The more you surround yourself with inspiration, the more opportunity you find to make progress with your goals and stay accountable. Inspiration can come in many forms. Essentially it represents examples highlighting how others have accomplished goals you want to achieve or surrounding yourself with people, who, in your eyes, behave in inspiring ways.
This inspiration can range from noninteractive ways, like reading blogs or books & listening to podcasts of people that have accomplished things you would like to do, to more interactive circumstances like attending a course or webinar, participating in a Facebook group, and meeting like-minded folks at meet-ups.
Speaking of which, I will be holding a virtual FI Québec meetup (french only for this time). Scroll below for more information on how to sign-up.
Inspiration can lead to a new and improved path.
Part of the reasons I decided to start this blog was that I believed writing about FI would lead me to dive deeper in improving and finding ways to fast track our savings.I thought that breaking down the various challenges along the path could help me stay accountable and keep surrounding myself in inspiration to help us on our own path.
More than 3 years later, I realize that what was initially a simple hobby actually provided a route for me to find ways to be happier and design a life I prefer along the way to the goal, thus improving our journey. The inspiration had a reach way beyond that idea of finding more ways to save money.
For example, my friend Jessica from The Fioneers, who I’ve met thanks to the blog, reached out to see if I wanted to join a group focused on lifestyle design. Through this, I was part of a small group of bloggers reading the book Designing Your Life and supporting each other along our journey through the book’s exercises. I gradually started implementing some changes with the support of this group to bounce off ideas and help me overcome challenges to test & perfect my vision of my ideal lifestyle.
It is not uncommon for the amazing friends I have made through blogging to support each other in goals going way beyond the subject of finances. One fantastic and ongoing example of this is how my friend Purple from A Purple Life holds a weekly accountability thread to remind us of whatever we decide we want to focus on.
Through the blog, I also wrote more about finding happiness at work. I dug deeper into resources like the Mad Fientist’s podcast and lessons from his first years of FI and what he would have done differently along the way. His lessons and trajectory played a role in inspiring me to negotiate my work from home arrangement.
The inspiration that surrounded me through writing about my own journey led me to an improved path towards FI. One fantastic example of this occurring for others, is this recent interview on The Fioneers blog of a couple that ended up taking the leap to semi-retirement 3 years sooner thanks to learning about Slow FI and the concept of active income through participating in local Choose FI meetups.
Wiring your brain to see opportunities
An interesting principle in this book called the Tetris Effect shows that our brains can be wired in ways to scan for the good things in life– to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels.
The more I explore the concept of happiness, the more I find myself pulled towards opportunities for self-exploration and of defining the concrete meaning to my FI. Perhaps writing about our journey combined with surrounding myself with the inspiration of others doing so helped my brain be wired to see and seize those opportunities.
One such simple action was to read the book Work Optional which guided me to define my work optional life with more clarity. Through exercises that helped me reconnect with what is most important to find fulfilment in my life, I kept coming back to the value of community.
Building on the exercises from the book and re-focusing on the importance of community to me, helped me reduce my imposter syndrome and feel more confident about my decision back in 2019 to attend FinCon a conference for financial content creators.
In participating in that conference and other FI meetups I got to meet people who had achieved some of my dreams and were actually living this FI life I’d been working towards for 6 years. Seeing other people that have already achieved FIRE and having conversations on their progress, mindset and current lives is a huge confidence booster for my own project: it makes it real.
Dreaming about this grand plan is one thing but meeting people who have executed it is another. These are real people who have seized some opportunities and overcame some of their fears that come up along the journey and reached this objective.
I also got to explore the idea of money coaching more thoroughly while attending FinCon & had the opportunity to discuss with people who run businesses dedicated to helping people take control of their finances. This gave me a chance to ask experienced coaches how they got started, what were the downsides and advice for anyone interested in doing this themselves.
Building on this interaction with inspiring people, I am even now part of a small group of coaches in different areas who meet regularly to discuss our progress and challenges. A kind of mastermind and peer mentoring group that is so enriching and serves to continually surround me with inspiration.
Watching another person work through their own fears and obstacles is a huge source of inspiration. Funnily enough, it is often easier to believe in the goals that our friends have and to support them than to believe in our own self. Learning about the process others put in place along the way towards their goals and also realizing we all have some fears to break through can actually help us become more courageous with our own goals.
Jillian Johnsrud’s podcast Everyday Courage surrounds this idea that you don’t need to be perfect to make progress, you just need to be a little more courageous. Listening to an inspirational podcast such as this one is yet another way to keep surrounding yourself with inspiration and increase your confidence to take action and make your goals happen.
You can find many ways to keep surrounding yourself with inspiration. From those noninteractive ways of reading books & blogs, listening to podcasts & viewing interesting webinars, to options where you can lurk or interact, such as facebook groups, twitter, comment sections of blogs and some online courses.
It doesn’t necessarily require huge changes to keep the inspiration flowing. Skipping the small talk with family and friends and focusing on your true passion and values can actually allow you to stay inspired. You may find out that others have similar interests than you, and they might have really inspiring tips and stories to share. It’s how I found out that my sister in law is a queen at finding deals, discounts and hacks to spend less.
Finally, you can attend meet-ups & events like the Virtual FI Quebec meetup I will be holding on August 25 at 8hPM (which will be in French only for this time yet if there is interest to hold one in English I will be happy to organize one).
To launch the meetup, a panel of bloggers will answer a series of questions about their own financial paths before we open up the floor to all for comments and questions.
The panel of bloggers will include the very inspirational folks from:
Update: The event was held August 25 and was a success! If you would like to be added to the list to get info on future similar meetups, please sign up here:
How do you keep yourself surrounded by inspiration? Any great stories on how inspiration has led you to an improved path towards a goal of yours?