I first heard the phrase “creating a life you don’t need a vacation from” several years ago and thought it was an amazing, if not weird concept for the typical American. Since the average worker gets 2-4 weeks vacation time if they’re lucky, most people can’t wait for their next vacation. I love travel as much as the next girl, but what I don’t need anymore are vacations. I can’t wait to share with you what I mean!
Do You Wake Up Happy?
Morning is a very sobering time of day, isn’t it? You typically know before your feet even hit the ground, if you feel happy and excited about your day or if you don’t. Do you usually wake up happy? I hope you do. But, if you don’t, do you ever stop to ask yourself why? Even if you’re not a “morning person”, how often do you wake up grouchy or aggravated. How you feel when you wake up is generally the “litmus test” for how you feel about your life.
Maybe you didn’t sleep well or you have a busy day filled with things you’d rather not have to do. I think we all have those days from time to time, but how many of us get way too used to feeling this way?
I think for the most part, how we feel when we wake up is completely about mindset. Assuming you got plenty of sleep and you’re physically healthy. If you’re not excited about your day than you really need to start trying to figure out why. Life’s too short to settle for a mediocre life you’re really not happy with. It’s time to get honest about your life and start consciously creating an existence that makes you genuinely happy.
Creating a Life I Don’t Need a Vacation From
I’ve been slowly and methodically creating a life that I don’t need a vacation from since my late 20s. This includes things I knew I wanted in my life and things I definitely did NOT want. Figuring out what you don’t want is just, if not more important to discover.
The only real way to do this, is to find out who you REALLY are. Not who your parents, teachers, spouse, kids or even YOU thought you were. Creating a life you love requires you to get honest. With yourself and with those around you. Not everyone is going to like this. This can take a tremendous amount of courage for those of us who like to make other people happy. If you’re a people-pleaser like I used to be, than your work on this will be challenging but so very important. You have to have the courage to be YOU with no apologies.
For the record, this transformation DID NOT happen overnight for me. It took many years of trial and error. I want to share with you how I’ve set my life up where I wake up happy more days than not.
These are the steps that I took to create a life that is authentic and genuine for me. Some of these ideas you will be able to implement right away and some will definitely take courage, strength and time to implement.
My Steps to an Authentic Life
1. Taking Calculated Risk
Going to college was never a question for me. I received a BBA in Finance from the University of Central AR. I interned at Merrill Lynch before being hired there as a licensed Sales Associate, right out of school. This was during the mid-90s and the stock market was booming. It was fun, I was making good money and I felt important. But over time, and after changing jobs every couple of years in search of the perfect firm, I realized I just didn’t love it any more.
I had always loved fitness and working out but I was encouraged by my family to “go where the money is.” I had never really believed personal training could be a viable option for making a living. But life, had other plans.
After being in the brokerage business for about 7 years, I followed my intuition (you can read my post about that here) and took a leap of faith. I have now been a personal trainer for over 15 years. I basically “retired” from the rat race of the corporate world at the age of 29. Was it scary? Yep, sure was. Was I certain it would work out? No, not at all.
I took a risk in a timely manner. At some point, you have to stop the thinking and planning and just GO for it! Sometimes this will work out beautifully, just as you’d planned and sometimes that step will just be leading you to another more important step. It’s ALL valuable. Failure is really just a concept we’ve bought into. It really doesn’t exist unless it causes you to give up completely.
2. Be Willing to Walk Away
I learned at an early age that NO ONE is supposed to be in your life forever. Some people will be, but most will come and they will go. Whether this is a spouse, a friend, a family member or boss. I instinctively started knowing when it was time to move on from people. I believe certain relationship come to teach you things and when that lesson has been learned then it’s time to keep moving.
Too many people stay far too long in relationships that are no longer serving them. We do this because of a sense of guilt, codependency or just not wanting to hurt people. I know, I’ve been there! But if you truly want to live an authentic life, you MUST be willing to do what is best for you.
I had to have the strength to walk away from many people and situations that eventually weren’t contributing to my growth anymore. This is NOT a selfish thing to do. It’s a very strong and responsible thing. You’re taking full responsibility for your own growth and happiness.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone else is to move on. You can be an example of what it’s like to be courageous and fearless. You only get one shot at this life, guys. Don’t waste it being in any situation where you’re not truly happy. You don’t have to be a martyr.
My story would not be complete without mentioning my husband of 15 years, Joe Sian. I did not get to my current reality alone. He has been pivotal in my reaching the current life that I love. I would not be the person I am today without his love, support and example of strength.
We have a philosophy in our marriage that says we are responsible individually first, collectively second. We have created a dynamic that respects each other’s journey while still appreciating the fact that we choose to stay on this path together. He’s a unique and special person that I’m honored to come home to.
3. Be Willing to Take a Few Steps back
The last thing I want to discuss on how to create a life you don’t need an vacation from, is be willing to take a few steps back in your lifestyle. It’s so easy to get locked into a certain lifestyle, isn’t it? We start making some money and we want the bigger house, lease the fancier car, put the kids into the pricey private school. We back ourselves into a situation that we can’t really see a way out of. Our lifestyle creep makes it almost impossible to ever see a different way of living.
For me personally, I was willing to let go of certain luxuries temporarily in the hopes of creating my ideal life. I let go of the BMW and got a car I could pay cash for. I downsized my loft apartment to an efficiency and stopped spending my paycheck at the mall and the bars. My goal was a different life and more freedom. And I was willing to give all those things up!
Believe it or not, all of those material things were just how I rewarded myself for doing something I didn’t really want to do for 8 hours a day. To my surprise, I was HAPPIER without all those things. Living a simpler life was actually how I really wanted to live. It just took me a while to realize it. And now 15 years later, I can have any of those things again but I’m still not willing to trade my peace to be a slave to material things.
You can wake up happy most mornings of your life. You’re only trapped if you choose to be. Having a different life will require strength, courage and a vision. I hope I’ve inspired you to go after the life you’ve always wanted. It takes having a backbone, for sure! I promise it’s worth it, though. To sum it up:
- Take calculated risk
- Be willing to walk away
- Don’t be afraid to take steps back to move you forward!
Are you living a life you don’t need a vacation from? Let me know in the comments! If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it with your friends.
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