Just be happy

You convince yourself that you have to work hard, overcome struggle and become something else in order to ‘make it’. Then once you make it you’ll be happy.

Perhaps it would be considered childish or silly but what if you could just enjoy life, right now.

Is it possible that you can be joyful without overcoming great hurdles or becoming successful in the eyes of the world.

It’s not that you should have no dreams or aspirations in life because those things are great. The issue is that we place our happiness in those things, in money, a big house and luxury items. We put conditions on our happiness.

We aspire to be happy instead of just being happy.

Hard to imagine

There are many things in life that are hard to imagine however, it’s worth remembering that this has no impact on the possibility of these things becoming a reality.

This time two years ago you had no idea of what 2020 would bring and almost a year since the first lockdown we’re still in the midst of it.

Of course the pandemic isn’t a particularly pleasant or positive thing that we want to think about when it comes to the things we imagine coming to life but you can apply the concept to other things.

Right now it might feel like a goal, dream or plan that you have is totally impossible. However, if you decide to be brave and choose to pursue it, six months, a year or maybe even two years from now you could completely bring that to life. All of a sudden months have gone by and you’ll find yourself living a life doing something you love but were once afraid to pursue incase it didn’t work out.

As much as it’s a cliche, you really never know unless you actually try because as much as something might seem impossible it doesn’t really determine it’s possibility.

Most things that we want to do in life are often things that have already been done (even if it was in a slightly different way) and that should be enough proof or evidence that you need.

If it’s been done, it can be done again and what’s to say that it can’t be you that does it .

The simple life

I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.

We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.

But what if you could enjoy life right now.

Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.

But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?

Identifying barriers

If you had £10million what would you do differently?

We otfen think that money is the biggets barrier to us being able to achcive our dreams. However, that is rarely the case because where there is a will there is a way.

The real barrier is a little more challenging to overcome.

The real barrier is fear, a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, the list could go on.

If you’re scared to pursue your dreams without money you’ll still have some of that fear leftover when money is no longer an issue.

So work out what you’re afraid of and overcome it so that it’ll no longer hold you back.

Settling with age

Most of us start out with big dreams of what we want to do with our lives. Then slowly, bit by bit, as the years go on we start to settle.

We settle from setbacks that lower our self-belief until you’ve convinced yourself that they were unrealistic anyway.

Other times you have people tell you that your dreams are too big, that they won’t work and that you need to be realistic.

Sometimes you’re aware of it but other times you have no idea until years have gone by and you’re wondering what happened to those dreams you used to have.

The way that things should be

We often go around with this idea in our heads of the way that things should be, in some ways it’s a good thing. When you know what you want you’re much less likely to let life pass you by.

On the other hand when you’re so fixated on the way that things should be you don’t give room for organic growth and development.

Lets say you applied for what you think will be your dream job but when you get there it’s not quite what you thought it would be. If you’re dead set on your ‘dream job’ you might end up leaving after a few months or staying put but hating it because it’s not what you wanted.

But if you take your foot off the gas and let go of the rigid plan created you might find that in this job you’re able to discover something that you’re actually interested in. It might be be even better than what you thought you wanted.

Letting go of expectations and letting things be isn’t always easy to put into practice. It requires patience and the ability to trust that things will turn out okay.

Choice and change

When you’re comfortable with the way things are it can be difficult to make the choice to change.

Most people have dreams of the kind of life that they want yet they allow their feelings of comfort to stand in the way.

The inner monologue will say something like ‘Why move to a new city, when you have everything here. Why would you want to be away from your friends and family?’.

Those kinds of thoughts totally underestimate our capabilities as human beings.

If you move to a new city and hate it, you can always move back. When it comes to friends and family of course you’ll miss them but it’s not like you’ll never see them again. Also you’ll make new friends and meet new people.

So often people don’t allow themselves to grow because they’re stuck on feeling comfortable instead of being open to exploring life.

Accidental escapism

Sometimes it takes accidental escapism to remind you of the kind of person you desire to be.

Catch yourself in the moment and ask yourself questions like ‘Am I being myself?’ or ‘Is this truly where I want to be?’ And then answer them openly and vulnerably.

You might find that you’re quite content with the life you’ve created but perhaps you’re yearning for more. Many people believe that dreams are something that we have to grow out or let go of, that they aren’t to be actualized. But what if they are.

Perhaps that’s the reason for your lack of contentment in life.

All you have to do is figure out what you want and then go for it with full gusto.

Quitting

If you feel discouraged with where you’re at you have two options.

The first is to quit and the second is to stick at it.

Whichever option you choose commit to it wholeheartedly.

If you think about it, there really isn’t much point going after your dreams (or the thing that you’re telling everyone is your dream) if you can’t even be bothered to give it your all.

People don’t often talk about quitting or deciding that they don’t want to proceed with the thing they have been working on.

I used to think that quitting was a bad thing, that it meant you were giving up, that you didn’t try hard enough and so on.

But with age and I suppose also experience I’ve come to realise that there are times when quitting is necessary.

Not everything that you try is going to work out, not everything you do will be a success.

And so you have to know when to quit because sometimes in quitting and closing the door to one thing you allow yourself to open up to something else.

Meeting expectations

Not those of others but your own.

I think a lot of people have expectations for what they want out of life. And despite the popular phrase that goes something like ‘If you’re dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough’, high expectations can be overwhelming.

But something that I’ve learnt is that you have to be committed and pace yourself. If you truly want to achieve something it shouldn’t be conditional, you should be dedicated to it.

I’ve also found it useful to check in and like to refer back to something Seth Godin once said about how you’re either talking to the wring people or you’re not making good enough stuff.

And I’m at a point where I can see that just because I’m trying hard doesn’t mean what I’m producing is good enough for the outcome that I want.

When that happens I take a step back and re-group. I think about what I’m doing that is good and how I can make it better.

My expectations of myself are quite frankly ridiculous which is why I find them overwhelming. Plus, I often make the mistake of focusing too much on the end goal instead of simply just doing the work.

I don’t have a roundup or a takeaway as I’m still learning how to manage the expectations I have of myself.

However, what I will share is that if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated you probably need to change what you’re doing or the way you’re thinking.