What if I told you that you don’t necessarily need to know the end goal in order to start?
I’ll be happy when I lose ten pounds
I’ll be happy when I quit my job.
I’ll be happy when I finish my degree.
So many of us suffer from the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome. What if we could squash that bug once and for all? What if we could open our eyes each morning and be grateful for the moment before us?
What if we could be happy right now?
Three years ago, I started a little blog in a dark corner of the internet. I’m not sure why I did it, but something compelled me to start sharing more of myself, and blogging became the medium for me to do that.
My first post was nothing more than an image of a Nutella jar. Shortly after that, I started writing about technology news. I got bored of that and moved onto online marketing. And on and on for a few more months… until I hit upon the jackpot.
For a long time, the blog didn’t do much more than gather dust. I had few readers and even fewer ideas of what I wanted to do with my writing.
But I wouldn’t change a thing.
Some might say I was lost and wasting my time, but I disagree. I was exploring the possibilities, taking my time to bask in the glow of what could be, of what I wanted it to be.
I say I hit the jackpot when I found self-improvement, but the “jackpot” keeps changing. As time goes on, I continue exploring what I enjoy and what I want to help others with through my writing.
It feels wonderful and freeing, and I wish it for everyone around me.
The problem is that so many people I run into tell me that they’d love to start something new (painting, writing, seeing someone new) but they can’t yet — because they’re not quite sure yet what the “plan” is.
What if there is no plan? What if I told you that living a great life isn’t about plans? What if I told you that you’re much more likely to live your dream life if you’d just open yourself up to exploration?
Here are three reasons why I love exploration (and the “non plan” way of going about life) so much:
1. Focusing On the Process
The last three years of my life have been an exploration, and I’m sure that the next three will be just the same. I can’t predict the future, nor do I want to.
Because everything changes so dynamically, I’ve been forced to enjoy each and every step of my path. Things may or may not make sense at the time, but I’m grounded in each present moment.
Not having an end goal in sight allows me to enjoy each moment for what it truly is — beautiful — and prepares me for the next moment — a mystery.
2. Opening Up to Opportunities
When I’m in exploration mode, each new moment is a true mystery. Like I mentioned before, I can’t predict what’s next, but I can prepare myself for what’s to come by being open and willing to continue exploring.
The possibilities are endless.
I recently opened myself up to exploration by following my gut’s desire to travel with my husband to a conference that seemed interesting. Upon landing in my destination, I received an email from someone who wants to fly me out to Europe to speak (all expenses paid!).
I never expected that in a million years, but I do recognize the beauty in that allowing myself to explore then brought me the opportunity to continue doing that in a few months.
3. Enjoying Never Arriving
There’s a peaceful beauty in “never arriving.”
Most people work their entire lives to reach a certain point. I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. For example, “I’ll think I’ve arrived when Oprah calls!” or something of the sort. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, most of us suffer from the “I’ll be happy when ___” syndrome.
Instead of working toward a specific goal, I soak up the rays of never arriving at anywhere specific.
My success doesn’t depend on one thing in particular — it depends on the sum of millions of small things that make me happy and content NOW.
The biggest gift I ever gave myself was allowing myself to explore my writing without any expectations or plans. I let the blogging medium flow freely over me, changing its course over the past three years. Sure, maybe I haven’t “accomplished” as much as some people say I should have, but that was never my goal in the first place.
Allowing myself to explore open up entire fields of possibility that I never knew existed.
Are you interested in exploring more in your life — about yourself, your loved ones, and the world? Share your stories in the comments.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! I’ve also prepared a free resource to help you explore some more, which you can find here.
About the author: When Marcella Chamorro decided to quit her job to live a perpetual vacation, she created a meaningful and exciting lifestyle (including traveling and speaking at a TEDx event). As an author & entrepreneur based in Nicaragua, Marcella is embarking on a one month challenge to redesign her life to be even more awesome — follow along here.