As I was getting ready for work this morning (and by getting ready I mean sitting in my pajamas until it was nearly time to leave), I happened upon a very cool blog by this guy named Zack who lives in Buenos Aires. I read one of his posts, liked it, and decided to follow it. When I got home from work this afternoon, I had an alert in my e-mail letting me know that he had posted a new blog. After reading “The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Learn“, I had chill bumps down my spine. It was like everything this guy said was exactly what I’ve been thinking for the better portion of my life. Needless to say I felt inspired.
So here I am thinking about my reasons for making certain decisions in my life. Why I chose to pack up and move to Colorado. Why I chose to step away from school (again) and pursue my passion of writing and editing through other means. Why I’m absolutely ok with never having a giant house or a fancy car or a million dollars. And a crap-ton of other why’s.
I think we’re all born for specific purposes. Each one of us gets caught up in distractions and conformity and all too often we forget our uniqueness until something blindsides us and we’re left asking “what the hell happened?” I thought about some of the things that have helped me remember what my purpose is no matter how much crazy shit is going on around me. Perhaps one of these ideas will strike a chord with you too.
1. Step back and look at the big picture. When an artist is working on a painting, he doesn’t sit there with his face pressed up against the canvas carefully planning each and every brush stroke. He may sketch out an idea, play with some color schemes, or put a starting wash on the piece before he ever gets started on the details. Every so often this artist will step back from the piece and take in the big picture. If he doesn’t like what’s happening, he can choose to take the piece in an entirely different direction. It’s the same thing in life. You always have the opportunity to change your circumstances.
2. The only person who lives YOUR life is you. This is a big one. It’s so easy to look to other people for approval when we want to do something. In many cases, the people who we hope will support us (friends, family, spouses, etc.) look at us like we’re crazy. Maybe it’s a business venture, moving to another country, selling all your stuff and hitch hiking across the States for no other reason than simply because you CAN. It can be discouraging and sometimes we may even feel defeated. I know I’ve felt that way on several occasions when what I wanted to do didn’t align with what my loved ones wanted for me. But the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day, YOU are the one who gets to look back on your life and decide if you lived it the way you truly wanted to.
3. Cut your losses. There will always be people who try to bash your dreams and bring you down to their level. They’re the ones who are never happy for you when you accomplish something great. They belittle you when you make positive changes. They try to make you feel as bad as they do because they’ve let their dreams die and they want someone to be miserable with. Do yourself a favor and X those people out of your life. They don’t deserve to be there anyway.
4. Do AT LEAST one thing everyday that makes you happy. My joy is hooping. It is dancing. It is reading. It is laying in the park and feeling the warm grass on my skin on a summer day. It’s coming home and doing my dishes so that I have a clean kitchen to mess up again with an awesome dinner. Find something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside when you do it. No matter how seemingly small your activity is, if it brings you joy, it’s a big deal.
Life is complicated enough without you making it even more so. Instead, perhaps try incorporating some of these ideas into your life and take some of the stress out. I promise you’ll feel a lot better when you do. I know I did. I’m not saying life isn’t a struggle… all I’m saying is that while you’re busy navigating your journey, make sure you’re living for you. Trust me on this.