“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
There comes a point in our life when we realize that we are meant for something bigger on this planet. Unfortunately, discovering what we really want and how to get it is one of the most challenging, stressful and frustrating process of our entire life. But, in the end, it’s what define who we are and what we stand for.
Since I was very young, I loved using my imagination to vividly create my future life. The first thing I knew I wanted to be when I grew up was an astronaut, then an archaeologist and finally a famous chef.
Yes I know, there is no logic in my choices.
But growing up I started making decisions based on the world around me, the real one.
So, just graduated, I took the easy way out starting my career as a professional chef. I thought that turning my hobby into my day to day job was the best choice I could make and a good starting point to raise some money.
Well, I was wrong.
In fact, last year I have officially hit the breaking point. I’ve found myself working about 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. I was succeeding in my career, but I was really unhappy.
So, I started to ask myself, “Am I in the right job?”, “On the right career path?”, “Doing what I am supposed to be doing with my life?”.
I felt like all the decisions I made were all a big mistake. I felt unfulfilled because there was no purpose in my life. And when you live with no vision, no goals and no purpose, no matter what is your age, you feel your life is not going anywhere.
I felt like a passenger on the bus to nowhere, allowing the bus to determine my direction in life. At the beginning I thought that the destination was Ok, but soon I changed my point of view.
So, I quit my job and I started to think about how to move forward and make my life meaningful.
So, here are 3 ways for living a more meaningful and fulfilled life, even if you are struggling towards your dream life:
1. Jump in the driver’s seat and change direction
The first thing I realized after quitting my job was that I didn’t want to lead a quiet life, conforming to the norms of my family, friends and society. I was unhappy because I was playing too small and my vision was limited to what was better for others and not for me.
I’ve learned that it’s important to be able to step outside the comfort zone and be challenged with something we are not familiar to. It may be awkward and uncomfortable, but that’s what happen when you try something new and make new decisions for yourself. New stuff is scary. I know, that’s why you should take action, be yourself and trust that your intuition will guide you wherever you need to be. Sometimes you may misinterpret it, but it’s fun following it and seeing what happens next. We are all responsible for our life and if you’re not happy with your life, you are the only one that can start changing it.
2. Be open minded
When you finally step out of your comfort zone you will find out some talents and abilities you have that you didn’t know you had. Often, they may not come in the form you think, so be open-minded. When I changed direction it took a while before I figured out what I want to do for the next 50 years. I wrote down my desires, my dreams and my intentions. I started focusing on the things that really matters to me, on the things that now are at the top of my list. Often, we judge a book by its cover and that’s what exactly we do with many situations we face to. Be open to everything, because you never know where it may lead.
3. Stop fighting life
Sometimes you may feel like: “I can see the mountain top but I’m currently in the valley”. You’re doing your best. You are working so hard, but nothing seems to be happening. Then you start to doubt about yourself, your goals and your ambitions.
Sometimes you might not know what to do, where to go and how to stay motivated and inspired, but you must deeply acknowledge that life has its own schedule. We want to push, manipulate, and force, but it just takes time to do what we love.
If you deeply believe in something that might change millions of lives, in something that you have faith in, you will take all the necessary steps to achieve it, even if you fail thousands times and struggle along the way.
And when you find yourself in this “gap” you will finally acknowledge that you are working towards something worthy in your life.
What I learned from my past experiences is that feeling unfilled and unhappy is one of life’s most powerful lessons, because help you to recognize that you are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enrich the world with your talents and gifts.
And feeling unfilled is part of the process, because positive changes come with setbacks, false starts, and failures. They come from moving out of your comfort zone and taking risks.
The real secret is that we can be happy and fulfilled even if we are still struggling to achieve our goals and visions that fire our heart and saturate our soul with enthusiasm and joy at the very thought of them.
So, don’t worry if you are struggling to be successful because as everything else, what you want to do, how you want to do it and what kind of person you want to become is a long process.
Yes I know, everybody would like to see more results and achieve any goals faster, but it is fine, because everyday you are closer to your dream life by doing something so crazy and easy.
So, the lesson I want to share with you is to stop doing things that didn’t get you closer to your goals, no matter what is your age, what is your past, where you live, how many times you failed and hit the ground.
I guarantee you that when you stop doing those things, you start doing things that bring you closer to what you want, because if you are willing to succeed, if you are willing to make a positive change in your life and in the life of others, you will acknowledge that it is not what you achieve, it is what you overcome that counts.
Because sometimes, no matter how carefully we plan and how hard we work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to, sometimes we fail and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.
But it is Ok, because that’s what defines your fulfillment and your happiness. Don’t wait for that amazing thing to happen in the future that will be the key to your fulfillment. Instead, be fulfilled of where you are right now.
You are destined for big things. I mean really. We all are.
After quitting his job as professional chef, Luigi Potenza decided to pursue his dream to help people get healthier, happier and more fulfilled through a mind-body-spirit approach. He is deeply passionate about yoga, meditation, personal development and holistic nutrition. Visit him at zenife.com. Connect with Luigi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.