You got to go for it.

Late night studying, no, not these language, but rather computer programming languages (I guess I’ll get to that later). I popped onto Facebook and saw 20+ memories. I just had to click. After another sip of my coffee in the dead of night. I scrolled through all those posts I made years ago.

This song popped up: You got to go – Above & Beyond

Yet another sign isn’t it. How did I know so long ago, just by liking the lyrics?

Then I thought back, to earlier this evening, earlier this week and how many friend I counselled with issues similar to mine. They feel that they’re stuck in the wrong place – or perhaps they’re disappointed with where they are at in life – disappointment is a driving force.

Then I remember a quote from a business book that’s mandatory for class:

“A satisfied need is not a motivator; only needs that remain unsatisfied can influence behaviour.”

You’re unsatisfied? Good.

You know what you want? Even better.

Go get it. You got to. Because you know what’s waiting on the other side if you don’t.

Disappointment only leads to more desire.

Don’t disappoint yourself this time.

Life is not a rehearsal.

And yes, I realize I haven’t been posting much. Between a hectic school schedule, I also manage to sneak work in here and there. My final exams are coming up and I fully intend on seizing the moment! Wish me luck!

What to do when things simply aren’t working out

It’s been 48 hours.

48 hours since I’ve returned and it isn’t a happy reunion.

In the past 48 hours, I’ve had a lot of time – not only to myself but also to visiting friends. Yes – seeing my friends who’s visiting me was great, but after we parted ways, I realized how I was only having fun because my attention was them, and not what was around me.

Again, I don’t care for my own city.

I was due for work – walking out the door, and then realizing I was about to waste an entire day doing nothing I wanted was a complete waste of time.

Sure, I was going to be paid, but that’s not good enough anymore.

I ended up turning back and heading straight home and writing that letter of resignation that contained only 2 lines – Hi, please consider this short email a letter of formal resignation. I quit.

There.

Now that’s done, I’m looking at the countdown on my phone.

87 days until I’m out of here again.

87 days to make it count.

I know full well of what’s at stake.

But I’m not afraid anymore, like I was used to.

If I was to think about this clearly, I was only scared and clinging onto that job I should’ve given up a long time ago because I didn’t want to go deal with the pandora box I’m about to open.

Having a “job” was the safe option, but that option will lead me to nowhere.

I know that.

So.

It is time for a new and exhilarating adventure.

A different kind of thrill.

Search for Meaning

No matter your undertaking, you should be clear as to why you are partaking in your work.

I am very clear, in my case, currently, this is the best way I know how to put food on the table and fulfill my other ambitions, such as traveling and seeing the world.

I am very clear, that aside from the aforementioned, there’s very little meaning in what I do – sure, I do come across the temporary feeling of job done well and pat on the back from accomplishing everything in due time, but that in itself is not meaning, and by no means am I living the dream life I imagined for myself.

The dream I have for myself is living every moment consciously and by choice.

Consciously: awake enough to enjoy every moment – I want to be in the moment and feeling it every moment without a stop.

Choice: making decisions and making them my way – or have more freedom in my life where I call the shots.

Ultimately, I want to live passionately, a life of my own choosing. I want to live daringly, rather than playing it safe. I want to make mistakes I end up being proud of. I want my life to be an adventure. I want my life to be the one on the unconventional road.

And for that reason – I do what I do now, to build the future of my own choosing.

The inspiration behind working anywhere

This is a picture I took at Schloss Schönbrunn of me, well, working. My phone prompted important emails for me to answer and I thought, since I had my laptop with me, why not sit down and type it out – as it’s way faster – so there I was, sitting in front of one of the most important architectural, cultural and historical monuments in Austria and typing away.

How totally North American of me to work on “vacation”, or so my friends would say.

The thing is though, I used to dislike when I was contacted during my personal time, however now I realize that comes with any job – there are going to be emergencies, there are going to be times when there’s no choice but to plop down anywhere and deal with the situation. Instead of shrinking away from the responsibilities, one must be prepared to take care of them no matter where they were.

So if this was already the case, why couldn’t you work for yourself anywhere? The principle is the same. Only you’d be in direct line of communication with clients rather than management etc. and in which case, it might just be easier since emails are not passed on and issues could be dealt with first hand.

Home: things I didn’t know I’d miss until I wandered afar

Familiarity of home was one thing I didn’t think I’d miss all that much when I began to travel.

Why should I miss a familiar place when all I had for it was contempt?

Though now, I do have a different perspective. I’m going to enjoy myself no matter where I am, or how I am.

First day back was easy. I started slow, easing myself into the day, surprisingly though, I’m not experiencing any jet lag after flying for 14 hours and not catching a wink on the plane.

