Updated: May 26, 2020
We’ve been doing it wrong this whole time.
There has always been a part of me fighting against society. A part of me that always felt like the things we’ve been raised to believe in were wrong. The truth is, many of us haven’t even recognized that we have the ability to choose something different. We see this path, this life, in a linear trajectory that’s already mapped out for us.
We live our lives following this path that has been laid out for us. Along the way, we have conformed to believe this is how life is... We must work to make money to support ourselves and our family. We must have a sufficient cushion of funds to support ourselves when we retire. We have been living for retirement. Fortunately we are starting to WAKE THE FRICK UP. People have started to recognize that this way of living is complete and total B.S. I happen to be one of those people. I’ve mentally been against this idea for probably almost my entire adult life. I’ve only recently been trying to actually put these ideas into place. I always tell my family that the most important thing is to do what makes you happy. Why waste your life working in a crappy job that you don’t love, just to be able to have money to spend a couple hours a day doing things that you do actually enjoy? I don’t share this way of thinking... But then again, I’ve always had the desire to break the mold. Have you ever stopped to think about this path that we "must" follow in life - it’s already been chosen for us and we’ve inherited these ideas as right without stopping to think about it? Do you realize that you’ve subconsciously chosen this path of life solely because it’s “what we’ve always done?” No wonder depression, anxiety, and stress levels, for example, are skyrocketing. It’s why we think other people suck. We’ve been pushed into this mold that doesn’t fit who we are and what we need. We’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. How can you expect someone to be the best version of themselves when they are forced into a system’s mold that doesn’t fit?
Francisco and I generally rotate through our favorite restaurants and cafes but tonight I wanted to break through this mold and explore something new. We spotted a cute restaurant with large wooden chairs nestled between tropical plants lit by golden candles. The kind of place you can sink into your chair, sip a hot coffee and chat for hours. The kind of chats that open your mind to a whole new world. A new way of seeing life. Excitement sparkling in your eyes as you rapidly spout ideas about what-could-be. And that’s when Francisco said, “I would do Destination: You for free.” “Of course,” I responded as if I already had that thought. “That’s a great way to start spreading the word and getting our name out there.” “No,” he tells me with a grin. “I mean, I would do it for free. As in, I would choose to do that with my time.”
AND FRIENDS... MY MIND EXPLODED. I realized that we have it all backwards. We spend the majority of our day working. Making money. We have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I know. As much of a dreamer as I am, I know that this is reality. We live in a capitalist system and unless you go to Christiania in Denmark or the Blue Zones around the world, there aren’t many places that will exchange a sandwich for a hug.
So yeah, we have some patterns or rules that no matter what, we have to abide by. But we need to start doing it differently. To invert our road map. How would your life change if you spent the majority of your time doing the things that your love? If you spent only a few hours a day to finance your life? I have no degree in science and certainly have not conducted any studies but I’m pretty positive that your quality of life is going to increase exponentially. Birth. School. Live. Live. Live. Die. (And through all of that... make money) I never saw this as a possibility before. If I could help the world become a better place by giving my program, I would absolutely do it for free... As long as I can sustain myself, that is. From January to May, I worked as a substitute teacher, a hostess, a caregiver for people with special needs, and I was building the program for Destination:You. I hated it. I was grumpy. I worked a lot and slept a lot less. I was frustrated that I was working in jobs I didn’t love (mostly the hostess - the other’s I actually liked). But I felt like I was wasting my life away each time I wiped the greasy fingerprints off a menu. I wasn’t spending the majority of my time doing what I love. I was spending the majority of my time unhappy so I could, in turn, have the money to do what I love. And that didn’t make me feel good. But at that time, it was the only route I knew that could get me enough money to be where I am and how I am right now. I am determined now, to get to the point where I can do what I love for free while being able to sustain myself. What does that look like for me? Having a business. Or multiple businesses. Things we can control from anywhere in the world. I’m not business savvy and I know that but I am a dreamer and I am figuring it out.
So how the heck do you figure out how to do this?!
First, you must ask yourself these fundamental questions:
1. What makes me special and unique?
Me? Deep breath in… Why is it hard to admit what you’re good at? I already hear judgement as I begin to worry about how someone might respond to my answer before I even type the words. We’ve been trained to think that if we vocalize our strengths, we are cocky and egotistical rather than simply recognizing what we are good at. We must change that. Imagine if we supported strangers’ strengths just like your partner, spouse, friends would support you? It would feel really good. Here goes..
