My name is Simona Rich and I’m a self improvement blogger.
From being stuck in a draining call-center job and suffering from a toxic relationship, I was able to turn my life around and craft it to my liking.
This page is about my journey – I hope it will inspire, empower and inform you, as these are my intentions behind everything I write.
My life a few years back
During my school years I was a below-average student. When I got my first job at the age of 16 things changed.
The job was horrible: I had to work 12 hours a day in a brightly lit huge supermarket and the music that was played there was repeated over and over again.
On top of that, my manager was the most psychotic person I’ve ever met. She shouted at every employee in front of customers and people under her management quit their jobs frequently there.
Because of this experience I realized that if I stayed average in school, I would stay average in all areas of my life. I already envisioned myself working for such a manager for the rest of my life. That was enough of a kick in the ass to change my situation.
My first bold step
From the age of 16 I started studying extra hard to become the best student, at least in English. I knew that the quickest way to change my life was to score the best grade in the English state exam and get a scholarship to study abroad.
I saw this as my only way out since I was from a poor family so there weren’t many options open.
I stayed at home all the time and did all I could to excel in English. I listened to the BBC radio, read only English books and tried thinking in English only. I had no social time after school.
When I naturally started thinking in English and dreaming about England, I knew I would make it.
I scored 100% in the English state exam – nobody else got this percentage. I also got a scholarship to study in England. My dream came true, and I finally felt free and full of hope.
After the enrollment I flew to the UK to study tourism. My mom had to borrow money to buy me a flight ticket. She was the only person in the airport saying goodbye to me, with eyes filled with tears.
I promised myself to repay the flight ticket money, and all my mother had to spend for me throughout years. That was a big motivation, and it pushed me to quickly find a job whilst other students were partying before the start of their studies. In a few years’ time I repaid my mother her monetary investment in me, though I’ll never repay her care for me.
Quite a few students had to eventually fly back to their countries because they weren’t able to find jobs after days of partying – the vacancies were gone. That taught me the importance of being early, being first, and doing exactly the opposite of what the majority of people do.
I started working as a receptionist in a game arcade which I liked, but managers kept asking me to do overtime work which I couldn’t because of studies. One day, a week after refusing to do overtime work, I got a letter saying that I was made redundant.
Great. I had two choices now. I could either feel sorry for myself and be angry about the unfairness of the situation, or I could think of how to turn this around. Fortunately, I chose the latter option.
My job search started again. By this time I had discontinued my studies because the subject was dry and boring. I realized that in the UK degrees don’t matter as much as in Lithuania. It didn’t make sense to study for 4 years and then get a job at a pay lower than someone who started at the age of 18 and made their way to the top.
Finally, I found a job as a waitress in one restaurant in a shopping center. The pay was basic, but I earned good tips. However, it scared me to see so many people working there for years and being afraid to change a thing in their lives.
When I would talk about quitting job, employees would remind me about the difficult job situation in England and that I may not get any job at all.
Despite the discouragements, as soon as I saved enough money to survive without a job for several months, I decided to quit.
How I realized that I was stuck
In around a week’s time I found another job as a small university’s secretary. That didn’t last long since the university never took off and eventually had to close.
Shortly I started to work for a market research company. My position involved calling businesses to conduct all kinds of surveys.
That was the worst job I’ve ever had, but I kept working there because it provided good money and I could choose my own hours.
Two years passed in the same employment and only then did I realize that I was stuck. I think what awoke me was the death of one employee. She got nowhere in her life. She had an average job and lived in an average home alone.
She died alone and was discovered only after a week, since she had only a few friends. That’s the sad part of living in England – some people are very lonely and when they die nobody knows or cares about it.
Even with this new understanding I was scared to change a thing because I got very comfortable with my life. My life wasn’t nice (in fact, when I think about it, it was far below “nice”), but I felt secure. I had constant income, a warm home and I could afford to travel once in a while.
How I turned my life around
As soon as I came to the UK I also got stuck in a relationship that was going nowhere.
I was with a person that was completely opposite to who I was and our love vanished as fast as it started.
