For the Love of Experience

Over the past several years I’ve been at war with myself and wasn’t until recently that I was able to articulate what was going on. Now that I’ve identified the root cause of this battle I’ve been able to take steps to create some internal peace, peace that has radiated into the rest of my life. Since there is a chance you are engaged in a similar conflict I want you to ask yourself the same question that I frequently ask myself:

How am I living my life and is it supporting my goals and helping me become the person I want to be?

In order to answer this question (and have it make a difference) you have to be really honest with yourself. In order to act on the answer you discover, you have to be really honest with everyone else, too.

Honesty is hard. Ohmygosh do I know it! But it is the only way I know to get to something that is real. For me it means acknowledging and revealing to the world that what I value is experiences, and I couldn’t care any less about stuff. I don’t care about designer labels, having a new car, or buying a big house. I would rather spend my money on a trip for my family that yields incredible memories than on the latest and greatest toy or gadget. Or even better, I would rather go out and explore our city for virtually no cost at all.

I came across this quote today and it gets right to the heart of what I’m talking about:

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet, screaming desperation who work long, hard hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” -Nigel Marsh

I’ve lived that life. And I’m happy to report that I’m not living that way anymore. In fact, once I finally said no to that life everything else opened up and became possible. Yes, I still work long, hard hours, but they are now spent doing work that I love. Work I believe in. I help to create and preserve memories for my clients and friends. I work for the love of experience. Of laughter. Of connections. I do NOT work for the love of stuff. I am breaking the cycle. And you know what the result is? For the first time in forever I feel free.

How many people do you know who hate their jobs? One of the downsides of social media is that you get to hear a lot of complaining. So many people are hurting and are frustrated with some aspect of their lives. They don’t know what else to do so they complain to anyone who will listen. And though I do feel for them, the complaining really doesn’t help anything. I truly believe so much of this frustration is tied to how they spend (or feel they should spend) their money, their time, and their energy. The beauty is that how you spend your time and money and energy is completely up to you. You DO have a choice.

If you’re feeling frustrated and this applies to you I want you to do something. Before you (potentially) waste more of your money and your time and your energy on things you don’t need or in situations that don’t serve you, take a few moments and ask yourself the question. How am I living my life and is it supporting my goals and helping me become the person I want to be? Am I really living the kind of life I want to lead?

If you’re truly honest with yourself the answer may surprise you. Or maybe you’ve known it all along. Either way, you need to make some changes.

You can start today. You can start tomorrow. You can ignore it all together. What comes next is completely up to you…

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Cheryle - January 6, 2012 - 1:24 am

I love this post! And you are right, it is perfect for me, especially right now… Sometimes it is so hard to look at all the people around you defining success in stuff, and not be pulled into that too… and you adjust your short term goals to “succeed”. But once you make that choice to let go and enjoy all the amazing non-stuff right in front of you, it becomes pretty darn easy to set your course in the right direction. :)

John Payne - January 9, 2012 - 10:34 pm

Brilliant, Erin. So well put!

Kelly - January 23, 2012 - 3:53 pm

what a beautiful post - and a great reminder! :)

Dawn - February 29, 2012 - 12:08 am

I love this!! It’s so true, and very inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing. :-)

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