For the past few years when people hear my story they exclaim things like, “I wish I could do something like that, but (insert excuse here),” “Wow. You must be rich,” or my personal favorite, “You’re so lucky.” There is no secret to my success as a location independent business owner and world traveler. I made a choice to prioritize the things that I wanted in life so that I could have the life I dreamed of. It wasn’t easy. The path has been full of emotional turmoil, family issues, difficult choices, and hard sacrifices. It’s not all fun and games like everyone assumes it is.
When I was 10 years old I had an epiphany. I realized that if I didn’t like something I had two options. I could either do something about it to change it or accept it as is (and quit bitching). I meet a lot of people and my story comes up quite frequently. I’ve noticed a pattern to how people perceive my life and what I do. Many are often stuck and unhappy with their own lives, but they choose to do nothing about it and accept that they will always be unhappy. They are attached to their own story of themselves that they become immobilized to change. A reluctance to change is one of the features that define us as humans. We define ourselves by the story we repeat over and over again to ourselves and others. We accept that our dreams will never come true and we’ll never get that happiness we all deserve. What if we ask ourselves, “What if…” What if I could get a work visa for Australia and live there for a year? What if I changed careers? What if I sold everything I owned to travel indefinitely? The list goes on and on. By questioning your current story you’ll begin to lose the limiting belief system you have.
People talk to me about how they plan to follow their dreams in 10-years or so after they’ve done this or that. It’s like they have to follow the conventional path for a certain period of time before they can breakaway. Here’s the thing though, the longer we let our dreams sit the less power they have on us. Once you make a decision to go for it things start to come togeather to help that dream come true.
“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” – The Alchemist
If you choose to stay on the same path, you’ll get more of the same results. Rewrite or change your story and you’ll get a different result. Jumping into the unknown and shaking things up is very scary. We are afraid to fail and it’s okay to feel that way, but don’t let it impede your ability to follow your dreams. A fear of failure will prevent you from taking action and without action you are immobilized. Try to reframe failure as neglecting to get up again when you fall.
At various points in our lives we are faced with a decision to either trust in our dreams or to carry on with our stories as is. We can either leave our comfort zone and rewrite our story or we can stay in our comfort zone and let our dreams succumb to a slow painful death. I always hear people say, “I’d love to do something like that but… I have a family, I have a good job, I’m a single mom, I have a mortgage, I have debt, ect.” Well, I can point you to people who have overcome those obstacles to get what they want out of life.
The power lies with you. Only you can make changes in your life. You don’t have to accept how life is right now. It can be different, but you must make that choice to make it be different. It is not going to happen on its own.
Attempt something you’ve never done before or thought was possible. As you make those accomplishments move on to harder assignments. You’ll find that these small shifts will create dramatic results later on down the road. You’ll find that what you thought before was impossible is now possible… your mind will be open to new experiences and opportunities that will eventually change your story.
The moment of breakthrough is when you find yourself changing your story. Realizing that your life is not out of your control due to varying circumstances. You can either choose to let those circumstances rule your life or let them empower you to make better choices.
“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” – The Alchemist
Have you rewritten your story? Was something unclear or did I leave out some information? Please comment below and join in on the conversation.