A year ago, I packed a small suitcase and bought a one-way ticket to London. A city that had never called my attention, except for its equestrian passion, but interesting enough for three reasons that were a priority to me at that moment: multicultural, English speaker and far but close enough from home.
We all go through stages in our lives and some of them need to end. For the better or not, but at least for the different. The same way sometimes we have to break our promises, even if it hurts our ego and others. Moving forward is a necessity but doing it the same way than always it’s neither a must nor a good idea. And the reason why I think this is like that is because when we are born we are a mess and if we don’t want to be a mess forever, we have to change.
We are born and there we are! Driving a car we don’t understand (ourselves), with no idea of where we are going (purpose), no idea of driving of course (build a life) and also, to make it even funnier, no idea of why people drive like they do and even why we drive like we do (self and others-awareness and egocentrism). I mean… Wow! Bearing in mind the components of this amazing mix we are not that bad! We are a miracle.
If we want to understand ourselves and others, find and create a purpose and a life and, plus, put ourselves aside so we can educate our ego and understand others; we have to develop, we have to grow, we have to change. Expose ourselves to situations we hadn’t experienced before. Situations that make us feel uncomfortable, insecure or even hurt and at the same time are meaningful enough to be worth it. Meet people from different cultures with a different way of seeing life, purpose, work and relationships. Read and write, practice introspection and other processes from the inside out and from the outside. The richer are our experiences and training, the reacher will be our identity, awareness, thought and character.
And yes. The past is great. We all miss it, somehow, because we are linked to it. But, it is for its very nature, that is has to change and be left behind. And with the past, some people too. Or, at least, put aside.
Now, you know my why. Let’s move to my now.
Some months ago I read this phrase on Instagram:
“Growing older is mandatory, growing wiser is a choice”.
A hard one, probably the hardest one. When people talk about age you can see the high value we give to age maturity, probably as an extension of the great value we give to the experience. However, experience has been proven not to be enough as we need training in both aspects of our nature: mentally and emotionally; not only time by itself. We all know a 14 year old girl or 22 year old boy, a person, we will never forget because her or his special sensitivity, intelligence, commitment, humility, vision and kindness. Always reading, learning and developing. Much more worth emulating than the majority of our dear old ones. So, let’s face it: if we don’t work on our minds and hearts they are not going to work for us. And our lives depend on them.
I remember I had finished my last exam of my business degree and was one hundred percent determined to move to London at the end of the summer. In 5 days I got a contract and then moved there, one day after TEDxValladolid. I will never forget it. The best of my life by the way: my best friends are all from there and my intellectual awakening started around the year a joined our team. Once I was there, settled, happy and ready to move forward to the next stage, both rationally and emotionally, I started to plan and execute that next step of my professional career (and I have to say that I hate that linguistic habit of splitting up a human into personal and professional, because it is the way we people leave behind our purposes) and then an opportunity arrived straight from Spain. Some weeks after, I registered myself as a self-employed in United Kingdom. Now, I have my own clients and I am one step closer to my desired lifestyle. Because it is all about lifestyle. Life is not about a role, it is about the people you want to have close, the kind of impact, responsibility and purpose you want to build and be close to. It is also about money and economic projection, I am actually quite focused on that step. But it is not about economic ambition or power, in terms of purpose, unless you are intellectually demure. There is another quote I read years ago, it says the following:
“Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations and small needs”
Now I am living the now more than ever. Creating my life, and with it myself, more actively than ever before. The same way I have more and better doubts than before and I am getting to be brave enough to make big questions and answer them. We could say I am getting closer to the life and being that I *currently* want: living in a well-communicated countryside place with my dog and my horse while I am also able to travel to meet knew people and places and make connections, with moderation due to economic reasons. To sum up: a simple, quiet, thrilling life, from the beginning. Instead of at the end, after mortgaging my health, my creativity, my passion, my purpose and my nature. Mortgaging our best years of life. Wow. What an education we got and provide ourselves. By the way, please read Walden by Thoreau.
But. What is to seize the best years of my life for me?
- Freedom but commitment: to the right thing at the right time.
