It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. -Alan Cohen
Before you read another word, I want you to get out a piece of paper and a pen and answer this question.
The reason I wake up every morning is?
Seriously, stop what you are doing and answer the question.
This is known to the Okinawans as Ikigai – One’s reason for being. It is vitally important to find your Ikigai or your reason for waking up every morning. If you’re not sure right now, it’s OK. I’m confident that what you’ll read below and what you’ll find in the rest of this guide will help clear up the confusion for you. But for now, just do your best to answer the question. We’ll come back to it later.
THE VACATION PARADOX
Most of us spend more time planning a two-week vacation than we do planning our life? I am writing this guide on January 6, 2013. It was one year ago today that I sat down with my own pen and paper to write my dream.
“I want the flexibility to work whenever and wherever I’d like. I do not want to wake up to an alarm clock. I do not want to work until midnight. I don’t want a career; I want a calling, a purpose. A purpose that has value, that helps others and impacts the world. When someone asks what I do for a living, I want to say that I help people solve their problems and provide clarity for millions. I want freedom to make my own decisions and to teach others how to do the same. I want excitement, adventure and challenge. I want to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I want to start a rebellion. I want to inspire millions to find love in themselves and in the world around them. I want to leave this world with my last words being “I win.”
Right underneath my dream on that paper, I decided to also write my worst nightmare. It went a little something like this:
“To be working for work’s sake. To settle in my life and realize the only thing that stood in my way was myself. To give-up and lose hope in the magnificence, love and resources that this world has offered me.”
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I am committed to being great and I believe that you are here reading this right now because it’s what you are committed to as well.
The first of August has always been a special day for me. It’s the day I seem to make the biggest decisions of my life. It’s the day I left my home in Virginia to travel cross-country to sunny California in search of adventure, answers and most importantly myself.
It’s also the day I decided to go back to school and earn my Masters Degree. Later, I would decide that August 1 was as good of a day as any to quit life for a while and take a trip around the world in search of answers to questions I had been pondering for quite some time.
It’s also the day I adopted the cutest little guy in the world, my pug Lincoln. Finally, it is the day I decided to leave my job—cozy paycheck and guaranteed security— in pursuit of my true love . . . LIFE.
I am in love with living!
Here’s what I’ve learned . . . to be great in this world, you have to be able to give up assumptions, let go of expectations, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You have to be able to embrace the one and only certainty you are afforded in life—the certainty of change.
I can guarantee you one thing and it is this:
You, me and the world around us are constantly evolving and changing. If you do not evolve with us, you will be left behind.
I am confident that the following words will help you gain clarity in what it is you want out of your life and the gift you can give to this world that no one else can. I aim to show you that all of the resources, time and skills needed are either within you or right within your reach. And if you can learn to get out of your own way, then your life can become your limitless playground too.
STOP CLIMBING THE LADDER… IT DOESN’T BELONG TO YOU!
As a kid, possibilities are limitless. But as we age, living somehow becomes a job. We fall prey to the expectations set by others. We seek the comfort and safety of the majority, and settle too easily for the way “things are suppose to be.”
There’s that damn path we’re supposed to take after all, right?
- Graduate college
- Climb the corporate ladder.
- Get a 3% raise every year that barely keeps ahead of inflation.
- Wait 5 years for someone to tell you’re “qualified” for a promotion.
- Stay in line.
- Don’t cause trouble.
- Keep climbing and someone else will make sure that everything is okay.
Don’t ask questions, stay in line, and everything will be a-OK! But what if you wake up one day and realize that is not the life for you?
Well that is exactly what happened to me. I woke up one day and realized the life I was living was someone else’s dream, not my own.
This manifesto is designed to get you to stop living the life you are “supposed to live” and get you started living the life you were destined to live. It was designed to ask the right questions and help you gain clarity into what it is you truly want to give and experience in this world. I want to make one thing clear before we begin.
There are no rules, timelines or standards for how you are suppose to live your life.
You are an artist with a blank canvas. It’s time to go out and create the life you want for yourself.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it” – Buddha
To be continued next week… 🙂
ARE YOU CREATING A LIMITLESS LIFE FOR YOURSELF? WHERE ARE YOU STRUGGLING AND HOW CAN I HELP?