While I’m writing this, I am having my 8th meal alone in an airport just this month after spending only 20 hours at home and I’m fine with it.
When people ask me how they can have my lifestyle, my first question is: what are you willing to sacrifice for it and how much do you really want it?
For me, the sacrifice was a stable income, my home, my relationship, my two dogs and a lot of my “me” time.
Wanting to change life and wanting to change cookie brands isn’t the same thing. One requires a decision and the other one, well, pretty much everything you ever worked for. Everyone wants the jackpot, but not a lot of people are willing to go all-in. If you have nothing to lose though, you start with a serious advantage though, the rest is just excuses.
There is only one secret ingredient and its willpower.
Of course, your goals have to be realistic. Do not dream of becoming an NBA player if you’re 5’2 because you’ll be bound to be disappointed no matter how hard you work.
When I quit everything to pursue my passion, I had this idea that everything would work out by itself and that I would be there to collect the money “if I followed my heart”. There’s a word for that and it’s delusion. I remember wondering why people weren’t calling me to give me jobs.
“Hello, I’m here, what are you guys waiting for? HIRE ME”.
Life doesn’t work like that, well not unless your daddy is Bill Gates. And mine isn’t.
After spending a year whining that my things weren’t taking off, I was at rock bottom. I was sleeping in my car, I had pennies in my account, and I found myself starting to be jealous of successful people. I wasn’t recognizing myself anymore. This isn’t what I freaking signed up for.
I thought I was improving my life, not living as a homeless person hating the rest of the world for not understanding me.
Then I finally realized that the problem was me. And that things needed to change ASAP.
The first step was a deep introspection.
- What are your real values (yours truly, not your parent’s or society’s)
- What are your life goals (personal and professional)
- What makes you truly happy in life.
Because what matters at the end of the day, it’s how happy you are. It’s not money, it’s not pleasing your parents, it’s not being admire. It’s you and you only. The way you love people around you will be a million times richer if you love yourself too.
When I changed life, my parents weren’t happy. At all. And the probability that you’ll face apprehension from people in your life is high. Entrepreneurship is still something considered “outside of the box” by most people, especially our parents.
But honestly, screw all of them.
If your spouse, parents or friends are trying to discourage you to pursue something that makes you genuinely happy, well, how can I phrase this? Oh I know: Fuck em.
Surrounding yourself by people who believe in you and push you to become a better person is not only crucial, but a key element. Brenda and Steven can bug off with their “life advices”. You outta here and if you REALLY want this, you’ll get it while they will have an unhappy and uneventful life. Because most likely, the people putting you down, will be people unsatisfied with their own life jealous of you having the balls to make shit happen.
The second step is making a plan
After I realized that opportunities wouldn’t fall on my lap like a B-series chick flick, I had to find a way to make my company thrive. It doesn’t have to be an MBA at Harvard (even though that helps), it’s simple things such as reading books and blogs of successful people and try to get tips from people who know what they were doing and make a plan. Knowledge is key. Learn shit.
Set goals that are aligned with your values and life goals. This will require lots of hours of work, if you’re not passionate by it, those moments where you want to through your computer by the window will be hard to overcome.
However, passion doesn’t have to be for something specific. I hear a lot of people saying they haven’t find a passion, but for me passion only means “a strong desire for something”.
You love the outdoor, you love knitting, you love the ocean, you love sneakers, it doesn’t matter. Start with that. Along the way, you’ll figure out what’s your path. Just never stop working until you get there.
When I left everything, there were only two things I knew for sure:
- I wasn’t happy in my current lifestyle
- I loved cooking the fish I speared
Then my fishing turned into a strong awareness on sustainable food sourcing and protection of the oceans, that are the center of my life and core values now (like my life mission). Two things I frankly never even thought about for the first 23 years of my life as I grew up downtown Montreal.
I would have never discovered that by staying in my comfort zone waiting for “a passion” to arise, because let’s face it, it’s not in the subway on your way to work that you’ll discover a new way of life.
- The third and last step is find a way to execute your goals and just do it.
Yes, that means you’ll fall on your face. Repeatedly. And that’s more than fine. You will realize what works and what doesn’t, but you’ll also discover what you enjoy doing the most and where you want to head. Your goals will change and so will you. It’s the beauty of this journey.
But you need to really want to embark this journey.
- There is a chance that you feel good by being employed and having a stable financial situation even if you don’t like your job.
- There is a chance you think you want more, but in fact you want more to watch Netflix or play videos games on the weekend instead.
- There is a chance that you can’t stand being alone and this isn’t for you.
- There is a chance you won’t able to tell your unsupportive partner that you had enough.
It’s all about making yourself happy, but this is where setting your goals are important. And to realize how much you want them. There is a difference between merely preferring for things to be different in our lives and really wanting real change.
If you want to travel the world and be rich, but you’re too lazy to do the work behind it, then you don’t really want it and it’s about time you’re honest with yourself about what really matters to you.
Success is a constant hustle and the truth is that most people rather watch TV than to work on their dream.
But, if you know you are unsatisfied with your life and determine to make the changes to make yourself happy, but you are not doing it by fear of failing, trust yourself and work your ass off. Outside of your comfort zone, you will discover how strong, amazing and powerful you are.
You will not regret it and the numerous meals alone checking your bank to make sure you have enough money in your account for that extra glass of wine you just ordered are gonna be worth every second of it.
There’s no price tag on freedom and happiness.