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How to Stop Thinking Small

Change Blog

A blog about Change.

How to Stop Thinking Small

NVR Guys

Happy New Year!

The picture is us in Italy, enjoying one of the best countries out there and plotting our 2018.

If you're aware of our journey, you likely know that 2017 marked 10 years of living this No Vacation Required (NVR) life of ours. Time flies!

A decade ago, we embarked on a massive, life-rejiggering mission with one goal – moving into a more fulfilling lifestyle that put our values and priorities first. We left corporate jobs, leaned into our interests (travel, giving back, etc.), and began to ponder career transitions that would make our day-to-day existence feel even more satisfying.

Well, the risk paid off. Things in our world are humming in a way that we never even imagined they could.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our relationship was forged in our shared contrarianism. We both love, for example, to look at things that are explicitly or implicitly explained away as “just the way it’s supposed to be” and ask, “why?”  We strive to examine popular modes of living and make sure they genuinely align with who we are. When they don’t, we aim to be strong-willed enough to say so, even when it contradicts the collective. 

For nearly all of those first 10 years of NVR living, we wrote about our experiences here – sometimes frequently, other times less so. Readers connected with the: stories of our travels, tips on living unconventionally, experiences working independently / virtually, and our tales of trying to make the world a better place along the way.

But now it's time for a change.

When examining this next phase of NVR living, NVR 2.0, we knew that we had to walk our talk; we knew we had to continue to challenge our own beliefs and lifestyle choices in order to stay true to ourselves and to keep all aspects of our world in tip-top shape. When we started to think about this 10-year milestone back in 2014, that meant that we needed to stay comfortable with significant change, despite the fact that we were living successfully by pretty much any definition of the word.

While we're celebrating during 2018 (trying to outdo 10 years of living like we're dying!), we'll also be fine-tuning what our next chapter will look like.

In honor of this massive milestone we wanted to share some tips on the very tactics we use to keep from getting complacent and to keep things fresh and moving forward.

Ready to have more Big Thinking mojo in your life.? Here are some tips:

Think critically. Again, we subscribe to the notion that if something is popular, it just might be wrong. Mindless group-think is a powerful force that goads people into simply "going along" with things. Question the norm. Make your own decisions.

Don't look sideways. Glance sideways. That's what we do from time to time because it's important to know the landscape. Otherwise, we look forward. Paying too much attention to what others are doing immediately puts you in the space of duplication and envy. Find your own version of success. When you're focused on the best version of you, you're less likely to want to waste time in the service of time-sucking activities. This sums up our problem with social media.

Define yourself. Don't be limited by others' need to put you in a box. We're all dynamic, multi-faceted individuals. Create the frame through which others see you (and not the other way around).

Have a vision for your life. Want to know a great way to become success oriented? Have a vision for your life. Of course, that vision will evolve over time but always have one. Not sure what that vision looks like? Time for some heavy lifting. Start by monster-hugging life's greatest (and most rewarding!) challenge: knowing yourself. The more self-empowered you feel, the less you'll be baited by smallness. Living with vision is also a prime ingredient of making major change (see link at bottom of page).

Be honest. This isn't about being tedious or unkind; it's about being truthful to yourself and others. People will get over it. If not, whose problem is it, really?

Keep it positive. Negativity can be fun in the moment, but the fun is superficial and fleeting. Negativity breeds myopic vision and shallow thinking. Sometimes a vigorous, critical conversation can seem negative. That's okay. Here, we're focusing on the kind of pointless negativity that can saturate a conversation or, quite often, an entire relationship. Negativity is the sinkhole of life. If something isn't positive, run away as fast as you can. If someone is a consistent drain on your life, give them the chop.

Moving forward, we remain aware of our journey and the fact that we built this awesome lifestyle by continually leaning into uncertainty and questioning conventional wisdom. Despite our success, we commit to keep making "time-rich" a priority over "income-rich" living.

Thanks for reading! Interested in NVR-izing your own life? Be sure to have a look at this page. Also, checkout our day-to-day on Instagram and Twitter.