Guest post by Barbara – It has taken a very long time, but now finally I am doing what I always wanted to do: Traveling! And it feels great to be doing exactly what one really wishes to do. From my experience so far it can be a very long, stony road which is however very worthwhile taking, although it might not seem to be at first…
But let´s start from the beginning: I have completed a relatively ordinary career in business administration. Ok, let´s forget about my never-ending understatement. In fact, I was always very good at what I did: Tourism studies, the final paper in HR development in a well-known insurance company, and eventually my first very well-paid job as a project manager in an IT consultancy. Although I had so many things that seemed to be desirable when looked at objectively, again and again I realised that somehow I was not satisfied, let alone happy. Actually, to be honest I was pretty unhappy at that time. And only within this fairly painful moment was I willing to ask myself what I really want. Strictly speaking, these are precisely the questions that could be so worthwhile for everyone to ask him or herself: Am I living the life that I wish for? Am I happy? Can/should I change something?
In case the answer was negative, I have bad news for you: As a matter of fact, no one else will do it for you! And of course, the decision does not have to mean that you drop everything, quit your job and travel the world. It is more about being honest to yourself; to ask yourself, what you really want, what could make you happy, what you expect from life beyond all (social) influences and (false) beliefs. This can also involve some very small changes. It is about leaving the oh so cosy comfort zone, about trying something new, re-inventing yourself, being or staying curious and open, doing things CONSCIOUSLY and always being aware of yourself, paying attention towards how things feel.
From my perspective, within the fast-paced, over-engineered and information- flooded world we live in, many people have lost the sense of their own well-being, their (self-) consciousness and mindfulness. The focus of every human being should be on his or her own well-being, because only if you are ok with yourself, if you live the life that you want to live, at least to a certain degree, only then can you really have the chance to find inner peace and happiness, and through this to become the person you want to be, far from any heteronomy. And for me it was just the long overdue quitting of my office job that made me feel caged up, that was necessary in order to finally go on traveling. I will never regret this decision.
In this sense, to end with a just magnificent and very inspiring quote from Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”