The Shot I Almost Missed

I was on the the road going to the World Domination Summit being held in Portland, Oregon, where I had the opportunity to speak in front of almost a thousand people, back in July of 2012.

I left Houston, Texas on a Monday morning and was planning to get to Portland by Thursday. It was going to be a fun trip. I had planned out my route for maximum exposure to Nature, which included going through the Grand Canyon.

Pathway to Grand Canyon (c) Rasheed Hooda
Pathway to Grand Canyon (c) Rasheed Hooda

I was enjoying the trip as much as I was looking forward to getting to WDS. One of my favorite natural phenomena is waterfalls, and I will take detours, if need be, in order to go see a waterfall. Or even plan an entire trip for Waterfall Hunting. (but that would be another blog post altogether)

So, I took a detour in the Twin Falls, Idaho area to check out the Shoshone Falls.

Rainbow at Shoshone Falls (c) Rasheed Hooda
Rainbow at Shoshone Falls (c) Rasheed Hooda

(I call them Mini Niagara Falls). Since photography is one of my favorite activities, though not the passion it was once upon a time, I like to take pictures of things that to call me. And waterfalls have been one of those things. The detour was well worth the time and effort as you can see.

Later, as I continued my journey towards Portland, driving on I-80 along the twists and turns of the Columbia River which separates the states of Oregon and Washington, I saw a beautiful yacht cruising on the river. I was told later that the yacht belonged to Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. It had a helicopter on it, now that is living life in style.

The Yacht (c) Rasheed Hooda
The Yacht (c) Rasheed Hooda

I love being out there in Nature with no worries and a relaxed attitude. That is not to say that I didn’t have things on my mind that demanded my attention or caused me concerns. But, when I am engrossed in Nature, they lose their grip.

I was about 30 or 40 miles from Portland cruising along at 65-70 miles per hour, the river to my right and the mountains to my left, when I saw a sign that informed me that a waterfall was up ahead. I followed the road signs and exited the freeway and ended up in a parking lot.

In a parking lot, for heaven’s sake! No trails, no signs, no indication of anything that would make me think that there was a waterfall around. I went to the lone structure on the parking lot, hoping to ask someone for more information. But, all I found was brochures from travel outfits. No human being in sight. I looked around the parking lot for clues that might indicate how I might be able get to the waterfall, but no such luck.

I was disappointed, and maybe a little ticked off, as I headed back to my van, the camera still hanging from my neck. I might even say that I was more than a little ticked off.

That’s when I heard a crow overhead. “Caw, Caw,” it seemed to be calling me saying, “Hey, look up here, you dummy.”

I looked up in the direction of the sound, hoping to catch a crow in flight for a great shot. What I saw left my mouth wide open in awe and amazement.

Multnomah Falls (c) Rasheed Hooda
Multnomah Falls (c) Rasheed Hooda

There it was. The Multnomah Falls, all Six Hundred and Four Feet of it, – on the other side of the highway. And to think, I almost missed it because I was walking around with the proverbial blinders on, only looking for what I thought should be there, and not being open to other possibilities.

There was a tunnel under the highway that took me to the other side where the real action was. For the next hour and a half, I was in a total state of bliss, enjoying this marvelous feat of Nature.

I learned two very important lessons from this incident.

The first one is the obvious one. Don’t go through life with your blinders on.

But the second one is more subtle, and, in my opinion, the more important one; and that is about the presence of Divine Grace in our lives. Even when we are walking around with our blinders on, Divine Grace nudges us in the direction of our desires, towards the magnificent beauty that is all around us.

What is your take? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

Just Get Going

Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just a few days ago I wrote a post about the most important lesson I have learned in my Joyously Jobless Journey.

Of course, the lesson is, start from where you are.

While the post was still in the queue waiting for the scheduled date to be published, in the most wonderfully synchronous and serendipitous way, I came across this article in the newsletter from my dear friend and fellow Joyously Jobless entrepreneur Marianne Cantwell who writes over at Free Range Humans.

It’s a wonderful story of an immigrant making more than a quarter of million dollars starting from where he was, and ending up being featured in the Forbes Magazine.

Read the story on Forbes here.

Which just goes to prove that when you start, right from where you are, and take action despite not knowing how everything will work out, not having all your proverbial ducks in order, everything that you need on your Joyously Jobless Journey will just show up along the way.

