

That way I won’t lose you in information overload.

Instead I’ll help to expand your mind in the best possible way, and learn more than ever before, that’s actually relevant to you and even better, curated by you.

More on that in the next episode when I bring on Phoebe for more insights.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

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