The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. — Chinese Proverb
The Road Is Long
I’m sure there’s lots of long term nomads that agree that it’s easy to become jaded to travel after a while.
My longest stint on the road was 3 years non-stop. Imagine it – just me and my backpack, moving about every few days with no permanent location, while experiencing dozens of new things things never comprehended by the mind before.
This is enough to test anyone’s mindset, and sooner or later, I began to resent experience instead of looking forward to it.
I was constantly in motion and found it difficult to think straight, because a new adventure or person was always around the corner.
My life wasn’t full circle and I was compromising my health.
I needed something more permanent to reflect, and in the second half of 2015 I decided that I’d take base in Leipzig, Germany.
Last fast forward a few months. Things are a little different now. Life’s slowed down, and I’ve been focusing my time on building healthy routines and lasting habits.
I spent a few weeks brainstorming my goals for the rest of 2016, when I came up with a framework for myself which I named the “4 Pillars to Prosperity.”
My goal was to consciously map out the things that were important to me, and systemise them by putting them into a framework which is could use to consciously remind myself of what was important.
I want to use the rest of this article to explore the 4 Pillars to Prosperity framework. The pillars might not relate to you entirely, but they are important to me, so feel free to take what you need.
The 4 Pillars to Prosperity
Health is number one and the foundation that everything else in life is built on.
Without health, we can’t do anything. And on the same token, once health is gone, it’s coming back now.
During my travels, I found staying healthy on the road a little difficult to keep in check. Due to the spontaneous nature of the road, living day by day, I usually didn’t know when I would eat or where I would sleep. My life lacked consistency and routine.
After neglecting my health for so long, I’ve come to realise its importance. I’ve got a permanent place to build a routine, and here’s some things I will be sticking to (feel free to try some of the challenges yourself):
- Exercising for at least 1 hour a day – primarily running and yoga.
- Filling my body with wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables. – Cooking for myself and eating as raw as possible.
- No processed food or refined sugars – I have a very sweet tooth and sugar is my achilles heel. I used to be love coca cola but gave up soft drinks 16 months ago.
- No takeaways such as Mcdonalds, KFC and Burger King – i’ve already been doing that for 16 months.
- 3 litres of water each day, including lemon water first thing in the morning.
- No alcohol – already been doing this for 16 months.
- Lower consumption of meat – I tested vegetarianism for 6 months from January 2016 but lost a lot of weight (i’m already skinny too) so i’ve gone back to lower consumption and mindfulness around meat.
- Mindfullness – Creating a 10 minute daily routine for meditation. I’ve tried this but as of yet i haven’t created the discipline to turn it into a habit. I managed 5 days.
Strong relationships with friends and family are incredibly important. We need friends. We need family. We need lovers. We are social beings and we want to be around and grow with people who matter to us.
Here’s a few things I’ll be experimenting with this pillar:
- I will visit my family in the Lake District more regularly than once a year. It was 16 months since I visited the Lake District.
- I’ll spend more time in person with people rather than connecting on the internet.
- I will focus on the quality of my relationships rather than quantity, and spend my time on the dozen people in my life who matter to me the most.
- If I can’t be in person due to distance, I’ll send more letters, and find different ways to express my gratitude for our friendship more often.
A healthy holistic life is dependent on the synergy between mind and body. For me, this pillar encompasses learning, self development, mental and spiritual growth.
Here’s a few things I’m experimenting with in this pillar:
- Learning – I’ve been learning German for a year on and off, and fluency in a second language is a goal of mine. I’m conversational now and luckily my girlfriend is German, so i’m very optimistic about this goal. Also, i’ve been focusing on improving my writing. I’ve been reading a lot more books in subjects I wasn’t usually fascinated by, and i’ve also been drafting my first book.
- Meditation – I’ve never really got into meditation but I want to give it another shot, starting with just 10 minutes sitting a day.
- Weekly reflection – Every Sunday I’ll continue to spend at least an hour reflecting on the week, setting goals for the forthcoming week, and visualising my future.
- Habits – I’ve already created strong habits around work ethic throughout my life. I’m a morning person so rise by 6am, and I also don’t find it difficult to focus and concentrate for long periods of time when important work needs to be done.
The final pillar is meaning and this relates to my passions, legacy, vision and the work I do in life. Work takes up a large portion of our time so it’s crucial to spend time doing things that make us feel alive.
Here’s a few things I’ll be trying in this pillar:
- Open the first Podstel and give back to travellers.
- Inspire and empower people through with words by writing my first book.
- Create a documentary about the human experience during my last 4 years of travel.
- To start thinking more in terms of legacy, what I can offer and what impact I want to leave on the world.
The pillars are interconnected, and when one of them falls out of place, life falls out of sync. They also work in balance, and too much of one pillar compromises the other pillars.
The pillars aren’t fixed and simply helped me systemise what’s important and think about life in a more holistic fashion.
I hope you can gain something from the 4 Pillars to Prosperity. If you have your own system or tips for living a prosperous life, I’d love to hear about it all in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!
All the best, Dan Beaumont, 9th August 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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