One or more insights I recently picked up


Financial independence is achieved as follows: Eliminate all the nonsense and all the options that don’t work for you or that waste your time, and repeat week in and week out the steps that do work for you.



Thought one: A certain type of statement that cannot be refuted but which either manifests or does not manifest depending on your actions: You are x number of steps away from complete financial independence; You are x number of steps away from your ideal weight, and so on.

Thought two: Another statement that cannot be refuted: A complete list of values that can be delivered to a specific community yields at least one item that you can deliver for a fee.

Natural next question: What community?


When you talk about making money/receiving money, you are talking about either speculating or selling.

When you talk about selling, you’re talking about providing value to a specific community (or market).

The question, again, is what community, and what value.

I sell to a local language centre my time and my ability to lead an English class.

In other words, they buy my time and a specific ability.

But, as it is with these things, there’s another layer. Because what they’re really buying is my value as a cog in the wheel of their money-generating machine. (Sounds nasty but it works out well enough for everyone.) This value does come in the form of my time and my ability. The students, on the other hand, buy a product at the language centre that will give them the value of improved language skills.



• Accept responsibility for yourself and for the situation in which you find yourself. (This applies if you’re happy with your situation, but also, of course, if you are not.)

• Be grateful, every day, for what you already have.

• Believe in your ability to improve your life and your living conditions by changing how you think about yourself, and about your life.

• Believe that you will see more positive things when you expect more positive things (and see more negative things if you expect negative things), recognise more to be grateful for when you’re intent on searching for such things, and see more opportunities to improve your life if you expect the opportunities to appear to you.

• Eat healthy food, make sure you get enough rest, and exercise regularly enough so that your energy levels are such that you can take the actions you need to take. It’s to a large extent a reinforcing loop: follow a healthy diet, sleep enough, exercise daily … have more energy, which will make you want to take the steps you need to take, the doing of which will again motivate you to eat healthy food, get enough sleep and exercise the next day. On the other hand, if you eat foods that make you listless you’re less likely to exercise, and because what you eat and drink cause mayhem in your body you are less likely to sleep well; which means you’re less eager to do what you need to do to be successful.


[Some people close to me] still believe money is scarce, and that they will never be fortunate enough to experience an abundance of it. Two options for me, and for my ability to help them:

Option 1: I believe they are right, and that I too will never be fortunate enough to experience an abundance of money.

Option 2: I believe, tragic as it is, that they are somewhat ignorant in the matter, and wrong in their view. I further believe that money is in a way like oxygen: it’s all around us, and you just have to do certain things, and not block the flow, to experience it in abundance.

* * *

All you have to do is open your mouth and draw oxygen into your lungs. After all, you don’t first hold your breath trying to work out whether or not you deserve the oxygen or whether you have a right to it, do you?

Of course you have to earn the money that ends in your pocket and in your bank account – trouble tends to follow those who think they can just stretch out their hands and take money. You also have to earn someone’s friendship and trust, and another person’s embrace and physical touch.

Like oxygen, money is in abundance (according to one source, “All told, anyone looking for all of the U.S. dollars in the world in July 2013 could expect to find approximately $10.5 trillion in existence […]. If you just want to count actual notes and coins, there are about $1.2 trillion floating around the globe.”). So too the potential for friendship and positive engagement with other people and the happiness that so often results from it. But why do so many people believe they don’t deserve happiness? Why do so many people believe they don’t deserve money in abundance, no matter how hard they work?


Most people, if they have to be fair and honest, would have to admit that there are hordes of opportunities to make a lot of money. They must know this, because there has never been a shortage of stories of people who have tried things and have made a success of it. Every week there are new products on the market that did not exist the previous year. There are new versions of old products; new versions of old stories; newer versions of old music; two or more ideas combined to make new products.

Believe there are indeed many ideas for making money, and that you are capable enough to develop such ideas, or competent enough to talk to people who will know what to do, and your brain will, like a recently reconfigured radar, pick up ideas on a daily basis. These same ideas will bite someone else on the nose, and they won’t blink an eye. Why not? Because they don’t believe it’s there. And even if they believed it’s there, they’ll think they’re unable to do anything about it.

* * *

An hour after thinking the previous thought, a woman walked past the restaurant where I was sitting near the window having dinner. She had a canvas bag over her shoulder. The words on the bag said, “There is no place like Tainan …”

The design was okay. I wouldn’t buy it, I thought, because I don’t live in Tainan, but if it said Kaohsiung …

There was nothing special about the font or the colours of the letters. I realised that with one such design you could have a thousand T-shirts, coffee mugs and canvas bags on the market, with different cities’ names on, for probably less than $30 worth of investment.

The world is awash with ideas that will allow you to bring at least a little more value into other people’s lives and make more money in the process. If you believe it, you’ll see it. If you don’t believe it, you won’t see it.

UPDATE: Saturday, 25 January 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about money-making ideas, and how, if you set yourself up for it you’ll receive ideas on an almost daily basis.

This is true. It is, however, crucial to mention that you do not only want to be a RECIPIENT of ideas – you want to be an EXECUTOR of ideas. Without action, the ideas are not worth a red cent.


One of the insights I gained recently from one of the books I’m reading is that wealth appears in more than one form. You may think you’re one of those people who don’t attract wealth, but chances are you think that way because you have a narrow view of wealth – you’re only thinking of it as money.

Broaden your understanding and you may see how much wealth you attract in other forms. There are things people give you without you asking – things you need, for which you would have spent your own money if you’d had to buy it yourself; favours people do for you – which would otherwise cost you money; time you were given when you thought you had to do something but now another person is doing it; opportunities you get to meet people or learn things, or gain knowledge that all improve your quality of life in different ways.

You may succeed in attracting these things by acting in a certain way, or by being the relatively good person you are. But because it does not come in the form of cash or numbers on your ATM slip, it’s easy to ignore as the wealth you are actually attracting to yourself on a daily basis.