TLP 25. How my priorities switched from “living” to “creating”.

I recently made a big self-awareness breakthrough in terms of my current mindset, and I can see more clearly now how this time of my life truly is a milestone and one that will change everything for me. Up until this point in my life, my priorities and my decisions have always been steered by my aspiration to live life to the fullest. Up to this point, it has been so important for me to feel that I am maximizing my growth and my experiences. That is why I was blind to career alternatives that couldn’t take me to far away places and cultures immediately after graduation. That’s why I have spent all of my money on travels and experiences. That’s why I have spent my free time enjoying life and all its wonderful temptations and pleasures. Up until now.

At graduation from business school about six years ago, I remembered I saw my alternatives as binary. I had two major interests and aspirations in life that I couldn’t see as possible to combine right away: to build a life and profession that I truly love on my own terms, and to explore the world. I saw my options as either taking a job for a big corporation that could afford to take the risk to send me abroad right away, or staying in Stockholm and continue living on a student budget while building my own company or any projects of my own. Luckily for me, the itch of exploring the world and living a privileged global lifestyle after all of those years in cold Sweden on next to no budget was so undeniably pressing that there wasn’t really any doubt about what I was going to do, the choice was easy. I went all in, I doubled down on living life to the fullest, on maximizing my experiences.

The best part is that I regret nothing, and today I know that I could not have done it any other way. My mom usually tells me that in certain aspects of life I’ve seen and experienced many times more than most people do in a full lifetime, and she always says it in such shocking disbelief every time she’s reminded by one of my many crazy experiences and adventures. I am so grateful for the life I have had these past six years, for the growth, for the experiences and all the good times, but that is not why I don’t regret it. I mean, theoretically, I could have spent these past six years potentially building a very successful company and perhaps even be a multi-millionaire by now. Theoretically, by now I could have had the combination of a life and profession that I love on my own terms, AND a global lifestyle where I am exploring the world in my business, the life I’ve always dreamt of. Yet, I regret nothing. I know that I could not have done it differently. I am realizing that luckily my urgent calling to explore the world was so strong that I couldn’t deny it. But if I had taken the more rational decision to be patient and to spend the past six years only working for my dream life, feeling stuck in Sweden and postpone all of the things I wanted to do most, I just know that I would have been utterly miserable. Likely, that misery would have stood in my way for success.

I’ve come to realize that all in life has its time, what’s important is to listen to your heart and to feel what’s calling your inner explorer the most. To feel what your biggest desire right now is. If you don’t follow that feeling and do it right away, it will always be there providing you a steady supply of regret, and you risk never being able to be 100% happy with yourself.

I’ve now come to realize that the reason why I left my job and previous life, is that that inevitable calling to explore the world and experience that kind of lifestyle is starting to become satisfactorily saturated to me. I can feel my core values and priorities shift more and more from wanting to ‘maximize living’ to ‘creating something on my own’, and I am starting to realize that that is why this time and life change is so chaotic, confusing and challenging to me. I am starting to feel that I now desire to create and build a life and profession on my own terms, to create my own legacy of positive impact in the world, MORE than living an adventurous and experience-rich life.

For the first time in my life, that insatiable itch of traveling and exploring the world has been overcome by the itch to create, and to matter. For the first time in my life, the need to feel like I am constantly on the move and maximizing my exposure to new experiences has been overcome by the need for a more fixed point in life, for stability and for more long-term objectives. I am starting to see every choice I make from a full life perspective. I am starting to see what really matters to me in my life.

 

All love and no fear,

Philip

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