My mom taught me that God (the Universe, the Divine, the Infinite Intelligence, or whatever other name you choose) makes everything ready for you before it is needed. She told me that she was making milk long before I was born, and that the milk was the best custom made designer food that anyone could have possibly made for me when I finally arrived in this world.

So if you are hesitating, or having doubts about your ability to succeed in your journey, rest assured that the Universe has got you covered.

Just get going, right from where you are.

—————–

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

The Most Important Lesson

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The most important lesson that I learned in my journey to becoming a Joyously Jobless entrepreneur is that you have to start where you are.

I know that sounds simple and plain but it is something that a lot of people don’t understand.

Starting where you are simply means working with what you have right where you are.

Most people are either waiting for things to fall into place before they act, or they’re wishing that they had done that another time, so they would be in a different place.

But the fact of the matter is that past is gone and the future is not here yet. Now is the only time that is available to us.

We can only act now. We cannot act in the past, we cannot act in the future. Now is the only time that ever exists.

Where are you at the moment in your journey to achieving your Freedom Lifestyle?

Let’s face it, life is a journey. And like all journeys we must travel forth from where we are to get where we want to go.

Wishing that you had started it sooner will not get you there any sooner, and wishing that you were already there will not make it so either.

You must accept and come to terms with where you are before you can make any progress.

Until I learned that lesson I was a wandering generality instead of a meaningful specificity, and wandering generalities don’t get anywhere. They just keep wandering with no purpose.

Once I came to terms with where I was instead of wishing where I could’ve been, things became much easier.

I still had to work. I still had to put in the effort, but now I had a specific direction and I was moving in that direction with hope.

So what was it that held me back from starting where I was? It was this feeling that if only I had more money I could move forward. In other words, I was focused on making a living rather than making a life.

If you have any hope or chance of finding your freedom and living the life of your dreams, then, the first thing you must come to terms with is that you must start from where you are, because, that is the only place from where you can act.

You cannot act in the past, because the past is gone. You cannot act in the future, because the future is not here yet.

Now is the only time you have, and you must act now in order to achieve everything that you want, and live the life of your dreams.

if you just focus on life and don’t chase a living then you will find that the living will take care of itself.

Do you agree? Disagree?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s start a conversation.

You Gotta Wanna

Freedom (c) Rasheed Hooda
Freedom (c) Rasheed Hooda

Sometimes things just fall in place perfectly without any effort on your part.

I was looking over my notes to see what I can write about when the title of this post caught my attention in my notes.

I had written it down because I loved the way it was phrased. I had come across it in the comments of another blog post I was reading. I loved it so much that I wrote it down. I was going to link to that post, but can’t find it. (Note to self: next time bookmark it.)

It gelled perfectly with the conversation I had with a friend of mine just a couple of days ago.

She’s been telling me for the last five years that she hates her job and can’t wait till she is finally able to walk away from it one day.

I reminded her of what my friend Sean Ogle is so fond of saying. “There are only seven days in a week, and Someday is not one of them.”

She told me that she wants to do the responsible thing. She doesn’t want to just quit and not be able to pay her bills. She want to have a proper “exit strategy.”

I asked her what would she do if she was forced into that situation. What if she was let go instead of quitting the job that she hates so much? How would she do the “responsible thing” then?

She said, “Oh, I have a couple of things that I can do, if that happened.”

“So, you do have an exit strategy in place,” I said.

“Yeah, kinda. But I want to make sure that everything will work out correctly before I quit.”

SIGH!

How often have you been the victim of that kind of circular thinking?

I know I have been there many a times. But, it wasn’t until my back was against the wall, so to speak, that I walked away. I had opportunities before and I had been planning for a long time, or I should say wishing and hoping for a long time.

It takes a while before the energies of wanting freedom and being thrust into a situation where you are forced to claim it come into alignment. In other words, it actually takes a while before you able to feel the freedom.

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.

Paulo Coelho

Yes, I agree that you must prepare before you take the plunge, but, there comes a time when you must take the plunge in faith knowing that you have done all that you can, and the rest is out of your hands.

And when you do that, you will either find a safe place to land, or you’ll be given wings to fly.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Making Money On The Road

Tracks
Tracks (c) Rasheed Hooda

I have been travelling whenever the urge happened since 2009 and frequently since 2011.

