I have an ideal self, and a present self.
My ideal self exercises daily. She hikes or climbs at least twice a week. She eats plenty of vegetables.
She explores ideas that fascinate her. She reads one to two books a week, making copious notes and annotations throughout. Brilliant blog posts emerge as the natural, organic outcome of this practice.
My ideal self is a prolific writer. She’s developed such strong habits that her articles write themselves. Her fingertips move across the keyboard in a state of flow.
She doesn’t get stressed out about the fact that she’s not publishing articles (or finishing course modules) as quickly as she’d like. She’s patient with herself.
She has no attachment to outcome.
My ideal self doesn’t entangle herself in tiny details and over-optimizations. She’s excellent at filtering out the noise and focusing on what really matters. She’s efficient, not because of productivity hacks but because of her relaxed, playful relationship with her work.
My ideal self is silly and funny and authentic with everyone she meets. She embodies grace, ease and humor.
My ideal self takes a “yes, and” approach to life.
And she doesn’t take life too seriously.
I’d like to meet her one day.
She sounds awesome.
Then there’s my present self.
She’s an effing trainwreck.
Her workouts are sporadic and half-a**ed. She gets outdoors maybe-every-now-and-again. She’s self-critical to a crippling degree. She fears failure. She gets mired in the small stuff. She spends more time getting distracted and futzing around than she spends reading and journaling. She’s frustrated at herself for not living up to her own expectations.
But she’s inching closer to becoming her ideal self everyday.
I also have a future self.
I don’t know much about her. I don’t know where she lives, what she eats, what music she listens to. Is she still a writer? Is she still a podcaster? Does she live on Mars? Does Twitter still exist?
I know nothing about her, other than her date-of-birth and Social Security number. She is, after all, my future self.
And — here’s the kicker — although I don’t know her, I take incredible care of her.
I invest so that she can financially relax.
I exercise (sometimes) so that she’ll be healthy.
I wear sunblock for her. I stay hydrated for her. I even wear earplugs at concerts and festivals — (and yes, also when I’m using my ridiculously loud blender) — just for her.
She’s a stranger. I’ll never meet her. But I’m always thinking about her.
My present self may be a trainwreck, but I’m happy knowing that my future self will be juuussttt fine.
Okay. Enough with this.
You know sh*t gets real when I start talking about myself in the third-person.
I can only handle the heavy stuff for so long. Let’s lighten the mood with this image of a cartoonishly large giraffe:
Ahhh, much better.
I’ve been quiet around here lately. And I’d like to explain why.
If you’ve been reading Afford Anything for at least a year, you’ve probably noticed that my “monthly” real estate income reports started trickling out every-two-months. And then every-three-months. And then every-who-knows-when?
And I feel guilty about this — so, so friggin’ guilty — because I promised you I’d publish these reports every month, and I’m letting you down.
And I hate letting you down.
But I don’t want to publish these reports in a vacuum — “Here are the numbers! Wham! Bam! Goodbye!” — like some cheap hooker just trying to finish the job. I want these reports to have context and meaning. I want you to learn, not just gossip about numbers.
This means I’ve committed to an ‘editorial calendar’ of producing at least one real-estate-related article per month. And I just don’t have the enthusiasm to write deeply and passionately about real estate every month, while also building a real estate course, answering questions about real estate on the podcast, etc.
You see —
Here’s the thing about writers: we write what’s on our minds.
Last year I wrote several articles about productivity and focus, because I needed it the most. I felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of creating this online course, and I needed to learn about focus so that I could become more focused.
These days I think about personal development often — and here I am, writing about the gap between my ideal self vs. my present self. I write about what I’m thinking about.
And here’s the thing: I don’t think about real estate. Like, ever.
I’m not passionate about real estate. I’m passionate about being sustainably unemployed — also known as financial independence. Real estate investing is a means to an end; it’s a delivery vehicle for the passive income that allows me to spend my days doing whatever I want.
So I’m struggling to write about it. But I enjoy talking about it.
So TL;DR — I’ve decided to start talking out the monthly income reports. And in Classic Ridiculous Paula Style, I’ve created a video that’ll hopefully make you laugh, definitely make a mockery of myself, and possibly teach you something along the way.
Here are my monthly real estate income reports — November 2016 through March 2017 — in goofy movie form. 🙂
P.S. – Don’t want to watch the video? Grab the transcript by clicking the yellow button below.
P.P.S. – If you enjoyed the video, make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel!