Finding Your Center
Meaning is brought into our lives through two very important forces: the work we do, and the relationships with important people in our lives.
For much of 2017, my time and energy was spent on calibrating my expectations of myself, my work and my life. Long story short, the conclusion I came to last year, which now seems utterly obvious to me, was that if your heart is not truly into something, then you should let it go. The definition of "truly into something" is vague, and I believe this cannot be explained in words that resonates with everyone, for this is unique to each and every individual. Life is too short to force yourself to keep doing work for the sake of everything and everyone but yourself, hoping that one day you might just fall in love with it.
The best way to free your mind and heart, and be truly happy, is to work on things you care about and forget everything else. This isn't easy for anyone all the time, and it certainly has not been easy for me. For much of my time in 2017, I constantly felt buried six feet under - from expectations of myself that I've failed to meet, to unfulfilling relationships and work that only harmed me instead of letting me flourish. The problem wasn't with anything or anyone else but myself: because I've made the biggest mistake that anyone can ever make - and that was to pretend to (and convince myself) that I was happy with what I was doing, that I was feeling alright, and that I was going to be fine.
Admitting one's unhappiness and dissatisfaction is somehow associated with weakness, especially so within this startuppity, entrepreneurial world. Every movement, every statement, every thought and every opinion is carefully monitored by the rest of the world - your peers, your closest kin, your circle and network and everyone else outside of it, and you find yourself very soon speaking and thinking the thoughts of what the world expects you to think and feel and say. Soon enough, you start believing that, disassociating yourself from how you truly feel inside of you, building an ever widening gap, a dissonance, with your true self, and what makes you truly happy.
You don't necessarily have to throw your hard-earned reputation out of the window, or quit your job, or fold your business. You just have to start by letting go of what matters to others and focus on what matters to you, what brings you joy. You simply have to calibrate yourself all over again, and eliminate that dissonance, the widening gap between what makes you happy and what you're doing to pretend you're happy. Happiness is not the bursty feeling you get when your name appears in the media. Happiness is the feeling of peace within yourself and finding a sense of calmness, your center.
I've had a constant up and down rollercoaster ride the past year or so, stretching all the way back to when I decided to do more than just run a digital marketing and design agency. It's crazy now to me that it's been almost two years since, and how far I've grown to become so much more self-aware and calm. Troubles with work and life will continue to materialize, problems will continue to arise, and new challenges will come with the force of a typhoon ever so often. Now that I have found my balance and my center, it's less easy for these matters to knock the breath out of me. The inner peace and happiness felt within myself, and the profound love I have for myself, are things that nothing can take away from me now that I've found them. And I hope that you will find them too.