How to Live an Off the Beaten Path Life
This is not a post about moving to the other side of the world. I am not going to give you instructions on how to quit your job tomorrow and start a business in one day.
If you want to live an unusual life by taking severe decisions, that is cool with me. However, I don’t think you have to get extreme in order to live a life of enjoyment and fulfillment.
To me, it all starts with a change of attitude. A lion is a lion in Africa, Asia and Europe. But you are a human being. A change of mind will change your life.
You may have noticed I changed my blog’s tagline to “Exploring life’s off-the-beaten-path options”. Therefore, this is my version of living an unusual, unconventional or exciting life. These are the thoughts I want to spread with this website.
1. Savor every moment – If you are eating, enjoy the flavor in every bite. If you are in a reunion with your family or friends, stop giving attention to your phone. If you have hundreds of things to do, give your undivided attention to one at a time. Life is a collection of moments. But, if you lose the moments that matter, how are you supposed to thread enjoyment and fulfillment?
2. Don’t let time move you, move with time – I took this phrase from a song of a Puerto Rican group (El tiempo no me mueve, yo me muevo con el tiempo). This phrase left a lasting impression within me because of its veracity. There is no way to get back the time we waste. To make things worse, time goes really fast. Today, you are thirty but it feels like yesterday you were just twenty. This is more evident when we start to think about all the things we have wanted to do but haven’t had the time to complete (or even start, time is moving you) On the contrary, you may be taking action by working towards what impassions you. You are thriving during the good and bad times (you are moving with time). It doesn’t matter what it is your situation. Just remember this, if time is moving you, you may end crushed with minimum possibilities to bounce back.
“Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.” Lou Erickson
3. You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great adventure – For a long time, I was focused on “having an adventurous life” by planning trips to other continents. Today, I see things thru a different lens. I have discovered the wide range of activities I can have literarily do on my own backyard. I can have a blast by getting on the car and driving 10, 20 or 30 miles. The best part of this? A lot of the places I visit are affordable or even free. Yes, I still want to go to some distant lands but within the gaps I am going to get crazy exploring every corner close to my house. There is no excuse for not starting to plan your own adventure now.
4. Never stop exploring, discovering or learning – Do you want to feel excited about life? Then, you have to see the world as a kid sees it. How? Like a place where everything is shinny, glossy and interesting. If you don’t understand something, just ask. If you don’t know somebody, introduce yourself. In other words, take a class, mingle with other cultures, read about different topics, travel. There are so many subjects to be thrilled about. Acquire a permanent student status.
5. What is right for others is not necessarily right for you – You will read and hear about all the cool ways others are living their lives (business owners, digital nomads, freelancers, perpetual travelers, movie stars, minimalists etc). Just because others are living the life of their dreams in their own terms, it doesn’t mean those terms are going to work for you. Consider your values (what is most important to you) before working toward something that may not suit your needs.
6. Acknowledge life is the best gift you have been given – If you think about it, it is a privilege to be on this Earth. A lot of people lose that opportunity every day (and they really, really want to be here). If you are here, it is because you are needed. Someone needs or loves you. Someone is waiting for your smile, your hug or your words of encouragement. If you are here, it is because you have a purpose, a mission to fulfill. That is reason enough to look forward to a new day.
7. It’s all about gratitude – Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions a human being can feel. Those who experience gratitude to the maximum are in a constant state of bliss. Every time you feel down or bummed, make a list of the good things you have in your life. I bet your mood is going to change.
8. Declare war to routine – Routine is a cruel enemy. It will take your free time, your relationships and even your life. I hate routine and try to stay as far as possible from it as I can. There is no reason to have a boring life when this world offers so many possibilities. Get creative and start planning fun (and different) activities.
9. Do something different every day, even if it scares you – Well, I may be pushing the limits by saying you should try to do something new every day. The point is that you should aim to expose yourself to new experiences very often. It is excruciating to do the same things every day of a week. You may be living life on full zombie mode (you are surviving, not existing). Studies show how people who expose themselves to new activities often live more fulfilling lives. Maybe it is time for a change. Don’t you think?
10. You don’t have control over everything – You can control what you think and do. However, it is almost impossible to control the circumstances surrounding you. Life can change overnight. That is why you should practice resilience (the ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change). Resistance is only going to bring suffering.
11. Give others only your best – The world is full of rude, obnoxious and inconsiderate people. Do you want to be part of the haters group? I don’t think so. Feel compassion and respect towards you fellow human beings. Treat them with dignity (even strangers).
12. Don’t underestimate yourself – You can do great things. We all can. Think about that difficult task you accomplished. When you started, did you think you were going to finish it? Maybe not but somehow you did it. Don’t give up things that are important to you just because they are “difficult”. Don’t think about the strength, commitment or talent you need to finish it. If you start, you may get surprised of the results.
What are your recommendations for living an off-the-beaten-path life? Let me know in the comments section below.
Remember, I am giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card. To have a chance to win it, you just have to like my Facebook fanpage. I am posting cool stuff daily. So come and share the fun on that side too. Like me here: http://www.facebook.com/tanamatales. Tell all your friends about the giveaway. I will give you an additional entry if you refer someone.
Note: I can deposit the $50 in the winner’s PayPal account. The giveaway will run till the end of July 2012.