“There must be more to life than this” I thought to myself one and a half years ago. This tiny thought is what got me and so many others started on our journey to create a life of happiness and meaning for ourselves. One of the first steps we take often has to do with visualizing our ideal life, the one we dream about having one day and that’s so different from the one we live now.
We dream about what it would feel like, what we would be doing everyday and where we would live. We yearn to make it a reality, and through our yearning we become incredibly aware of the gap between our current reality and our vision.
A lot of us already give up at this point, because we see little proof that we could reach our dream when we look at our current reality. Most of the time we need to grow and level up a bit (or a lot) to become the version of ourselves that fits into our vision. This can seem so daunting that a lot of us would rather retreat into our shell, and let the dream fade away than risk failure.
But some of us muster up the courage to dare trying. We realize it’s in our hands to close the gap,and that we’ll need to take massive action to make it possible. So we slowly, hesitantly start to search for a direction, for the first steps to take on this exciting new adventure of creating a life we love.
We put one foot in front of the other and start walking, in wiggly lines maybe, but we’re moving. Even though we don’t know exactly where the road will take us or what’s behind the next corner, we walk in the direction of our dreams, and knowing that gives us the faith we need to keep moving despite the uncertainty.
Then at some point, things start moving and shifting. We get the first whispers that gently affirm “this is possible”. The gap shrinks and that gives us fuel. We realize that what got us here is the actions we took, so we set out to become really good action takers. Some of us even turn into go-getters and hard workers with discipline that we never knew we had.
We pile up a massive amount of actions and crossed off to-do’s behind us, the steam engine is moving and pushing us forward. With a fierce smile on our face we rush through our days, obsessed with the thought of getting there, achieving our dream. Slowly and invisible to us in the beginning, our speed starts taking a toll at us. The steam engines start to tear down, we get tired and lose the excitement that kept us moving in the beginning. We keep pushing forward nonetheless. We knew this wouldn’t be easy.
Then one day we lift our head and realize that the sun is shining, and we smell the summer that has been in the air all along. We realize: This is exhausting. I want time for smelling flowers, and taking an unplanned road trip with friends. This doesn’t feel like the life I was yearning for.
Now we have reached another pivotal moment. Fear gives us two options and says: You can go back to your old life and settle for less. Or go after your dreams, but remember how exhausting it feels.
Then we hear another whisper, it’s love telling us that our instincts were right, that there is more to life. And that there is another way to walk our journey towards the life we’re yearning for. We can be gentle about it. We can walk slowly, with a smile on our face, and spontaneity around the corner. Yes, we will live our dreams, but not at the price of the present moment. It’s less about striving, pushing, achieving and more about flow, presence and self-love.
We realize that we can take a break when we need one, and that we can go on detours for a while if that’s what makes us happy. We understand that we can even run back and re-walk some of the passages we’ve been to before if we need to. We can slip and make mistakes and fall on our knees at times, but we know that our dream will happen as long as we keep showing up.
The journey is equally important as the destination.
- "This Is Too Big for Me" – No, It's Not. Here's How to Beat the Odds
- How to Escape A Life That Bores You to Death
- Too Much to Do Too Little Time: How to Get Off The Hamster Wheel
- Why You Need to Live Your Dreams to Make Your Life Meaningful (spoiler alert: you will die)
- Unhappiness 101
- How to Do What You Love, Change the World & Get Paid to Do it
- 10 Life Lessons Learned on a Trip to the End of the World
- What to Do When Everything Plain Sucks: A Gentle Suck-Day Survival Kit
- The Beauty of a Morning Ritual: How it Can Help You Get Your Joy Back
- Burnout Is Not Cool. I Know You’re Serious About Your Dream, But Stop Killing Yourself Over It.
- Listen to your intuition. It trumps your rational mind.
- You can’t skip the fucking journey (& why I haven’t been blogging as much)