Tag Archives: dreams

Successfully happy?

Having taken both the dictionary definitions for success and happiness I am using the term “successfully happy” to refer to “the accomplishment of a state of well being and contentment”.

It often appears, however, in current culture, that success and happiness have become related to wealth or the spending of money. It seems we always want more. I’d like to think there’s a bit more to it all than this.

For many years I chased a career – higher earnings, increased status and responsibility. I used my income to invest in a better home, upgrade essentials of food and clothing and spend on leisure. In essence I did as most of us do – given the opportunity -  adjusting both spend and of course my ever changing definitions of want and need. It wasn’t particularly lavish but I was comfortable. The price I paid was increased work hours and associated stress. I have no regrets. I enjoyed my work (in the most part) but the chance to take a break and reflect leads to interesting deliberations.

I’m currently reading a book which looks at the relationship between wealth and happiness – it’s looking to determine what is “enough” in considering the work of a previous economist who predicted that by 2030 we would all work vastly reduced hours thereby increasing our leisure time and well being. While I’m only part way through two key points raised in trying to understand why this prediction failed to materialise are the satisfaction we now seem to derive from the workplace and the ever increasing and insatiable appetite for consumption.

As I travel my belongings have been greatly reduced and I certainly dream of returning to a lifestyle whereby I will not become entrenched on the treadmill that is life for so many. My head is churning the want and need debate much more. My mind feels sparky, full of ideas and opportunities. My heart feels open as I start to look at making these dreams my next reality. My challenge it still seems will be a break from all past behaviours as I plan what I may need to make this work. My return from earning is beyond monetary yet I am unsure quite how this will transpire. I’m aware my current position to travel has of course required cash.

It’s hard to break away from the norm. As individuals we just need to work out what makes us successfully happy. It’s when we just follow what we think people expect of us that we will feel discontent. The trick is honesty, with yourself and others regarding your definition.

Good luck and be happy.

Destined to choose

Luck, destiny, fate. It’s all the same thing to me. Used to make us feel more humble when we do something great or as an excuse as for why things are as they are. I believe we, as individuals, play the most significant part in why life is as it is. While there may be situations out of our control there is still much more we can chose if we are bold enough and confident enough to do so.

I am of course aware that some of us may be born into different circumstances and locations, some of us may have had wider range of options and opportunities available and we will all come from backgrounds where various aspirations (or not) are thrust upon us but we can, if we desire something enough, work towards making it a possibility. Like the rest of nature however we need the right environment in which we thrive. Working with social entrepreneurs to start up new enterprises was for me a way of working with individuals to help themselves thrive or seek to provide opportunities for others. I too loved what I was doing.

When people write of destiny we are often given the sense that we were all born to achieve something incredible, whatever that may be. All we have to do is search deep within ourselves to discover what our great purpose is. Easy. Really?

Most of us however I believe meander. Some of us come across things we’re great at, some of us are still searching. We are often given examples of great athletes, successful entrepreneurs, well known celebritries, career achievers or the financially rich yet where are the examples of Joe Bloggs just being brilliant and content in whatever they chose. Great mothers, fathers, plumbers, teachers; happy amateur runners, painters, musicians; examples of people living their own lives, reaching their own goals; successful in their own rights. Having run three marathons my best time is still four hours fifty three minutes but I finished and I’m still chuffed with that. The elite runners may wow me with their speed and dedication but it is the determination of those crossing the line later in the day that really blow my mind.

While there may be some element of “right time, right place” there is still a sense of putting ourselves out there, having a go and thereby enabling us to see what’s available. We meet people who spurn ideas, introduce us to other contacts or themselves become key to what happens next. This I think is the case with work, relationships and other personal goals. My cycle trip came about as I looked for something new and was told of the World Cycle Challenge. While this particular event was later cancelled it was through that I met my cycle buddy John. I never had a destiny of biking the world. In truth, I never had the big dream of cycling the world. I loved travel and loved my bike. What I had was a situation, an opportunity, an idea – a choice.

How we live is not pre-determined. We all have choices and as the old saying goes “I chose life” and we can all do that in our own way. Just be bold in whatever you want to do. Choose your destiny and don’t stop looking for new things to try.

This is my new blog site, encouraging folk to be bold-souls. Featuring reflections, such as this piece, thought provoking quotes, tools and exercises for developing ideas and inspirational stories.

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