Life lessons to help you find your successful and happy path
Life is a gift. If you’re worried about the future and your life feels shaken, now is a good time to focus on yourself and re-focus your life plans.
Purpose, comfort, and hope (I call belief) are readily available to replace your anxiety and worry. You can save time and frustration if you follow the right path to helpful thinking. I self-discovered through life lessons and getting off course…
I had a rough start. After graduating college, I borrowed money to barely pay rent. And, I owed thousands in credit card debt and student loans. Sound familiar?
I still kept going. I was ambitious and had confidence in my work production.
I didn’t realize I had adopted a victim mentality, mostly from my upbringing and an early 20’s-related work situation from an old boss, who terrorized me for years.
In this incident, I had delayed my post-traumatic stress disorder in life’s busyness. I also still had childhood wounds from abandonment feelings, that hadn’t been healed yet.
By my late 20’s I scored a good job in the technology sector. Just in time before turning the big 3–0 where I had trepidation to what the next decade would bring with my rocky start.
As I entered the next decade, life became less turbulent, and I stopped carrying worry about my current work and finance situation. I also had work-life-balance for the first time.
It took a few tries and a career switch from a terrible job, to get on the right path and put my mind at ease.
I then married a personal growth driven marketer. A good match for me at the time as I needed positive changes in my life from my earlier work, finance, and relationship disasters I was still recovering from.
After getting married, my partner became a successful entrepreneur whose business was named annually in Inc. magazine’s 100 fastest growing businesses.
We lived in a 4-bedroom house on the lake with a movie theater, drove nice luxury cars, and had a great dog. I maintained a nice job and we ate at the foodie restaurants, and took great vacations. I even eagerly tagged along on the bonus trips to exotic countries.
My life was a happy dream. You’d think I hit the jackpot. Life is Good was my motto.
On paper my life did look good at that snapshot moment. I felt like I could finally take a rest now from life’s setbacks. But like seasons on earth, life changes are inevitable. Nothing stays the same forever, despite your desires.
That good life lasted about 5 years.
Starting Over After Marriage
Slowly pieces to my life unraveled and started to crumble. I lost my tech job as part of a corporate massive layoff caused from the 2008 housing boom economy crash. Then my marriage ended and I moved back to my hometown state where I spent my youth and 20’s. The same area I experienced fun times, defeat, and major challenges.
I had to start over in finding work, dating, and making friends. My post-college co-ed fraternity friends from George Mason University, disappeared.
Many of my earlier childhood friends I had before I moved away and back, were married and starting families, or they had moved away. I didn’t hear from most of them.
(Maybe you can relate with your own getting off your feet story.)
I outgrew most my friends that were still around. We didn’t have much in common. I had first started seeing this at my 10-year high school reunion years before.
Old friends didn’t understand my personal growth and transformation journey from a caterpillar to a butterfly (that I use as a metaphor to describe what I had become).
Single again and jobless at times, my character was growing stronger. Those low status situations were temporary setbacks, while I was on a healing journey from past pain.
Despite how sad my post-good life years may have sounded, with not much to report, I was happy about my personal transformation. I was working on becoming a more highly evolved person and getting a better future life.
One area I had success, was purposefully finding better friends. They would help me grow and lead me to believing in coincidences.
Luckily during my start over time moving back to the DC area, I reconnected with a group of uplifting friends from my late 20’s, that I had met through a college friend, who also introduced me to a mega non-denominational church she attended. These connections kept me going and growing.
I remembered how these friends made me feel good and didn’t judge me, when we would get together weekly before I moved away. There was a married friend (I hadn’t married yet), so she stood out as the rest of us were single and busy as teachers, physicians, tech industry workers, and a church worship band singer.
I don’t think our friendship re-connection from years ago was a coincidence, as I tried to connect with them without success when I moved away. Then when I needed a new network of friends, individually they showed up again.
As part of this friend network and my bittersweet life so far, one just so happened to need a roommate when I moved back. I ended up renting a room in her home, that lasted for 4 years in my humble start over and single life again.
Connecting the Dots
I had many coincidences in my path, such as running into this old group of friends, and in my twenties, living with two teachers, who shared the same exact birth day as me.
