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“Care about what other people think
and you will always be their prisoner.”
Lao Tzu

What do you think your life would be like if you only chased after what you really, truly wanted instead of what you think you should want?

Let’s imagine this (maybe you’ve felt this way before).

You’re looking at pictures and updates from your friends, seeing what they did this weekend:

  • Sitting around the pool at a BBQ
  • At the park or soccer game with the kids
  • Cooking in their fancy kitchen
  • Having adventures
  • Traveling and vacations

And you think to yourself – “I want to do that.”

Do you really?

Or is there something else in the pictures you REALLY want?

When You Want What “They” Have

I met with a friend recently who said she went hiking after being inspired by my pictures.

And she was miserable.

You know why?

Because she didn’t want to hike.

She thought she did, but it wasn’t what she was after; not what she really wanted.

What Was She Really Chasing?

When she saw pictures of me hiking – happy, tired, accomplished – she thought she wanted to hike.

She saw me climbing over rocks, standing at the summit and full of joy.

But when she went hiking she didn’t experience happy or accomplished. She hadn’t enjoyed it at all and she was left with tired, blistered, sore and not happy.

Because, hiking is not what she was actually seeing in the pictures.

What she was seeing in my face was something that goes much deeper than hiking – and in the end, has very little do with hiking at all.

What she really saw was my enjoying myself and satisfied with my life – and that is what she really wanted.

She wanted to FEEL the way I feel when I climbed that mountain.

And when she didn’t get that feeling, she didn’t enjoy it.

I love to hike.

When I spend a day out hiking I feel alive, I lose track of time – and there is no place I would rather be than right where I am at that moment.

But not everyone feels that way.

The (Often Failed) Pursuit of Happiness

Some people like to watch movies, cook, dance, ride horses or paint.

You may or may not like any of these things.

So chasing happiness by doing what has worked for others does not guarantee YOU will like doing whatever it is.

Don’t chase after something just because you see someone else has it and it will be the same for you. If something they are doing is aligned with their life – but not aligned with yours – you are bound to be disappointed.

You have to do what’s right for you – for me that’s hiking, speaking, writing, shooting, adventuring.

Do not waste your time chasing something because you think it will bring you the happiness it brought other people.

So the next time you see people on TV or in your feed having the perfect life, the perfect house, the perfect job, the perfect family, ask yourself…

Do I need these things to be happy?

Are You Doing What Matters To You?

If you aren’t sure what to do with your life, if you are perhaps floating through each day, not sure what comes next, there are two things I want you to know:

First, it’s more common than you think. I see it all the time.

And second: Because it’s so common, it often means we are throwing away weeks and months of our life, spinning our wheels for nothing in particular.

Time is our most valuable resource – and once it’s gone, it is gone forever.

That’s why at every moment we must live our life to our fullest. And there is no one-size-fits-all “fullest.”

How would it feel doing things, knowing your life is going in the best direction for you?

When you chase what others are chasing, you’ll always be living a “Wanting” life – a life where you want this, you want that – and then when you get it, it does not satisfy you.

On the flip side – when you begin each day with a sense of purpose and knowing what you are doing today is the precise right thing for you – everything you accomplish satisfies you.

You’ll feel great as you actually get things that matter to you in your life, and have more joy and happiness in the journey.


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