How Far Have You Come Since Last Year?

How Far Have You Come Since Last Year?

Exactly a year ago, a single tweet set me off on a course that’d allow me to finally drop out of school, move overseas, and begin a location independent lifestyle.

The headline of an article followed by an improvised arrow and the words “Best opportunity I’ve seen in awhile” was all that was needed.

Sean's Tweet Screenshot

The word “apprentice” caught my eye as it depicted just the right imagery. An employee merely serves for a master. An intern fetches coffee for the master—I’ve been interning for three different companies at the time, thankfully never fetched anyone coffee. An apprentice learns from the master to one day become his own.

Not wanting to dive too much into details, I got the job two months later and immediately dropped out of all my classes the moment I got confirmation. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually stopped turning in class projects weeks before I got the job.

It’s been almost exactly nine months since I’ve landed in the Philippines and started working for a company I love.

Work doesn’t feel like work. Not to say the work isn’t difficult and I don’t always love certain aspects, but the whole package is wonderful.

I find myself so addicted to working that even my boss tells me I should take more time off. And no, I’m not paid hourly so erase that knowing grin from your face.

I have no idea where I’ll be a year from today but I know it’ll be good.

On occasion I would read my journal entries from a year ago and I’d smile because Past Vincent worried about all the wrong things. He was afraid life wouldn’t work out for him. He had a few hints of insecurity in him. Needlessly worried. Anxious.

Even when his life was going well all he could see was how things could go wrong.

But fast-forward to today and things are different. Life’s good again even when it’s not.

So dear friend, tell me more about yourself.

How many changes have you seen in your life since last year?

Do you believe you will go further next year?

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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17 responses to How Far Have You Come Since Last Year?

  1. Vincent, I’ll certainly molest you to read my book about personal philosophy I’m about to publish. You went through quite the transformation and it’s what the book is about – transforming one’s mindset and life.

    I have seen a LOT of changes in my life since last year. I won’t go into details, I’m just working on a monster post summarizing the last 2 years of my life. I’ll let you know about it. (OK just 1 tidbit: from zero to a few hundred dollars of a monthly online passive income)

    I know I’ll go further next year. I’m beyond believing. It’s not a feeling, it’s knowledge.

  2. I have seen so many changes over the past year also. I was bitter and angry at this time last year because of a certain relationship in my life. I have since resolved all things regarding that relationship and got closer surrounding it. I don’t think that would have happened.

    It is crazy to look back and see how far you have come or how things never seem to turn out the way we expected. I am glad you followed the path to the Philippines. That is so awesome : D.

  3. I have gone through a lot this past year. it is been over six years that I lost my dad. I had to finally admit to myself that I was taking my father’s death way too personally. It affected every area of my life.

    I felt that if i had done something, if i had told him to watch his weight and exercise a little more, to take a break and relax; maybe things would be different now. I felt like it was my fault.

    Looking back now, I realized that it was the best way for me to deal with my grief because I wasn’t really allowed to grieve.

    It is a cultural thing.

    Because I felt responsible for his death, I spent the next six years doing every activity, taking every job just to make up, reading every motivational work that I could lay my hands on just so that I would not burn out.

    But I was burning out alright.
    I would find myself stressed, tired, worn out, yet I’d be too scared to quit. I really wanted to stop, but then i would read a motivational book, and charge on, ignoring my gut feelings, dismissing them as “negativity”.

    It was six years of hell.

    But, I am much wiser now, somehow, I realized that nothing worked, the jobs I had, the businesses I started, the relationships I had.

    This year, I did some serious soul searching.

    It was and is a freeing experience.

    I am now trying to live for me, to just live, no need to impress the world. I wasn’t born with a cape after all!

    I have come really far and am going even farther and it excites and frees me.

    I guess this is what happiness is.

    • I definitely relate to the feeling of wanting to tell a loved one to better care for themselves before it’s too late.

      I’m fortunate enough to still have my grandpa around but I worry about him. He’s always smoking several packs of cigarettes a day, lies around most times, and doesn’t exercise. He’s still relatively young, in his early 60s, but he seems to be having some health issues.

      I used to try to encourage him to live a healthier lifestyle but I’ve since given up after the thousand times he waved it off as nothing. Maybe I should keep trying while I still can.

  4. Lei Lani Lucero August 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    This past year has been magnificent! In August last year, I was questioning my path, I have a job that doesn’t feel like work, I have friends that support me, but I still had an undefined ’empty’ in my spirit. That all changed when I got a phone call from an old friend. Out of the blue, after 14 years of me walking away in the night, and turning my back on him and his son because I thought I was looking out for myself and my son. He called, and I have taken this one incident, this one moment, and used it as a catalyst to transform my life, and my path, and my purpose. It is now my calling to spread happiness like manure and see what grows in my wake. I still have a job that I look forward to every day, and I still have friends that support me, and I am trying to live my life as an inspiration to those around me. I choose happiness. I choose life. I choose love. And even when it is scary, and I feel vulnerable, it is still a genuine feeling, and I embrace it. I accept the sorrow AND the joy. I embrace the fear and the feelings.

    • Beautiful.

      To borrow James Altucher’s words here, it really sounds like you chose yourself in that you’re realizing you have all this potential inside of you to do good for the world. As a result, you’re doing good for your own happiness.

  5. Last year, I was in a really dark place. I was so afraid and scared of everything and everyone. I was so depressed, I went to a counselor and balled my eyes out at each session. Those days were so rough. I thought I would always have a rain cloud over me.
    But now, after figuring out and accepting myself, I’m genuinely happy (and my life is far from perfect)!
    I’m even thinking of starting a blog to connect with others who may have felt how I did.
    Thanks for your awesome blog Vincent! I love reading it every week.

    • Definitely start a blog and shoot me a link when it’s up! I remember the days when I thought I’d always have a rain cloud following me as well. Better days come by when you chase after them.

      Glad you’re doing well now. 🙂

  6. Change can be hard but good… And when life takes us on different turns sometimes it’s hard to see at the time how that turn will end up. The past year has been a roller coster ride for me as well. Ups, downs, in-betweens n all … Great to hear you’re doing well! Love reading your updates!

    • The downs only further accentuate those highs. Imagine if life was all luxury and goodness. That would then be the norm and there would be no frame of reference to help you enjoy it.

      Thanks, Devani. Hope all is well!

  7. I love how you emphasize the way your past self “Needlessly worried”. This is a very encouraging post for those of us who are on the other side of that battle. The fact the have won, gives me courage to do the same

    • And you will do the same, Sal.

      At one point, I think a mental switch goes off that allows you to always remember “I’ll be alright on the other side of this” regardless of how bad you feel in the present.

      It may mean having to go through a similar pain 100 times before that switch goes off or it may be in the first run. The end of the day, we’re always alright and better for the next. Just got to remember that and keep going for another day.

  8. Wow, that’s awesome! You’re article couldn’t have come at a better time as it fills me with motivation. Currently, I happen to be at a crossroads in my field of work. I think I prolonged this agony by not addressing the issue when I knew I needed to (it’s so easy to become distracted by life). However, I decided to do something about it and since have begun taking steps toward my goal. If everything works according to plan, I will be resigning from this job soon to pursue my chosen career path. It fills me with joy to know that you’re doing so well and are so happy. This is what I desire for myself.

    • Erika, not an easy choice to quit your job. I trust that you’ve thought it over and know you’re moving in the direction that’s best for you. Best of luck and keep me updated on how everything goes. 🙂

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