The Simple Secret to Living Life on Your Own Terms

by Jason Van Orden

Day One in Paris at Sundown

First Day in Paris at Sundown

What would you love your lifestyle to be like in 10 years?

Jeremy and I love helping people reach their ideal freedom lifestyle.

Ten years ago I had no idea I would live where I am today. Looking back, it was all set in motion by one simple secret.

In April of 2000, I proposed to my girlfriend, Melanie. We had a little dream in us that said, "wouldn't it be cool to live in Paris some day?" But it seemed far-fetched.

On August 15, 2003 I quit my job never to return. I was done being a "company man." I decided to give real estate investing a try.

On May 27, 2004 (on our anniversary), my wife and I had dinner at the Palais Royal in Paris. We treated ourselves to a Parisian vacation after I closed my first deal as a real estate investor for a 17k profit.

We still didn't LIVE in Paris, but it was a taste of the day when it would happen.

Two days ago, my wife, our two-year old daughter and I got off of a one way flight to Paris, France. The dream of those two young adults planning a life together has come true.

Mel and CeCe in Paris

My wife and daughter enjoy the courtyard outside our apartment in Paris

We don't know when we will be back. For all we know we will live there for a year or even two. It's up to us. We have the choice.

We talk a lot about defining your freedom factors and your fulfillment factors. Here is the simple secret for make your dreams real.

  1. Deliberately choose the life you want to live. Choose it now.
  2. Write it down. Sit down and paint a picture of exactly what you want.
  3. Take action today to make that dream real.
  4. Take action every day until the dream is real.

A few important guidelines are:

  • Don't live someone else's dream. You are the only one that gets to define what will make you happy.
  • Don't let life just happen to you. Live life with purpose.
  • Don't wait until "someday later." Now is the time to be happy. Now is the time to start.

Your dreams may seem like nothing more than a desire in your heart and scribbles on paper, but they have power.

One day you will wake up and realize the dream is no longer inside of you. You are living it.

What will your life look like ten years from now? Share your dream in the comments below.

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24 Comments For This Post

  1. Frank Says:

    I'm really happy for you Jason...My story has some similarities but not quite on the same level as yours. I've suffered from the "Arrival Fallacy" syndrome for years however a few years back about 4 years to be exact I decided that at the very least I would try and make the best of my current situation while I try to find my "niche" in life. I have always wanted to travel and live overseas and to make a long story short I was able to land two international assignments at my current job. They've been amazing experiences and have opened my eyes to what "could" be. Eventually these assignments will end and I'll have to head back to my old position and "Monday Morning" dread so I'm frantically trying to create my ideal lifestyle before I head back. I'm really looking forward to the Coaching Program and the results that'll come from it. Best of Luck to you in Paris and have a Baguette for me...Frank


    Jason Van Orden Reply:


    That's awesome that you made a change. Every time we let go of the familiar and try something new, not only do we learn valuable lessons, but our self-efficacy grows, too (as we talked about in our episode #220).


  2. Gav Says:

    Congrats Jason. Paris is great.

    Also, make the most of it whilst your daughter is young. As they get older, schools and their own life limit things sometimes.

    It will be interesting to here how you and Jeremy get on with the big Timezone difference.


    Jeremy Frandsen Reply:

    So, to work with the timezone thing, Jason starts work around 5PM which is 9AM my time. This is perfect for me, cause I'm a 'get things done in the morning' person!


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    My new work schedule is interesting. Today I got up with my daughter and went out for a few hours to enjoy the sun. I started working early afternoon (about the time Jeremy gets up in Utah). Then my wife and I went out for a couple hours. Now I am working a few more hours. Often I'll finish working at 10pm or later. We'll see how it goes!


  3. Kevin Says:

    Glad you have finally made it to France, Jason. Now go visit the rest of that fabulous country (Imho, Paris is the worst bit!, head for Dijon and all points South West of there)

    Don't forget we are expecting you in London at the next IBMA mastermind.


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    We for sure want to come to London. Might even spend several months there.

    Paris is the best! Why don't you like it?