- Study but development: hours of reading and writing, chatting with great minds and hearts as well as a couple of projects to give and receive purpose. Because living without execution is not living.
- Nature but city, because when I see a horse and explore nature I am at the highest level of happiness but I am also highly stimulated when I go to Central London and see all the connections that take place there. Imagine in India, Africa or Philippines!
- Quietness but adrenaline: I love loneliness and silence but I also feel great when I have people that I love and feel mentally and emotionally challenged by. For a couple of hours a day.
- And for sure, not giving space to alcohol, drugs or empty relationships. As well as massive economic and power ambition. Not worth it. Too heavy for the shoulders and destructive for the mind.
So, the next big question is. How do I get there?
I have read a lot about the future. I have read a lot about planning. And, from my understanding, the only thing that get us closer to the future are the questions we make and the way we answer them. I don’t think in order to build a life we have to make plans. We must ask questions and we must learn to ask and answer them better to get to the right places. Maybe, we’ll go through stages when we will ask people more than ourselves. But, at the end, it is our job. It is our life. We also need the right intellectual and emotional stimulation and orientation, which is hard to find and identify. I have no idea. There are a lot of smarter people in the world so learning from them makes sense.
What’s next? Tomorrow it’s my grandpa’s birthday. He will be 89 in 2 minutes. I know how my future looks like tomorrow: I am going to wake up around 8 to have breakfast together, then I am going to work for 1 hour, then I am going to read Walden by Thoreau another hour. After, I will probably ride my girl, my bike. Then I will work and read a little bit more and then we will have lunch all together to celebrate.
Pause… I have learned a lot about family these years. Family is a must as to what comes without choice. Some people have the luck of being born into a healthy family, with character and will, committed and intellectually stimulating. The rest of us, have to find the right balance between let them in and put them aside or even leave them behind. There is only one thing I want to say about family and it is because it is the only thing I think is important to say: the easiest choice is leaving behind. But, as one of my favourite quotes says:
“If you are only willing to do the easy stuff, life will be hard. But if you are willing to do the hard stuff, life will be easy”.
I don’t think life is about being easy but relevant, good and interesting like crazy. But the phrase is amazing!
Play… More than ever, I know that the only way to build a future is to build a day. It is all about time management and will. The ones who talk about it but don’t do (not plan, do) anything… Well, just need time to be more aware or get to that stage rationally but, above all, emotionally. We are all learning everyday, going forward and backwards.
To make it even harder, we don’t know what we want. We think we know what we want. But how could we know if we have never been there? We all know we want to be loved, listened, appreciated, belong to something, develop ourselves, be important, do what we love. But there are a million possibilities to get there. Which means there are a million choices we can make. And we all know that with freedom comes great power and with great power comes great responsibilities and with great responsibilities come great risk and with great risk come great things but also very bad things. And that’s hard. Hard, scary, confusing, … A freaking mess.
What can we do then? Gotta explore and change then! Have to listen differently, turn on what was turned off and turn off what maybe was too turned on. And find the balance. In order to do that, to find the right balance, I think of learning from great minds and writers but, above all, making decisions. Reading for me is the best thing, together with nature, and it is because it makes a life of a day. It makes possible to broaden our awareness and travel people, places, lifestyles and purposes. It helps us be more realistic and crazier at the same time. It gives us wings and roots, peace and adrenaline. But we shouldn’t live life through books and others. We have to do.
That’s why I am going to Rome in, damn it, 4 days and then take a train to Tuscany. There I will be nearly a whole month riding horses and, what’s more important, learning how to look after them and being able to create a healthy and interesting relationship for both of us. I will follow a vegan diet and speak English and Italian. At the same time, I will have to commit with my digital clients and make more decisions so my economic and educational situation keeps on growing in the right direction. Trying to find out what the right direction means and if I want the right direction for me… I need a nap. But, you know, I will be close to what makes me happy. I have been away for so long that I nearly forget it. And I could keep on dreaming of the beautiful house in the countryside that I am going to have or I can go and learn how to manage a farm and how to behave with horses.
As I always say, my place is where my purpose is. The future? The present, continuous. Present, in order to create a better tomorrow.
A day, 24 hours, that is what really matters.