Before 30, I decided to not ignore what this could mean and connect the dots.
I felt I had to crack the code on life so I didn’t keep banging my head against the wall, suffering in my own pain from the past problems, and making the same mistakes from my 20’s.
My search for deeper meaning to life and inner peace, lined up with the up and coming popular New Age concepts I was learning — mindfulness, mind-body connection, and law of attraction from the Universe for abundance (the opposite of victim mentality I was shifting away from).
I didn’t grow up with any religion, but I believed the world was just too perfectly organized to make me think there wasn’t a Creator and God.
Hearing things such as double rainbows showing up during a funeral. And, in my own life, several life sparing situations in my early years where I dodged the bullet and was offered several wake up calls — once, I almost drowned, and another time, I was alone driving, while my car caught on fire in the middle of nowhere.
So now was the right time to test the waters on my new belief. Maybe I could’ve tested sooner, but I also could’ve never questioned and maybe continued on a good life course, if life didn’t interrupt.
That’s one mystery of life, not knowing what could have been.
Each person has his or her own journey.
But — I had enough reasons and life situations to motivate me to investigate and not just go through the motions of traditional desires.
Believe me, I like indulging in good food, going on a feel-better shopping spree, and taking luxury vacations, as much as the next person (and as I had past experiences).
Sure, you need those things to keep you going, and help give you comfort from any self-pity or anxiety. But after those momentary broken feelings are made better, then what?
I had reached this deeper desire to search for more in life (and to avoid life’s unhappier seasons). Some people reach a similar conclusion sooner, others later… or never at all.
You run your own course and marathon when you have freedom to choose.
Life’s Trials, Ebb and Flow
After the rough start, good life, and then start over, I had many quiet moments.
In deep reflection, I realized— this life is about finding yourself and your purpose you’re called to.
I had enough evidence in my life, growth experiences, and time for new beliefs to sink in.
Life can do you a favor (as it did for me). Instead of giving you the gifts upfront, life can make you learn through struggles sprinkled in the mix, because then you will appreciate the good times and grow.
No memorable experience, good or bad, goes to waste for your growth and success.
Life’s ebb and flows are to help you crack the code on finding your purpose, and help you develop your character to carry out your mission…you have one. In your 20’s you’re most likely focusing on building skills, stability, and enjoyment.
If you experience a setback, know you can defeat most your struggles if you change your mind perspectives, attitudes, and beliefs.
The answers are within you.
If you connect the dots in your life, you can refocus to find your purpose that may not be a traditional job or retiring at 65. Or getting married and having 2 kids by the time you’re 35.
When jobs and relationships disappeared in my life, and life’s trials and uncertainties appeared, I found a way to look inward and up for answers. Gaining a sense of inner peace led me to searching for a more fulfilling life of purpose, over a traditional life of goals.
For better results, use your best resources: your mind, heart, gut and a higher source you find.
When Life Doesn’t Move Fast Enough
What if you’re still waiting?
Once I believed seeking purpose was the way, I was ready for the answers. Of course, none were given fast enough. I heard silence.
So I patiently got on with my life, taking baby steps and making daily decisions checking in with my inner peace as a guide. If I was being tested, I wanted to pass the test.
I realized, when you try, breakthroughs will occur when they’re ready, so you might as well keep growing.
Any pain, trials, and hurts you have experienced, will go away if you want them to, but the helpful lessons will not.
If I had to do over my 20’s I would spend less time worrying, as life points you in the direction of your purpose, even in your re-routes and any missteps.
Your experiences and growth help shape you. If you get everything in the beginning, you’ll be disappointed if they don’t keep happening at the same pace, as you’ve set your expectations high.
When you believe and trust you have a purpose even without know what that is, then you can help yourself get there by getting out of your way. If you create arbitrary deadlines, or how you think your dreams should arrive, you can miss out on your own life.
When you take the risk, and let go of the idea that life needs to go a certain way to define your success and happiness, then you can be free, remove any limited thinking, and allow for an amazing life of abundance and possibilities.
And then when you least expect, the opportunity or gift you’d been dreaming about all along, gets dropped in your lap, one way or another. Otherwise you wouldn’t have had that dream tugging at your core all this time. Just something to consider. Good luck on your journey!