Give up the conception of what your life is supposed to look like.
Instead give where you can. Follow opportunities. Say yes.
Follow your gut, your intuition.
Listen, and get to know yourself. Be gentle. Come to love what you are, the good and the ugly.
Give up the idea of what you’re supposed to do. Take the road less traveled. The things that you were supposed to accomplish by age 30? Are they really yours?
Take action from your center. Let actions come through you. Take time to listen to clues that dot your journey.
Stop buttressing fear with every action. Your life is not a study in risk management. It’s important to take care of yourself and avoid harming others and become overly dependent on them. It’s not pleasant to be homeless and broke.
But beyond that, live free. Free of what you should be doing. What “success” is supposed to look like. What accomplishments needs to line under your name.
The mountain is yourself. Not on paper.
Trust that you were put on this Earth for something, a purpose greater than yourself.
"I want to change the world."
Everywhere I turn these days, I hear that phrase.
There are over 2.9 billion google search results for “How to Change the World.”
Startups dedicated to conscious living and meaningful work are popping up left and right.
The ambition around this…
"In this I’ve realized that “changing the world” was never the right aim. My innate desire has always been to embody my message."
Over the past year, this has been one of my realizations, too. As I look towards 2014 and ponder what it means to embody my message and my truth, here are three thoughts that quickly popped into my head:
- I want to learn how to cultivate deeper connections between people.
- I want to lessen a sense of loneliness in a world filled with superficial promises of belonging (e.g. technology).
- Build a better food system and redefine our relationship with food.
I’m not sure what to do with these things yet, but they have occupied my mind for quite some time now, surfacing to the forefront of my consciousness from time to time.
But do read Michael’s post at Get Storied. It’s great.
He said “I gave up making choices. I’ve merely changed my responsibility from making choices to asking questions.” With the throw of dice, or coins, and the I-Ching, Cage learned to accept what was given to him, by chance, or nature.
This blog is so good. I love when things make me pause and think twice.
The world is an amazing place, but how often do we truly take advantage of it?
Think about it. Most of us sit in our chairs for 8-10 hours a day, inside, in front of our laptops. How are we supposed to experience the wonders of the world by doing that?
How many connections wither in our life because we focus so much on pushing forward, climbing the company ladder, or even just rushing to thing after thing even though it’s not really resonating with you?
How many of us ignore our gut instincts in favor of our brain telling us what we “should” be doing.
Doing without reflection and introspection is what make us miss this amazing world.
When was the last time something took your breath away?
Today on a walk, an insight came to me. It said, “You’re never complete. And that’s OK. You have to take one day at a time.”
It’s so true.
You are already complete. You have everything you need. There’s only growth and learning because we’re all meant to change. You take one step at a time, one day at a time.
But listen to what the rest of the world is telling you.
"You’re not good enough."
"You’ll only be happy when you get this job."
"You’ll feel complete when you found THE One."
"If you be like this / buy this / master this skill / make X amount of money, then you’ve reached the apex of your life."
Where does this chase end? It will only leave you depressed, sad, frustrated, unsatisfied, and unhappy.
I can speak from experience because I’ve went through this. I’ve told myself repeatedly,
"You’re not good enough to do this."
"You don’t have enough experience."
"You need to save enough money or build up your network first."
The end result was that I was never happy because I was never happy with my self or the progress I was making. There was always more to do. More to achieve. More to learn.
I was always trying to escape the present moment because I wasn’t “there” yet.
How many of you have thought this? For me, I’ve come to realize that the source of this mindset came from feeling like I wasn’t good enough - to do the things I want, to pursue a certain lifestyle, to talk to certain people…on and on and on.
Let’s reverse it.
What if you thought that you are fully complete in this moment? That you welcome new lessons into your life each day? That you’re open to being more aware of why you feel what you feel?
If you stopped thinking that you need to “arrive” at some destination and you need that to feel happy, what would you do differently? How will you see the world differently now that you’ve released yourself from your own obligation?
Let me say this to you: You are complete in this present moment. You are worthy of self-love and I love you.
True motivation can come only when you’re content in the present. Accept and embrace change and grow one day at a time.
I’m no where near perfect. Don’t put me on a pedestal. I still go experience these feelings of inadequacy a lot. I still beat myself up for little things, and I still feel the yearning to fix myself/make myself better because I don’t measure up to other people or I haven’t “arrived” yet.
But I’ve learned that if you take a deep breath everyday and be at peace with where you are in life, you will feel happiness. Daily.
From an interview with designer/artist/soul searcher Elle Luna:
So I was using Uber all the time in San Francisco, even though I hated the design. And then I went to the Crunchies awards ceremony and at a post-ceremony event, where I was in a ball gown, I saw the CEO of Uber, Travis…
Good reminder. I need to focus on following through on some things on the personal side. I absolutely loved Elle Luna’s interview on The Great Discontent (one of my favsies design blog!).
She’s an inspiration.
To read about how other professionals became experts in their craft sign up for Startup Edition #23.
If I Can Do It, You Can Do It
I started my career out as a “product guy.” But about 4 years ago I realized that product was a small piece of the startup puzzle. I became fascinated with…
This is awesome, awesome resource for growth/digital marketers. That’s why Startup Edition is one of my favorite email newsletters I still subscribe to (after I purged most of them).
If you want to learn to become a better digital marketer, this is your go to source. Thanks, Brian!
“You have to build meaning into your life, and you build it through your commitments, whether to your religion, to an ethical order as you conceive it, to your life’s work, to loved ones, to your fellow humans.”
John W. Gardner (via heif)
It’s your values and incorporating them into every area of your life. It’s about being congruent and aligned with them.
Early-stage startups these days are made up of a bunch of generalists. Non-technical and technical alike, companies in their infancy need people to do many things. Most people that do “many things well” are generalists. It’s like the age-old question of whether you’d rather be really good…
Having experienced this recently, I agree that you have to specialize in something, otherwise you end up jumping from startup to startup.
That’s why I think recent grads will benefit the most at a early-stage startup, from the standpoint of learning as much as you can the first few years out of college.
Walking in New York on September 11, I thought about the topic of fear. It has crossed my mind that something bad could happen at any moment, although I’m confident that the police department is extra vigilant today.
I also wondered about the role fear plays in our lives everyday. How many decisions we make everyday is based on fear? How we experience the world is often subconsciously moderated by the things we perceive as risks.
Do you ever feel like you’ll never be good enough?
Are you stressed about disappointing people?
Are you worried about not being liked or loved?
Does the unknown make you nervous?
All of these are different flavors of the same fear: Fear of Failure.
I know all of these feelings intimately because I’ve felt them frequently over the last several years. They are very disempowering. They make me feel small instead of expansive. That scene from the first (old) Star Wars movie where Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are trapped in the trash compactor – that’s what it feels like.
Instead of being wrapped in these fears like a mummy, what if you reversed your mindset to embrace love, generosity, and curiosity?
You are enough. Be patient with your growth.
You do your best with what you have. Focus on what you can learn.
You are full of love and abundance. What can you give away today?
The world is full of possibilities. Love the journey.
Recently, Lewis Howes wrote about the 30 lessons he learned in 30 years. What struck me was the advice the older Italian women gave him, "Don’t worry so much."
Life blows by way too fast. If you are fully present and enjoy one day at a time, you can define what it is that make you successful everyday.
Today is the best day of your life.
Worrying never does anyone good; It just saps your energy. Embrace failures and learn from it. That’s the only way you’ll break free from the shackles you have put yourself in.
Thanks Amber for inspiring this post!