Little Spark to a Big Change

A Mindful pursuit to Happiness through Personal Finance Strategies

As I look back over the almost 4 years since I started this blog it certainly has evolved and I thought I would give all of you a bit of an idea of what are my underlying beliefs and what has driven my passion.

I’ve told the story of how we moved across the country to a new community, to a town that encourages a different lifestyle and would have the right mix to nurture my path of change.

I had a list of goal I wanted to achieve

  • Sell off the Excess in our life from motorhomes to dirtbikes and big trucks
  • Decrease our footprint by Reducing our possessions & finding a highly walkable town
  • Own less , spend less and intelligently Save at a rate far higher than the national avg
  • Embrace a lifestyle that focuses on spending time in the outdoors
  • Strive for constant Mindfullness and Positivity to make a difference to those around us
  • Achieve financial independence to retire early and live a more meaningful life
  • Focus on only what brings Happiness to our lives

These goals didn’t happen over night and were the result of me expanding my education and being open to a new way of thinking. With this open mind I discovered a few blogs and was immediately drawn in and didn’t take long to become switched in too.

Achieve Your Financial Independence

The single most powerful blog I pulled my mindset from was one with an obscure name but powerful message, that website was Mr Money Mustache. Pete Adenay laid it all out easy for me and in a way that was in your face and called you on your own bullshit. I loved every post and continue to follow along as his message and story evolve as his life does.

Start with this post as a quick round out of what he is all about and his message > MMM ~ Zero to Hero in One Blog Post . This post contains his message and links to his other posts on specific parts of his philosophy , all of which I have read over and over.

As an alternative watch this terrific presentation that he just gave at the World Domination Summit this past summer for those that want to sit back and watch/listen rather than read.

WDS 2016: Pete Adeney from Chris Guillebeau on Vimeo.

I just finished watching this video that was shared in MMM’s (Mr Money Mustache) recent blog post How to be Happy, Rich, and Save the World  I wanted to use it to share this update on what guides me with you all as it brought all that inspired back to life.

To summarize where I am at now with this new learning in place would be the following.

I am learning to want less , to spend less while striving to be a less of a burden on the environment. I am choosing to focus on work that brings me happiness (thus my pursuit of writing & photography and this blog). Maintain a very high savings rate so that my spending less, owning less allows me to be financial independent and the freedom to only do what brings me joy and satisfaction. To focus on my circle of influence and area of concern through positivity and mindful actions. To get outdoors more and focus on finding what being in the wilderness is really all about. While lastly inspiring friends, family and followers through authentic actions beyond where others stop.

Further reading I might suggest if you have time would be from these amazing and terrific websites ; CaitFlanders.com Budgets are Sexy  JLCollinsnh.com and OurNextLife.com

Have you had a radical change in mindset that altered your path in Life?

#ExploreBeyondTheUsual ~ thanks for reading, Chris.

Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Simon says:

    Wonderful post. Thank you for inspiring others.

  • Apathy Ends says:

    I watched MMM’s presentation a few weeks back, love how he breaks everything down and his casual in your face style. Very relatable.

    Your site design is awesome and the pictures are amazing, looking forward to reading (and seeing) more of your work.

    • Chris Istace says:

      I am so close to Portland but couldn’t justify the cost to visit and attend the show. His presentation would have been great in person. Thanks for the kind words on the site also, I really appreciate it. Photography is a passion and side hustle I want to become my main activity.

  • Chris, I just read this after seeing your link on @Rockstar’s new Forum. NOW I understand your “Stasher” nic on the forum! Great article, glad to “meet” you!

    • Chris Istace says:

      Thanks for stopping by Fritz. It’s funny my nickname is over 20 years old but it is so relevant now to these forums which I find kind of funny, works with MMM or stashing my cash . Glad to “cyber meet” you to !

  • Paulie says:

    Hi Chris,
    Your list is a great starting point, there is so much amazing content on the web! I’m going goggle-eyed!
    Good to meet you.
    Cheers,
    Paulie

    • Chris Istace says:

      Thanks Paulie. The distractions of endless information is a tricky path to navigate, it’s the finding of the right message that resonates with us and provides the greatest ROI in our lives towards happiness.

  • Quality post and references. I was sparked in a similar manner by the same MMM a couple years ago. I called my awakening “Inception.” http://www.physicianonfire.com/inception/

    Excellent photos, too. I’ll have to check out more when I have the time.

    Enjoy island life!
    -PoF

  • Wow, loved all the changes that you are making! It’s amazing the amount we change over time! Keep up the great work!

    • Chris Istace says:

      Some days I get frustrated that I don’t do enough or my changes are radical enough, that I deviate from the path. Then I reflect on the big picture over time like you mentioned where I am pleasantly surprised with my progress. I will keep doing my best , thanks !

  • ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike says:

    I hear you. I have continued down a similar path this year.

    This year I was introduced to MMM and FIRE online community to which I became engrossed. I have since made significant adjustments to my spending, saving, investing, shopping, transportation, and lifestyle habits. I like having a big bold objective (reaching FI) that I am working towards along with the daily objective of playing outside.

    I also read Al Humphrey’s Microadventures which also inspired me to play outside more often, in different ways, and to not over look the hills nearby. I have been focusing on spending time on activities that make me happy and cutting out things and activities that don’t. This means more hiking, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing.

    What I have found most surprising along this journey so far, is that the things that are better for my physical and mental health, are often better for the environment and my savings account. Do not get me wrong, there is some inherent conflict between these elements. For example eating a plant based diet has the benefits of being cheaper, healthier for me and having reduced carbon emissions. Oh, and tasty.

    Thanks for sharing the great photos and insights.

    • Chris Istace says:

      I can’t disagree with you on the name you left , ExploreMountains 🙂 , that is great. Reflecting on where I started and where I am makes me very happy but I know I have so much further to go in both my learning and my daily choices. Supporting each other and striving to treat the world a bit better will help us along the way. Thanks for leaving such a great comment which I enjoyed reading, Cheers

  • Mindfulness and intentional living is what helping me out with my financial freedom journey. And having Wilderness around me helps to save more 🙂

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