Thursday, December 9, 2010

eureka! the new way to set goals as twentysomethings in the 21st century

I've always been the "wanna be enlightened" type. Self-help books, meditation, inspirational stories, and mindful positive thinking have appealed to me since my pre-teen years. Recently I picked up The Art of Non-Conformity as per a Pour Café & Wine Bar recommendation. I haven't finished it quite yet, and I couldn't summarize the conventional yet all the while brilliant content if I tried, but there are a few of Chris Guillebeau's points worth sharing.
Three to be exact. Of the the four things he lists in an interlude as to what you really need to be successful in life, I believe only three are necessities. They are as follows: passion, vision and a task, and a commitment to stay the course. The tips aren't anything groundbreaking but I feel as though societal and economical pressures and norms keep us from pursuing them all at once. 
For example: If I had complete freedom to choose the way I wanted to live the life I love, my success would be illustrated as follows... I would already have multiple residences around the world. They wouldn't be extravagant, just simple, and big enough to entertain myself and one to two friends. There'd be apartments in Paris, Santiago, and Montréal, a quaint townhouse in San Francisco, and a home in Australia (city tbd). I'd be fluent in Spanish and French and visit all of the continents often. Oh, and a loft in the Manhattan would be much appreciated as well. But I couldn't just galavant around the world. Oh no, that would not be satisfying. I would need a part-time position on the editorial management staff at a website I was truly passionate about. When I wasn't on a conference call, responding to emails, managing social media, or editing articles, I'd be doing research for my book series. The research would consist of eating out, window shopping, taking fitness classes, and attending cultural events. And meeting and talking to different people. Lots and lots of that. Traveling would not be a constant however. I'd spend three quarters of the year with my family, including my boyfriend, who will be just as adoring of me and of his career as I would be of him and mine. Eventually we'd get married and have children, but not before growing and learning together for a few years. When that time did come we'd wed at a small, intimate and beautiful affair. A few years later, we'd start a family (preferably two kids) and raise them with love, kindness, and awareness of the beauties of culture and diversity. And let's not forget that throughout the journey I'd also have figured out a way to consistently volunteer my time, efforts, and skills for a cause I believed in. Somehow, someway, it would all work out. I would be healthy and happy and my life would be more full than ever before.
Oh, dear me. There's no way all of that would ever happen! But bear with me, because it isn't because I'm not capable of making my dreams a reality, nor because I do not desire to make them into one. Rather, my successful life will be unique from the one I described above because life isn't a planned itinerary. We cannot dictate the things that happen around us nor the people that we come into contact with. As such, if we are going to truly empower ourselves to reach success, we must begin and end with our personal being and existence. Trust me, it even sounds a bit too "new age" for me when phrased like that, but I believe it anyway.
All I'm saying is that we will truly be successful if we are able to define and then redefine what our success is. We can achieve it, we deserve to do so. Looking at my own imagined story, I notice a few key things to be apparent, 
  1. I am primarily passionate about travel, relationships, wellness and communication in a global scale.
  2. My vision, or shall I say "personal mission statement" is: To help the world better understand each other.
  3. I have no idea what my task is but I have prepared myself well to actively work towards finding out.
  4. Dedication, hard work, and self-motivation are always required. It's a great thing that I've embodied these three in some way or another already.
And as such, it seems that I am well on my way to success. Well, probably. Now I just need to sit down and work on quite a few S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) objectives that will ensure that I get there. I hear it's even nicer than the Eureka, California I visited 2 months ago :).
Not everyone aspires to become a trilingual, health nut, globetrotting foodie and eventual wife/mom (a cool one, by the way), and I don't doubt that that's a good thing. Success means something different to everyone as it should. What does your successful life look like? Have you determined/how will you determine what you will need to believe it and make it happen?


  1. We have similar successful life pictures. Unfortunately, while I have the awesome loving husband and ability to travel pretty frequently, the whole career part isn't working out despite tons of work, meditation, visualization, outreach, planning, etc. I guess that's where the patience comes in, and that is definitely something I lack!

  2. Meghan@travelwinedine: It isn't working out... yet. Yes, patience is, unfortunately or not, a huge part of the process. I think it's important to remind ourselves on those parts of our lives in which we wouldn't change a thing. Maybe you're doing what you should be doing now. And if you work hard enough the rest of the pieces will fall into place eventually. You have it in you :).

  3. i LOVE this!

    and scarily, our paths seem to be very similar. i am coming to find that while planning and making goals is good, we HAVE to be flexible with our lives and revel in the beauty of the unknown. life would be oh so boring if we knew what was going to happen, right?

  4. Holly: Thanks, darling. I'm glad you do! And you're so right. Flexible aspirations, my dear, flexible aspirations.


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