Have you ever been to a place so amazingly beautiful that you physically couldn’t move or speak because the sight simply took your breath away? Have you ever done something that filled you with so much adrenaline that you think you’ll never be able to experience a rush like that again? I’ve experienced both of the above and so so much more because of my travels, but to be completely honest I don’t consider myself lucky. Quite frankly, I rather dislike when people say I am.
Google’s definition of luck is the following:
Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.
Now I’m not saying that my life isn’t absolutely amazing and that I don’t appreciate every second of it, because it is and I do. What I am saying is that I certainly did NOT get here by chance. I didn’t find a money tree or a suitcase full of cash. I didn’t win the lottery, receive an inheritance or get given a trust fund. And I certainly didn’t have my parents hand me multiple stacks of $100 bills and say “here kiddo, go travel the world”.
So how am I able to travel so far and so often? Willingness. Passion. Drive. Commitment. That’s how I’m able to travel. It all comes down to priorities and what you want to spend your time and money on. When I’m not travelling I’m working my ass off to go towards my next adventure. I choose to spend my money on experiences rather than food, alcohol, and clothes. Every decision I make and every time I make a purchase my travels are in the back of my mind.
Those of you that have been following my blog posts know that I am currently reading Shift Happens – How to Live an Inspired Life… Starting right now by Robert Holden. While reading this week, I realized that there are times that I feel confused on why I’m able to travel when others have such a hard time finding the courage and funds to do so. I constantly receive messages saying “Wow! You’re so lucky and live such an awesome life. How do you do it?”.
Giving travel advice and inspiring others to get out and see the world is one of my favourite things to do. I love waking up in a morning to messages from people I’ve never met asking me all about my adventures. That being said, it sounds a little petty to say that hearing that “I’m lucky” all the time can ware me down. However, when I hear it so often I sometimes begin to wonder:
What have I done to deserve this life? `
This is too good to be true?
I almost feel guilty, but not quite.
Dr. Holden states that as humans we struggle to receive. Often, when experiencing true happiness we think its odd. We wait for something to go wrong and the good to come crashing down. He provides the exercise How much happiness can you handle before…
You start waiting for the fall?
You question it all.
You wonder, am I good enough for this?
You start thinking, this can’t last.
Seem a bit familiar to anyone? Having trouble receiving happiness can be related to many different areas in one’s life. In a rough relationship that seems to be going way too good and you’re bracing yourself for the next argument? About to go into a play-off game and beginning to question if you’re good enough for this and if all the skills you’ve learned are enough? Going into exams feeling confident and wondering if that means you’ve not prepared enough or have missed some material? Getting along with your family for the first time in what feels like forever? Just because things are looking up, doesn’t mean that things are about to make a 180 and go terribly wrong.
The fact that this is such a common concept is so disheartening. We shouldn’t expect unhappiness and for “bad things to come in threes”. You’ve worked hard to be where you are in life and you truly do deserve happiness. I’ve worked so hard to be able to travel the world and I know that I truly do deserve happiness too. So how do we stop questioning ourselves when we are happy with our accomplishments and become better receivers?
Dr. Holden’s response is “Receiving is all about letting go. To be a good receiver, you have to be willing to let go of expectations, plans, demands, control, pride, worthiness, and addiction to struggle. Essentially put, you have to let go of your ego.” You have to stop letting your self-image define your life and your self-doubt limit your potential.
It may seem like it’s luck or too good to be true, but try not to tense up. You deserve to accept happiness more fully. Open your mind and concentrate on appreciating the good times and let your life be good to you. As Holden says, let life give to you, so you can give yourself more fully to life. What stops you from becoming a better receiver? What are you afraid of? Notice any fears, and be willing to let them go.
I’m going to type out my response to the above exercise all in one go. No breaking. No taking the time to stop and think. I’m just going to let my thoughts flow. Hopefully you’ll take the time to do this too.
I guess I’m scared. Scared of not appreciating my travels as much as I can before I’m no long able to continue them… There I go again, looking for the moment when “things come crashing down. Let me try again. I’m scared of not being the best person I can be while traveling. I’m scared of burning bridges with the people I meet like I have done in the past. I’m scared I won’t leave a positive impact on each and every person that I connect with during my travels. I want to be someone who people know they can go to for advice. I want to be the person you walk by on the street that is smiling at nothing but how happy they are and how foolish they know they must seem. I want to inspire people about the little thing in life. I want to make myself proud more than anything. I feel like I’m only giving myself the next year of my travels to achieve this and make this big change before going back to Canada. And ultimately, I’m scared that I won’t succeed in any of this and people will just think I’m silly. I don’t want to just be a traveller that boasts about the cool places they’ve been and how many shots they took the night before. I want to be able to use my experiences and what I’ve learned to teach others and help them grow as I grow. I want to help others become more open to happiness as I become more open to receiving happiness.
When I first started typing the above exercise out I thought the exercise would be short and sweet. However, this got a lot deeper than expected and the true value of the activity was revealed. I truly encourage you to take the time to try this and see if it can open your eyes to the fear you have that’s holding you back.
What it all comes down to is doing what is going to fill you with the most joy. When I am travelling, seeing new places, and going on adventures, I am at my happiest. However, those things are not for everyone. Social media can make it seem like we need to all like certain things and do certain things to get the most out of our lives. What makes you tick? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What do you look forward to doing on your days off? Be sure to make time for the things that you love and the things that you are passionate about. Also, try your best to be more open to receiving happiness. Stop doubting yourself and your abilities. You deserve life filled with greatness.
Stay tuned for next weeks post,
Kristyn Breeze xx