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Category: Inspiration

My Personal Tips for Living an Extraordinary Life…

I live an amazing life many people say they could only dream of living… but when it comes down to it – therein actually lies one of the keys to living an extraordinary life – ‘dreaming’ that you can!

However, that’s where most people stop.

We have all heard that we must set goals that are realistic (I disagree with that word in relation to this subject), time-based (disagree in part with that notion), achievable (who’s to say what’s achievable?) etc…

When I am asked by people how I am able to travel the world, see and experience such amazing things… my response is that (a) I can work wherever I have wifi and (b) I made a decision some time ago (actually several years ago) that I didn’t want to be where I was (geographically, figuratively, financially, emotionally and physically) and so created a list of things that I DID want to be and experience – and it is that list upon which I focus pretty much daily…

That lead to my continually expanding my BUCKET LIST!  http://luxuriousnomad.com/bucket-list/ (and just in the past couple of days, I have now added some items and checked some others off – expanding it to be over 600 items – about half of which I have already achieved).

 

Think about it – if you decide to go on a journey and you ask your GPS to give you directions – the GPS kinda needs to know WHERE you want to go in order to be of assistance.

 

That’s where the Bucket List comes in – it is essentially my road map of things I want to do – places I want to visit – experiences I want to have… but it is more than that…

We have all had times where we see a documentary of an amazing place and think, “I need to go there someday!” but how many of us actually capture that thought and add it to a list we are continually checking off?  I do!

In addition to the Bucket List being a wonderful resource for achievement, we all have those days where the world gets just a little too big… and the list can be a wonderful tool to live an extraordinary life in these moments as well…

For me on those days (in addition to getting chocolate and a good bottle of red wine!) I read through the ‘done’ parts of my Bucket List.

It is amazing how inspirational it can be to reflect on what you have actually done and achieved in your life thus far…

“and what about being positive and happy as part of living an extraordinary life” I hear some ask…

Well, I have that covered in the Bucket List as well!

It doesn’t matter what you want in your life – to become a Luxurious Nomad like me travelling the world 24/7 (that has its pros and cons); whether it is to raise a wonderful family; build a phenomenal business; be the first person (that we know of! LOL!) to step on Mars…

 

What matters is that you capture WHAT YOU WANT! in some form of visual list – believe you can achieve it – and then take inspired action – EVERY SINGLE DAY – toward what you want.

 

It’s often not easy – but it is simple.

So, your action step – if you choose to accept this mission – is to review my Bucket List and then create one of your own – and put it somewhere you can and you WILL refer to it every single day…

As Yoda said…

~ Bella

What do you want?

Curled up at home here in Italy, I just watched one of the most EXTRAORDINARY movies I have ever experienced – and one that is about a lot more than just Formula One…

Directed by Ron Howard, to say this movie is about the rivalry between Nikki Lauder and James Hunt would be akin to saying War and Peace was just a love story.

In addition to being perhaps the most exciting, thrilling and magnificently shot movie I have ever seen, this multi-dimensional film also looks at the psychology behind what it takes to achieve your dreams…

The quote, “everyone’s driven by something” is interesting…  Some are driven by what they want to achieve – while others are driven to avoid what they don’t want…

While the battles between Lauder and Hunt are legendary, it is interesting to note that when Hunt finally won the world championship, he essentially retired from racing.  He had achieved what he set out to do – and although he died not many years later from a heart attack, he continued to focus on what he wanted and to go for it…

…as did Lauder.

Two world-class achievers who knew exactly what they wanted and followed their passion to the extreme.

What do you want?

Now, you may not want to go so far as to put your life on the line to achieve your dreams and goals, but do you know what you want and what you will do in order to manifest it into your life?

Over the past few months I have been re-absorbing myself into the works of people such as Earl Nightingale, Neville Goddard, Robert Collier, Albert Schweitzer, Wallace Wattles and others who essentially all say the same thing wrapped in different examples…

Decide what you want, trust COMPLETELY that it or something better will come to pass, and then take the next inspired step…

So, I know what I want – and each and every day I live my dreams, and every day more and more of them come to pass…  Nikki Lauder and James Hunt both knew what they wanted – and they both continued to live and achieve their dreams…

What do you want?

vision board movie

My Vision Board Movie

What does your Vision Board look like?

