Last week, I was fortunate enough to go to Sydney, Australia and spend some quality time with my sister, Jill.
Everyday, I woke up around 7am and walked down to the beach with my cup of coffee. I would sit on the seawall, and just watch the ocean roll in.
Around noon we would walk over to Crossfit Bondi for a grueling workout, and then head to the beach to read and relax. At dusk (okay, maybe before dusk), we’d hit happy hour followed by a dinner looking out at the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen.
One night, we were at a beachside bar called “The Bucket List.” I walked up to the bar, ordered some drinks, and one of the bartenders quickly asked, “Which part of the States are you from?” obviously catching the slightest of Texas twangs in my voice.
She told me she’s from the United States too, and that she graduated with a degree in Marketing (same major as me) from Purdue University a few years prior. After graduation, she landed a job in Chicago with a marketing consultancy firm.
For me, as somebody who is in a position of “what should I do after college,” it sounded like she had the ideal situation; a secure job doing work for a creative corporation in an awesome city. But after six months, she quit.
She packed her things, traveled around Asia for a while, and finally landed in Australia.
She now works as a bartender on Bondi Beach.
She makes half the money, but she works with other people her age, swims in the ocean on her lunch breaks, and lives in a beautiful city. She told me it’s the happiest she’s ever been.
This caused me to reflect a little bit on the direction and current state of my life. I’m about to graduate with a Marketing degree, and I’m teetering on which path to follow.
But no matter what I do, I want to keep these three things in mind:
Have No Regrets
It was hilarious to me how many people reacted when I told them I was going to Australia.
The first thing out of almost every person’s mouth was “What about school?”
“Yeah, what about it?” I thought.
I highly doubt that I’m going to be on my deathbed thinking, “Damn, I really wish I attended more classes at UNC Charlotte.” Or “That was a good move not going to Australia to hang with Jill.”
I mean, c’mon man…
In my life, I want to have as many experiences as possible and spend my time with people I love the most. Everything else is secondary. Job fairs and calculus just aren’t that high on my radar.
That’s a choice that I consciously made though. I have friends who focused and did well in school and have jobs and financial security that I wouldn’t be able to touch right now. The point is to know what’s important to you, and then act accordingly.
Don’t just float through life based on others agendas because when you make your life decisions based on others advice, vision, etcetera you’re more likely to look back with regret.
Here are 10 Regrets That People on Their Deathbed Have that I revisit every so often as a reminder.
Don’t Worry About The Future
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” ~ Mark Twain
This chick graduated from a great university, got an incredible job in an incredible city. And then six months later she’s staying in hostels in Taiwan for $1/night and applying for a 12-month visa to stay in Australia.
In the spring of 2011, I was a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, and the following summer I was no longer enrolled in school, living with my sister and her husband, and working as a personal trainer.
Fear comes from a negative perception of the future – and most of the time that future looks different than you imagined.
Don’t miss the beauty and power of today because you are so distracted guessing the future.
Let Go of the Attachment To Money
Without a doubt, the “money buys happiness fallacy” is deeply ingrained in me. I don’t know why, but it is.
It’s really important to let go of thoughts and attachments to money. Money is important. I wouldn’t argue otherwise. But the attitude of “it’ll be all good once I get my millions” will lead you down a dark, unfulfilling path.
I think it’s more important to ask “What do I want to do? & “Who do I want to become?” and if that results in making your millions, then HELL YEAH.
One of my childhood best friends has always said he wanted to be a football coach. He just got his masters degree in coaching and is taking steps to make that dream a reality. My girlfriend and my little brother are both professional dancers. My sister got her degree in Exercise Science at a time when she thought her greatest job prospect title was “gym teacher.” Another good friend of mine dropped out of Texas A&M University to play poker for a living against his parent’s deepest wishes. And this Chicago-based marketing consultant quit her job to become a bartender in Australia.
These people are inspirations in my life to do what I want to do regardless. I’m only here once, so I’m going to write silly stories and share ideas on the Internet.
What’s on your bucket list? What’s your dream? Are you doing it?