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Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Believe You Can Be Successful

"You must believe that your quest can be successful, even if no one else does. You can deal with setbacks, misadventures, and even disasters as long as you still believe you can... see your way to the end." - Chris Guillebeau, The Happiness of Pursuit

“You must believe that your quest can be successful, even if no one else does. You can deal with setbacks, misadventures, and even disasters as long as you still believe you can see your way to the end.” – Chris Guillebeau

Today’s awesome inspiration is from Chris Guillebeau in his awesome book, The Happiness of PursuitI loved this book. It was all about people that went on different quests (visiting every country in the world, not speaking for years, walking across a continent, etc.) and what drove them to do what they did. It was fascinating and inspirational and well-written.

There’s truth in this one little quote. We know we should believe in our dreams, but if we don’t actually, solidly believe we can see our way to the end, we stop. Setbacks, misadventures, and disasters WILL happen. They are inevitable in any journey. The difference between those who succeed and those who fail is how deeply they believe they can succeed.

If your goals aren’t worth it, you won’t fight for them. If you don’t have confidence in them, you won’t make it. If you listen to the naysayers, you’ll never try in the first place. Believe, friends. Believe.

Happy Friday!

Love, Maggie

Friday Inspiration: Share with Us

Friday Inspiration: Share With Us

Hello Friends. As you know, on Fridays, I usually share an inspirational quote or a Roth IRA Challenge. Today, I’d like to hear from YOU!

If you are on the list for my weekly emails (if not, sign up on the sidebar!), you’ll know that I share interesting links every single week. The problem with being such a big reader is that I want to read ALL THE THINGS. I want you to share interesting or inspirational links (no, they don’t have to be PF related… some of my favorites involve British Museums planting fake art or the implications of talking products.

In the comments, share links to anything that answers this question: What is the most interesting/enlightening article you’ve read lately?

I’ll share all the links here, so you can all come back later and learn like I do! I’m excited!

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Manage Your Lifestyle

You can't outearn dumb spending

Happy Friday, friends. Today’s Northern Expression comes from the one and only J.D. Roth. If you haven’t read it yet, go check out the awesome (and free!) The Money Boss Manual. Simple advice, but so wise and true. As you celebrate your holiday weekend (Labor Day for our overseas visitors), just ask yourself what makes you truly happy. These questions might help. Life is meant to be enjoyed, but you have to find balance with your current self and your future self.

Plan updates coming Monday, so get excited! I look forward to checking in with you after the weekend to tell you all about our exciting month. Until then, go and be joyful!

Love, Maggie

PS – Another weekly newsletter of interesting links from the interwebs goes out tomorrow morning. Sign up on the sidebar. Tomorrow’s email features a study about the population of people that watch trash films (think: Sharknado). I love studies on random things!

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Don’t be an Ironing Board

Ironing board gave up dreams

Full Disclosure: I ripped this off Facebook. If you created this image, please let me know and I will give you credit!

Today’s inspirational quote comes from… RANDOM GUY ON FACEBOOK. That’s right. I stole it from Facebook.* But it really resonated. I mean, look at it! That poor surf board all tied down. It’s so practical now. We’re on a path toward impracticality, but the best path toward being a surf board for longer is being an ironing board first. Boring jobs get you to the ocean, so they’re not all bad! We are equating what we are doing more to extreme ironing. Iron like it’s hot. Iron like you’re skydiving. And when you’re done with the ironing, turn it into a surfboard.**

This week, take a look at what your surfboard life would look like. Where’s your ocean? And start making calculations to see how soon you can leave your ironing board lifestyle behind! Some days, I calculate and am all: “We can actually retire in 2022 for reals” (which means more than our goal of $500,000) and other days I’m all “we’ll be lucky to hit $500,000 by then!” This week, I’m feeling good about our prospects. From the experiences of others, people always seem to gain momentum quickly in the process and hit their goals on or before their deadlines.

The future is uncertain, but looking at the ironing board, we see it’s potential! Be the surfboard, friends!

