Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you had the courage to truly follow your heart and explore your deepest desires? How many time have you found yourself sitting at work with the thought of picking up your belongings and walking out those doors, never to return to that well-worn office chair? I remember sitting in a meeting once, staring blankly at the serial time-waster who was speaking in acronym packed riddles, wondering what it was that I was actually doing there. Aside from the fact that I wanted to yell in his face and tell him to shut up, that experience, and others life it, have left me with a yearning for something more burning inside of me.
I grew up being told that I could be anything I wanted. I was told that hard work would give me a good life, one that would make me happy. I worked hard. I graduated high school with marks that allowed me to go to university. I graduated university with marks that would allow me to secure a decent job. I found that respectable, well-paying job. Here I sit, in my well-worn office chair wondering if all that hard work has paid off…
Am I the type of person who can spend the rest of my life in the sitting position for five days a week? Do I have it in me to sit here and count down the days until my allocated few weeks off every year? Will my life become nothing more than shifting between first and second gears for the rest of my days?
More often than not, I find myself staring out of the bus window or at the open document on my computer screen, thinking of what I’d rather be doing. Recently, I made a conscious decision to not settle for mediocrity in my life. Spending my hard-earned cash on beer to drown away the reality of working long hours in order to make someone else rich is no longer good enough. Buying new clothes in an attempt to fit in with the crowd in the office is no longer a priority. Spending time with people who don’t contribute to me growing as a person is something I have realised is a waste of my precious energy and time.
I have never been one that is big on making new years resolutions, however this year I decided to give it a go. My intention for 2015 can be broken down into one sentence.
To grow as a person through travel and slowing life down.
After what has felt like endless reflection, I have realised that these two elements are things that I used to have in my life but, for one reason or another, have not been front and centre of my thinking for a long period of time. A big part of this is the fact that I was trying to keep up with what everyone else was doing. Buying a house, eating at expensive restaurants, staying in expensive hotels and drinking at swanky bars was what I thought would bring me happiness. I was wrong.
Admitting to myself that I had got it wrong and that there was no one else to blame but me, was a big moment. I have never really failed at anything in life before. I learned that through failure comes growth and lessons that I will use time and again for the rest of my life. While being wrong is fine, what’s not OK is repeating your mistakes or doing nothing to change your situation. It only feels like yesterday that I was in my early 20’s and here I am now, with a few greys showing through in my beard, wondering where all that time went.
As the party season draws to an end and the reality of 2015 begins to sink in, I hope you have set some positive intentions for the year ahead. Whether these intentions are to travel, to buy a house or to simply spend more meaningful time with loved ones, I hope you find that balance and I hope it brings happiness and meaning to your life.