Happy New Year!

2014-with-colorIt is appropriate at the beginning of a brand new year to consider the possibilities.  A New Year is a gift that we never tire of.  Did you ever get the big box of Crayons when you were a kid, the one with 64 colors?  It was inspiring.  A New Year is a big box of 365 days to peel open and craft our own unique works of wonder.

I’ve been a follower and a fan of Early to Rise for a long time.  At the helm is celebrated Editor, Craig Ballantyne, a committed man that is determined to inspire all of us to own our potential.   He also is the creator of Turbulence Training. It is an honor to introduce you to Craig. His message seems appropriate this first week of January.

Happy coloring Itchy Nomads, your lives are your canvas.

Why You Must Choose this Person Over All Others

By Craig Ballantyne

Photo of Graig BallantyneWe are lucky. You and I have the power of choice in our lives. We have the power to control our future, to own our days, to strive for success, and to take the right action every single minute of every single day to move closer to our goals.

But you and I must make the right choices.

You and I alone.

We cannot delegate significant choices in life to someone else. We must think and choose for ourselves.

The quicker that you realize that success is your personal responsibility and that you can’t rely on anyone for anything, the sooner you will be free.

No one is going to do it for us… with “it” being anything that matters in life.

We choose our roles, our behavior, our habits, and our friends.

We choose our networks. We choose our attitudes.

We choose to change for the better or languish in disappointment.

We choose the easy way out … or the hard way in.

The choice in life was summed up in the Matrix. Will you be like Neo, who takes the red pill and decides to opt out of the fantasy life, or will you choose the safety, security, and mediocrity of the blue pill?

Will you go through life accepting that you can’t change anything? Will you remain satisfied being part of the huddles masses striving for security?

Your life, your choice. Which will it be? Red pill or blue? Truth or ignorance? Triumph through tribulations or mediocrity through low-level security? Questioning the world or letting the world do the thinking for you?

Most of us start out naïve. We don’t realize there is anything else out there other than what the authorities have told us.

But there will come a time when you have an epiphany. It might be after decades of debasement, of going through the motions, doing what the television told you to do, accepting life as it is, eating the junk at the restaurants that advertise heavily, being sedated by sugar, and overwhelmed by the desire for consumerism.

Then one day, you’ll wake up, and through a series of circumstances, someone will offer you the red pill.

It might take a family or monetary emergency, although I hope it doesn’t. It might be by accident, you simply stumbling across a rabbit hole in life that leads to an eye opening seemingly chance encounter. Or it might be a general evolution, a slow revolt against the matrix, a gradual awareness that, “This is not how it has to be!”

And then you will start to question things.

“Am I doing the best I can with all that I have to give?”

“Am I living the life and creating the legacy that I have the potential to live?”

“Who are these so-called authorities and why should I believe what they say?”

You will learn to ask, analyze, and interrogate.

You will deep-dive into the construction of a new reality.

You will challenge the authorities in your life.

You will contest the status quo.

You will dispute the norm.

You will demand the truth, seek enlightenment, and embark on a journey of question that begets question, of many dead-ends and disappointments, of mental work that rivals any physical effort you have ever given in the past.

Your rebirth may be as painful as Neo’s. You may feel weak, almost helpless, childlike in your confusion and simultaneous wonder of the new world.


With choosing the red pill comes great rewards.

First, you will discover there are others out there with the same questions.

Second, you will find greater, more meaningful strength in these new connections than you had ever experienced in your previously sedated senescence.

Third, you will experience an awakening.

You will find yourself with more options in and control over your life than you ever believed possible. This might scare you the most of anything on your journey. But you must avoid the temptation to turn back now. Instead, dive deeper into the rabbit hole. Ask more questions. Turn over more stones. Take a chance on greater disappointments, but have faith that this next level of enlightenment will bring you closer to unraveling the truth in the matrix of your mind.

It will be a long journey.

The fact is that it will never end.

There is no comfort zone for the renegade.

But it will be the only life that will lead to legacy.

For the unexamined life, as Socrates once said, is not worth living.

Ask your questions.

Start right now.

Never stop.

Your choice: Red pill or Blue?

Dependency or personal responsibility?

And whom should you choose to listen to?

Choose Yourself“, writes James Altucher, in his book of the same name.

That’s the truth.

You must choose yourself over all others.

Choose personal responsibility.

Choose to do your best.

Choose to follow this advice:

“Trade excuses and ‘trying’ for results, and expect half-hearted results from half-hearted efforts. Do more than is expected of you. Life’s easy when you live it the hard way…and hard if you try to live it the easy way.” – Kekich Credo #4

Choose to do more.

Choose to take the right actions.

Choose to overcome the obstacles in your life.

Choose to change your life.

Choose to do the work.

Because it is up to you and you alone.

“Everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can rue your situation or you can dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want us to help you achieve your goals, then trust in and follow our advice. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.” – Mark Ford

If James, Mark, and I can do it, you can do it, too. Choosing yourself is a choice, the biggest decision you’ll make, but it’s as simple as that.


We hope you Choose YOU.  Seizing the opportunity to take personal responsibility is an exciting aspect of being an Itchy Nomad.   Share your stories and comments on this post below.




6 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. This is an inspiring message for me! I hope everyone has a happy and exciting 2014!

    • Craig Ballantyne really lays out a compelling argument for Choosing Ourselves first. If we make ourselves happy, those around us will be happier too. We are glad you found it inspiring Mary. We look forward to seeing what else is of interest to you chart your New Year.

      • This is a perfect way to start the new year. ..a reminder that we alone are responsible for our future

        plans so we have to get off the couch and plan ahead and Do it. Accomplishment brings satisfaction so

        I commend you for your plans, actions and the finished product: Itchynomads

        I look forward to all the new and exciting ideas you will be bringing us.

        • So glad you liked Craig’s inspiring reminder about personal responsibility. You are so right that Accomplishment brings Satisfaction. We look forward to hearing about your Itchy Nomad path as this exciting new year unfolds. Glad to have you on the Caravan Nancy.

  2. Thanks for posting this. The red pill follows the muse, does the necessary work, and takes a chance with ideas and dreams- which is what you have done by creating this website. I applaud you for diving in. It is inspiring.

    • Joanie, thank you so much for your lovely quilting together of the threads of our postings. I hope you and your Parrot are having some good conversations. We look forward to hearing about what your Muse is whispering to you. We can inspire one another.

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