Okay, I really never hated my life, but that title just seemed so catchy. I was pretty unhappy though at certain points. Essentially, my whole blog discusses how I made this transition in some form or another. But, not wanting to let this title I so loved go to waste, I dug a bit deeper to come up with some key points I really haven’t discussed before, at least in great detail.
For those of you not familiar with my story, I was just a regular gal from New Jersey living a pretty ordinary existence. My life certainly wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t what I wanted. Add in my interest in personal development, crappy circumstances that catapulted my growth, a shift in beliefs, some pretty bold (and uncomfortable) choices, and I transformed into one of those people that is actually living the life they truly want. Imagine that.
There are lots of us out there, and contrary to what many of us may think, this group is not comprised solely of people who had rich parents, were never touched by difficult circumstances, or are just extremely ‘lucky.’
Since May 2011, I have been traveling the world with my fiancé Ryan, making money through various freelance writing jobs. As you can see from the title, my current location is the tropical paradise of Savusavu,Fiji, where I get to live for free in an oceanfront home up on a cliff, in exchange for keeping it occupied and kitties fed and given plenty of love. Not a bad gig.
If I can do it, you can do it.
So, here are some of the core elements that allowed me to make this transition.
Made a Decision
This one may seem a bit obvious—of course I made a decision. We make decisions every day. But, interestingly, a lot of us overlook this key ingredient in creating a better life. We don’t like how our lives are now; we have an idea of things we would like to do. But, then…..nothing.
There is no firm, clear decision made to begin the process of acquiring these things. Nothing is being set in motion. We just lament we don’t like our lives now, and think about all the things we wish were different. There is a whole lot of talking and fantasizing about our preferred circumstances.
But, the only action being taken is continuing to make self-sabotaging choices and doing things we don’t like. Essentially, we are making a decision to not do anything, to not change.
Each of us has our own unique blend of ‘stuff’ that prevents this crucial first step. But, at the core, it is lack of clarity about what we truly want, and what we believe would make us feel happy and more fulfilled. We are very clear on what we don’t like and want, but only give a fraction of our mental energy to thinking about what we do in any meaningful way.
Taking the time to do this can change your whole world. When you get clear on what you want, the things you need to do to get there become much more obvious. And, because you now have a better idea of who you really are and what you really want, you will be infused with a healthy dose of confidence to make the decisions that will bring you closer to your ideal life.
It will probably still feel scary and uncomfortable. You may not feel 100 percent sure you are doing the right thing, but now that you have figured out what you want your life to be like, you’ll feel compelled to act anyway. You know it is what needs to be done.
It is at this point, you will engage in that simple, yet powerful act of deciding.
Took Complete Responsibility for My Life
This was a biggie, and like the deciding, something that a lot of us have lots of trouble doing. Taking complete responsibility for our lives, and the results we get, has the potential to change every aspect of our existence for the better; you will never truly get everything you want if you are not willing to do this.
When we don’t take full responsibility, we allow our lives to be shaped by forces outside of us. We adopt a victim mentality that keeps us stuck where we are, no matter how badly we don’t want to be there anymore. This is not a good place to be, and it isn’t a place we have to be.
It is very easy to look at the things we don’t like about our lives, and determine something outside of us is to blame. You’ll find no shortage of people who will commiserate with this way of thinking, which only reinforces the delusion.
Sure, sometimes things may happen that were not of our choosing, and it can really throw us for a loop. But, we have to realize we have total control over how we respond to these situations. This is where the responsibility part comes in.
No one can make us feel a certain way; there are a lot more options available to us to improve even the crappiest of circumstances than we think, we just have to be willing to do things that may make us really uncomfortable. If you are not willing to do these things, that is perfectly fine, but you must own this. You must admit you are not willing to do it.
I recently read a quote that went something along the lines of when people are saying they are doing the best they can, it usually means they are doing everything they feel comfortable doing, and nothing more. This really struck me. If you are not liking your life right now, but have a sense you are not in full control, ponder this one for a minute and see what comes up.
Several years ago, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I took a commission-only sales job that was really flexible so I could take him to chemo treatments and spend time with him. I had just returned from a trip to Europe, which was preceded by me quitting my job. This was supposed to the start of my brand new fabulous life, but then I was sucker-punched by this horrible news.
That sales is not my thing is an understatement if there ever was one. Suffice to say I didn’t make much money.
Around this time, I had a lot of debt, and I had taken out a loan with the intention of consolidating it. But, given my lack of income, this money just sat in my bank account and I started using it to live.
Given the stressful nature of my life at that time, and that I am an imperfect human, it is understandable I made the choices I did. But, just because something is understandable, doesn’t give us a free pass to go down that road if we really know we should be doing something else. Could I make a good case all this mess was a result of all the stuff happening to me and that it wasn’t my fault?
Absolutely, but ultimately, it is bullshit. That debt was my fault. I could have made different choices but I didn’t. I owned that. That was a major wake up call for me, and since then, my handling of money has improved exponentially though there were a couple of more bumps along the way.
During one of my travel periods, my sole source of income went away pretty much overnight. I had been doing work for one company, and just one company, for over two years. Boatloads of writers were able to make full-time income providing content for them—that is how much work they had.
But, some changes with Google totally destroyed the traffic rankings of many of their web properties, and almost immediately, they stopped commissioning articles while they underwent a major overhaul.
The forums were flooded with people pissed at the company, infuriated as to how they could do that to the writers. A kind of shocking number were discussing how they were going to get evicted, lose their cars and not be able to buy food. How dare this evil company just take their sole source of income away without any warning. What an uncaring bunch of assholes that just used them and then spit them out. Seriously??
