Pursuit of happiness

by Lara

The saying goes…

If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.

But why it’s so much easier to find an excuse, rather than a way?

I want to travel the world, BUT…

– I don’t have money,

– I can’t quit my job,

–  I am too old…

I want to quit my boring job, BUT…

– I need money,

– It’s difficult to find a new job in this time, I should be happy I even have this one,

– I am too old…

I want to learn a new language, BUT…

– I don’t have time,

– It’s too expensive.

– It will be hard,

– I’m too old…

Human nature is the funniest thing. We give ourselves excuses for the things we want, and we give ourselves reasons for the things we don’t want.

We will not go for that vacation we always dreamed of because we need to save money, but we will buy new shoes because they were 20% off, although we actually don’t need them. We will not learn a new language because we don’t have enough time, but we will spend hours online or watching TV. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Lose Yourself and You lost it all

If everyone would at least try to do what they are passionate about, maybe the world would be just a little bit happier place. It’s said that top 5 regrets  people make on their deathbed are:

  • I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  • I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
  • I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  • I wish that I had let myself be happier.

 

It turns out we regret missed chances and experiences. We miss not following our heart desires. We often think we are too old for something, but most of the time the truth is that we have all the time in the world until the very end. Only then it’s too late. At that moment choices are made, life is spent and we can’t go back. And the tricky thing is, we don’t know what is our „expiry date“. Our lives don’t come with any guaranty. Maybe that’s why we have to do what makes us happy now. As pathetic as it sounds, but who can promise you „tomorrow“? Right here and right now, you have only one question to ask yourself.

Am I happy with who I am and where I am?

If the answer is “yes”, congrats to you! If it’s “not”, start changing things.

Don’t let yourself have regrets. A true accomplishment in the very end is to be happy with the life you’ve had.

Don’t  waste time with anyone or anything that doesn’t do you good.

Don’t give yourself excuses.

Don’t wait for tomorrow.

Don’t bother with other people expectations.

Don’t judge others. It is not their life you are living.

Also, don’t compare yourself with others.

And choose honestly.

Only then you will have little to regret.

 

*** I wrote this text (or should I call it a self-help note?) a while ago when my own answer to the question above was “no”. I am not sure why I even started writing it, but I always felt better when I would put things down on paper. I guess it’s sort of a therapy (and it’s  cheaper than a shrink). It may sound like a cliche but I do think this is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves and that’s why I decided to share it with you. I would love to hear your take on this!

DISCLAIMER: Picture is taken from http://quotespictures.net/22526/like-a-bird-on-the-wire-like-a-drunk-in-a-midnight-choir-i-have-tried-in-my-way-to-be-free-leonard-cohen and I do not hold any rights on it.

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49 comments

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Kavey at Kavey Eats April 22, 2017 - 6:54 am

Absolutely agree. I’ve said for years that too many people think they must put aside all their dreams to do “later” and then later never comes. I have had colleagues (who earn more than me) tell me I’m so “lucky” to travel, when of course they could do so too if they didn’t spend their salaries on shoes, make-up, music, going out to bars twice a week (and spending £50-100 every time)… the list goes on. And the same goes with all one’s other dreams – learning that new language, taking up that new hobby… it’s up to us to find the time and means to do it. I get that we can’t all afford to do everything we dream of, but it’s those excuses that get in the way for most people.

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 8:57 am

Thank you Kavey for your comment! I agree it all comes down to priorities 🙂

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Punita Malhotra April 22, 2017 - 7:24 am

Intrinsically I fully agree with you. Partly its the comfort zone, partly habits, and partly unwillingness to take risks that account for all the reasons/excuses in the world. But largely, I think its the constant conflict between heart and head.

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 9:02 am

Agreed. Thanks for your thoughts!

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Megan Rose April 22, 2017 - 8:13 am

Great words to live by. I travel a lot and people always comment how ¨lucky¨I am. Luck had little to do with it. It was action that made it happen. The luck I had was being born to a white middle class North American family. Same luck they have when they comment that.