That time was really tough on me but I just couldn’t find the courage to leave after years of being together. What kept me with him was his stability, and I think what kept him with me was my impulsive nature.
That’s how almost three years in the UK passed – with a boyfriend I didn’t love and in a market research job I hated. It seemed that my life would always stay the same.
But that wasn’t meant to be…
I remember vividly the day my life changed.
It was a cold, humid, dark gray day, as most days in England are. I finished my call center work and was walking to the bookshop.
Going home didn’t seem that inviting because the person that was at home was the one I wanted to see the least.
Whilst walking, a thought came into my mind:
“Is that all life can offer me?”
It was a strange thought – I never had such a thought before.
It awakened something in me, something that I sensed was very important, yet I couldn’t understand what.
This thought stayed in my mind all the time while I was walking to the bookshop.
When I entered the bookshop, one book caught my eye. I knew I had to buy it, so I did. It was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.
This book totally changed my view about life, and made me addicted to self-help books.
After reading many self-help books and attending different seminars, I began to gradually turn my life around.
I started the habit of positive thinking, I visualized my ideal life and made colorful vision boards to saturate my mind with. I used NLP, inner coaching, and positive affirmations to rewire my brain for it to start functioning on a higher level.
I dealt with my limiting beliefs and closed my mind to the damaging suggestions of other people.
In less than a year I completely got rid of fear, split up with my partner, quit my job, started experimenting with self-employment and started to really enjoy my life.
After starting many different businesses I finally discovered that I loved sharing my life experiences with people through writing. That’s how this self-improvement blog was born.
My life now
After living for 6 months in London and meeting with my readers there, I’m back to South India, where I’d already lived for three years.
I cannot help but keep returning to this tropical part of India, because I feel that that’s where I’m supposed to be. Staying in the South, near the ocean, fills me with an indescribable happiness.
Although for three years I lived in a coastal village right by the ocean, now I moved to the green city of Kerala. In the city I can study ayurveda, learn the local language, attend yoga classes, and get organic food, which is important for me. The house I’m renting is pretty much in the jungle – you can see some pictures of it in this post.
I often visit the beach (which is very near), meet with friends, do yoga, meditate, write in the peace of my home, visit temples, and travel to other parts of India.
I love my life, and I think it’s well-deserved because of the effort I put in becoming independent financially and emotionally, as well as keeping my hopes up about becoming a successful blogger.
I’m not rich by the modern definition of this word, although my name is Simona Rich (I changed my surname)
I don’t own anything I can’t buy outright. My life is very simple. This simplicity fills me with peace and happiness.
Free yourself from the world’s complexities to uncover the bare bones of what makes you happy. That’s a recipe for success.
That’s all about me. Well almost. If you want to keep in touch, subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook. You can also find me on Twitter, Google+, or watch my YouTube videos (I’m a YouTube partner).
You’re always welcome to email me (simonarich1 (at) gmail.com) your suggestions and feedback. I cannot promise I’ll answer you as I get many emails, but I’ll surely read your message!
All the best in your self improvement journey!
I created this blog in late December 2008 for people who are spiritually awakening and want to improve themselves.
My posts are born out of life experiences and observations:
- deep, thoughtless meditations
- finding inner peace and balance
- practicing yoga
- failures and successes (failures teach much more)
- traveling on my own
My current blog themes are two: Self-Mastery and Clarity. You can read about my new blogging direction and some personal questions answered here.
Sometimes you’ll come across contradicting pieces of advice on this blog. This blog is 6 years old, so my awareness changed significantly in these years and what was correct to me a few years ago might not hold true today.
For example, a few years ago I perceived spirituality to be separate from the physical world, yet now I see mind, body, and spirit as an inter-connected whole. It was useful for me in the past to focus only on spirituality, though, because I was lacking that aspect. Now my posts are more integrated, as the spiritual side of my life is rich.
Use your intuition to choose which advice is good for you at the moment, instead of taking it all.
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If you want to start your self improvement journey, read about 20 books that will change your life.
If you want to do what I do in my life, contact me to let me know – maybe I will write an ebook about it, if there’s enough demand!
Wishing you all the best in your self improvement journey and if you stick with it, it will get more and more exciting!