Welcome to the Uplift! personal development blog. My focus here is on how to improve your life and enjoy greater freedom and happiness through self-improvement and lifestyle design. My name is David Safar, and I make no claim to be a guru or an expert on this subject. On the contrary, I am still near the beginning of my path, and this blog is as much a chronicle of my journey as it is a source of information and advice for those who wish to follow a similar path.
I am a 27-year-old Silicon Valley native currently working in software and seeking a greater enjoyment of life than I am currently experiencing. My life has improved tremendously in the past three years, and I am doing everything I know how to do to keep it on its current trajectory. It is because of this intention to keep improving that I decided to create a blog. Uplift! is both the result of my upward momentum and a means by which I intend to reinforce it. I chose the name Uplift! because of the word’s many positive connotations. It encapsulates many ideas that are to be central to this blog — improvement, enlightenment, joy, self-reliance, helping others, and so on. Uplift! is an active imperative verb. It is not “be uplifted”, which would imply passive acceptance of uplifting stimuli. Uplift! means making an active choice to work to uplift yourself, uplift your loved ones, uplift humanity. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, Uplift!
It has been said that most of the problems people have in their lives are in the areas of health, wealth, and relationships. I believe that this is a useful model of reality — not perfect, but good — so my posts will usually focus on one or more of these three areas. I will also be discussing the idea of lifestyle design. I have only recently been introduced to this concept by Timothy Ferriss’s book The 4 Hour Workweek, and it has great appeal to me, so I will be exploring it in greater depth. My background is in technology (most specifically in web software testing), and that will no doubt influence my thinking and my voice as I explore these topics.
Let’s take a look at some of the more specific topics we’ll be covering:
- Wealth: This is currently the area I’ve been the most successful with in my own life. I’ve personally recovered from being over $12,000 in debt to being in the black again and on the upswing. I am now looking into ways to free myself from the obligations of full-time employment and put my wealth on auto-pilot so that I can devote my time to something more meaningful than mere survival. I believe that it is possible to earn a living without sacrificing most of your time to make someone else rich. With dedication and creativity, I believe you can break free from the traditional model of employment and generate enough passive income to lead a comfortable lifestyle and still have enough free time to enjoy that lifestyle. It is true that time is money, but the exchange rate is not fixed. There are ways of making money that don’t require a massive investment of labor or sacrifice. What matters is how you use your time, not how much.
- Relationships: This area of my life is undergoing a slow transformation right now as I learn and assimilate new ideas about what is possible for the relationships in my life and how to achieve success. There are many important kinds of relationships, but I tend to focus on romantic relationships because my own opportunities for growth are the most abundant in that area. I believe that it is possible to form rich and rewarding and joyful relationships with the people in my life, and to attract into my life more of the kind of people I enjoy being around. I believe that attractiveness and charisma are learned skills that anyone can develop by studying social dynamics and making an effort to use the concepts learned by interacting with people more.
- Health: This is the area that could use the most attention in my life. Of health, wealth, and relationships, health is the topic of least interest to me, though no less crucial to happiness and success. One of my challenges right now is to change my thinking about health and to find a way to be interested in addressing it proactively rather than reactively. This area of life includes diet and exercise, hygiene, habits such as tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, and other various factors that affect your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Lifestyle Design: As mentioned above, this is an idea I discovered in Timothy Ferriss’s book The 4 Hour Workweek. The basic premise is that your lifestyle is something you create, and as such, you have a great deal of control over it. Accepting a lifestyle which doesn’t suit you is the same as choosing to perpetuate it. By deciding what kind of lifestyle you want (i.e. dreaming big dreams) and choosing to make it happen, you can transform your life and leave behind the unsatisfying old lifestyle. Ferriss also explains how you can automate your work life to minimize the amount of time you must spend on it and allow you the freedom to realize those big dreams. Right now this is one of my primary goals in life. I want to work less so that I can enjoy life more. I’ve noticed a pattern in my life and the lives of those around me: time and money seem to be an either/or proposition. Either I have the time I need to enjoy life but I’m broke (e.g. when I’m unemployed) or I have the money I need to enjoy life, but I’m spending so much time earning it that I don’t have time to enjoy it. I’ve reached a phase of my life where I believe it is both possible and crucial for me to transform either/or into both/and.
Communication Is a Two-Way Street
As we take a look at how this path unfolds in our lives, I want to encourage you to comment when you feel you have something worthwhile to contribute. Uplift! is not intended as a one-way medium of communication from me to you, but rather as a dialogue between us. Comments are currently enabled; I will keep an eye on how this method of communication is working out and adjust as necessary.
Once again, welcome to Uplift! I look forward to hearing from you and learning more about the world of serious blogging.