Close your eyes. Imagine you’re anywhere in the world, doing whatever you want. Your bills are paid for, you have a roof over your head, and your stomach is full. You’re with the people that you care about and that love you the most. The weather is the perfect temperature and the views are breathtaking.The birds are chirping and there is a slight breeze running across your face. You’re performing your favorite activity and have the biggest smile on your face. Where are you and what are you doing?
Now open your eyes. Does your current reality look anything like the image visualization we just did? Are you in your happy place? If not, what do you need to do to get there?
The majority of us live our life far from our happy place, but yet we do nothing to change our circumstances. We are weighed down by prior commitments. Decisions we made in the past, but are now paying for, whether that be physically or mentally. Commitments to school, to work, to pay our car loan, to pay our mortgage, to social gatherings, to family obligations, etc. How did we arrive to these commitments in the first place? What made us say yes and put our money where our mouth was?
For me, these prior commitments have forced me to make further future decisions that I never intended on making or wanted to make. Because I went to a good university, and only received a small amount of financial aid, I was forced to take out student loans to pay for my tuition. While taking out this money, like many college graduates, I never thought of the implications that some day I would have to pay it back. At the time, it was “free” money. I committed to something by saying yes, and then made later career and life decisions based on this financial commitment. Because I had to meet certain financial commitments each month due to student loan debt and other financial commitments, I made a career decision based on what my expenses were, not based on what type of work I enjoy performing. This can induce a domino effect until we feel trapped into a box that we can’t break out of. But the good news is there is always a way out.
We need to reverse engineer the arrival to our Happy Place, from that magical moment that we are worry free and truly happy, to where we are currently. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so we will focus on making small improvements each day and let those build upon each other until we arrive at our final destination.
- Identify the ONE thing in your life that is currently making you unhappy.
- This could be your current job, your physical health, your mental capacity, your income, etc.
- What ONE action brought you to this point of unhappiness?
- You could say you chose a career you’re not passionate about, that you don’t have enough time to cook at home, that you party too much, that you have trouble saving money, etc.
- What is the ONE thing that you can do today, that by doing so, everything else will be easier or unnecessary? (I personally recommend reading “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, this book had a profound impact on my current thinking)
- You could network with professionals in the field you are passionate about by reaching out to them on LinkedIn, start grocery shopping on Sundays and meal prep for the work week, limit your drinking to one glass of wine per week, write down every penny you spend to better understand your financial situation, etc.
By reverse engineering each aspect of our life that is causing unhappiness, we are able to break it down piece by piece to arrive at a solution to the root cause of the problem. With a daily focus on improvement, these changes although small, can trigger a compound effect that can result in extraordinary changes in our physical and mental health, allowing us to live in our Happy Place.
I have lived much of my life unhappily because of choices that I have made in the past and have been forced to live with those consequences. But today, I have chosen to find my Happy Place and live my life on my own terms, not someone else’s.
My Happy Place is being able to travel around the world, soaking in diverse cultures, languages, and ways of life, while building and growing a location independent lifestyle business that allows me complete control and freedom over my personal and work life.
Question of the Day: What is your Happy Place?
Please share your Happy Place in the comments below or on the Facebook post, I would love to hear from you!