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 9:26 am

Thank you, Megan! I think everyone who travels more than what most people consider to be normal gets confronted with questions or prejudices. Like in every other situation that stands out from “normal”.

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Inge April 22, 2017 - 10:11 am

Great inspirational post! This is all so true. Most people have trouble freeing themselves from their regular life. Loved reading this post!

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 10:28 am

Thank you, Inge! I was not sure whether to post it or not because it was just a note I wrote to myself a while ago. My own self-help note lol. I thought it may sound like a cliche so I’m glad other people find it inspirational 🙂

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Danik April 22, 2017 - 2:29 pm

A great post and very inspiring. Its hard to get away from normal everyday life but when people do, they get the fantastic feeling 🙂

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 3:23 pm

Thank you!

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Katherine April 22, 2017 - 3:03 pm

I love this so much. I grew up with parents who were extremely cautious and didn’t take many risks (that I knew about). They were very much about making decisions for financial security and not necessarily about experiencing things or following your dreams. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing AT ALL. But I wanted something a little different. I wanted to travel without feeling guilty about it or worrying about what would happen to me along the way. And it’s a tough box to break out of. But so worth it!

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 3:32 pm

Thank you Katherine for sharing your story! I think a lot of parents were like that and we have to understand them and respect it. It was a different time though. I think millenials are very priviliged generation and we live in very different culture and society from our parent’s only few decades ago. Informatisation and tehnology changed a lot of things for us and made traveling and living around the world much easier 😉

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falconmt April 22, 2017 - 5:49 pm

Congratulazioni, molto buona idea
falconmt

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 6:20 pm

Grazie! 🙂

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Jennifer April 22, 2017 - 6:16 pm

Thank you for this inspirational post! We consistently need reminders to stop making excuses for not going after what we want:)

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 6:21 pm

You are welcome, thank you for commenting. 🙂

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Laveena Sengar April 22, 2017 - 7:01 pm

I completely agree with this. It is true that we all have some or the other mishaps going on with us but being happy is an inside job.

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Kaylene April 22, 2017 - 10:13 pm

Awesome post! I think it’s so important that we enjoy the life we’re living and don’t continue with things that make us unhappy just because we feel like we have to. I quit my job last year because I was being overworked and stressed out. I now have a job where I’m free to travel more, and I’ll be moving abroad in a year’s time!

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Lara
Lara April 22, 2017 - 10:38 pm

Congrats to you Kaylene! I can relate with that, I’ve also quit my job to pursue something I’m more passionate about. 🙂 Good luck abroad!

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Kris April 23, 2017 - 12:04 am

This is great advice. It’s so easy to get caught up in excuses and what-ifs, but that never leads to happiness.

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:11 am

Thank you for a comment!

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sherianne April 23, 2017 - 12:32 am

Thanks for sharing, writing is good therapy!

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:01 am

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Kellyn April 23, 2017 - 2:34 am

Thanks for sharing. I think we all need a little push sometimes to inspire/remind us of the important things in life. Continue to seek out and accomplish what you’ve always wanted.

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:02 am

Thank you! Yes, indeed we do 🙂

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wanderlust vegans April 23, 2017 - 4:35 am

WE DEFINITELY DON’T WANT TO REGRET THE CHANCES WE DIDN’T TAKE LATER IN LIFE. TRAVEL IS A LOT OF FUN AND SUCH A GREAT THING TO SPEND MONEY ON. I DON’T FEEL LIKE WE WILL REGRET OUR TRAVELS LATER IN LIFE BUT THERE ARE DOUBTS AND EXCUSES IN OUR MINDS WHEN WE THINK OF HOW TO AFFORD AND FIT TRAVEL INTO OUR LIVES.

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:07 am

It is not easy, that’s for sure! But in the end, it all comes down to how you want to set your priorities. For the things we want to do the most, finding a way should be easy. At least in theory 😉

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Emily April 23, 2017 - 8:33 am

It’s all too easy to listen to the negative voices and get stuck in a rut. I hear them all the time! But I totally agree with you – and you should work to live not live to work. It’s just having the confidence in yourself to make your dreams happen!

