Following my assault a few years ago, I lost everything I had built up after recovering from social anxiety. Now, after fighting back from the anxiety abyss a second time, I am ready to rebuild again.
But first of all, I had to ask myself an important question. One which most people surprisingly don’t know the answer to;
“What do I want from life?”
Think about it.
I am willing to bet most of you will struggle to answer that. It’s such a huge question though and if you can answer it, you’ll be well on your way to actually creating that life. If you can’t answer it, then how can you possibly create a life you truly desire?
Most people though, will give a vague answer like
“I want to be happy.”
“I want to be successful.”
“I want to be rich.”
In terms of creating your deam life, this isn’t specific enough. You need to be a bit more precise, otherwise, where would you even start? What is it that will make you happy or successful? How are you going to become rich?
It took me a long while to figure out my own answer – but here it is:
- To have the freedom to work and live anywhere I want, from my laptop
- To be able to travel and see as much of the world as possible, whenever I choose
- To have a career that I love, as a writer
- To have multiple streams of income, some of which will be passive
- To make a minimum of £100,000 per year
- To move to London and create a tight circle of friends
- To leave a legacy, something that lives on after I die, helping other people
These are my macro goals.
As you can see, I want to reach a position where I never have to worry about money. It means so much to me because basically, I have ALWAYS worried about money. Even when I was a little kid. I grew up on a working class estate with a reputation for being rough and I always knew my family didn’t have much money. My anxiety meant I felt that burden way too much for a child.
I remember crying in my room aged 7 because as I looked around at the toys my parents had bought me, I felt that I hadn’t played with enough of them, appreciated those gifts and the cost of them more.
This attitude towards money stuck with me right up until last year. I’ve always fretted over how much I’m spending and how much I have.
Now, I am not anxious about money but I do want enough to give me the freedom to do what I want, when I want. 100 grand a year would allow me to take time off when I want, travel regularly and live in an expensive city like London, whilst still being able to save a bit and invest in passive sources of income (like property and finance).
Sure, I could survive on far less but I don’t want to survive.
I want to thrive.
I’ve done enough scraping by and worrying. But it’s not really about accumulating money. What you are really buying is time.
When you have time, you have the most valuable commodity in the world. Because when you have time, you have freedom.
But the most important thing for me is that I find my tribe.
I’ve never had that feeling of having a tight group of friends who all have each other’s back. Where you socialise regularly, go for nights out, take holidays together, celebrate each other’s birthdays, attend poker nights and dinner parties.
I know all that will sound really normal to most of you but to me, it’s a dream. I’ve never known what it’s like to feel the security of knowing you always have someone to talk to when you’re down. That there’ll always be someone to buy you a gift on your birthday. That you’ll never be alone on a weekend or stuck indoors on a hot summer’s day.
You know, I genuinely mean it when I say I am now one of the most mentally strong people you will meet.
The past year, I have conditioned myself to become that way, through what I’ve learnt during my awakening. But I know that I can become even stronger.
Whenever I think about how there is literally no-one I can talk to comfortably, in depth about my problems.
How lonely I am each morning when I wake up.
Whenever I see everyone else laughing and chatting through the day.
When I go to bed alone at night.
Whenever I allow myself to stop hustling and grinding and reading and learning and bettering myself (which is almost never), I am left with one overwhelming thought; I’m not just lonely. I’m alone.
That’s what drives me to write this blog and work 15 hour days and try to improve myself as a human being. More than anything else on that list, it is LOVE which drives me.
Money is just a tool to bring me freedom. It can’t bring love but it can bring me closer to love. And that’s what I long for more than anything.
If you’re reading this now and you have a friendship group or even one person who you can confide in (your “rock”), I want you to realise just how lucky you are. Never take them for granted. Go and remind them right now how grateful you are to have them as a friend. Because not everyone is as fortunate.
But I fought through two periods of anxiety by myself. I’m more than strong enough to rebuild again by myself.
That said, it would be nice to get some support from you guys reading this. I appreciate so much the emails of encouragement I’ve had. I’ll never forget what you guys have done for me. I know that I’m getting a reputation for being insanely positive but I have down days as much as……..well, maybe not the next man but I have them!
It’s hard not to when you don’t have close friends to speak to. But I plough on because I’ve already had the worst that life can throw at me. I’ve overcome suicidal thoughts, total hopelessness, the slow decay of prescription drugs.
I know I’ll succeed.
Hey Tim, great post. While there were times in my life when I did have a small group of friends and now I am blessed with many wonderful people in my life, I’ve also had a fair share of loneliness cause I moved so much from one place to another that I lost touch with friends, and every time it took me years before I built a circle I felt close to again (being socially anxious didn’t help!).
Loneliness can be suffocating but at least now you have the confidence to go out and meet people! And the Internet can also be quite a blessing when we feel lonely (as long as it doesn’t keep you inside too much)! Wishing you all the best on your journey – I can tell you’re gonna make it a fantastic one!
Hey Barbara, thanks for that, I also believe that things will work out for me. In fact, I know they will. It’s just gonna take some hard work to get off the ground but these things tend to snowball. I’m willing to put in the hard work and stick at it though. So pleased to hear things have worked out for you, very inspiring 🙂