Life-hacking for happiness, abundance and freedom …
A personal voyage.
Embracing fear and uncertainty.
It’s been an interesting time.
Following my recent travel adventure, I have returned to Brisbane to have had my life trajectory — largely, by my own initiation — thrown into uncertainty and disarray. After a great deal of soul-searching over long period of time, I have come to acknowledge areas of both my personal and professional life that are no longer truly optimised for my long-term-happiness, or that of the people I love. With this knowledge, I have chosen to indefinitely set aside my feelings of short-term comfort, familiarity and safety in order to strive for something far more important:
True, long-term self-actualisation.
Self Actualisation: the achievement of one’s full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world.
Within my own personal chaos, I have found myself tempted to descend into worry — even panic. Change is confronting, and at times damn scary. However, as challenging and seemingly chaotic as my life currently is, there is an undeniable feeling that I have found my way back to a direction in line with my own ‘True North’.
Change is also damn exciting, and I am slowly coming to view my turbulent life situation with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I remind myself: there’s more going on here…much more than I can understand right now.
On that note…
I’ve had an idea.
I’m putting it out there now, in a raw, reasonably under-thought state. This is actually quite a rare occurrence for me (…my gosh I haven’t even designed a logo for it yet! I’m battling perfectionism one step at a time, it seems).
The reason is simple: I need to do it, and I need accountability partners. If I put it out to the world and don’t deliver or follow through, I’ll be embarrassed. Embarrassment isn’t fun.
So here goes.
Imagine, if you will, a boat.
…a majestic sailboat skimming across the surface of the water, toward a particularly spectacular sunset. It sails confidently into the unknown. The journey is uncertain, yet the boat knows its destination. It is strong, and is prepared to face unexpected obstacles or dangers that arise on the journey.
If you so desire, imagine a rousing musical soundtrack to compliment this image in your mind.
The boat is you.
‘The True North Project’
Many times over the years, I have felt as though my boat has drifted off course. It happens. Even the best, most well thought out life adventures have unexpected turns and distractions, and will at some point stray from the chartered course. However, if left unchecked, your ship continues to drift. Before long, you find yourself so removed from your own ‘True North’ that you can’t even pin-point where you began to veer of course.
For me, this results in feelings of intense frustration, anger, fear and despair, seemingly without any good reason (which of course, further compounds the feelings). During these times, it is painfully clear that something—something of crucial importance—is missing.
The most frustrating thing: It is often painfully unclear what it actually is.
Then, just to really nail home the point, time seems to move faster; a subtle reminder that you’re not only heading in the wrong direction, you’re heading there fast.
It’s your life, and no-one else’s.
While travelling, I allowed myself to glimpse a possibility; a life of freedom, abundance and overwhelming happiness. I began to glimpse a life that I wanted…that I really wanted. The best and most exciting part about it is that it is actually completely achievable.
…or feels like it, at least.
When it comes down to it, we each need extremely little to be extremely happy. Luxuries are all well and good, but through the pursuit of luxury, you risk losing something far more important; time, and ultimately freedom.
At the end of the day, it’s shockingly simple:
When you place your focus firmly on what truly matters to you—not on what you think should matter to you, and certainly not what society dictates should matter to you—you find purpose, and a path; to make your life truly extraordinary.
It’s about discovering and building a life that works for you, based around your loves, strengths and your curiosities; a life that you leap out of bed every day to explore. It’s about discovering work that truly makes you come alive. It’s about planning cleverly and effectively in ways that value long-term happiness over short-term gratification, eventually delivering you to a place of abundance and financial freedom.
In a nutshell:
‘The True North Project’ is about discovering and understanding who you are, hacking your own life, then optimising every element of it towards your own true happiness and fulfilment. It is a unique and highly personal voyage, different for everyone. It’s about setting your own rules, rejecting the status-quo, taking control and steering the ship toward your own True North, however unconventional it may seem to anyone else.
I’ve got a long way to go, and a lot to learn.
And that is of course, the point.
For me, this is a voyage of discovery. I have never done this before, and I will make mistakes along the way.
While I clearly see my goal, and have mapped out the journey as best I can, I have so much to learn. But I have resolved myself to doing exactly that: Learn. I will venture into the unknown, and will continually explore, discover and adjust my direction as I go.
For at least 1 year, each day I will strive to discover and embrace a life that is truly optimised for my own individual freedom, abundance and happiness, and will strive to steer my ship on this path.
In one year’s time, I don’t expect to have arrived in this place (I don’t think you ever truly arrive), but I fully intend to be well on the way.
While your journey toward your own True North will inevitably be very different from mine, it is my sincere hope that my journey will help provide a framework through which to view your own path, and will help you avoid pitfalls along the way.
I have identified what I feel are the 8 most important life focus areas. I believe that in the pursuit of one’s own True North, each must be considered, at some point.
I will write about the journey on my blog, as I work through each of these one and a time, optimising them for happiness and fulfilment. In no particular order:
Mindset, Self-Knowledge & Understanding
Health (Mental & Physical)
Travel & Adventure
Contribution & giving back
If nothing more than an adventurous thought experiment, there is much to be gained by focusing intently on what truly matters. There is no way that it cannot bring more happiness into our lives.
…and aside from that, I often wonder if the most potent and overwhelming supply of excitement and wonder is found within the search itself.
I hope you enjoy what follows. Please join in the conversation…I would genuinely love to hear thoughts and suggestions as I embark on this journey. If you engage with the words, please like, comment and share whenever possible.
No Crimes by Son Lux.
This song changed my life. Listen loud.