  4. Christy Says:

    I've always believed in power of intention because you never know what fire that little spark will ignite. I loved that you shared that this all began with a single question over a decade ago. It's a reminder for me to make sure that in my own business I practice setting the intention and then take the action to make it happen. Thanks Jason and enjoy Paris!


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    Yes! Little sparks that add up over time. That is a great analogy. Soon that fire roars large.


  5. Dan Says:

    This is so inspiring for me as you are currently living my dream. I don't necessarily want to live in Paris, but I want to be able to move whenever and wherever I feel like.

    I'm making consistent effort every day to make that happen and it's great to see somebody who has made it happen.

    Thanks Jason!


    Jason Van Orden Reply:


    If you had the freedom today, where would you want to live most?


  6. David Says:

    Super congrats to you and your family :-)

    What I love the most about being a part of the IBM community is the way you and Jeremy are giving back and helping us to achieve the successes the both of you have made so far.

    I just finished the new book from Rhonda Byrne called "Hero" A great read if you are into her other book "The Secret". Visualizing your future is apart of being a hero and eventually sharing your successes with the world. Not to get too mush gush, but you guys are "Heroes" in my eyes. Some day not too far off I will be looking back at where my internet business is now and my current life situation, and I will be amazed that I too am a "Hero" :-)

    Merci beaucoup!



    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    Thanks, David.

    I like to live by the directive that if I live a happy and inspiring life, others will want to as well.


  7. Mick Barrett Says:

    Thanks for sharing Jason - it is inspirational to see. I also have the same kind of aspiration - to live overseas with my family for a time - hopefully later this year! Keep up the great work - love the content you guys put out. And also am loving the Academy 3.0 - amazing content and really working for me.


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    Thanks, Mick. Where would you like to live most?


  8. Phil Says:

    "Don't live somebody else's dream" Hmm... yours sounds pretty good! Great that you're living your dream. Made to Paris 30 years ago (while single) and promised myself to go back and share it with my wife. Thanks for the inspiration!


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    Make it so, Phil! Glad I can help inspire.


  9. Dave K. Says:

    Congratulations Jason and family on your move to see your dream come true!

    It has been a dream since I was a child to live around the world. After several false starts, I set the dream in motion permanently in 2009, nearly 40 years after the original idea. I'm living my dream now! I am taking a stop for 2 years in Ecuador to develop my Internet Business to sustain my chosen lifestyle for life.

    Thank you Jason for helping make my dream a forever after story.


    Jason Van Orden Reply:


    We have seriously considered Ecuador as well. I love that you moved their partly to allow yourself to have the time and resources to build your business.

    I wish more people would consider that option.

    Glad to be a part of your journey!


    Dave Kemper Reply:

    It is a lot easier to get away from all the drama in the US and where I came from so I can focus. For most a life time of teaching is hard to change, especially if a person has never seen or experienced anything else. Often the best we can hope for is they can feel the gain more then risk in change. I think change, fear of the unknown, is more painful than staying the line of a familiar pain for most.

    I believe also if a person is raised with adventure in their life they are a lot more likely to be able to overcome consistency and step into the unknown of opportunity. We need both followers and leaders in our society so it is not all bad.

    Thanks for your reply.


  10. Crystal ~ Fine Art Mom Says:

    So inspiring Jason! I've created a Pinterest vision board for my future plans and having coffee in a cafe in Paris is tops on my list! I'd like to say that I'll buy that ticket to Paris from money I make online from your inspiration and invite you to join me! I'm so glad to have found you and Jeremy as your inspiration and insight are so appreciated. It's funny - I read Rich Dad Poor Dad around 2001 and made some poor real estate investments and lost quite a bit of money. I didn't realize that after that experience I put my entrepreneur dreams to rest and looked a different direction. Now hearing people who have been in that same exact place, has reignited my desire to find that desire again and pursue it - just in a different way. See you in Paris my friend!


    Jason Van Orden Reply:

    I've had those missteps and detours as well. Good for you for bringing it back around.

    Looking forward to having that coffee with you in Paris!


    Crystal ~ Fine Art Mom Reply:

    Thanks for the reply Jason! I'm looking forward to it as well :).


  11. John Kenney Says:

    This is a very inspirational audioblog Jason. Thanks so much for sharing. You are proof this works!


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