On happiness and other demons: I need a life makeover!

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The other day I was having lunch with some work colleagues. I asked them if money was not an issue (meaning, they would never have to worry about not having it), what would they do for a “living”? How would they spend their days? I was pretty surprised about the answers, as I would’ve never guessed they were into some of those things. What I was not surprised about was how none of them would stay where they were.
I often wonder what happened to them….well, I also wonder what happened to me sometimes, as my answer to that question was definitely not what I do today (no matter how cool and amazing it is, the reality is my job is sloppy seconds from the career I would’ve pursued: writing). At some point, I guess we all couldn’t think of a way to make a living out of what we love – although there are some interesting cautionary tales on doing that. In any case, we all desperately scream for a life makeover.

Mine started with the birth of my son and deciding to start this blog. I have discovered there is nothing more fulfilling and awesome than a lifetime of continuous learning. These days I want to absorbe as much as I can, regardless of whether there is a purpose to it. I want to travel, go back to school, get lost in museums for hours, and play the drums (or enjoying the beauty of my country, as you can see below!)

Maybe you can relate to what I’m talking about and want to elaborate more on the topic. Maybe you are content where you are. I believe this post will be useful to you nonetheless. Because no matter how happy you are, there is always room for a little adventure! I have compiled a list of 5 sites I have discovered that will help you explore different life makeover opportunities. Some are radical ideas to inspire you to quit your job or to reboot your body by only drinking vegetable and fruit juices. Other are as simple as making a different type of trip where instead of visiting famous places, you actually learn how to cook local cuisine!
Location 180

Sean Ogle had a steady job in finance he wasn’t super happy about. So he did something about it. In a nutshell, he quit his job, moved to Thailand and found a way to make a living while still enjoying the pleasures of life. He is basically location independent and with Location 180 he has created a resource to help and inspire others do the same.
I came across this site because a friend tweeted about it a while time ago and I’ve been a loyal reader ever since. What I love most about his blog is how he uses his knowledge and experience and puts it to the service of others. It has inspired me to learn something new (I’m currently properly educating myself on SEO thanks to one of his posts with plenty of resources.)
If you interested in location independence, you should definitely also check out Sean’s other site, Location Rebel

Reboot Your Life

I have already documented the hardships and joys of juicing as well as provided some good tips and recipes. If you are not familiar with what I’m a talking about let me explain: juicing is a fantastic way to reboot your system, give it a chance to heal from all the detrimens brough by an u healthy lifestyle. The Reboot Your Life community offers lots of different perspectives from people who are currently juicing as well as quite some resources to support your journey. I hope you can read my posts (part 1 and part 2) so you can also share in this journey, which by the way, is on a small hiatus….hey, I was on holidays!

Zen Habits

Zen Habits is the baby of Leo Babauta, a beautiful and inspiring site famous for its simplicity as a way to clear the clutter and chaos from our lives and simply “breathe”. His site is an incredibly relaxing experience for your eyes. The layout is incredibly minimalistic, so you are not distracted in any way from the very special posts you can find there.
The concept of simplicity and minimalism is one that often eludes me, which is why I read zen habits: to remind myself of a simpler way of living and be at peace with my body and sould. I really recommend this reading, you will find comfort and satisfaction in Leo’s writing and approach to life. Can you believe he can be all zen and yet he has 6 children? 6!!! If he can be zen with all those kids running around, then I’m pretty sure any of us can!

ShawGuides

If the Zen Habits site is the epitomy of minimalism, the ShawGuides page is its complete opposite. It is cluttered, dated layout can be a bit of an eye sore for someone like me who likes clean lines and sleek design. But in this case the content is king (as it should always be). ShawGuides offers an alternative travel option by listing all offers out there on “learning travel”.
Rather than go take pictures of monuments and buying the same overpriced souvenirs, you can go to enjoy the beauty of Prague while following an art program, or live the fast-paced life of New York and Paris while enrolled at a fashion design course. Ok, you can also do lots of picture taking if that’s what you fancy…but how about doing it while on a photography excursion on safari in Tanzania?
A small caveat: some of the listings may be a bit outdated. If you are passionate about something and really want to enjoy a different kind of holiday, I think it is worth the research. I spent about 30 min on the site and found this jewel picture below. I may just give it a try! Interested?

Kiva

Maybe you are not particularly interested in your life makeover, but you can make someone else’s life change thanks to Kiva! With Kiva you can lend money to people who really need it to fund their projects. You get your money back which you can either withdraw or reinvest in someone else! Check out this video from their site:

How Kiva Works from Kiva on Vimeo.

The concept is great and it matches my style perfectly. And what style may that be? The semi-addicted to online shopping! I can spend hours browsing through sites like this making a selection of what to shop for! So helping others fulfill their needs for as little as ? Of course! These are the two ladies I’m planning to invest in. Both are from my hometown, Barranquilla, Colombia and both of them are trying to capitilize on the upcoming Carnival season, which is one where a lot of people depend on to make a living! I hope you too, can help!

One last thing: why did I refer to happiness as a “demon” in the title of this post? There is a wonderful quote from the movie The Hours and it says

“I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.”

Beautiful, isn’t it? The pursuit of happiness is one funny business. We spend so much time chasing the moment when we start being happy. Well guess what? It is right here, right now. Go with the flow, enjoy the journey. Happiness is today. Carpe diem!

2 Comments

  1. Martha C

    I go with you for the cooking one, actually I asked Andreas that for my Bday I want a cooking course! From the juicing experience I can say it was great, I still have my juice in the morning and is great!!!

    Reply
  2. Christy

    “I don't know what happiness is.
    Ahh, that's right.
    In order to achieve the fullest happiness,
    I'll have to experience all of these many sorrows
    If it's true that no matter how painful something is,
    it's because I'm advancing on the correct road
    then all the rises and falls of these mountain peaks
    are really each of the steps that will lead me towards happiness”
    -Night on the Galactic Road (Miyazawa Kenji)

    Reply

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