Do you have a bucket list?  What about a vision board?  This is my video vision board movie that I watch almost every day to keep me inspired and on track toward my goals, and also to keep me focused on my glorious now…

The best way to achieve your goals is to keep them top of mind – and a vision board, or in this case, a vision board movie, is the perfect tool to help you do that.

By watching your vision board movie every day, you begin to visualize your ideal life on a regular basis, and therefore activate the creative powers of your subconscious mind and program your brain to notice anything and everything that may help you get closer to what you want…

In my life, this has been one of the most powerful tools I have ever used – and I love it!  It’s amazing what starts to show up when you pay attention to your dreams!

If you are interested in creating your own vision board movie, I created this one in the free Window’s Movie Maker program and using my Bucket List as motivation for the images I used.

Shoot me a message to let me know when you create yours – I’d love to see it and hear your stories of how your dreams are coming true!

 

 

virtual office

What does your office look like?

…and I’m not talking about how many stacks of papers there are on your desk…

How to live a life most people only dream about…

I’m referring to ‘where’ you actually work.  For many, there is no option but to turn up to a specific place however there is an increasingly large group of people who have the flexibility to work without being tied down to a specific desk in a specific venue day after day.

If your work is such that as long as you are connected to wifi and cell phone coverage you can do what you need to do, consider thinking out of the box with regard to what your office looks like – because essentially, you can have a ‘virtual office’ and work from some of the most extraordinarily beautiful places…

For instance, just the past couple of weeks, my office has looked like this…

virtual office leigh st john luxury travel achievement strategist

…and this…

virtual office leigh st john luxury travel achievement strategist

…and this…  Sitting in the car in the sun in happily working away – no need for the heat to be on as the sun is SO bright today, it’s keeping the car nice and toasty… We had a cold snap and outside it’s 28oF and the entire lake is frozen… I went for a short stroll and the only sound you hear is the breeze and the slight crackling every now and again of the ice… It’s magnificent!

virtual office leigh st john

 

…and this…  Sitting beside the lake, in the grounds of a glorious 19th century national trust home…virtual office leigh st john

 

So, how can I work at all these (and others so cool and amazing they would seriously blow your mind – this is just a selection from the past couple of weeks) beautiful places?

Simple.

Technology has made it possible for those of us who do not have to be physically in a certain location, to work from just about anywhere.

How do I do it?  

In addition to my cell phone and iPad, I have a plug-in gizmo (technical term) for my laptop that enables me to get wifi signal anywhere that my provider has coverage.

I also have a power-outlet gizmo (another technical term) that plugs into the cigarette lighter of the car and into which I can plug anything I would normally plug into the power outlet in the wall.  This means even if batteries are running low, I can either work on ‘mains’ power (so to speak) or just charge them up and continue.

PLUS – because I travel all over the world, I have a small power-strip adapter that is suitable for various voltages – so it doesn’t matter if I want to work beside a waterfall in Virginia or a winery in Tuscany…  As long as there is a wifi signal, I am good to go!

On top of that, I have a tiny portable printer (that also prints from my iPad and iPhone) and a scanner that is so small it’s almost ridiculous.

My files are all stored on Dropbox, with local versions on my laptop for times when I’m not connected to the internet.

All international calls are done via Skype’s “Unlimited World” package whereby, for around $15/month, I can call any landline in the world and any cell phone in the USA or Canada.  I’ve also recently added “Unlimited Europe” (approx $20/mo) that includes calling to cell phones in most European countries and the UK.

My entire ‘office’ fits into a carry-on, with plenty of room to spare.

Also, many phones can be set up to be ‘hot spots’ so your laptop can use your cell phone’s data in order to connect to the internet.

“But isn’t this expensive?” I hear many ask…  My response is two-fold.  When in the USA, I probably pay around $50 a month more than the average business person who uses their phone etc for work – so yes, it does cost more.

BUT…  Look at the types of places I get to sit and work!

