Life As You Know It. By Amy Goldberg

More often than not we are obsessed with the wrong things. We place far too much importance on what others have to say. Does this make any sense to you? In reality, we rely on ourselves the least. I’ve seen people ‘fake it ‘til they make it’ their entire lives. It’s just getting worse. That can’t be good.

I’d like to offer you a different perspective, mindset if you will, on how to lead a life that works for you …. for REAL. Where, after a while, you’ll have realised that being on auto-pilot was just another way of saying that you had no idea how to start.

I’m not talking about Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or any other social media platform that you use, or will use (that hasn’t been invented yet) that puts your best fake forward. Nope. I’m talking about how to get to the place where you’re saying; “Wow, my life is good without having to post ONLY the happy moments in my life.” Which by the way, may sometimes feel as if they’re few and far between.

If I may, I equate social media to the picture frame that you buy in a store with the model family, or guy or girl that already comes with the frame. It’s not real. Or at best, murky. It can give us a false sense of things. As well, it can reinforce just how depressed, anxious and unhappy we may be feeling.

No wonder we’re walking around shaking our head saying; “Is it just me?”

Ok, yes, I do tend to be THAT person who sees the glass half full. That’s ONLY because I made my mind up when I was very young that the only person that was going to make me happy was … myself.

I imagine this came about or was due to the fact that I was quite disappointed with how words rarely translated into action.  I found in order to make things happen in life that I had to take matters into my own hands. Which I did. In hindsight, I was pretty pleased with myself.

I remember when I was in high school there were a number of us making plans to go skiing for March break. We needed to complete the forms and hand in our deposit to the customer service person at the lodge we were planning to stay at.

As weeks went by, I noticed that no one had sent in their form or deposit. When I asked, they decided that they didn’t want to go. Some didn’t have the money; others had an opportunity to go away with their parents.

I was really ticked off and incredibly disappointed. I spoke with my parents, as I was only 15, and asked them if I could go on the trip by myself. They were initially against it. After many conversation (more like me begging), my parents said I could go with a few provisions. They knew I was a very responsible kid. I had demonstrated it time and time again. They also knew how much I LOVED to ski. And certainly, they were disappointed for me that my friends bailed last minute.

Was I happy about going on a ski trip by myself? Absolutely not. Not at 15. And yet I was determined to prove to myself that no one was going to hold me back from doing something just because they didn’t want to or couldn’t go.

The first day I arrived I felt incredibly lonely – painfully lonely – PAIN-FULLY. It was a horrible feeling. The first day I skied by myself. I could have easily called my parents and they would have gladly come to get me. That would have been too easy. I knew I had to ride through this wave of loneliness. I was really hoping it would be temporary.

And then … I saw a few people that I recognized from school. People that I had never hung out with before. They were happy to see me. They also couldn’t believe that I came alone. In their eyes I became super cool. Brave even!

That week we had a blast. One of the best trips I’ve ever been on.

Actually, in hindsight, and I hadn’t until this second realized that THAT in fact was a turning point for me. That was when I knew that I was responsible for my own life, my own happiness.

This created confidence and courage for me to make the decision to travel around the world when I was in my twenties. I was gone for just under 3 years.

So, what’s the shift in mindset? What’s the perspective I’d like you to consider? In fact, it’s quite simple. And, it’s also quite terrifying for most. It comes down to us. We are the only ones who can hold ourselves back from the ‘What if’s’ in our lives. Sure, we make excuses to ourselves … all the time.

What if today. This moment. You chose to not hold yourself back. You chose to walk past fear and uncertainty to get to where you want to go. Even IF you’re not quite sure what that exactly looks-like, take the steps toward moving in the direction of life where what you’re doing excites you.

After all, this is YOUR life. No one else. Even if you have children, trust me, children need to see that you are taking responsibility for your own happiness. The other wonderful people in your life are, in fact, a reflection of how you treat yourself.

Don’t settle.