Photography: Drew Corby
Since launching Bloody Good Life 101 last week, I’ve been inundated with messages and chatted with loads of you on Skype – it has been absolutely amazing to see how similar our stories are.
You’re all telling me the same thing.
It’s the same story that all my clients, friends (and strangers) talk to me about, and the same story I would have told a few years ago:
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“I’m in a decent job. It pays well. I’ve travelled. I’m successful at what I do. My life looks really good from the outside. But I feel completely unfulfilled. I feel lost. I have so much indecision about the future; it’s causing a low-grade background anxiety that I can never shake.
It’s not that my life is bad, it just isn’t, you know, inspiring me to high five strangers.
I want to make changes; I keep trying to, but I just don’t know where to start, what to do, which direction to choose, so I get stuck at every step. And all the while I feel guilty that I don’t appreciate the life that I have.”
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Over the past few years, I have been trying to get to the bottom of exactly what’s going on with this story, because it used to be mine. It turns out that at some point, almost every one of us has a similar story.
The rest of our story depends on what we do about it.
Of course, we all think that it must only be us that feels this way, since everyone else is very busy pretending to absolutely love their perfect life. You can see how the advent of Facebook and Instagram selfies has exacerbated this.
For the life of me I was never able to understand how everyone could handle the daily grind, until I got caught up in the all-consuming quest to succeed at every rung of the ladder.
I leapt into the grind and started climbing the ladder because I didn’t see any other ‘realistic’ option.
This Alan Watts video (animated by the South Park dudes!) sums it up more perfectly than anything I’ve ever seen.
Righto, so it’s all about the dance.
But what does that mean? It’s all very well understanding the concept of ‘enjoying the journey’, but HOW? I cover this in detail in Bloody Good Life 101.
But first, the purpose of this article is to establish and discuss some conclusions that I’ve drawn based on my research.
I’ve spoken to many many people about this, and the list keeps growing. All evidence points towards:
Conclusion 1: the model of life described by Alan Watts does not bring us long-lasting fulfilment.
I’ve lived in Switzerland, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Sydney, Melbourne and Montenegro. I’ve done snowboarding seasons, learnt French, backpacked solo through 20+ countries, wake boarded behind a million dollar tender in the Maldives, been paid to work on a billionaire’s superyacht with a month’s holiday every 5 months and flights anywhere in the world. I’ve done yoga and surf retreats in Nicaragua and Sweden, I’ve fallen madly in love a couple of times, I’ve had amazing jobs and amazing colleagues…
After all that, let me tell you what I know for sure.
1. a) Fulfilment does NOT come from external circumstances.
Not your location, not your job, not your relationship. Not sex, not getting the perfect body, not owning nice things.
All those things gave me small moments of fulfilment but it wasn’t long before I dived back into unsatisfactoryland.
Until I learnt the skills I’m teaching in Bloody Good Life 101.
I’ve worked for billionaires with more dollar bills than you can shake a stick at (obviously), and I can tell you with 100% certainty that
1. b) Fulfilment does NOT come from having ridiculous amounts of money.
Why would you shake a stick at money anyway, or at anything for that matter.
So far I’ve succeeded at everything I’ve put my mind to. But, unsurprisingly, at the completion of each goal/job/adventure, I grinned for a moment and then started looking around for the next best thing.
1. c) Fulfillment doesn’t even come from succeeding in achieving your plans. Nor even your lifelong dreams.
UNLESS – you know how to use the missing puzzle piece….
But this post is really about the first step towards taking action when your good-looking life doesn’t fulfil you like you hoped it would:
(i) Being aware that you are not alone in your sentiments.
(ii) Realising that there is something that you can do about it.
I’m here to show you what those things are.
So what is this missing puzzle piece??
Check out the Project Self logo. See what I did there?!
Part two coming tomorrow. I’m leaving you in suspense. I’ve obviously been watching too much Homeland lately.
Although that’s not true, I haven’t. I just wrote a ridiculously long article and decided to split it in two.
But really, you already know the quickest way to find the answers…