When I first set out to start my travels, I had in mind something very different than what was really in store for me.
I thought that I was going to go live in Bali to take advantage of currency arbitrage, basically a fancy word for cheaper living conditions, in order to grow my business in a more strategic way.
What I was thinking at the time was:
"My business is inherently online-based, I want to see the world, I can knock out two birds with one stone."
But... as I mentioned what was in store for me was very different in actuality.
I think the moral of my story is that your future plans are a nice story you can tell yourself, but life will ALWAYS throw all kinds of interesting curve balls and twists that will throw you way off your expected track.
I ended up in Colombia. And not because I wanted to, but because that's where I needed to be to receive what I needed to receive.
And this is a beautiful thing.
I think that when we lock ourselves into these imaginary boxes of expectation, this is when we aren't able to see the opportunities that lie right in front of us.
The solution is to live presently.
And to live presently means to break down all expectations for future outcomes.
It also means to unbox yourself from certain titles you have obtained in your careers.
And so to live completely presently, you need to strip away identity.
And this is tough for our ego.
Our ego LOVES titles.
It loves to identify us with CEO or Director of X.
Especially in the materialistic world we live in.
Balance is Key
First, this type of ego-death transformation doesn't happen overnight. It took me 6 months, and I still have a long way to go.
Next up: Extremes.
Extremes are a trap.
For example, even with spoken language, using the words ALWAYS, or NEVER, is naive.
In reality (and I use that word very loosely), rarely things are Always or Never. But usually somewhere in between.
We use these words to comfort our ego.
Beyond spoken language, everything needs a balance.
For me the most fundamental balance is between my heart and my mind.
I'm aware that I was given a gift, that of my mind. It's clear to me that it's my most powerful asset as a human being.
I think it's worth noting that not everyones gift is their mind. The key is to find what YOUR gift is and use it to reach your dreams. I could have easily mis-read myself and followed a career trying to be a professional football player, but I definitely wouldn't have ended up as "lucky".
But even with my gift, in the past it served as a curse.
Because I was drawn to Software Engineering, and went FULL-IN on it, I was constantly thinking ALL the time. I was engineering EVERYTHING. And not everything is supposed to be engineered!
I started not being able to control it, and it started being applied just about everywhere.
With most things in life, you don't need to think.
Yep, take the time to soak that in.
You don't need to think, regardless of how society has programmed us.
You're heart will tell you exactly what you need to do, or say.
The mind has it's purpose.
It's good for problem solving.
It's good for moving the human race forward.
It's good for advancing in technology, things like that.
Even writing this article, takes quite a bit of brain power. I need to think about how I want to structure it and present my ideas so that it can be optimally-comprehendible to you.
But the mind has no place in day-to-day human connection and relationships. That's 100% the hearts job.
I also think that's why we have such an issue with empathy in the western world.
People have trouble understanding each other. Because they aren't connected with the heart, but trying to rationalize with the mind.
So for me, knowing when to turn off my mind and focus my energy to my heart, and vise versa is going to be an ongoing work in progress.
You can find the idea of balance in almost every single thing. From the macro to the micro.
It can be how to balance your life between personal health and work (macro decision).
Or, it can be how much energy you should dedicate to a specific task, like, how much time is it worth it for me to spend on this article to get my point across.
Most things in the real-world follow the 80/20 rule. Where you can achieve 80% of the desirable result with 20% of the work.
This is known widely as the Parento Principle.
Everyone has a life path
Life is a journey.
This was my first big trip, but definitely will not be my last.
I didn't travel because I needed to "grow my business", as I initially thought.
That was just the story I was telling everybody because I was confused and didn't want my parents to worry or friends to ask too many questions.
I traveled because ... it's part of my life path.
There doesn't need to be any more explanation, regardless of the explanation that everyone around you wants to hear.
Just do things in your life because ... It just feels fuckin' right.
Don't let others reverse convince you of what is so deeply true to you.
We all have a very well defined life path. There is some variability but for the most part it's already written for us.
In my favorite book, "The Alchemist", this is known as Maktub. I'm pretty sure this is derived from the word "Katuv", which means written in Hebrew.
Don't fight your path.
Just gracefully receive what is already yours and you will be a very happy camper.
If your soul is happy, you will be happy too.
I wish you all the courage necessary to follow your path and to realize your own self-actualization.
P.S - If you have any questions about any of this, I can be happily reached on Facebook or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org