Is your ladder leaning on the right wall?

Have you seen the Gary Vee video, ‘The Human Pursuit of Happiness’? Go ahead, click on the link, invest 6.24 minutes. The root of his message is important, an idea which is dear to my heart as well.

It’s almost impossible when you don’t have the things that you want to understand that the chase of those things if you pick the right path will end up tasting sweeter than the items you amass.   -Gary Vee

‘Create a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From’, has a similar tone compared with the message from Gary Vee’s video. I have found a way of showing up in the world, everyday which brings me so much joy, I really can’t wait to get up and start working on it. I do this work, even though I make no money doing so. I expect nothing in return.

I’ve not always thought this way. I used to believe that years and years of hard work would allow me to retire in relative ease, then I would enjoy my life. That dream was like a North Star for me. It drove me to pursue goals, and build a successful career. My life changed dramatically when I looked around one day and realized I had been climbing a ladder which had been propped up against the wrong wall.

I’m at the age, like Gary Vee where time is not on my side, like it once was. Sure, I’m not too old to start something new, but I’m not in the high-risk phase of life where I am able to try, learn and do whatever I want. I have responsibilities to other people. It is not fair to them if I should decide one morning that I want to sell everything, move to the cheapest part of a faraway town and start my life over again, as if I was young and could live on ramen noodles day after day to save money.

On the other hand, I’m not really at retirement age. Despite what I told everyone when I left what I call my first career. What I found hard to explain then and even now to some degree is that I don’t plan on retiring. I am not going to stop working. I like having a purpose of service outside of my own self-interest every day.

Gary Vee explained it best in his video. The thought of lying on the beach or playing golf each day does not appeal to him. He also does not covet a lavish lifestyle of expensive material possessions. Gary Vee finds pleasure and fulfillment from a day full of meetings, collaborating with other people, creating something of value. When I heard him say these things, my thoughts finally found words.

I would like to work on projects where I can schedule time to do whatever is most important to me, in the moment. That will look different depending on the circumstances. Work needs to fulfill more for me personally than it ever did before. I want to collaborate and create something which has intrinsic value for others. Work which is driven by a transactional cash exchange as the primary purpose, does not interest me so much anymore.

I need autonomy over my time. I feel a strong pull for letting my curiosity be my guide. I might want to enroll in a course or spend a month experiencing a foreign culture. These kind of investments in myself yield a far greater payback than working to save for a far off and uncertain retirement. I want to continue learning and growing for my whole life.

I’ll be honest. This way of thinking about my life and work is very new to me. As a young woman I bought into the collective idea of the perfect life path. Education, marriage, babies, buy a home, pay off the mortgage, retire. That was the sequence of events I was well down the path to achieving. Then something changed for me. I began to feel less certain about decisions I made while still in my twenties. How valid were they for me now? Could I pivot to something else?

Fast forward to our around the world trip, (turns out I could pivot), sitting in a restaurant in Bali. It occurred to me that many of the people I had seen on our travels were on vacation and they were living it up. They were escaping the stress of their everyday lives back home, as my family had done on our vacations. I started to wonder if there was another way to be? Could a person be free from the stress which requires the need for vacations as a means of stress release and escape?

Create a life you don’t need a vacation from was born there in Bali. The research started. How does one go about reframing their lives in order to be in this less stressful state? I figured that our emotional constraints might be holding us in place. The age-old idea of how we think informs how we act and then creates our reality. Gary Vee and every other motivational speaker out there touches on this idea as well. But, what are the techniques to change the status quo? How does one go about thinking differently?

My thoughts are driven by unconscious habits and old ideas. The first step in changing the pattern was to recognize how deep into my automatic reactions I had to dig. I sometimes have to rethink every thought and for sure most things I say. I slip up all the time, blurting out conditioned responses. Luckily, about half the time those are questions for clarification. In that way I get a second chance to create a more empathic line of conversation than would be normal for me. I know I am on the right track when people thank me for my support. I still find it surprising to hear that feedback.

Back to my thoughts or the way I speak to myself. I even have a running dialogue in my head, where I can be so critical of other people, for no reason at all. I now realize this pattern of thought is crazy bad and dangerous. It is the platform for my actions and then creates my whole life experience. It is extremely unhealthy and makes me feel frustrated and sad. My only counterpoint for this bad habit is mindfulness. By stopping for a second, mid thought and turning negative into positive or even neutral, I am able to stop a downward spiral. If I happen to let a negative idea fully form, it is not too late to reverse the damage. At those moments it is helpful to notice how unkind and ungrateful I am allowing myself to be.

This self-work is not easy. It is exhausting. Some nights I collapse into bed, fully spent from the effort. When I experience tiredness like that, I also feel a sweet smile of satisfaction. The effort has been worth it. Each day I get a little better at this kind of practice. Long held habits are hard to break. They are like deep ruts on a road of soft mud. Sometimes the effort of forward progress makes you feel like you are digging down further, into being stuck. Then something catches, and you surge forward. Life is like that. An ebb and flow. Each day builds on the next and all of a sudden you realize how far you have gone.

Join me in this creative journey. I am on a mission to start a global movement, focusing on the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com #creaspatreat

My creative year:
: : Developing, testing and enjoying a life I don’t need a vacation from while working in an office and commuting on public transit! 
: : This is where my ideas for creaspatreat will come to life. Don’t miss any of it by joining us!
: : Check out new projects on my youtube channel called creative wandering. #dailycreatives

Published books:
: : “Fruitless at 40: Rediscovering My Creative Power

Would you like a free download of….
: : The first chapter from Fruitless at 40 and
: : My tried and true packing list, developed from long-term, around the world travel?
: : Join us!

Daily Creatives Resources:
: : Travel changes a person
: : Consumer anarchy and the Buyerarchy of needs
: : Teach women, invest in a community
: : Crea.spa.treat. what do you think it means?
: : Living in stress, moving to relaxation, looking for ikigai

Comments: 2

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    September 29, 2018

    “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” -Lao Tzu

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