People always ask me about how I manage it. How do I make money? Where do I sleep, take a shower and all other kinds of questions.

While I have been successful in doing it My Way, not everyone might be interested in doing it that way.

But the fact of the matter is that a lot of people are doing it, and most of them are doing it their way.

If you have you ever thought about traveling, but didn’t know how you can pay for it, then I got some great news for you.

The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom
Click on image for details

Two of my friends, Nora Dunn and Chris Guillebeau have teamed up to produce an Unconventional Guide on How to Earn Money While Traveling.

They separate facts from fiction and give you the real nuts and bolts of how to do it in many different ways, so you can decide which one you want to call “My Way”.

Chris is originally from Seattle WA, but now lives in Portland OR, and has traveled to every country in the world, 192 total, over a 12 years period and has written about it extensively on his blog and in his books.

I came across Nora when I decided to start traveling and began my research. She has been travelling for almost ten years now and has supported herself throughout her travels while on the road.

It all starts with a paradigm shift. If you want a life that is different than the masses, then you have to acquire a way of thinking that is different from the masses.

In other words, you have to give up the conventional thinking that says that your ways of generating income and travelling have to be connected. You can make them mutually exclusive and achieve success in both.

Develop a skill, or find a way to service a customer base that does not require you to be tied to any particular location, and you can earn an income from practically anywhere in the world. In today’s technologically advanced, internet connected world, it is easier than it ever has been.

As the old saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

And this Unconventional Guide shows you many ways to travel and make money at the same time.

Go get your copy now.

What is Joyously Jobless

Being Joyously Jobless simply means not having to answer to anyone else in order to earn a livelihood.

My friend and mentor, Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job, calls it Joyfully Jobless.

Either way, it’s all about being self employed or an entrepreneur.

When you work for someone else, you are selling your time or knowledge to only one customer, namely your boss/employer. Not only that, but that one customer also, for the most part, controls whether you can offer your services to someone else or not.

In addition, that one customer tells you what they will pay for your services, take it or leave it. I say, leave it.

The way I see it, and I have noticed that more and more people are beginning to see it, is that we have a choice. After all, any business transaction is an exchange of value for value, and if you’re not getting what you’re worth, but accepting it, it is no one’s fault but yours.

Of course, if you don’t have much to offer in terms of knowledge or skills, you can’t ask for much in return. So first and foremost, Joyously Jobless people have skills and knowledge that has market value.

There are many things that the Joyously Jobless do, to keep themselves fed and happy.

For Example, I have been twisting balloons for the past seven years, putting smiles on the faces of kids of all ages, food on my plate and gas in my Mobile Domicile.

crown

 

I saw this man in front of a busy mall in Houston, and asked if I can take his picture. He was was working for tips, just like I do in my balloons business.

The Jazz man 2
The Jazz man

Working for tips is only one of the ways to be Joyously Jobless.

You can have an online business such as an Etsy, Cafepress, or Ebay store where you conduct business selling your art or creations, or selling/reselling merchandise that people are looking for. You can visit garage sales and estate sales and find stuff that can be resold elsewhere for a profit.

What is your definition of being Joyously Jobless?

 

 

Follow Your Bliss

The Jazz man 2
The Jazz man

Okay, so I’ve been playing with this blog and the website for about a month, trying to figure out the various what, how and why’s.

Andy Brown, my web wizard, has been very patient and even more helpful.

And it seems like I am on the verge of finalizing what I want to do and why. And it is best to leave the how for Andy and stop meddling.

When I started this, it was all about me. After all, the site is named after me. I think I will leave that as it is, because, I want to brand myself as an “expert” on the topic of Making a Life, Not a Living. However, I don’t want this site to about me.

As I went through the motions of writing, I realized that what I was doing wasn’t really turning me on. I wasn’t being inspired to write, or work on the content. I was slapping a few sentences together and calling it a blog post. It was not meaningless or worthless. It had a structure, a body, but it was lacking the soul.

Then it hit me. I was too focused on how I was going to make money with this. And that was not in harmony with what I was trying to do. My intent is inspire people to Make a Life, Not a Living. I wasn’t living my own message.

Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ M K Gandhi

It was scary. The thought, the conditional programming of how was I going to make money with it kept hounding me. Things went from bad to worse. My other channels of income started getting affected, and that intensified the fear even more, and I tried to focus more and more on how am I going to make money from this and how can I do so faster.