Seriously, if you are one of the lucky ones who do not HAVE to be tied to a particular place, consider what your office could look like – even if just every now and again…

It’s amazing how your very soul smiles and how productive you can be when your office looks like this…

virtual office leigh st john achievement strategist luxury global traveler

What brings YOU immense joy?

blissI’m not talking about those once-in-a-lifetime moments…  I’m talking about everyday moments…

What brings you immense joy?

Think about it – right here and now, look around you – what brings you immense joy?  What makes you smile?

Joseph Campbell said you should “follow your bliss” but in order to do that, you need to know what your bliss looks like…

Here are just some things off the top of my head that make me smile on a regular basis…

  • Putting God first
  • My Baby Car
  • Beloved Friends
  • Sharing positive thoughts
  • My Clients
  • Making people smile
  • Being in or beside water
  • Sharing my wonderful experiences
  • Music
  • Learning Italian
  • Fireplace and candles
  • Things that appeal to my warped sense of humor
  • Taking photos and sharing them
  • Listening to Abraham
  • Being a girlie-girl
  • Living in the USA & exploring
  • Experiencing Quality
  • Watching Top Gear (both UK & US versions)
  • Great big bed with quality Egyptian sheets & lots of pillows
  • Techy-things & gadgets
  • The beauty of Nature
  • Watching romantic movies that have a happy ending
  • Good red wine
  • Meeting new wonderful, interesting and happy people

We have a choice in every moment to find joy in the simplest of things… and to focus on what makes us happy…

So, my Friend…  What brings YOU immense joy?

How old is too old – and are YOU too old?

Are you too old?  That’s actually a loaded question…

Astronaut_U_S__Senator_John_GlennOn the weekend I watched a documentary on PBS about John Glenn.

While many know of – and even remember – his inspiring flight in 1962 as the first American into orbit, what I didn’t know was that while he was a sitting Senator and holding down that position, he was training for yet another space flight and in 1998 he became the only astronaut to have been a part of both the Mercury and Discovery missions…

…at the age of 77!

 

Last week my dear friend and glorious human being, Werner Berger, spent his birthday in Africa.

While that may be amazing to some, what I find to be the truly amazing fact is that…

It was his 78th birthday, 3 days after his 5th Mt. Kilimanjaro climb!!!

 

As a society, we are told you’re too young or too old; or too fat or too thin; or too this or too that…

When it comes down to it, the ONLY thing that really matters is what YOU think!

Are you too old?  John Glenn and Werner Berger certainly didn’t think so – and I agree with them!

In the words of one of my favorites, W. Clement Stone:

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

 

So, what are YOU about to conceive, believe and achieve?

You’re never too ‘anything’ unless you think you are…

Achieving “Mastery” with George Leonard

mastery-2I have read and re-read this book several times since I picked it up, and each time I learn something different, or see something in another light.

Here’s the info from Amazon:

“Drawing on Zen philosophy and his expertise in the martial art of aikido, bestselling author Gorge Leonard shows how the process of mastery can help us attain a higher level of excellence and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in our daily lives. Whether you’re seeking to improve your career or your intimate relationships, increase self-esteem or create harmony within yourself, this inspiring prescriptive guide will help you master anything you choose and achive success in all areas of your life.

In Mastery, you’ll discover: The 5 Essential Keys to Mastery Tools for Mastery How to Master Your Athletic Potential The 3 Personality Types That Are Obstacles to Mastery How to Avoid Pitfalls Along the Path . . . and more

masteryYou can purchase the book here:  https://www.amazon.com/Mastery-Keys-Success-Long-Term-Fulfillment/dp/0452267560/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=achievement0f-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=IYYGL22VKNTDX3BQ&creativeASIN=0452267560

You can also watch the video on Amazon Prime based on the book – it’s amazing!

https://www.amazon.com/The-Keys-Mastery-B-B-King/dp/B00HJM1WQ8/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=achievement0f-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=6GGGV6XZBWYZGDUQ&creativeASIN=B00HJM1WQ8

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Dreams

I know most of us have already seen this at least once, yet it’s worth watching again from time to time…

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) gave his last lecture at the university Sept. 18, 2007, before a packed McConomy Auditorium. In his moving presentation, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals.