I’m good at people. I’m good at connections. At making others feel listened to, heard, and loved. I’m also a dreamer. I have hopes and aspirations (for myself and the world) that have led others to tell me I am naive. But the dreamer in me disagrees. I see the best in people and the potential that all of us have. That's why I am where I am right now. That's (one of the reasons) why I transitioned from being a classroom teacher to a wellness coach (I'm still working on my title). That's why I travel, explore, crave adrenaline. I love pushing myself to grow. To inspire and be inspired. To learn from others and share these new ideas and ways of life as I walk through this world. I have a kind heart and I want to use it to make our world a better place. Thank god I'm a dreamer because I truly believe it can be done.
Francisco? I believe he is a solutionist. I don’t know if that’s even a real thing but that’s what he loves doing - solving problems. And he is really stinkin’ good at it too. Last year, I traveled to the Galapagos Islands with my family. It was an incredible couple of weeks hiking volcanoes, scuba diving with sharks, and sharing park benches with sea lions. Our time ended and we had to make our way home. I wanted to take some souvenirs with me to remember not only the adventures but also the bonding experience with my family. Since the Islands are protected, there is a fine if you leave with any rocks, shells, lava, or really anything that belongs on the island. As I was leaving customs, Francisco was checking in on me, so of course, I told him I was worried that I would be caught with some shells in my pack. It wasn't true but I thought it would be a really good prank. As we made our way through customs, I sent him a message in panic - that I got a fine for $1000 DOLLARS!! I was thoroughly disappointed when he didn’t respond right away. Turns out, it was because he was immediately finding me a solution which wasn’t at all the reaction I was hoping for. A quick Google search led him to a blog and a few other sources for how to get out of this predicament. You get the point - he’s a solutionist.
2. What does your ideal-self look like?
This one is huge. The ideal self is who you are becoming. It’s a combination of the qualities you have now and who you imagine yourself to be. It’s who you would be if you were to combine your learning from your failures, what you admire in your role models and the person you dream of being. You have the power to create that person. My ideal self seeks validation from myself, speaks positively toward self and others, gives and receives love, is financially stable, is healthy in body and mind, and radiates happiness. My ideal self involves a lot more than this - but I'm still in the process of discovery.
3. If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do with your time?
This is what I would do. I would write blogs, give presentations, teach, speak publicly, raise my voice and share my passion for helping people find the best in themselves. Not because I’ve got it all figured out - because I certainly don’t - but because that’s what fulfills me. And believe me friends, this scares the crap out of me too. The idea is to combine strengths with passion.
4. How can you play to your strengths and not your weaknesses?
I googled “exponentially” to make sure I was using the word right. I also never use the word “definitely” and almost always use “certainly” instead because I forget how to spell it and don’t want to write “defiantly.” Yep… I just Googled both of those words and still messed it up… twice. Spelling isn’t my thing. I even used to resort to asking my third grade students to double check my spelling on the board (I like to think that my brain just gets confused with two languages). I love writing. But I would definitely love writing a lot less if I focused on that flaw rather than my strength of helping people.
Being a dreamer for me is both a strength and a weakness. Fortunately for me, I have found a life partner. Seriously - my partner in life. Not just business and not just a boyfriend. Someone who helps me make my dreams a reality. If it weren’t for him, I would probably still have most of my ideas floating around my head instead of putting them into action. Knowing your strengths and where you need assistance is huge!
5. What do you really need?
Everyone’s needs are different. I don’t need brand name clothes or the latest technology. I don’t need a big house or to get my eyebrows done. Some people do and that is totally OK. I need to travel. I need to seek new experiences. I need to be active. See, we all have different needs. The goal is to determine what your needs are and what you have to have to make your needs met. Is it more money? Less time working? A partner to push you? You might have to work longer hours, spend more money, eat out less, etc.
When we are doing what we love and being our ideal selves, I believe that the rest will fall into place (with a crap load of hard work and mega tons of effort) and we will become fulfilled.
Now friends, I encourage you to go get a piece of paper and write this down. Answer these 5 questions deeply and do not leave out any details. Once you figure out who you are, who you want to be, what you love, you have to figure out how to make money from it.
We want to know - what are you going to do with this next part of your life? I say “next part” because *Spoiler Alert* it’s always going to change. Answer one of the questions in the comments or send us an email! We want to hear from you!
See you next time for PART 2!