Thursday, 31 December 2015

The most important lessons learned 2015


most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss

"Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit." - Les Brown

Taking a different path to everyone else around you sure isn't easy. While it may appear that all we do is fun and games, we have to work very hard to make this and our other blog work and it took a lot of courage to say no to the corporate life and travel the world via house sitting, especially at such a young age. I'm sure many people thought we were crazy and people still ask us what we want to do 'afterwards' and what 'career we are interested in pursuing.' These people will never understand that our goal is to build a life we don't need a vacation from, and to be paid to be ourselves and to travel the world. 

my goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from

"My goal is to build a life I don't need a vacation from." - Rob Hill Sr.

While it was very scary and risky to fly around the world and stay in other peoples homes and look after their pets while they are away on holiday or business trips, we learned that most of our fears were simply false and unjustified. We were lucky enough to house sit for some incredibly smart people, some of which where psychologists, some were epidemiologists and even behavioural scientists. The lessons we learned from those people would already fill an entire book. I chose the quote by Les Brown at the beginning of this post because it sums up why most people will never live up to their potential and never follow the path they feel drawn to all their life. It is easy to indulge in feelings of self-pity and to come up with endless excuses instead of making progress. However, if you never start to learn to control your thoughts and start to live the life you want to live, you will deeply regret it later in life. This is actually proven by Bronnie Ware, which brings me to the next point:

Be aware of the top 5 regrets of the dying

Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse from Australia asked her patients what they regretted most in Life, and remarkably, they all said basically the same things. If you want to find out more about her work, I'd recommend you read her book called "The Top Five Regrets of The Dying". The number one regret that came up again and again was this: 

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Let that sentence sink in for a minute and try to remember these words. If you have any doubt if these words are true, go to an old peoples home and just observe the people sitting there waiting to die. It can be very challenging to say no to the life others expect of you. However, according to Umair Haque, "The biggest mistake you can make is listening to people who've given up on their dreams telling you to give up on yours". 

The biggest mistake you can make is listening to people who've given up on their dreams

"The biggest mistake you can make is listening to people who've given up on their dreams telling you to give up on yours." - Umiar Haque

Be aware and take advantage of the universal laws

life isn't happening to you life is responding to you

"Life isn't happening to you; life is responding to you." - Rhonda Byrne

After we returned from our 9 month trip from Australia in late April 2014, we weren't really sure what to do, and this was when we stumbled upon a book called "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. After reading this book, I thought it was the stupidest thing I have ever read and it could never work. It turns out that while you can strongly disagree with the way that she presented the universal law of attraction, it really does work, and here is why: 

If you keep thinking about how to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve, you are far more likely to achieve it than people who keep thinking about why they can never have whatever it is that they want. Think about it (pun intended): I, myself, have talked myself out of travelling the world for years. I have come up with every excuse in the book why I can't travel the world: Lack of education, money, resources etc. It only dawned on me that I can have everything I want after I read a book that basically made me write down everything I want to do in life and then calculate how much that would cost (that book was the four hour workweek by Tim Ferris, by the way). Here is the craziest part: Everything I wanted to (travel the world, various fun sports, staying in luxury accomodations etc) could be done for FAR LESS than I thought after I did a few hours of basic research. This is how I stumbled upon international housesitting, by the way. There are other universal laws, which are also important to know, some say there are only 7, other say there are 12.

The 10,000 hour rule

malcolm gladwell quote

“If you work hard enough, assert yourself, and use your mind and imagination, you can shape the world to your desires.” - Malcolm Gladwell

People want everything immediately these days, no one wants to wait for anything anymore, and instant gratification is a big problem of the world we live in today. This makes it especially hard for people who work as freelancers or are self employed, because you start at zero and there is no hourly income. After we started this blog (and our other website, I did a lot of research on how long it takes to be a 'successful' blogger. It turns out it takes about 10,000 hours of practising your chosen art 'the right way', according to psychologist Anders Ericsson. This was also written about by Malcom Gladwell. If you have never heard of this rule, check out this video (ignore the weird background music).

I am aware that this rule has since been labelled 'wrong', however, common sense and intuition tell me that if you practise something for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 44 weeks a year for 5 (!) years, and if you put real effort into it and really give it your all, then you will be pretty good at whatever it is you are doing. I think it is also safe to say that the number of people who actually try anything for 10,000 hours without losing their desire/passion/obsession is very small. 

Those are the most important lessons we learned not only this year, but over the last two years. If you enjoyed this post, please share it on your favourite social media platform and make sure to like love travel quotes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest