I must add a disclaimer before I begin this post – it may spoil your current idea of happiness, as it were. However, this is not meant to do that, but simply provide perspective on the conflicting thoughts that you begin engaging in when your world becomes a composite of much broader views as a result of your exposure to all it has to offer. Traveling the world is dangerous…but only for those who wish to remain close minded and safe from their own thoughts. Simply put, traveling makes you think differently in that it opens up the hidden layers of meaning that had previously been dormant in your world.
So what is the biggest revelation I had when I started traveling? What society wants you to achieve in life should not define what you should do with it and the only thing that stands between you and your true personal happiness is…you. Everything that lives in your head telling you to do something because “it’s the right thing to do” as defined by your society/culture, etc. only lives in your head because you let it. Learn to alter your thoughts and actions based on your true feelings rather than imposed societal definitions and I PROMISE YOU, YOU WILL ACHIEVE TRUE HAPPINESS.
This revelation is no secret. It has been shared before, but it only occurred to me when I first started traveling the world. If I still have your attention on this topic, let’s talk about these society-defined things we all tend to share in common that are seriously worth considering when you really think about them in the context of true sources of your personal happiness.
Fighting the Corporate Battle: Climbing the Ladder One Precious 20-Something Year At a Time
I’ve always been studious, if nothing else. Since first grade getting straight A’s has been on my top priorities list and I’ve been successful at accomplishing those priorities. Coming from an immigrant family, it comes as no surprise that my desire to be successful stems directly from my ability to achieve career success, not to mention that my desire to be a successful woman in business is only increased by the circumstances I grew up in. But here I am, three years into my career and already questioning my priorities. That career ladder climb has all of sudden come into a new light for me to evaluate and I’m starting to have questions.
I’m not saying that I have changed my values – they remain strong and steady – have a career that satisfies me personally and financially. I’m just questioning if the traditional hard-working path is really the only one for me. It seems counter intuitive for me to be spending my roaring 20’s behind a desk 9-5 executing someone’s orders. I am young, free of responsibilities, and hungry to see the world – what I am doing sitting in a chair that will be there for me when I’m 50?
The more we know about our options, the more we can tailor our skill set to the ones that appeal the most. In today’s digital age, you don’t necessarily have to go to a 9-5 in order to get ahead in the world and be financially stable. Is it easy? No, of course it’s not, but there ARE other options. No one would go to their 9-5 if those options were easily-available and offered to everyone. This is a new challenge that my career drive has evolved to embrace. How to do something I love based on my own schedule and be financially stable? That is the current dilemma.
Searching For That Perfect Someone in Hope of the Perfect Happily Ever After
If you’re still doing that, please just stop. Relationships are not projects that could be molded and controlled to your liking, not to a positive outcome anyway. Stop trying to schedule your life by setting life goals that are not directly under your control. It’s okay if you don’t move out by 25, it’s okay if you don’t get engaged by 27, and it’s okay if you don’t have kids by 30. Life simply doesn’t work that way. Guess why? Because it takes two in any relationship. It takes two be successful and vise versa. It’s not all up to you so stop worrying about it so much. The best relationships happen naturally. And what I mean by that is let your feelings and emotions take an organic route when dating someone. Don’t stress the small stuff. This is not a synonym for lowering expectations, this is simply advice to let go of your check list. Of course you should have your own set of standards and of course if you don’t go out and meet people, it becomes much more difficult to find that special someone.
You SHOULD go out and date different people so that you can determine what type of person is right for you. What I’m saying is – don’t hang that clip board with your checklist around their neck – it’s only going to drive them away. Instead, be very open and clear about your expectations, but in a way that doesn’t put pressure on your other half to do things out of their comfort zone or things they’re not yet ready to do to make you temporarily happy. It won’t end well, trust me, I’ve made those mistakes.
Saving All That Hard-Earned Money and Constantly Saying No
I am a planner and a budgeter, but I have never hesitated to invest into my experiences. I would much rather spend my hard-earned money on travel than horde it all in a savings account meant for my future house somewhere. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t save money – you absolutely should. Life is unpredictable and you should always have something as backup, even the smallest amount you’re able to save. BUT – what is the point of saving all my money for a potential future I may or may not want and saying no to everything in the present. This is where yoga’s biggest lesson comes in – live in the now. That is what I try to do, instead of depriving myself during the best years of my life for some unforeseeable future things. I would rather have $200 in my bank account and be able to say that I am happy than have $2,000 “just in case”.
The Main Point
The main point I’m making is that traveling the world has really opened up my mind in ways I never expected. Everyone in their mid-twenties is trying to find themselves – I was never lost, but I feel that my mind has been expanded and I have been doing a lot of critical thinking trying to understand its potential and trying my best to live in the now. Cherish your relationships with people rather than the dollars in your bank account. Stop worrying about your house and your fancy car you want to get in ten years – invest in your present, the happier you are now, the happier you will be in the future.