I decided to treat myself today – and treat myself I mean, picking up some fresh fish and cooking it – I’ve been traveling and eating on the go and admittedly, the stuff you’d usually eat might not be available at the destination – or it might be exorbitantly expensive, or ill-fitted for your tastebuds.

For example, I challenge you to try and find fresh seafood in Vienna (possibly difficult feat.)

And of course my diet has been a little atrocious as of late…

Read: Schnitzel, schnitzel, schnitzel, sausage, cake, apfelstrudel, cake schnitzel sandwich, beer, beer, wine, wine…wine…and more wine…

I went a little all out there and ended up missing vegetables and home cooking.

So today, first day back, I decided to cook for myself and the result is – healthy, delicious, home cooked food that I didn’t think I would miss, but really really did miss.

 

The things you take for granted, someone else is wishing for

I didn’t know what I expected when I found myself back in Amsterdam.

Though there were things on my to-do list, I had very little expectations in the process of crossing them off – in the beginning, there wasn’t all that much motivation. Not really, for one reason or another, I was hoping my love for this city would wane over time (wouldn’t that be easier? If I had nothing to try for? ).

However, Amsterdam, a city I’ve had the pleasure of visiting for almost half a dozen time now, looks as gorgeous as ever.

I’m lucky, it didn’t stop being sunny since I got here, my friend tells me. And I reply that I have great timing. Every single time.

Between chic cafe visits and photography, I had time to squeeze in a date on the patio. It was one of the most memorable dates I’ve had, not just as of late, but kind of in the Top 3 category, though I know I shouldn’t really give it too much weight or meaning, even though I just did.

Yes.

And it’s more than just that.

It’s kind of the bits and pieces of everything that comes into the peripheral and into my consciousness. It’s the bits and pieces of everything that remind me how life could be, if not a blurry outline of what I already know I want…

Yes.

It all then became a reaffirmation.

That I was standing in my own way, dithering away, telling myself I shouldn’t, even though everything else points to I should.

I tell myself it’s not a big deal.

I tell myself I don’t want to see you again.

I tell myself a lot of things.

Then in a crowd, I always look for you.

And when my mind’s blank, it always drifts back to you.

Even though I tell myself that’s not what I want.

And it loops.

Amsterdam.

 

How long should you travel for?

“Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life`s not meant to be lived in one place.” – Unknown

As I sit in a cafe in Hamburg, Germany I’m wondering, just how long in a city is optimal. It all feels like a whirlwind to me, landing back on this continent on the 14th from Los Angeles, then flying to Hamburg on the 15th from Oslo, Norway. I’ve been here a total of three days and two nights and now I’m waiting next to the ZOB Hamburg (Bus Port Hamburg) ready to move on to my next destination.

But just how far should you travel for, or linger in a city?

I used to think I have a clear idea how long that would be.

A week. 7 days. It’s neither too long nor too short in a city if you want to travel slow and appreciate the city and leave room for more experiences than just marching to all the sights, take two hundred selfies and get out before sundown. For some, that might be the type of travel they prefer, quick and intense, but for me, I prefer slowly exploring a city, often aimless and without much expectations, because often, you’ll never know what you’ll see, you’ll never know who you’ll meet that inspires you in some way.

Nowadays, I find that a couple of days or even a week is insufficient. I’d love to be in a city for a lot longer like a couple of weeks instead of just one, in order to capture the vibe and essence of the city. Or better yet, as I travel I’ve become bolder and more spontaneous in my decision making. So really, in time this question becomes – “How well do you want to know the city? On how many different levels?”

How To Procrastinate and Get Nothing Done

Yes, that is a picture of me in game on Hearthstone, a game I’ve recently re-downloaded onto my phone and got semi hooked on. I lasted a maximum of 3 times in the Arena…after 40 or so hours invested in gameplay and yet still I have no Legendary Card? I give up.

So, since I can’t advice for productivity after wasting my own time, I’m going to advice for the opposite. I’m advising for procrastination instead.

Procrastination. Putting things off until the last minute, or putting things off indefinitely because:

The prospects of doing anything about the looming consequences are entirely too overwhelming and you do not even know where to start. It’s like cutting a perfectly circular cake, should I start to make an incision and therefore disrupt static perfection therefore induce chaos??!?

It’s better if I do nothing!

It’s not like life will keep moving on without you and that tasks won’t snowball. Now, if you’re under such impressions, then I recommend you the following in no particular order of distraction:

  1. Hearthstone
  2. Netflix
  3. YouTube
  4. Facebook
  5. Tumblr
  6. Email App on your phone

Now, if you recognize this in yourself and want to do something actually productive.

