No matter what we see on social media, no one has a perfect life. We all want to believe that everyone else is living their #bestlife while we are stuck, wallowing in our misery.
You know what they say: life is what we make it.
Lately, I’ve been dabbling in manifestation, the law of attraction and ancient spirituality as a sort of eat, pray, love life-change. Throughout this journey, I’ve found that we really do have the power to change our lives.
Ahh, the age-old cliche.
If you have gone through hard times recently, you might be rolling your eyes at this point and screaming,
“Screw you, Erin! You don’t know what I’ve been through!”
Well, you’re right. I don’t know your personal story, but I do know mine.
As with any human being or living creature on this earth, I have experienced trauma and loss.
I have watched family members develop cancer and friends and family become addicted to cocaine, heroin, and methamfetamine.
I have lived as a low-income family and I have many friends that are struggling to make ends meet.
As a child (and even as an adult) I’ve searched through my kitchen with my stomach rumbling, wondering how I’m going to make it through the week without any food. I’ve survived abusive relationships and situations where I could have easily died.
We all personally know someone that has suffered from insomnia, mental illness, anxiety, health problems, or any other combination of life’s obstacles.
The Cold Hard Truth:
There is no guarantee that life is going to be good
But we do have one guarantee — and that is in ourselves. We really do have the power to turn any situation into a good one, and it all starts within your mind.
As “woo” as that sounds, just hear me out.
You know those nights when you’re screaming into the pillow so hard that your throat closes up, or you’re crying so hard that your eyes are swollen shut?
Whenever I am in those low, low points in life, I have always found positivity by taking time to grieve and wallow, and then by making HUGE goals. I mean goals that seem totally far-fetched but are super inspiring.
As a kid, my goal was to be an archaeologist just like Indiana Jones or a paleontologist like Allen Grant. As I got older, my next dream was to be an animator for Disney. I started applying for colleges and jobs that I was TOTALLY not qualified for, and eventually enrolled in a university that I couldn’t afford, but I made it work somehow.
I lived the “poor college kid” lifestyle for many, many years.
Once I realized that working for Disney was off the table (for the time being, who knows what the future holds), I made a goal to launch the next Bell Media.
I don’t even really know what that means, but I even went around telling people that I was going to have this big, media corporation. I switched my focus in university from anthropology to graphic design, and now I’m a straight-up, full-time founder and CEO.
My point is — I always made a goal that excited me to my very core, even if I knew it might not have been totally achievable at the time. But by making these gigantic dreams for ourselves, it pushes us to do better.
You’d be surprised what can happen when you push yourself to be your best.
How To Find What You Love (AKA Your Soul Purpose):
It’s also important to find activities that you really love doing.
If you have no idea what you love doing, think back to your best memories as a kid. What did they include?
Were you running around with a fake gun made from a paper towel roll, hiding behind doorways and pretending to be a CIA spy? (Oh, I forgot to mention that I also wanted to be a spy).
Maybe your happiest memories include fishing down at the local stream or watching Star Wars. Maybe your fondest memory is eating pizza and playing cards with the grown-ups. Maybe it’s camping, or exploring, or reading, or flying a kite.
All of these things can tell you something about who you are and who you were born to be. These are hints about your soul purpose.
Take your fondest memories, and ask yourself what about those situations made you happy?
Example: When I would pretend to be a spy, I was really satisfying an interest that I had in being someone important with secret information. I wanted to be irreplaceable, and I wanted to do something that REALLY mattered.
It does take some soul-searching, but once you figure out why you love doing certain activities, I promise your life will drastically improve.
Crush Your Goals with a Side Hustle:
Giving yourself purpose from week to week can improve your productivity and help you achieve these big goals.
If you have a set goal in mind, you can then create a roadmap on how to get there. Start doing activities each week that will propel you closer to your big goal.
If you want to travel to Italy, start taking a side-hustle opportunity twice a month. Use any of those profits to go right into your Italy fund.
You could also pick up a virtual assistant position if you’re good with organization and writing. You could walk dogs if you’re active. You could drive people around on Uber. You could sell items on Craigslist. You could become a brand ambassador. You could clean houses.
It would only take once or twice a month to be able to save a little bit of income here and there. If you have a child, you could probably find childcare just once a month. If not, then find a side hustle where you don’t need to have childcare.
If your obstacle is that you’re too busy, you’ll need to make time otherwise you will never achieve your dreams. Ditch anything else that isn’t necessary in life and pick it back up when life slows down again.
Once you are able to complete your smaller tasks that will lead up to your big goal, you’ll start to feel a sense of accomplishment.
This feeling of positivity, self-love and accomplishment can help you overcome life’s big obstacles by creating a positive place in your mind.
Side Note: Have you read Amanda Lindhout’s memoir, A House In The Sky?
Amanda talks about creating a place in her mind that she calls the house in the sky. She fabricates a place in her mind where she can escape to while she is being held captive and tortured by Somali pirates (HIGHLY recommend this read).
This is an extreme example, but it backs up my point.
If you can create a sense of positivity and a mindset where you can go to feel
Did you find these tips helpful?
What other tips do you have on balancing life with entrepreneurship? Leave a comment below!