I spent all of last week with people from Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, and many other regions of the world. Each one was a world traveler, film maker, and an amazing creative mind that completely blew away my artistic skill set.
To be perfectly honest, I was at first intimated to be in their presence. I have pretty much spent my entire life in Southern California, while my new friends had traveled to all 5 continents and even studied with Shaolin Masters in China.
I wanted to live their lives; I wanted to be them.
I began to imagine myself as a world traveler. I probed the minds of my friends and wrote down notes about where to stay in certain countries. I google searched English teaching programs abroad and even calculated the amount of income I would need to comfortably travel from country to country.
Before I could get carried away in my thinking process, my friends began to ask me about my startup experience. They asked me how to start a company, how to incorporate it, and how to build a team. They told me how lucky I was to make a solid salary and not have to worry about attempting to live off of $12,000 a year. They told me how lucky I was to have a supportive family and girlfriend that have helped me on my journey as an entrepreneur.
They wanted to live my life; they wanted to be me.
Wanting what others have is a disease that can consume your entire life if you don’t cure it. I’ve had this disease through a majority of my life, and last week I felt the symptoms acting up again.
But then, your comments on my previous blog post made me realize that one can always long for more; however, it is the appreciation of what you currently have that will lead to happiness.
I used to believe that accepting happiness with your current state of being meant settling for something short of your dreams. But I was wrong. I now realize that loving your present self is the highest form of happiness and acceptance.
How I learned to love my present self
1. I wrote a blog post about my insecurities and fears
This helped me cleanse myself of my bottled up frustration. When I write, I’m able to pour my feelings out to the world and become vulnerable. Though this may sound scary, it’s one of the best ways to realize that you’re not alone in the world and that there are many people who are going through the same things that you are going through.
2. I read your insightful, well thought out comments
A sincere thank you to all of your great comments. You made me realize that the grass really is greener on the other side and that I have to focus on what I HAVE rather than on what I wish I had.
3. I spent a week with a group of amazing people from all around the world
The principle behind this is change. I was in a new city with a group of completely new people for a week, which provided the perfect environment for me to reevaluate my life. When you get away from the routine, you’re able to look at your life from a third person perspective and focus on the things in life that make you happy.
I didn’t go through any fancy meditation techniques, nor did I read any self-help blogs or books. My realization came from my willingness to expose myself to the world and receive feedback from the people I respect the most. You don’t have to do it through a blog post like I did; instead, you can have a heart-to-heart with a best friend, mentor, or teacher.
Are you happy RIGHT NOW? If not, what’s holding you back?