Location: Hehuanshan, Taiwan
Date: May 2017
When was the last time you said, “I wished I did this.” “I’ve been thinking about doing that for awhile.” “Oh, that’s so cool. I would like to do that too!”
It’s not always easy to make choices that will take you away from the mainstream path. But the people who love you will always choose to support you, and sacrifice along with you. If you have people who are willing to stick it out with you, you are lucky.
So here’s a few tips on what I did before leaping into this gap year and the great unknown:
Do your homework
Talk to people who have done it. Find out what they did, how they did it, and why they did it. Figure out what you need to get to where you want to go.
Set clear goals
You may not need a detailed plan, but you need to set clear goals. That purpose will guide you in making choices along the way, and that is 70% of what you need to get started. You will find that life has way too many choices – how would you choose? Set clear goals.
Cover your bases
Don’t be that idealistic dude to leave everything behind and run away from your responsibilities. Of course, what’s best is to go on your dreamy adventure and define the way you’d like to live before you are committed. If not, do your calculations to cover your bases. And be realistic on what you think is enough. You’d feel better, trust me.
Learn new things
There’s a part of your brain that is activated when you learn something new. I find that it is activated the most when we are kids and learning how to even be a proper human being, but somehow we forget to practise as we get older. Nothing beats the thrill of trying something new and learning a little bit more about how the world can work.
Psych yourself everyday
Life is one big giant practice. When you wake up every day, look into the mirror and tell yourself: I feel good, I look good, I choose to live good. Today. We are strong, we are kind, we are loved. The power to control your mind, is within you.
Enjoy the ride
And once you have everything in place, don’t beat yourself up over your choices every day. Some choices you make work out, some don’t. Some may make you go, “Dang, I could have saved $xx by doing that instead.” Don’t do that. There’s a reason why everything happens, and in the next decade when you look back, you’d love every part of you.
So don’t live thinking that you’d do something when you’re retired, when you’ve bought your second property or when you graduate. We can take small steps to love ourselves today, whether it is that walk you’ve been wanting to take in the gardens, or the visit to the zoo, or spending time with a friend.
It sounds clichéd, but we really never know what is going to happen tomorrow, whom you’ll meet and what you’ll do. The only thing we can control, is to choose to enjoy this ride called life and place your faith in this weird place called the universe.
Stop thinking. Start doing. Today.