The End of Anonymity

October 20, 2014 Permalink

When I started the first version of this blog in 2010, I decided that I wanted to be anonymous, and I chose the first pen name that popped into my head: Daisy.

My pseudonym choosing process was not a complicated one. I saw a picture of my mom’s Yorkshire Terrier on Facebook that my mom had posted, and took her name for my own blogging identity. There was no other thought that went into the decision to use Daisy as my pen name.

For the record, here is Daisy, my pen-namesake:

daisy

I decided to be anonymous for three reasons:

  • The subject matter (money) is highly personal and back then, I wanted to post real numbers
  • I didn’t know how far my blog would take me
  • The thought of my friends and family members left me feeling highly vulnerable.

I blogged under the pen name “Daisy” for four years until I decided to put Daisy (the pseudonym, not the dog) to rest and start using my real name.

I wasn’t going to write about it, but there have been tweets, emails, and comments from readers and/or fellow bloggers asking about my decision.

Why I No Longer Want to Blog Under a Pen Name

Over the past four years, my blog has evolved and changed, and so has the reason I continue to do it.

I started blogging when I was 21 years old. I was a student, a full-time employee and I’d just moved to the Vancouver area. I thought the blog was something that I’d just do for fun. I didn’t know yet that it would be so instrumental in my growth, or that it would become such a big part of my life.

Over the past year, my blog has grown into something that is ingrained in my identity. When people ask me what I do, my answer always involves my blog. I spend so much time on projects related to blogging, developing habits to make me a better writer, and connecting with readers, bloggers and online entrepreneurs that anonymity made me feel as if I was leading a double life.

Blogging has evolved from something that I did as an outlet, to something that I’m proud of. Something that I don’t want to hide from.

Blogging has connected me with places, ideas, and most importantly, people, which I never would have seen, considered or met had I not sat down and put fingers to keys.

Passion Projects

I am working on two projects right now that light a fire in me. These projects are badges that I want to wear proudly, that I am excited to put my name on.

One of these projects I’ll be working on with Cait (who is my favourite example of a friendship that never would have started if it weren’t for blogging), and the other is something that, if done right, will be my hard-earned ticket to time, location, and mental freedom.

The rockstars in my personal life will most definitely know about these projects, and in fact will be instrumental in supporting me and championing me through the inevitable tough times as I try to create something bigger than myself.

Both of these passion projects will focus in on giving back. Leaving a mark on the world and contributing is something that I want to do, and I’ve realized that anonymity will simply hold me back from meeting the objectives of the projects.

As I mentioned in my previous post, What’s Going on with Add Vodka?, I have been looking at everything that I do in my life and ensuring that it all is true to my values and helps me meet my goal to live my life in the best possible way that I can. Using my real name is part of that.

How to Manifest Good Money Luck Into Your Life

October 13, 2014 Permalink

Ever since that one incredibly lucky streak in July that left us $4,400 richer in lump sum and $40 richer each month, J and I have been rolling in the financial luck. It’s as if we’ve been eating horseshoes for breakfast.

I have been updating you each week about our financial wins, and there have been plenty. From the government sending us three cheques, to getting free movie tickets, price adjustments and increased business activity, things over here are going nuts. See week one here, week two here, and week three here.

Even though we never buy lottery tickets, I have been joking with J that we should, because we would probably win.

I actually get excited to get home and open the mail, because every second envelope we open lately has either been a cheque or news that will impact our finances for the better.

I’m definitely not complaining and we have no reason to think that the buck stops here – ha ha, literally.

As airy fairy as it sounds, I have an inkling that a lot of this good luck has been because we have been manifesting it through gratefulness and positive thinking.

good money luck

Being Grateful, Positive Thinking and the Avalanche Effect

Our financial lucky streak really started a couple of months ago, after we returned home after a long weekend in our hometown for our wedding.

Our entire huge, messy family, blood and non-blood related, came from all over Canada to love on us that week. People who seemed apathetic before the festivities began showed up, suited up, and helped to make our wedding so damn special.

The little things that I was stressed out about pre-wedding melted away; I didn’t give a crap if nobody read the signs that I worked so hard on for the tables or that the wind made my veil almost eat my face on my walk down the aisle. All that mattered was that everyone was there, for us, to celebrate us.

I can say right now with certainty that neither my (now) husband nor I have ever felt so incredibly blessed, loved, and supported than during our wedding week, and I think that launched our good luck.

When you are incredibly humbled and grateful for what you have, you feel more positive. When you are more positive, you attract more positivity. Like attracts like.

It’s that avalanche effect.

Positivity Kicks You Into Action

A positive person is generally a more productive person, because they are more motivated. In fact, on Zen Habits, Leo posted the number one motivation hack as being: “always think positive”.

There’s this incredible focus and inspiration that is generated by the type of community we experienced, with that type of love, and that much support. It feels like magic, maybe, but it’s not; it is this energy that you feel that gives you the ability to get things done, that propels you forward and makes things more clear.

Our positive feelings and the thoughts of our bright future made us recognize the low hanging fruit all around us. We took opportunities that we normally wouldn’t have taken, either because of a lack of noticing them, or because it seemed too much hassle to do so.

We recognized the luck as it came, and didn’t just write it off as a one-time thing.

Counting Your “Blessings”

Social media rips on the people who hashtag #blessed after every little thing, and while it’s pretty silly to feel #blessed over a pumpkin spice latte, there is a lot of power in feeling grateful and counting your blessings.

