Where were you exactly one year ago?
Me? Well I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand experiencing great food, beautiful jungles and amazing people. When we reflect on our past, things seem to make more sense. Like Steve Jobs said “It’s much easier connecting the dots looking backwards.”
At that point in time I was at a crossroads in my life.
Do I continue on the journey I have been working towards the past two years, or do I take a new path and see what adventure lies ahead?
You see only a week before I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia, marveling at the ancient temples and connecting with the local people. It was here that I had one of the biggest epiphanies of my life. After spending time with the local people, and venturing far off into places most tourists never go, I realized something profound; these people had nothing, and yet they seemed more fulfilled and happy than most people I knew! They lived in grass huts, grew their own food, and had little to no material possessions.
I realized then, that it doesn’t matter what you have, it doesn’t matter where you are, or even who you’re with; happiness is a choice.
Being happy comes from within yourself, it doesn’t have to depend on your external circumstances. Our society taught me that in order to be happy I had to achieve certain things: Make money, find a partner, buy stuff, worship God….the list goes on!
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing WRONG with any of that. My discovery is that you can be happy regardless of anything happening in your external world, and when we are able to cultivate this internal state then we can be happy regardless of what’s going on in our life.
This mindset is a huge shift.
Not only because you are in control of your own happiness, but when you make that choice, something changes in your life. It is no longer about NEEDING to achieve all the things we thought would make us happy, but rather doing things from a place of already being happy. This distinction made a big difference in my life. If it hadn’t you wouldn’t be reading this.
I decided to take the road less traveled.
I chose to jump in with both feet and see what my adventure had in store for me. This was BY FAR the best decision I have ever made.
I remember having dinner with a good friend when I returned from Thailand and he asked me what I had going on in my business for the end of 2012. I hadn’t yet declared it to the world, but in my mind the choice was already made. I was abandoning the business I had worked on for 2 years to take a new path; a path I had no idea where it would lead me.
Now looking back, one year later, I am so happy I chose to step out of my comfort zone and follow my heart. What has unfolded for me the past 12 months has been amazing (and I will save it for another blog post) and it would have never happened had I stayed small and done what my mind was telling me.
Don’t stay small, follow your heart, and be happy with who you are right now, in this moment. When you can follow those three steps, your life will shift dramatically, and your dreams will start unfolding before your eyes!
An interesting series of events after writing this article led me to doing an interview with speaker and coach Al Diaz! If you are interested in learning more about what you can REALLY do in a year, listen to the podcast here: What Can Happen In a Year Interview.