Rise and shine

Good morning, internets!
It’s 7 a.m. where I am, but I’ve been up since 3:30. I would usually consider that an awful way to start the day, and I would still be in bed, tossing and turning and counting sheep, setting my alarm back another half hour because I really, really need to sleep.
But not today! I keep thinking about a TED Talk I listened to a while ago, Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career. Economist Larry Smith talks about all the excuses we make for ourselves when it comes to really committing ourselves to our life goals with passion. 
“Passion is your greatest love. Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent,” says Smith. 
What got me out of bed this morning at 3:30 was remembering Smith’s discussion of the passionate as crazy, unbalanced zealots. Many people will fail to have great careers–great lives–because people who give up everything else to reach their goals are a little insane. Better to be a normal, healthy, balanced, tax-paying, registered voter.
I also just bought the Nook version of The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte because she wrote
  • Life balance is a myth, and the pursuit of it is causing us more stress than the craving for balance itself. Being well-rounded is highly over-rated.
  • When you focus on developing your true strengths you enter your mastery zone.
I bought the book as soon as I read those words on her website, and I started reading the book this morning when I first got up. Well, after I read two chapters of Smart Women Finish Rich.
When I woke up at 3:30 a.m., I was surprised at how early it was because I didn’t feel tired. My first instinct was to go back to sleep, because I would need the rest to get through the day. 
“Self,” I said, “Only a crazy person…”
And then I realized that I really, really wanted to be one of those crazy people that gets up at 4 a.m. to pursue their life goals. 
My first step toward living the life I want for myself is figuring out exactly what that looks like and setting myself up so I can take advantage of opportunities as they come. For me, that means getting and staying out of debt, which is why I am reading Smart Women Finish Rich and why I’ve enrolled in a financial plan with LearnVest
Money is really unpleasant for most people to talk about, but I’m beginning to suspect that is part of the problem, so I’m going to to be honest here. I’ve already–finally–signed up for my 401k at work. Next, I’m going to get renter’s insurance from my car insurance provider, switch to a checking account that’s more convenient for me, and see about transferring the balance of my credit card to one with a better interest rate. 
All this is so that I can move toward location-independent employment, so that the next time I get an offer in my inbox about some outrageous deal for Jamaican cruises, I can just get myself to the airport right away instead of wishing I hadn’t spent my bonus on an unintentional shopping spree. 
What would you do with an unexpected hour or two of free time? 

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