Love, Maggie

*Also, Mr. T is out of town with Lui for his Grandmother’s funeral, so I’m on my own on images this week. 🙂

**Unplug the iron first, or you’ll die of electrocution on your first day!

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Set Impossible Goals

Set Impossible Goals

Today’s Northern Expression comes from amazing Olympian swimmer, Katie Ledecky who said in an interview: “Set goals that, when you set them, you think they’re impossible. But then every day you can work towards them, and anything is possible so keep working hard and follow your dreams.”

When I was young, in every birthday card ever, I would write: “May all your dreams come true!” I’ve advocated here on the blog to dream big and pick a path and make it yours. Katie Ledecky is the ultimate example of doing that. Her only competition is herself. When she gets in the water and starts chasing the World Record line, she’s chasing her own record! This is what each of our journeys is all about. We’re not in a race anywhere. We’re only competing against ourselves. And we can do better. We can always dream bigger and achieve more.

Go, friends! And make all your dreams come true.

Love, Maggie

P.S. You can wait to achieve greatness until the Olympics are over. I can tell you I’m doing nothing productive for the next 10 days!

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: The Power to Imagine Better

We do not need magic to change the world, we have the power to imagine better

Happy Friday, friends!

With the celebration of Harry Potter’s birthday this week and the release of The Cursed Child, I thought it would be appropriate to use one of my favorite quotes by the creator of Harry Potter herself: J.K. Rowling.

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered the commencement address at Harvard. In it, she discusses the role of failure in our lives, her profound experiences at Amnesty International, and the power of imagination. I urge you to go read the whole thing. It is completely inspiring. 

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

We are capable of envisioning profound worlds. This imagination can lead to a better life for ourselves and our family, innovation, profound solutions to real problems, and a better world for everyone. I can imagine that world. So this week, let us exercise our power of imagination and start creating those dreams for us and for everyone around us. 

Enjoy your weekend!

Love, Maggie

PS – If you’ve finished The Cursed Child, email me your thoughts! (No spoilers in the comments for those that haven’t read it yet!) If you’ll recall, we saw the production in June and I’ve been DYING to talk to EVERYONE about it ever since!

Northern Expressions: Hang On To Your Hat

Hold on to your hat. Hold on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. -E. B. White

Happy Friday, friends!

I’ll be honest. The news this week (and previous weeks) has really started to weigh on me. Darkness feels like it’s closing in so much. But then I read this FANTASTIC letter written by E.B. White (known as the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web) in 1973. It’s worth repeating the entire letter:

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.


(Signed, ‘E. B. White’)

Man. Nailed it. The whole thing is so amazing. So, friends, let us be those upright men and compassionate women. And let’s hope tomorrow is the day the darkness clears. Hope is the only thing that is left to us.

Love, Maggie

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Virtue, Wealth, Liberty, Power

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power

I hope everyone in the U.S. had a great Independence Day week. Today’s Northern Expression comes from a patriotic thinker, Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Franklin was so good with short, powerful phrases. Today’s sentiment is a good one. Money is not worth more than virtue. And ultimately, the path to financial independence is one of eschewing power to gain liberty. Keep your priorities in order. Be good. Be kind. Be virtuous.

Happy Friday, friends!

Love, Maggie

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Be a Columbus

Be a Columbus to whole new continents and worlds within you

Today, as Mr. T and I are driving North to Edinburgh, I wanted to share a travel-related Northern Expression. Ultimately, we are capable of thinking amazing things and those thoughts can turn into future realities. Too often, we put limits on our possibilities. We decide we cannot open “new channels” because we are stuck. Thoughts are never stuck. And those thoughts can explore you right out of tight places. I’m hoping to expand my own possibilities this year and need to take the time to give “thought” the time it deserves in that plan.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

Love, Maggie

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: Advice is NOT Permission

You don't need anyone to give you permission to pursue a dream

Happy Friday! Today, Mr. T and I are in London. Tomorrow, we get to see the new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (I’m really, really excited!). Also tomorrow, we get to witness the grand parade that is the Trooping of the Colour (in honor of the Queen’s 90th this year!). I hope your summer is going well. Today’s quote from Chris Guillebeau is one of my favorites from the $100 Startup. It’s so inspiring! If you want to do it, DO IT! Follow your dream. Make it happen. Tell the naysayers to get lost and go and live your dream! Have a great weekend, friends!

Love, Maggie

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