How did they manage that?
I could never pull that off.
I wish I knew how to do what they’re doing.
If you’ve ever had such passing thoughts when you see other people pursuing their dream life, I’ve got good news for you: Different is not a competition.
I heard recently about a married couple who are three years into a life of wandering the world. Their goal is to circumnavigate the globe without using air transportation and by living on just a few dollars a day.
It’s a radically extreme Different.
Sound exciting? Maybe like they’ve really found themselves?
But is it right for you?
In the process of discovering your version of Different, it doesn’t help to feel guilty because your vision doesn’t look like someone else’s.
You can learn about what you want from watching someone else, of course. I talk about that in my post “Reflecting on How to Become Yourself.”
But just because you find someone else’s journey fascinating doesn’t mean you should do the same.
Still, a common struggle is: How do you keep from feeling guilty that your dream isn’t “big enough” or inadequate because your choices don’t seem as spectacular as some other adventurer's?
By adopting two essential outlooks.
1) Appreciate their Different.
Just enjoy seeing what others are up to. People who’ve made hard choices to live a fulfilling life in a unique way are interesting.
Think about other people the same way you would think about taking a photo. What would you take a picture of in their lives?
When we snap a photo, it’s because something beautiful or memorable is happening in front of the lens. But we move on to whatever is next—and take the positive experience with us.
That’s how to benefit from what we see in another person's journey. Make it yours because you grasp the value of what they’re doing.
2) Relax with where you are at the moment.
De-stressing makes room for creative thoughts to meander into your brain. Little by little, you’ll discern differences in how you feel about various aspects of your life:
Where you’re content.
Where you’re not.
What energizes you.
And what sucks the life out of you.
Self-observation gives clues to where you want to go. Let your own convictions and sense of what fulfills you be your guide.
Stick with the contentment and the energy. Change the the non-content and the suck.
You Might Be Close—or Not
Maybe your Different is simply a tweak to how you’re already doing life. Then again, maybe it’s an overhaul. Don’t be afraid of either.
A tweak shouldn’t make you feel guilty—like your goal isn’t big enough—if that’s all it takes to settle your restlessness.
But an overhaul doesn’t have to intimidate you, either. Chances are, you can’t do it all at once, but self-honesty will help you see where to start.
Is it a job change? A move somewhere? A shift in priorities that will effect everything else?
If you happen to want to cash it all in and roam the world on a few dollars a day, nothing but you is stopping you.
But don’t do it just because you want to be the most radical Different-doer around—unless that Different is what you really want.
Doing Different isn’t the Olympics.
The only win you need is the one that keeps you
on course to success your way.
*Photo credit: Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.
**Photo credit: Jonathan Chng on Unsplash.
† Photo credit: Michael Hagn from Pixabay.
(To get weekly ideas and action steps for doing Different, subscribe to this blog—
and get a free copy of my e-book, Better than Perfect.)
©2020 Greg Webster. All rights reserved.