It’s been over a year since my journey into the unknown really began. A change in my life needed to happen more than I could have known. People since that day have asked, how to make changes in their own lives or called me bat shit crazy or both. Most compelling were how many people asked the HOW question, this lead me to realize more and more people are looking at happiness first and foremost in their lives. If you are on your path to change here are a few lessons I’ve learned so far.
1. There is no timeline
If you are waiting for the perfect time to make a change, you probably already should have made it. There is no perfect time to make sweeping changes in life. Hate your job? Find a new one and be ready to take something temporary in the middle to get you to your dream. Once you make a decision to change, you must act on it and have a bit of faith in the process. Once you find your purpose, if you put all your effort into it truly 110% you will find a way to make it your life.
2. Out of Struggle Comes Much Reward
Every successful person can tell you 100 ways they failed before succeeding. It is those who kept with it that found success. Babe Ruth once said “Every strike gets me closer to the next home run”. The key is to take those strikes in life and learn from them, adapt, and move on. If we can gleam a lesson from a past experience than even the biggest failure isn’t a failure but another learning opportunity. Know that taking the path less traveled you will leave behind some of the security of having it all mapped out, this can be stressful, but also lead to innovation and greater creative genius. When your future is uncertain, it causes you to adapt and evolve quickly.
3. Let Go
To truly live a happy life, learning to let go is elemental. Let go of those who have hurt you in the past, let go of the need for more “stuff”, let go of trying to control every aspect of your life. Things, stuff, and emotional baggage weigh heavily on us, once we free ourselves from the concern of others we can truly be free. Find one thing each day to let go of physically or emotionally and watch changes appear. Once you step off the Hedonic Treadmill you may find you have more than you ever could need.
4. Have Empathy
Let your heart lead the way in life, have empathy for those around you who do not see the world the same way you do. Once you begin to let go, others may seem trapped, have empathy, see the world from their point of view. Do not jump to conclusions based on others opinion, seek the truth for yourself. Once judgement leaves you can start to see the good within all those around you.
5. Surround Yourself with the Right People
I once heard, “Want to lose friends quickly? Do epic shit!” It sounds funny but is true, once you make sweeping changes in your life, you will find some want to help lift you higher while others want to drag you down. Some will question you motives, change is scary to most, following a dream or passion even scarier. People will not always understand, sometimes you have to let those go that are pulling you down. Instead surround yourself with those who will lift you, help you get to the next level, and push you to go further. Your reality is created by the people you spend the most time with, find the positive and watch opportunities grow.
6. Just Say Yes
Don’t be afraid to say yes, when an opportunity arises, even the most obscure, listen to the proposal then make a decision. The best opportunities arise when we are no longer afraid to say yes to the unknown. That one yes, may change your life or lead to great rewards.
7. Be Kind – Be Thankful
Kindness is the cornerstone to happiness, what you give out to the universe comes back two-fold. Thank people each day even in the most mundane places, like the post office, or grocery store. Thank people when they least expect it. If someone has touched your life, tell them, thank them – for many times in life we don’t thank those properly who help us in life and inspire us.
8. Be Your Own Weird Self
Being weird is great! Being your true self is great! We are all weird in our own way, be your own self. Once you begin to live on your own terms you will start to find out who you are within.
9. See the Beauty
See the beauty in the world around you. See the acts of good happening each day. Each sunrise is a new beginning and each sunset and wonderful closure to the day. See the beauty in both, the flower growing out the sidewalk crack, the smile of a child playing, see the small acts of good around you and the kindness in people around you. Believe people want to be good, see the world as a safe and loving place.
10. Enjoy the Journey
Life isn’t about flipping days on a calendar to get to some end date, the next race, the next promotion, those things are the icing on top. It’s the journey where the true happiness comes from. See the greatness in the process not the outcome. Open yourself fully to the experience. At the end we all conclude our journey in life the same way so enjoy each day instead of flipping a calendar day after day year after year.