When it comes to aspirations, it is easy to let the mind wander to thoughts of money, fame, a solid job, a comfortable life or some other nonsensical idea of what we have been raised to believe we need to be successful. I’ll be honest, I spent the first 30 years of my life aspiring to complete my education, get a good job and buy a house. Once I had these things, there was still something inside my mind telling me (or at times screaming!) that there was more to our short time on this earth than doing things that generally don’t make us happy.
Like most people who find themselves in this situation, I put all of my efforts into trying to ignore what my subconscious was telling me. After a while, it became clear that this wasn’t only an ineffective way of dealing with things but was changing me as a person. I began to resent a lot of things in my life. I began to blame my frustrations with the world on those who were closest to me.
It takes a lot of work and willpower to pull yourself out of a ‘funk’ such as this. I decided to concentrate on the things in my life that made me happy, those that gave me joy. I made a conscious decision to spend more time with family and those friends who brought joy to my life. I set aside time during the week to cook new things, to get outdoors and spend more time in the ocean, to take photos and to write. During this time, I also made a conscious decision to stop spending my money on insignificant material items and stash away my hard-earned pennies to travel.
While aspirations are different for all of us, the one thing that I aspire to is to see as much of the world as I can in the short time I am here. I want to make a positive impact on the places I visit and I hope that in return, the people and cultures I bump into along the way shape me into a better, more complete human being. For me, this is the meaning of happiness and joy.