Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you – Lao Tzu
When you’re travelling, it’s inevitable that you’ll have your ups and downs on the road. The ups are great but how you deal with the lows?
Upon turning 26, I decided that I’d write “A letter to myself…” which I could read for a reality check every time I was having those down and uninspired days.
Here is my letter… Feel free to take what you need from it…
You’ve just turned 26 and you’ve lived a very rich and fulfilled life until now, but here’s something to put things into perspective whenever you lose focus.
On the Mind…
Daniel, whether you like it or not, you are what you think about all day long. The position you are in today is a direct result of your thinking. It’s completely up to you, your mind can be your worst enemy or your best friend. If you want to change your life, you need to start with your thoughts.
You are in control of your thoughts; your thoughts shape your words; your words shape your actions; your actions shape your reality.
Focus on directing your energy into positive, abundant thoughts, which propel you forward rather than inhibit you. Visualise and focus your attention on what you want in life, and not what you do not want. Your brain is a forest, and there’s an endless amount of paths you haven’t explored yet. Have faith!
Daniel, ignore society’s notion that failure should be avoided. Step into it, embrace it and run towards it. Failure equals progress, and even two steps backwards with the right intention can steer you closer to your goals. Be willing to put yourself out there, be vulnerable and be fine with humility – you’ll be dead soon and it won’t matter anyways.
When you fear something, big or small, analyse the risk, it’s probably not as bad as you think. If you can deal with the risk, create a sense certainty by stepping into uncertainty – it’s the only way – feel the fear and do it anyways.
Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others or living by their expectations. This is a useless metric. If you want one that counts, compare your current self to your previous self. Embrace your idiosyncrasies, your personality, your uniqueness – this is the raw you. There will never be anyone like you again, and I guarantee, people will grow to like you because you are being you. Think about that for a moment.
Daniel, realise that your health is the foundation that a good happy life is built on.
Good health is when the body, spirit and mind are in alignment. Never sacrifice your health for a quick win. Look after your body by exercising daily, providing it with good wholesome ingredients. What you put in your body is all you can expect in return. Control your influences and nurture good healthy habits by starting out small. Turning small cobweb habits into chains. Try not to break the chain.
Daniel, realise that any feeling that you are experiencing right now is only ever temporary.
Your frame will be different soon, and just like the seasons, the way you are feeling will pass too.
You don’t need more; you already have everything you need. When you lessen your attachment and desire for things external to yourself, you will start looking within at what you already have. Happiness is found in simplification and learning to be content with less. If you reduce your wants, you will have more space to give more in your life. Be ok with where you are now. When you decide to accept where you are, in the here and now, life will become a lot simpler for you.
Daniel, learning is a never-ending life process.
Show up to learn, every single day. With anything you learn, always approach the process with a beginners mind. Embrace humility, be intentional and practice deliberately. See learning a skill like tackling a puzzle. You won’t get it right first time, but piece by piece, the whole gradually becomes clearer. Don’t hoard your knowledge. Share it. Give more. Create more. Enrich the world by inspiring and empowering others, spreading gratitude, happiness and joy into other people’s lives.
Daniel, the essence of life is to experience.
Life is one big journey of ups and downs. Experiences create your story and shape who you become. You can learn something from every experience if you’re looking in the right direction. Given the choice of having an experience or acquiring a material, realise there isn’t longevity in materials. They will break, weigh you down and eventually become obsolete. Experiences aren’t like that; you can collect as many as you like and they will stay with you till the die you day.
Daniel, remember that you are going to die soon and nothing really matters in the grand scheme of things.
Nothing has permanence. “Memento Mori” and reminding yourself daily that you are going to die is extremely liberating. Whether you’re feeling nervous, fearful, sad, angry or humiliated, it all falls and fades away when you pass from this life. Your time is limited on this planet, so spend it loving others, embracing new experiences and doing what you love as much as possible. And don’t forget to ask yourself this question: If you were to die right now, would you die happy?
On the Future…
Daniel, you just don’t know, and no one else does, either, ever.
Some people are better at hiding it than others but realise everybody is hustling. Nobody has a clue what is going to happen in the future. Be comfortable with the ambiguity. Remind yourself, there is no use planning for the future if you can’t live in the present moment.
Find faith in a purpose or something larger than yourself. Let your vision empower and guide you to new experiences and dimensions. Remember, there is no known destination, life is a spontaneous journey. Flow with it, and be ok with the uncertainty along the way.
Daniel, you don’t have to wait till tomorrow, start creating your legacy today.
Your legacy is your gift to the world. Start thinking in terms of impact and creating something that outlasts you right now. Become known for something bigger than yourself, find an empowering story, vision, a cause, a passion, something to guide you. It always starts with one person. 1 becomes 10. 10 becomes 100. And then, wow, who knows?
Listen to your heart. Go beyond yourself and act in the genuine interest of other people’s dreams and fears. Find your tribe and show them what’s possible for themselves. And last but not least, give, give, give, and then give some more.
I hope that this letter puts things back into perspective Daniel.
This letter was personal to me but I wanted to share it in the hope that I could inspire you to write your own letter. I decided to focus on the categories that helped put my life into perspective the most (Mind, Fear/Failure, Health, Happiness, Experience). You can choose the ones which work for you.
Feel free to take what you need from the letter and add your own categories and points wherever necessary. If you want to share your letter to yourself with me, then get in touch.
Thanks for reading
All the best,
Daniel Beaumont, 26th August 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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