Three years ago my life was completely different. I would drive an hour to and from work each day, and sit in a cube farm for sometimes up to 12 hours. Don’t worry, I’d get up to attend pointless meetings and spend frivolously at starbucks just to get some air. For the most part, though, I was heads down, and one client call away from a panic attack at any given moment.
Growing up, I’d always had this inner voice that challenged authority, questioned the status quo, and to be fair got me into a lot of trouble... But one day, three years ago, I heard this voice loud and clear and knew she was right.
First she screamed "What the ACTUAL *F are you doing wasting your time at this office?" Then she lovingly suggested that I make a plan immediately to get out of this situation, and I dunno, start living my life the way I wanted to.
This voice had a little encouragement from The Four Hour Work Week, but ultimately it was my own decisiveness that would change the course of my life.
To this day, I credit my next step as the source of my success and happiness. And as the source of my knowing with certainty that we truly can create anything in our lives that we imagine.
This one step is something that so many people skip, and yet when I tell it to you, you’re going to think it’s so obvious.
So enough dancing around, the #1 thing that ANYONE should take when they are looking to make change in their life is to get SUPER freaken clear on EXACTLY what they want that change to be!
I told you it was obvious. I’m as perplexed as you that so many people never even make it this far.
So often people are too focused on what they don’t want, that they never even take the time to dream up what they do want, and to get so lasered in on it, that they become aware of all the opportunities popping up to make that desire a reality.
When I decided that I wanted to move abroad, I was very clear on where. I wanted to live in Thailand. See above. I knew wanted to see that exact scene, and I knew it was possible because other people were already doing it.
To keep my mind right while I was still figuring things out, and showing up to the office each day, I made my desktop background almost the exact same image you see above, and I looked at it every single day. I day dreamed about how it would feel to sit on that island and what a liberating sense of accomplishment it would bring.
Essentially, I was visualizing, but I didn’t know it at the time. I wasn’t really familiar with this practice yet, and just thought I was avoiding work to think of more interesting things.
Of course, every other waking moment was devoted to taking action towards this goal, but that’s for another article. The important thing to note here is that without this crystal clear image in my mind of what I wanted, I wouldn’t have known what actions to take.
Without communicating to the Universe what I was looking to achieve through my thoughts and images I was surrounding myself with, it never would have known. I never would have known. It would have been so easy to just keep repeating the negative loop I’d played for so long about all the things I hated about my current situation.
Don’t be confused, I haven't always been so aware of my desires. For months—nay years—I stayed in jobs I hated, and had a schedule I hated, and a commute I hated, and I was sure to let everyone know just how miserable I was. Other people were miserable too, so we bonded at happy hours and holiday parties. To to be honest though, if you asked me today, I wouldn’t be friends with the old me.
She was negative and unmotivated, because she wasn’t clear on what she wanted in life.
Don’t be like old Kim.
Get clear on what you want.
Ask yourself these questions: Where is it, what is it, how does it feel? What kind of person has what you want, or does what you want to do? How can you act more like this person? Who are they connected with, and how can you start connecting with those people?
Take the time to get really clear on the details, and then start surrounding yourself with reminders that this is what you want. Create a vision board, or write yourself sticky notes, or put the picture up as your desktop background. Whatever method works for you to keep your eyes on the prize.
Just 3 months after I made the decision that I wanted to move abroad and ultimately to Thailand, I quit my job and boarded a plane for South East Asia. Three months is such a short amount of time for such a massive change to come to fruition!
Above is a picture of me on that exact beach in Krabi Thailand. Not pictured are the tears I shed as I sat on that beach at night thinking to myself “I really did it. I really freaken did it!”
Anyone can have these moments, but they’re hard to come by if you don’t ever take the time to decide what you want.