The harder I tried the worse it got. Finally, I stopped struggling and I surrendered. I surrendered to my Higher Self. “Okay,” I said, “I give up. You tell me what to do.”

It was like, my higher self had a smirk on His face. “Focus on making a life, not a living.”

Duh!

It is amazing how things change when change your perspective.

Within a matter of days, I was interviewed to talk about the way I conduct my life.

Soon after that, my other channels of income started getting better because, not only was I able to tune in better, but started taking action on the inner promptings of my Higher Self.

I was inspired to revisit a Keynote Speech I had developed many years ago, but never used. Revisiting that speech, I realized that I had an excellent title, but my content, while good, was not in harmony with where I was then, or even now.

I realized that while my intent was to inspire, my content was too preachy. The last thing anyone looking for inspiration wants is to be talked down to.

As I looked at the speech, I was able to rework it to harmonize with where I am and what I want to accomplish. It enables me to talk about my walk, because I am walking my talk.

Then I was invited to share the stage with a very accomplished inspirational speaker and I will be doing that in March of this year. More on that later.

So, yes, you can Make a Life without worrying about Making a Living. As my friend Kandace Nesbitt-Rodarte says, you can Pursue your Passions Profitably.

Happily Homeless Joyously Jobless

Make a living
Freedom Lifestyle (c) Rasheed Hooda

When you make a life instead of worrying about making a living, things happen that never seize to amaze me.

Earlier this week I went to a Meetup Group to play the CashFlow game.

In case you’re not familiar with it, CashFlow is a board game created by Robert Kiyosaki, of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame.

It is designed to educate and entertain you about how the finances in your life work, based on his bestselling Rich Dad Poor Dad book series. It helps you understand how income & expenses, assets & liabilities work together to create cash flow, money you can use, in your life.

The object of the game is to get out of the Rat Race and pursue your Dreams.

As we were playing the game, one of the players asked me if I had to leave immediately after the game. I didn’t have any particular commitments, so I told her it wasn’t imperative.

She then told me that she would like to interview me about being Joyously Jobless for her podcast.

So, after the game, Kandace Nesbitt-Rodarte aka Gratitude Geek and I  spent some time talking about being Happily Homeless and Joyously Jobless. About Making a Life, Not a Living.

You can hear that interview here.

rasheed-hooda-featured-375x210 GG

When you make creating a life of your liking a priority, opportunities to support that decision will show up in your life constantly.

You just have to trust your Inner Intelligence and follow your bliss.

Joys of Being Joyously Jobless

Let me make this absolutely clear, so that there is no misunderstanding.

Being Joyously Jobless does not mean that you don’t work. It simply means that you don’t have a J-O-B. You work when you want to and when you feel like it, most of the time.

Anyone who is successful knows that a certain amount of doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done is necessary to be successful.

Being Joyously Jobless means that the use of your time is not dictated by someone else. You set your own schedule, and no one else.

IMG_20150121_153323405_HDR

One of the things I like to do is play board games. So, every Wednesday, I go to a Meetup in Spring, TX. where we have a meeting of the like minded people and we spend the whole day, (Noon to 9:00 PM), playing board games and card games.

Then yesterday, I met up with a group of Consciously Curious individuals and shared what was going on in our lives and caught up with a few old friends.

Life is great when you have the Freedom to choose how you want to spend your time and with whom.

How do you like to spend your time? Share in the comments below.

Happily Homeless


When someone first learns that I live in my van, I can never tell how they would react. But most people are at loss, and confused, not knowing how to react.

But it goes without saying that most people view it as an unfortunate, temporary situation.

Even after I tell them that I have been doing this for three and half years, and I am happily adapted to this way of living and prefer it over living in a stick and brick outfit, they can’t fathom that someone would actually willingly do this.

Then there are those who have this excited disbelief in their eyes.

“Really? How cool, I wish I could do that.”

When I assure them that they could, they get all apologetic and start listing excuses as to why they can’t.

But lately, I have found a third group of people. These are the people who have considered or entertained the idea, and are curious as to what it takes to become Happily Homeless. They ask pertinent questions, which gets me excited.

I have been creating a list of questions, I and am going to address them little by little on this website.

Have you ever considered an alternate way of living? What questions do you have about the Van-Dwelling, Happily Homeless lifestyle?

Please share in the comments below.