Steve Jobs: Stanford University Commencement Speech

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

One of the great speeches of our time…  Below you will find the transcript and the video…  Enjoy…

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if … Continue reading here:  http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

Who are you?

thinkBeyond the titles others have given you, who are you?

It’s easy to use the normal labels of wife, father, best friend, accountant… but they describe what you do or who you are in relation to others.

Who are you in relation to YOU?

What do you enjoy?

What do you think about?

What do you want to achieve in your lifetime?

What do you value?

What makes you smile?

Why is your favorite color your favorite color?

Why do you like the movies you like?

Who are YOU?

Ordering from the Universal Restaurant…

ordering from the universal restaurant…I just had to share this story from Mind Power News!  …and at the end of the article, I would add Psalm 37:5, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust in Him, and he will bring it to pass”…

“How to Order from the Universe

The universe you live in works very much like a popular restaurant. You go in, you decide what you want, you order it, you receive it, and you digest it.

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t seem to know how to order. Some are downright inept at it. They walk into this restaurant, behave like complete idiots, and they end up hungry and disappointed. Then they complain about the restaurant and post negative reviews online, despite the fact that the restaurant has received rave reviews from the most experienced food critics.

The Universal Restaurant

I can’t tell you how many times I encounter people who set goals like, “I want a romantic partner,” or “I want a stable job that pays more money,” or “I want to lose weight.” I’ve heard enough of this drivel to last a lifetime. It’s reached the point where I may start carrying around a squirt gun and shoot people in the eye when they say stuff like this.

Those are crap goals. Don’t waste your time on them. And definitely don’t say them within earshot of me.

Setting such goals is the equivalent of walking into a restaurant and proclaiming, “I’m hungry. I want some food.”

First, people will look at you like you’re an idiot. They’re only doing that because you are.

Second, you won’t get fed.

If you’re lucky, someone might hand you a menu and ask you what you’d like to order. You can order off the menu, or you can concoct something creative, but either way you have to be specific. If you stand there asking for food, you’ll remain hungry.

Is this happening in your life right now? Are you standing at the Universal Restaurant, waiting for your desires to manifest, and receiving only static in response? Might the reason be that the wait staff can’t figure out what the heck you’re actually trying to order?”

Read the full story here…

Leave no stone unturned…

To find what you seek in the road of life,
the best proverb of all is that which says:
“Leave no stone unturned.”
Edward Bulwer Lytton

No matter what you are striving for, we all run into challenges, road-blocks and things that look like dead-ends…  When you come face to face with a stone-wall, just start picking up each stone, turn it over and place it aside.  It may take a while but the journey and destination will be the reward for your dedication…

Failure and Victory

winner-medal

“Take failures and victory coolly. To do the latter is a very difficult mental exercise. In a running race, the losers, when running neck to neck, prompt the winners to run faster. They inspire the grit, to put in that extra pace which brings victory to the winners. Hence, winners must actually be thankful to the losers for their victory. Those who did not win, I ask you not to lose your self-confidence. Never attach too much value to victory and defeat. All of you are born for far greater things than winning mundane races and competitions. Your destiny does not depend upon a game or an examination – it depends more upon your character, your will power and the grace of God.”  – Baba

This is an interesting perspective ~ that the winners actually have the losers to thank for their victory (I guess if no one else showed up and you still ran the race, would you say you ‘won’?)

If we don’t change, we don’t grow…

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” —-Gail Sheehy

[From Wikipedia]  “Gail Sheehy (born November 15, 1937, Mamaroneck, New York) is an American writer and lecturer, most notable for her books on life and the life cycle. She is also a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine.

Her fifth book, Passages, was called “a road map of adult life”. Several of her books continue the theme of passages through life’s stages, including menopause and what she calls “Second Adulthood”, including Pathfinders, Spirit of Survival, and Menopause: The Silent Passage. Her latest book, Sex and the Seasoned Woman, reveals a hidden cultural phenomenon: a surge of vitality in women’s sex and love lives after age fifty. She wrote a biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hillary’s Choice.”