I am writing this post from the beautiful country of Fiji, where I have been house-sitting since the end of June and will be here through the end of October. The view is worth a million bucks and it is truly paradise. Since May 2011, my fiancé & I have been traveling long-term, funding our adventures with freelance writing & other location-independent income sources.
During this time, we have been to Peru, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Laos. It has been an amazing experience, and I sometimes still can’t believe this is my life.
This intro wasn’t meant to be braggy; I am not one of those people who are super insecure and try to make people jealous to pump myself up. This intro was meant to inspire you because if you had told me years ago I would be doing this, I never would have believed it for a second.
Several years ago, I was not doing anything of note. I went to college, got a job, so on and so forth. I’m not knocking that type of life—I know many people are very happy on the traditional path. But, I knew it wasn’t right for me.
I felt restless, and I knew that I needed to be doing something else. At the time, I wasn’t fully sure what that ‘something else’ was. On a whim, I decided to quit my job and move to Japan to teach English. That experience infected me with a chronic case of wanderlust.
Over the next few years, there were some trips here and there; lots of crappy stuff happened—my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died. I went through some really rough times financially. I was depressed and anxious a good deal of the time. But, like many people, these difficult circumstances turned out to be a gift, because they spurred me into action, and I got serious about changing my life. There is nothing ‘special’ about me. I just make firm decisions about what I wanted, and I was committed to working on myself and my mindset.
Anyone can do what I do—you can change your life in ways you can’t even imagine now, if you simply decide this is what you are going to do.
So, no matter what it is you desire, no matter how you want to change your life, here are the key ingredients for making that happen.
Was Open to a New Way of Thinking
How we think determines everything we experience in this life. When I first started toying with the idea of change, I realized for the first time the impact our thoughts have on our reality. I was open to the idea that if I changed how I thought, my world would change along with it. I wanted to be more positive—I wanted to be one of those people who believed good things could happen merely by, well, believing they could. I wanted to believe we have a good deal of control over our experience, and great power in shaping our lives.
When I evaluated my current way of thinking and belief system, I realized I was not a super-negative person, but I certainly didn’t have a shiny outlook on things. Like many people, I just didn’t expect much, and just let life kind of happen to me.
Realize what you believe now is really not based on any sort of hard fact or objective truth—you can believe in something better. You just have to be willing to accept this, and make a serious effort to be different. You must expose yourself to information that helps you internalize these more positive beliefs and ways of thinking—you have a lot of programming to undo, and the repeated exposure is necessary.
Became a Serious Student of the Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction can be a bit of a controversial topic, but there is no way I could have written a post like this and not discussed it because it was integral in creating the life I had now.
I’ll start by saying this…I don’t have a full understanding of how this stuff works, nor could I give you a good explanation of why bad things happen since I am not even 100 percent sure how they do from an attraction perspective. Something about this concept resonated with me on a deep level, however, and I knew there was something to it.
I was simply interested in creating a better life—I was okay with not fully understanding it. I was not particularly interested in trying to figure out the whole world through the lens of this concept, so I didn’t tax my brain trying to determine how people ‘attract’ the bad stuff. I urge you to do the same, because these two issues can really move you away from working with law of attraction, and you would be passing up an amazing opportunity to create the life you truly want.
Like anything else I write here, I am conveying my own experience, and in my experience, law of attraction is real. I have written about it several times on my blog, and I urge you to visit it and read some of those posts if you need a primer.
Once I started creating intentions, shifting my energy and worked on simply feeling good, so many things lined up for me, things most would call a ‘coincidence’ but I now know are anything but that.
Be willing to suspend your logical thinking—it can really be a dream killer. Focus on ‘what’ you want, and leave the ‘how’ to the mysterious forces of the Universe. No matter what you want, you are after a feeling, so focus on feeling those feelings now, even if you don’t have the things you desire, and they will come to, often in a better form than you could have imagined. When you feel inspired to take certain actions, act on that urge—it will always lead you closer to what you want.
Know you can’t figure out the infinite ways the thing you want can be delivered, so don’t get attached to specific outcomes or channels.
Clarity on What I Wanted
Most of us don’t need to think too long and hard to come up with a list of things we don’t want to happen, or we don’t like in our lives. Being negative, and focusing on the negative, is as natural as breathing for most of us. It takes very little effort to go in this direction.
But, if you want to change your life, you have to change your focus. Focusing on what you don’t want and don’t like is not the same as focusing on what you do. By defining the ‘bad’, you imply what you think is ‘good’ but on an energy level, this is not the way to go about it. What we focus on expands, and your life cannot get better if you are constantly drawing your attention to what you don’t like and don’t want.
This step can be challenging in a few different ways. First, you may have never even really given much thought to what you want—you have just gone through life falling into situations and just staying there without really examining whether you were happy. Perhaps you built a life based on what you thought you should want, and that programming can run deep. Maybe you kind of have an idea but feel doubtful it can ever happen so you just push it down.
Things can’t get better until you clearly define what it is you want. And, you have to go big here—don’t hold back based on past experience, or what your life is like now. When I made my list, there was nothing in my life to indicate what I wanted was possible in any way—at least when thought about in a logical way, but remember what I said about logic before-dream killer, so beat it down when necessary.
This list is a crucial first step; intentions have been established and the wheels have been set in motion. Work on your mindset and study law of attraction, and at some point down the line, you will look at that list and everything on it will be in your reality. That is what happened to me.
Got Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
This point is crucial, because if you can’t learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you will never be able to make significant change in your life. My path here was not smooth sailing all the way. I made bold decisions that made me feel all sorts of unpleasant emotions. Many of those decisions were deemed ‘irresponsible’ or ‘silly,’ and knowing people were judging and criticizing me made me very uneasy. Like anyone else, doubt and fear would surface, sometimes quite intensely.
The belief system I was trying to root into my mind, and the Kelli into which I was transforming were often at odds with the old beliefs and old me, and this battle is not fun at all. When you are trying to change your life and yourself, it can be really uncomfortable, but if you can get comfortable with this discomfort, nothing can stop you.
I could probably write ten more blog posts about how I got from where I was to where I want to be. But, when I think back on everything, these issues are definitely some of the most important because they formed the core of my transformation. I hope what I wrote here inspired you to build the life you truly want, and helped you realize this is possible for anyone.
Kelli Cooper has a deep passion for personal development, and fancies herself a ‘happiness consultant.’ Drawing on her own experiences in creating a life made to order, she coaches her clients to do the same. She is also a writer, and a nomad, who has been living her dream of traveling the world since May 2011. For inspirational content, and more info about her services, check out her site Life Made to Order.