To Live Happy
If you check out the ‘About Danielle’ on my sidebar, or my blurb on Twitter you’ll find the following words about me … just trying to live happy (and travel). In my 20-something years on this earth I have too often found myself surrounded by people who aren’t content, are unhappy with their current ‘situation’, or are just plain miserable. Maybe it’s a family member or a clerk at the convenience store or a number of other people that you tend to come in contact with on a daily basis, but they’ve made me realize one thing: I don’t want that to be me. So, since choosing to take a road less traveled and escape the boredom and monotony that plagues far too many lives, I’ve made one and only one goal for myself: to live happy.
What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful. – Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Before I decided to take the plunge and give up my corporate life for something more I had a feeling that stuck with me every day. A feeling that took over my being, making it practically impossible for me to both feel satisfied within a job and completely content. I felt replaceable. Day in and day out I felt that I was doing a job that couldn’t be done by someone else – anyone else … and it was torturous. I constantly found myself staring out to window to a world that wasn’t restricted to a desk from 9 to 5, thinking ‘why should I sit in this office and waste my life away when there’s someone else that could be doing it instead of me’? Why shouldn’t I be doing something that I loved? I wanted something more and I was the only person who could make it happen for myself. So I did what most people are never able to do and I left and never looked back. And you know? It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Since leaving ‘that’ life behind to take my life on the road and live as a nomadic English teacher my decisions have been fueled by one underlying question … Will this make me happy? Will going out make me happy? Will staying home make me happy? Will moving to Korea to teach English make me happy? Sometimes (especially for the big decisions), it’s hard to know in advance what will bring you the most joy and happiness … and yes, I know, change is scary – but you have to ask yourself isn’t the reward worth the risk? Aren’t I willing to take a risk to do what I’ve always longed to do? People tend to forget how short life is and that there’s no guarantee of tomorrow. The time is now … you just have to figure out what you want out of life, grow a backbone and go for it.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say it’s all going to be peachy and perfect. Most people I know that have taken the plunge to live the life they dreamed don’t regret it … even for a second (even if it all doesn’t go according to plan). To do something like this, though, you have to be open minded and ready to accept all the exciting (and sometimes challenging) changes that are bound to come your way. Most likely nothing is going to go as you had thought or hoped. You have to expect and plan for the worse – doing this will leave you with few surprises and everything that does work out is icing on the cake. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. I’ve seen it happen before – where you think you know what you want but once you get it you’re still longing for more … still searching for something (even if you might not know what that something is). But that’s what life is all about. Life is about taking chances and chasing your dreams because if you’re not living a life you love, what’s the point? If we’re not careful our lives can become a series of deadlines, days that pass us by and an endless repeat of nothingness. You have to take chances, make decisions on a whim and go for it … and simply, live a little.
The picture below is of the Holstee Mainfesto. It is the most moving thing I have ever read. Ever. It’s blunt, honest, to the point and true. If reading it doesn’t make you want to live your dreams, I don’t know what will.
So I challenge you to do something and change your life. Make decisions based on happiness. Take the vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Cut back on areas that don’t make you happy. You never know what’s going to happen or when life is going to surprise you. Do what you need to do to live happy. Life is short. There’s not enough time to live the life you’ve dreamed of and be stuck doing something that makes you miserable. In my eyes, it’s one or the other, and I’m choosing the road less traveled … and you should too :)