I say just shrug it off and start somewhere, even if it isn’t perfect or you aren’t completely comfortable with the idea. Comfort is an illusion. Comfort is something your brain made up so you don’t go for something better. Comfort is something you think you are sure about, but there’s no guarantee of such with the limited perspective each individual human are endowed with.

Again, it’s temporary relief from daily stress to distract yourself.

At the core of it, it isn’t solving any problems.

But since this is a post on procrastination, I’m going to put off ‘solving my problems’ until later and procrastinate on into the unknown…maybe the problems will fix themselves. Or so I would hope?

Do yourself a favor: take more risks rather than settle

Let’s think about this. If humanity was satisfied from day one – then we would’ve stood still at day one. Possibly, we’d still be in loincloths with rocks and clubs…

Fortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t all hunky dory either.

The world is filled with obstacles, challenges, distractions – the world is filled with failures and triumphs, passion and heartbreaks.

That is life.

With that said, I realized my recent mini-panic about my ending contracts and moves I should be making in the next few month was a little unfounded. And here’s why, partially:

  1. It’s easy to find work, if you’re willing to work just any job. 

But, then, who wants to just work ANY job? At least I don’t. What got me was the prospects of working just any job and wasting time that way, like I had done in the past. Working JUST ANY JOB is a post in itself, but unsurprisingly, without putting my thoughts down on paper, I already know that the cons outweigh the pros. No matter how much I made, I’d feel that wasn’t a justification for wasting my life. And of course, the motivation of being here is lower than ever.

So what did I do?

There’s no way I will work, JUST ANY JOB.

I decided, I’m not going to sell myself short and explore other options. Trust me, when you start looking for them, they pop up everywhere. Is it possible to find a minimal stress contract while I work on other things? Yes. Absolutely. In my experience, it isn’t necessary to get all worked up over if you’re putting in 30 hours, or 40 hours a week, or if the office environment is fostering, or if your coworkers are inspiring people – if you have minimal responsibilities such as debt, mortgage, or a family to take care of – then I suggest, put less care into whatever you hate doing, and more energy in what invigorates you.

And remember. A job is just as says – a job.

It doesn’t own you.

And you owe nothing to no one.

How to be a better version of yourself: start with learn to be alone

Figuring out how you know it’s time to move on is one thing, then there is completely another thing – how do you figure out what remains stable in your life? I’ve been discussing this with my friend from Vienna, whom I both admire and respect.

We share similar values and are often perplexed by the same things about human nature and the way of the world.

We thrive to analyze and understand.

And through our discussions which can range from ‘what’s the meaning of life’ to ‘omgurrr!!! dat hottie over thur tho’ – yes see how much we oscillate between intellectual discussions to …let’s just say…spazztastic fangirling. But to go back on topic, recently we put our brains together and came down with a basic list of activities that fosters happiness, which in my opinion is the foundation of anything else you pursue thereafter.

  1. Health

    Here I’m talking about physical health. As human beings there are various factors that contribute to our physical health, genes and environment. Since genes are innate and unchangeable for the most part – then one should focus on the factors one could control, such as diet/exercise/rest. There are many reasons to pursue diet/exercise, but one must have a non-superficial attitude about this pursuit in order to be successful. It’s no coincidence diet/exercise industry is a billion dollars industry and gyms can charge a lot of money for membership fees – but is that really what you need? How many people have gym memberships and don’t actually go? Or have salads in the fridge but still go for fast food after work? Again. The focus of health has been promoted as something that starts with achieving an ideal goal. But should it really be like that? No. Health shouldn’t be about looking good on the outside – but rather, it should come from within. And when it does – going out for a run outside, or doing body weight exercises on the playground, or any other free activity would seem as valid and as motivating than the $50/month gym membership. With this said, I’m cancelling my membership at my gym at the end of this month.

  2. Books

    So now that you have physical health to support you in your endeavors. What else do you need? Vast collection of knowledge, not stored on the internet, but in your head. If you need to figure out who you are and where you’re headed – it’s recommended to draw inspiration from those that come before you, so you’ve explored, even if vicariously from the lives of another. Even if the times are different, one could draw inspiration from similarities and commonalities shared by people.

  3. Passion

    Lastly, there needs to be something, or many things that excite you and challenges you at the same time. There needs to be things that drives you, that perplexes you and makes you want to achieve new heights. I recently realized that there’s something truly scary about settling, because not only do you not get any better at anything but it also means you’ll never reach your true potential – whatever that true potential is.

And there you have it, a short summary of everything after food/shelter and safety have been met. How to become a better version of yourself and how to figure out who you really are.