In fact, many lifestyle gurus and people who have realized great success in their lives attribute gratitude to their prosperity. This article by Geoffrey James sums it up nicely.

Being grateful makes things clear. It puts things in perspective and cuts out the noise. When you’re thinking about how grateful you are for the opportunity to make money from home, you aren’t bemoaning having to do your own taxes or clean your own home office.

Being grateful clears your head of the mundane, small negativities that creep into the mind, leaving more emotional room to create, grow, and prosper.

Making Your Own Luck

Was our financial lucky streak pure luck? Of course not; there’s no magic in this world. The creators of “The Secret” franchise would perhaps leave it at just that: manifestation and visualization. I’m not convinced that explains it.

Being grateful and positive is extremely motivating. Some things were just luck for us, yes, but the increased business success and some of the other savings and earnings opportunities came because we were paying more attention. We didn’t have negative feelings or emotions clouding our mind’s eye, so there was nothing fogging up the opportunities available to us.

We have experienced much the same since we went on our honeymoon in mid September. Travel has a knack of stoking gratitude in even the least grateful of  people, especially travel to the developing world.

Stay grateful and positive, even when it’s hard to do so, and you’ll make your own luck by allowing yourself to de-clutter your mind, making room for more awareness of opportunities.

Things get hard sometimes, yes, and often because of factors outside of our control. I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize that. But if you make a habit out of practicing gratitude, opportunities will be more easily taken, and no matter how hard things get and for whatever reason, you’ll always have something to be thankful for.

What Have You Talked Yourself Out of Lately?

September 17, 2014 Permalink

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an author when I grew up.

I poured over books as a child, bringing them grocery shopping with my mom, to school, and to every corner of the house. I read when I was walking, when I was supposed to be learning in school, and with a flashlight under the covers in bed.

I’d bring a book with me when we went anywhere, and, while driving home in the darkness of the suburban night, would gobble up the words on the pages as we passed under a streetlight or even the dim, flickering glow of a store sign.

Words were, and still are, my passion.

I believe that words are one of the most powerful forms of currency. We exchange them, sometimes meaninglessly but more often with purchase. What humans say can impact individuals and entire nations. Our words can build somebody up or take them down. Words can be feared, enjoyed, and are often celebrated.

This isn’t about my love of words, however.

This is about the way in which we talk ourselves out of our dreams.

Perhaps inspired by my love of books or my fascination with literature and written communication, my love of reading translated into a love of writing. When I was eight, I wrote a children’s book called Pigs in Peanut Butter, which rhymed completely and was a story about the fair treatment of animals (another passion). I handed it in to my Grade 5 teacher who spoke to my parents about taking the story to a publisher. This was short lived, as my little family moved away.

Middle school made writing dorky, so instead of journaling my frustrations with my clique, my parents or my crushes, I gossiped about them with my friends. Any writing that I did do, I did in secret. I had dozens of short stories saved on my mom’s desktop computer, and dozens more in my head, but I hid my affinity for writing to fit in.

Still, while waiting in a lineup or during “quiet time” at school, I would make up stories in my head and itch to write them down.

As I got older, I still wanted to become an author, but saw a pattern in the way the world viewed creatives. I was urged to go to school, to get a degree in something useful, something that would make me employable, and leave my writing as a hobby.

I stretched myself to leave that small part of who I was aside, to adapt to the demands of society and it’s norms.

Whereas I was an imaginative, creative, and bookish child, I pushed myself to become an analytical, practical, and detail oriented adult; these are skills I was told you needed to excel in a corporate environment. I do have a great deal of skills that come in handy in business, and enjoy flexing them, but I’m most comfortable communicating in some form or another.

Children are impressionable and gullible, but adults are self-sabotaging.

I had a conversation recently with a friend who I’ve known for my entire life: “I remember when you wanted to be an author when you grew up! What happened to that?”

The conversation pushed me to consider what actually did happen to that dream.

I didn’t fall out of love with writing.

I didn’t somehow lose my ability to write.

It wasn’t just a silly childhood notion, like my dream of becoming a mermaid.

What actually happened to my dream of becoming an author was that I talked myself out of it.

Now that I am long removed from the pressures of fitting in and choosing my career path and the potential failure to launch had I chosen wrong, the only thing that is holding me back from doing what I want is my mind.

I’ve convinced myself that I no longer have an interest in writing. I’ve convinced myself that I grew out of my creativity when I grew out of my Sweet Valley High books, and that authoring anything is no way to make a decent living. I’ve told myself that I am too busy with my day job and my side businesses to write anything worthwhile, anyway.

These are all of the excuses that I’ve created in my head, none of which are true or valid, that are preventing me from being something that I’ve always wanted to be:

A writer.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to start writing a book. Not now and perhaps not ever. The world has changed and I’ve adapted to it; there are plenty of ways to be creative besides authoring a novel. Bloggers can be writers too, and freelancers and people who just write for fun.

We our own worst enemy when it comes to reaching goals or realizing dreams or even just being the type of person who sits down and creates something or does something they love every day.

We talk ourselves out of things which, in our heart of hearts, we would still love to be able to do or at least further explore. We are scared or discouraged or out of practice, and without knowing it, we talk ourselves out of these things that were once important to us.

The craziest thing is that we even believe the nonsense our fear and discouragement is feeding us about not wanting to reach the goal anymore.

So think about it – what dreams have you squashed or hobbies have you given up because you feared failing at them? What excuses have you made to feed your discouragement?

What have you talked yourself out of lately?