My blog is turning five years this summer. Five years ago, I was a marketing graduate, living my nice and steady life in a small Finnish town. Outside all looked good and calm but inside of me, there was turbulence. All that time I had been living according to the common belief that one should be rational, hard-working, make always smart decisions and aim for safety and success. But what was that success in the first place? Was it really aiming for a good paycheck or a nice-sounding title on your business card? It was scaringly easy to let my mind fall into this dizzy trap of routines and let the days pass by without really stopping and questioning why was I waking up every morning.
But one day everything changed.
I started taking steps towards a free life. I set my thoughts free and my beliefs and actions followed. It wasn’t all about big drastic changes. Don’t get me wrong, there were changes, and yes, they were huge ones. Still in the very centre of everything lied two fundamental realisations: letting go of all artificial limitations in your mind and acting despite fear. So two things: 1. freeing your mind and 2. acting.
Clarifying my personal values
The very first thing I did was finding out if I was living according to my personal set of values. What values? I guess this is clear to some people right after their teenage years but it clearly was not for me. I had to take different online tests to find out what my values are in the first place. Step by step the picture got clearer: I valued freedom, curiosity, self-development, family and learning new things. Then I was brutally honest with my self and asked whether I was living according to those values. No, I wasn’t. And realising this was the beginning of everything.
Don’t care what other people think
The sentence above doesn’t mean that you should some narcissistic as**ole. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t value the opinions of your family or friends. It just means that you should not be controlled by the thoughts of other people.
I had always done everything in a way that would look good in the eyes of others. Who was that other? Really just some imaginary person. Some fellow classmate, a distant relative, some person that browses Linkedin. Who cares what some random people think? When you have clarified your values, it is much easier to justify your actions through your values. If you do something that is a bit out of the ordinary, you can refer to your personal set of values. You can say that you’re just living according to your values. If someone doesn’t get that, that’s their problem, not yours!
Don’t see limits because they don’t really exist
People have around 60 000 thoughts daily, and almost all of them are exactly the same thoughts as yesterday. So go and get new thoughts! Step outside the box, see beyond the limits. Go to a forest. Go to the mountains. Go on holiday. Go anywhere where you can take a step back and see your life from a distance. Maybe then you will see the possibilities, the universe of options, the freedom.
We all have been lucky enough to be born, and one day we all have to die. But between those two days, we have almost endless possibilities to create whatever we wish to create. There are a lot of things you can do, and very few things you have to do. You don’t have to graduate in three years. No one forces you to go to that party, have children or drink alcohol because everyone else does. You can choose. You can choose to hate every single Monday of your life and feel miserable. Or you can choose the opposite.
Besides, we are so incredibly lucky that we are living just now. The year 2018 was the best year in the history of mankind, and I bet this year is even better.
Declutter your life
It is time to move from thoughts to actions. Step by step, I observed different areas of my life and decided what I want to keep and what not. A wave of changes dwelled over my life while I was getting rid off things that weren’t 100 % me.
You can also let go of people that are not bringing anything good to your life. You don’t have to be nice to those who only bring you negative energy and bad feelings.
Bring in new things
After letting go of something, there is more room for something new Be open for changes and exciting new stuff that destiny throws at you. However, sometimes actually bringing in the new can be as difficult as letting go of the old. At least I often thought that the time needs to be exactly right before I can do anything. I thought that I have to first find my passion and only then I can walk towards it. But life is not like Coelho’s books or Hollywood movies.
For many years I wanted to have my own business one day. I was just waiting for the right time, the perfect idea, the right business plan, some ideal world that was never going to come. One day I just went and did it. The world didn’t collapse. The world didn’t need my perfect business plan but I still managed slowly build my livelihood. The same thing happened with my journalism studies. I didn’t think that I really want to work as a journalist but I just knew that I love writing and communications. So I started studying something that was a bit like that, and that was enough.
You don’t need to see the final destination. It is enough if you know that you are on the right path.