Yesterday my Mom told me that it was quite impressive that a 23-year-old kid was traveling the United States alone from big cities to national parks to certain wonders of the world.
Many times these days I wake up and shake my head with a smile, wondering how I got all the way out to Montana from Maryland, and how I’m able to see what I’m seeing and do what I’m doing.
But then I realized that this wasn’t by chance. I wanted this life, and while I do have problems paying my bills sometimes (I write for free at the Huffington Post), it was a conscious effort of mine to be able to travel.
I remember seeing travel blogs online in January, wishing that I could have the life of these people. It all seemed so glamorous. They took trips wherever they wanted, wrote about it when they got done, and went on to the next place.
It just seemed so exhilarating.
So I started to pursue that, and here I am eight months later, living a life I dreamed of back in January.
The truth is I just started to hold on to and really put a few lessons I learned throughout my life into action. Here they are:
1. Stop Listening To Reason
Reason tells you to take the safe route. It’s there telling you to take that 9-5 desk job when all you want to do is see the world. It’s such a burden on your growth as a human being, and I really think that most people regret listening to it later in life. Once I decided to throw reason to the side and think about what I really wanted to do, then doors started to open up that I didn’t know were there.
2. Stop Putting Needless Barriers Up In Your Mind
There’s a lot of rules that we walk around with on a daily basis. If you really think about it, many of these rules are ones that we make up in our own mind. For instance, I really wanted to leave Maryland to live in Orlando after graduation. I made it such a point to believe this that I subconsciously made it a rule in my mind to follow. It was going to happen. But if I slowed down and thought about my options, I would’ve come to realize that if I stayed at home I would live rent-free, grocery-payment-free, and my cost of living would take a nosedive. I could’ve used a lot of money to make student loan payments.
I put that barrier there in my mind. Think about some of the things that are actually barriers for you and some of the things that you put there yourself. These can be choosing not to apply for a fun remote job because you don’t have the experience. Nonsense! Write a cover letter that will catch their eye and they will read!
After college I couldn’t get a job to save my life. I’d go into job interviews and answer all the questions according to how the books said I should, then I went home and never received any calls back. It was low key pathetic.
I started to use my performance in that area as a gauge for my success. And you can only imagine that I felt like a talentless piece of crap who would never amount to anything because I couldn’t even score a job that paid $ 15 per hour with a college degree.
In the face of hardship, believe in the value that you have. Think about all the compliments your mother used to give you growing up. She would know, wouldn’t she? She spent 18+ years with you!
A year ago I couldn’t get hired. Now I write at the Huffington Post. Value yourself more. Blindly believe in yourself. Which leads me to my next point.
Seriously. Just believe that something incredible is about to happen. This gives you insane energy and actually boosts creativity. Whenever I get excited about something my mind goes off on crazy tangents about things I could do to accomplish goals in a unique way. Excitement is a great thing. Hope is a great thing. Just have blind faith, even if it’s unwarranted, that things are going to work out somehow in the end. Get excited about your life again!
5. Swing For A Grandslam, Not Singles
This goes hand in hand with what I just said, but you really need to step up to the plate looking to hit a freaking grand slam instead of a single. Seriously. Take your goal and multiply it by ten–now there’s a goal. Big goals inspire us. If you couldn’t already tell, inspiration was vital to my “success.” Inspiration will take you past midnight to write into the early hours of the morning. Inspiration makes us feel like kids again. What an incredible feeling, and it can move mountains for you if you let it.
6. Caffeine Is Your Friend
Energy turns into creativity. Caffeine is your friend. Drink a double-shot of espresso and tell me you don’t feel more creative and inspired afterward. Thought so.
7. Swing For The Fences Once Every Day
Email that screenwriter. Call the author of the book you just read. How do you find their numbers/email? Research it! This world isn’t made up of impenetrable barriers that withhold information from one person while giving it to another. A famous person I just interviewed turned out to have a Gmail account with a username of the first letter of their first name followed by their whole last name. Do one incredible thing every single day. You never know if you could strike gold.
8. Don’t Listen To Other People
This goes hand-in-hand with the first point in the countdown. Don’t listen to other people, because they will drag you down. They will make you feel like your dream is stupid. My parents didn’t exactly think my plan was a solid one. They wanted me to pursue a job at Panera Bread instead to become a manager. Now my Mom is telling me how she’s proud of me while I’m on a trip I designed myself. Life works in funny ways.
Self Help on Huffington Post