Recently, a thread posted on a community board I frequent, inspired me to think about what exactly are “the problems” with my life. Thinking and reflecting on personal problems can be quite a tough task.
Who really wants to ponder about their negative aspects of themselves? Mostly no one.
The quote that really made me reflect on myself was this:
“How can you wonder your travels do you no good, when you carry yourself around with you? You are saddled with the very thing that drove you away.”
- Socrates, as quoted in Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
And it really made me think about why I always continuously seek to travel and to move to new places.
Yes, I love to travel because I get to meet insightful new people, do crazy things I would have never imagined doing, and immerse myself within interesting cultures.
But am I really traveling solely for these reasons?
And is my desire to move out to Oregon to be around cool entrepreneurs, or moving to California for the surf really going to change anything?
The more I thought about it, and the more I dug deeper to the root reason. I realized that in some ways, it’s the “personal demons” that I may be escaping from. Not a surprise. We have our problems to eventually confront.
So then why do we sometimes continue to not face them?
I found this quote that summarizes the above question, fairly well:
I just didn’t want to make the changes that were necessary in order for me to be happy. I was enjoying my downfall, deriving some sick pleasure from the misery that I had grown accustomed to. It feels good to run sometimes. It feels good to be broken.
- Ryan O’Connell
In some ways, I relate to Ryan in that, at times, I would accept reality as is. That I wouldn’t be good enough to do the things I wanted to do, or feel true happiness.
I realized I would sound optimistic and hopeful for a new project idea or new endeavor I want to take, but then I never “fully” execute and carry through with the entire idea. That I get halfway or 3/4 of the way, and then stop short of the pinnacle point.
That I take on too many projects for myself to handle and over-stress myself. And then switch to finding something comfortable to fall back on, instead of pushing forward and taking the leap.
So what’s the point?
The point is, I will have to drastically change my mindset. That I will continue to learn the art of patience towards success. That it doesn’t matter where I live, if I can’t address the issue with completing my compelling entrepreneurial work, then that problem will simply follow me around and I won’t reach my eventual goal of location independence.
Here’s another classic example:
Running away happens with all types of issues, both physical and mental. One great example that many people do is move away from a certain location simply because they can’t afford it. But maybe, the underlying reason is the way those people’s spending habits aren’t aligned with living within their means.
Moving away to a cheaper location doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make things more affordable. If the habit and mindset of how you spend your money doesn’t change, then your problem in the new location doesn’t go away as well.
Moving to a new location doesn’t necessarily mean you are moving forward with your life. Problems will always follow you around. Take the time to think about what issues or problems are bothering you, or why you aren’t excelling in certain areas of your life.
Once you have that figured out, going to that new location will only help you succeed and grow.
As Seneca says:
“A change of character, not a change of air, is what you need.”
I still have my intentions to relocate to either Oregon or California as reasons I stated before, but I will have the “right” mindset and “actual” reasons to move there, and not just because I simply have the illusion that those locations will have the solution.
Remember: You are the solution, not the location.
Have you moved somewhere in hopes that your problems went away?
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