I was certainly panicking myself—I had like zero savings. But, all of us were in the messes we were in for reasons that had nothing to do with this sudden turn of events.
No doubt, we all had some glaring money management issues.
Clearly, we all chose to just work for this one company and not find other work.
Obviously, we all had a poverty consciousness or we would have had a lot more money saved, or lots of other work as well.
Without question, we had some feelings and beliefs within us that attracted this situation to us—I won’t go all into law of attraction here though. If you are interested in how I used that little concept to get where I am, I wrote a whole post about it here.
I was contracted to provide a service and they no longer needed that service. End of story. They didn’t owe me anything. It was not their fault I was now in this predicament.
I took full responsibility for this mess, and it catapulted my personal development work into overdrive. I lived off my credit cards and eventually I ended up with more clients who paid a lot more and were a lot easier to work with. I did a lot of internal work to shift my belief system and my attitudes about money. Eventually I paid the debt off when I started working again, so no real harm done there.
Before I got those great writing jobs, I had a few other types of work trickle in a few months after this happened. The pay wasn’t great, but it was better than nothing. I swallowed my pride and just did it.
I made a decision that I would no longer give away my power, that I would no longer buy into a belief system that tells us we don’t have complete control over our own lives.
If your life isn’t what you want it to be right now, you are dropping the responsibility ball somewhere. Take a moment to think about all the things you are ‘blaming’ on something outside yourself, whether it be your crappy childhood, the government, the economy or society at large. If you keep peeling back the layers of the situation, you will begin to see you have more control than you know.
At this point, it is up to you to decide whether you are willing to do what is required. If not, that’s fine. But then stop complaining, and find a way to be happy with how things are now, because it’s not going to get any better than that.
Realized the Advantage I Had, and How I Would Be an A-Hole to Waste It
When I first started making a serious effort to improve my life, it dawned on me how much of an advantage I had simply due to being born into the circumstances I had been.
Now, whether my soul decided on this incarnation to learn certain lessons and have certain experiences (which is what I kind of think happens) or it was a completely random event with no other-worldly component, the fact of the matter is, I and my fellow first-worlders have it pretty good compared to a lot of other people sharing the planet with us, even those in our countries who are considered poor. Having traveled in certain areas, I have seen true poverty.
All our basic needs are met and then some. We live in wealthy, stable, safe countries. Most of us get a good education. The opportunities to improve ourselves and our lives are overflowing and essentially unlimited.
We are shielded from all manner of suffering that we cannot even come close to fathoming. For many people, rampant disease, starvation, abuse, repression, war, mass murder and being terrorized by all sorts of really dangerous, crazy people, is a regular occurrence.
Our lives are really comfortable and this allows us to focus on what we want, and not just what we need. And more importantly than actually be able to think about what we want, is actually making these things happen.
Do you realize how lucky you are to exist in such circumstances? Do you realize all the resources you have available to you to improve your life and make significant, positive changes if you are not happy with how things are now?
When I hear people bitching about their lives, I kind of want to smack them a bit. They act as if there is nothing that can be done, when there are like a million things that can be done to change this. It just all comes down to limiting beliefs, a messed-up self image and just plain laziness. The excuses are endless, and usually universally lame.
There are people in this world who have done the most amazing things, who have come from the most tragic or difficult of circumstances. They had a lot less going for them than you do now. You are several rungs up the ladder already. If you don’t like your life now, you are at such an advantage to really change it. Don’t waste it.
Being Guided by Faith and Not ‘Logic’
When I first decided I wanted to live the type of life I wanted, my life was riddled with issues. There was no ‘evidence’ in my current reality that would suggest what I wanted would be possible. But, luckily, I had been cultivating a new set of beliefs that assured me my present and past had no bearing on the future.
That setting intentions, and believing what I could get what I wanted , was all I needed to get it, resonated with me on a deeper level and I knew there was a truth to it. I learned to trust my intuition, and took actions that were inspired, and these actions led me to what I wanted.
I was willing to trust. I had some faith things would work out. I examined my current belief system, and realized it wasn’t working too well for me, so I was open to a new way of thinking.
While it took a bit for this way of thinking to really sink in, it was strong enough in the beginning to propel me forward and it grew as my experiences continued to validate it.
I realized there were infinite ways what I wanted could come to me, and that my mind could not possibly conceive of every possibility. I accepted the fact my ‘humanness’ would prevent me from ever fully understanding how this world works. I realized our reliance on ‘logic’, the burning need to have everything make sense, and requiring ‘proof’ leads us to miss out on a lot in this world, and take advantage of tools that can really change our lives dramatically. I am thankful every day I was willing to give it a whirl.
I have done lots of things that some people may consider ‘stupid’ or ‘irresponsible’ but these decisions were anything but. While I still may have felt uncomfortable at times, ultimately I knew I was doing the right thing.
There is a lot more going on than meets the eye. There is a powerful energy out there, an energy that forms the foundation of everything you see in your physical reality. We can tap into this energy to shape our own reality just to our liking. I can’t prove this to you in science-y way. My only proof is my experience, and that is good enough for me.
It will be good enough for you too, but you can’t get this proof until you are willing to be open to this idea. Be willing…I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Life can be really good…like super-good if we are just willing to shift some beliefs and do things differently than we have been.
Hope you enjoyed this post and it inspired you to start taking action on getting something you want in your own experience, big or small.
What is your dream? What would you like to change about your life? If you are someone who is in the middle of the creation process, what tips would you share? Please let me know in the comments section..would love to chat with you.