“There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do” 🦋
As I sit on the black-sand beach, staring out gratefully at the glistening yet choppy Pacific Ocean, 20 minutes (via 2 boats & 1 horse & cart) away from the beautiful (Cuba-esque) city of Leon, I wonder how I got here.
Several encounters with inspirational beings later & I realise it all comes down to one thing – choices.
I think back to the life I used to have. When I would sit at my desk at work dreaming of a life somewhere else, doing anything else, anything but this. I developed anxieties in the job and consequently in my life. Knowing I wanted and deserved ‘more’, but unsure what ‘more’ was, or how I would achieve it.
I had always done (near enough) what I’d been told, by my boss, by my teachers, by my parents, by society. Achieve good grades, participate in extra curricular activities, do your homework, go to university, get a 1st class degree, achieve the winning job and feel happy and fulfilled, right?
But I wasn’t. I dreaded going into work, spending (what I know to be) each sacred day of my youth years, chasing a dream that just wasn’t mine. Not once when I was young did I sit up with my mum in bed & tell her my dreams of being a corporate, exhausted professional at the age of 23. Where had my spirit gone? My imagination? Where had I gone?
Just to be clear I’m not slating any go-getter young professionals out there that are putting in the hours because they are chasing a life they want. There is nothing so commendable, but I was chasing a life I didn’t want. I may have performed well in my job, at times very well, winning all-paid for trips on company holidays, bringing in big client names, but even with any amount of success or recognition or reward I could hold onto, I was doomed to fail either myself or my job (or both) along that path somewhere, because it just wasn’t my dream.
I’m the kind of person that is hard-working by nature (I get that from my dad), im sure many say this in interviews but in recent self-reflection I’ve realised that is just my character. I was born competitive & consequently have always been a 120% & 100mph kinda girl, even in the things I didn’t enjoy. So what does this mean? It means I can be good at things I don’t like. As opposed to people that know if they’re not performing in something it probably isn’t for them. I know my abilities are such that I can actually be good at things I don’t like. Which makes the process of deciding what to continue pursuing even more difficult.
There is a certain disillusion to succeeding professionally, an instant high, which for competitive people like me, can be mistaken for enjoying what you’re doing. This is the difference between temporary and sustainable happiness.
A chocolate bar may make you temporarily happy, but if you over-indulge you know it’s going straight to your hips (with an added 3 hours on the treadmill to remove, if your chocolate bars are as big as mine). I’m sure I’m not the only one in life that let temporary successes or happiness cloud my judgment of the bigger picture. If I go home sobbing (theoretically) about my binge eat and head straight to the gym was it worth it in the first place? Did it even make me happy at all?
Similarly, if I win a few big deals at work, get a round of applause and recognition from my whole office, feed off the buzz for a while, then go home and sit remaining unfulfilled, with a glass of red wine & packet of cigarettes desperately trying to fulfill a craving in my life (like that’s going to be achieved through smoking), then continue to drown out the voices in my head asking myself why I’m doing a job that only stimulates me for the same amount of time as a chocolate bar (is it even worth it at all?).
Let’s assume it takes 10 minutes to consume a large Dairy Milk Whole Nut bar (my favourite – also consumption time depends on person + mood). What about the other 1430 minutes in the day? Shouldn’t I be chasing a goal that satisfies my brain for more than 1/100th of the day?
Well, I decided yes. And whatever the craving that needs to be filled in my life may be, I decided to go for it. I don’t think you need to know what that even is when you take that jump either. You just set your sights on a more fulfilled life and the rest will come into play.
This brings me back to where I’m sat right now, on a beach in the hidden Central American gem Nicaragua. Instead of ignoring my brains previous niggles in my head crying out to be listened to that something wasn’t right, there is now a stillness. A calmness as I aknowledge I’m in exactly the right place, discovering everything I need to about myself before I can possibly start achieving those dreams.
It all comes down to choices. Most people think they don’t have a choice but the beauty is that we are faced with hundreds of choices every day, big and small. Each choice can bring you a little bit closer to your dreams, if you want it to. Trust the voices inside your head.
I made a choice to quit my job.
I made a choice to move out of my comfortable Manchester apartment and life.
I made a choice to travel, with nobody I knew closeby and establish long-distance friendships with my loved ones.
Every day I continue to make choices that are shaping my life in every way for the future. Continue to follow these choice of mine by subscribing to my blog now 🙂 I’m starting a new, more frequent sub-section called ‘Sophie’s choice’ to illustrate the choices I’m presented with every day that get me a little bit closer to my goals. Feel free to share the journey with me ❤
Have a think about the choices you make every day, when you look back could you say you’d make the same decision every time? Do the little choices you make every day align with the overall vision for your life? Your personal strategy? Your dreams?
The choices we make in the small picture are the colours that paint our big picture…remember that 🦋
Sending love from a hilarious boat ride in Nicaragua with the locals 🦎