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:07 am

YES!

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Obrazem Blog Adel April 23, 2017 - 9:13 am

Beautiful article . Love to read it. Hvala!

PS I lived in Croatia for a while, in Zagreb because of Erasmus.

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:09 am

Thank you. That’s great! I lived in Prague because of Erasmus lol :))

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Danijela WorldGlimpses April 23, 2017 - 5:21 pm

Don’t know why it’s easier to go along with excuses, it’s what “everybody else does”, so it probably makes it “Okay” or something. But, once you know what you want and you try to dig out your way through the entire world to at least try to get it, it’s actually really easy to recognize “excuses”, because others are putting you down with those. Even though they do mean well, they will tell you that you “don’t have the money”, that you’re “too old”, that you should “settle down” with what you have etc etc etc. So, easier to succumb or fight them all? 😉

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 5:28 pm

I’m gonna fight ’em all
A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back :))))))))))

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Carol Colborn April 23, 2017 - 5:57 pm

At 68, I give no more excuses!

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Ana Ojha April 23, 2017 - 11:22 pm

Very inspiring post! I believe that life is all about taking chances and gambling but taking a safe risk. Needless to say that we need money to travel but at the end of the day, where there is a will, there is a way!

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Lara
Lara April 23, 2017 - 11:38 pm

I love that!

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Tom April 24, 2017 - 12:23 am

I think we’re all with you, but …. regrets, yes, you’ll have a few . Wasting time, yes you’ll do it. Comparison and judging, yes it will happen. Combine all your mantras above with a sense of acceptance and you’ll be better. (And I love the Bird on a Wire song)

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Lara
Lara April 24, 2017 - 12:47 am

Hi Tom, thanks for the comment! Of course, we will have all of those, we are humans after all. 🙂 This text was, like you said, a mantra – a sort of motivation or a reminder. (Cohen is the best 😉 )

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woodyworldpacker April 24, 2017 - 7:18 am

Totally agree with you Lara! That is why we do it different. We quit our jobs 4 time, sold everything we had 3 times and just go with the flow. There are ups and downs along the way, and no we don’t own a home, but we also have zero debt. At this stage we choose a free live instead of owning a home.
Inspiring article

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Jithin April 24, 2017 - 5:31 pm

The post was truly inspirational. I completely agree that at one point in time, we will regret not doing what we wished to do. So we should start now and live our life to the fullest.

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Sandy N Vyjay April 24, 2017 - 6:01 pm

The pursuit of happiness is indeed a very worthwhile pursuit. Ultimately this is what every human being thirsts for and spends a lifetime running after it. Lovely quotes that underline the true meaning of life.

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Lara
Lara April 24, 2017 - 7:39 pm

Thank you!

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Juliette | Snorkels to Snow April 24, 2017 - 11:55 pm

Beautifully written. And I agree – it is often much easier to find excuses thanks solutions. Excuses mean we don’t have to try as hard to reach our goals. Excuses give us a reason for not having achieved our dream. But really, excuses may seem like the easy way through something, but really they put a wall between you and your dreams. Thought provoking post.

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Lara
Lara April 25, 2017 - 8:09 am

Thank you, I really like reading all your comments 🙂

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Hide In My Suitcase April 25, 2017 - 6:15 am

Let me copy and paste these words and forward them to a few negative people I have in mind… 😀

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Lara
Lara April 25, 2017 - 8:09 am

hahaha do that! 🙂

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Vicki Louise April 25, 2017 - 8:50 am

I walked away from a career I had worked for 10+ years for (lawyer) to follow my passion. I’ve always been a fan of having money – more than I needed, and travel has taught me that you don’t need ALL the money and that having it doesn’t make you happy.

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Lara
Lara April 25, 2017 - 7:27 pm

that’s true.. researchers say that money can make a person happy only up to some amount, everything after doesn’t make any influence on person’s happiness. I wouldn’t know, never had that much money lol 😀

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lesliemt April 27, 2017 - 2:25 pm

You have observed very interesting details! ps nice internet site.
lesliemt

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