35 More Inspirational Quotes on Happiness, Following Your Dreams & Generally Kicking Life’s Ass

From time to time, I share a quote on my Twitter or Facebook page I think will help make your day (slash-life) a little better. I’ve built up quite a collection of these quotes, so I like to drop them on you en masse occasionally — consider it my contribution to whatever goal you’re currently fighting for or obstacle you’re currently fighting against.

To make them easier to share with anyone you think could use a jolt of awesome, I’ve also included an easy click-to-tweet after each quote. (You’re welcome.)

 

Happiness

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” ~Margaret Lee Runbeck (Tweet!)

“I have decided to be happy because it’s good for my health.” ~Voltaire (Tweet!)

“If you want to be happy, be so.” ~Kozma Prutkov (Tweet!)

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” ~William Feather (Tweet!)

“Happiness is an inside job.” ~William Arthur Ward (Tweet!)

“Happiness is a choice.” ~Valerie Bertinelli (Tweet!)

“Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” ~Andy Rooney (Tweet!)

 

Blazing Your Own Trail

“I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen, I like to make them happen.” ~Winston Churchill (Tweet!)

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~Walt Disney (Tweet!)

“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ~George Bernard Shaw (Tweet!)

“I’ve never heard a bird half sing, a hawk half cry. When ready, speak your truth with conviction.” ~Dave Ursillo (Tweet!)

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ~Max Dupree (Tweet!)

“Be a voice, not an echo.” ~Albert Einstein (Tweet!)

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” ~Richard Branson (Tweet!)

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” ~Jim Rohn (Tweet!)

“When in doubt, yell, ‘CHARGE!’ and then MOVE. YOUR. ASS. AND. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.” ~Ash Ambirge (Tweet!)

 

Following Your Dreams

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” ~Zig Ziglar (Tweet!)

“Good things come to those who wait. Greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.” ~@LifeCheating (Tweet!)

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~Thomas Edison (Tweet!)

“The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes (Tweet!)

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” ~Tony Gaskins (Tweet!)

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” ~Paul Brandt (Tweet!)

“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” ~Seth Godin (Tweet!)

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky (Tweet!)

 

Overcoming Adversity

“There are two things a person should never be angry at — what they can help, and what they cannot.” ~Plato (Tweet!)

“At the end of the day, no matter how many times the lawn is mowed, it doesn’t take it personally — it just keeps on growing.” ~Ash Ambirge (Tweet!)

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get.” ~Ray Bradbury (Tweet!)

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” ~Jim Rohn (Tweet!)

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” ~Charles Swindoll (Tweet!)

“If it isn’t a little scary, it probably isn’t worth your time.” ~Ted Murphy (Tweet!)

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~Nelson Mandela (Tweet!)

“Fear is not a bad thing, it can keep you alive. The trick is to make sure it doesn’t stop you from living.” ~@RevolutionsClub (Tweet!)

“It’s not the person who dodges the most bullets who wins. It’s the person who finds something useful to do with the bullets, after the shots have been fired.” ~Ash Ambirge (Tweet!)

“The darkest hour has only sixty minutes.” ~Morris Mandel (Tweet!)

“Learn to embrace fear, because it’s often the only thing that’s between you and what you want.” ~Paula Pant (Tweet!)

What are your favorite quotes? Share them with us in the comments!

Image:  Pink Sherbet Photography / Flickr

The Way Things Are Isn’t The Way Things Have To Be

Recently, I wrote about the importance of the stories we tell ourselves about our lives. The way we cast ourselves (victim, reject, center of the universe) affects the way we experience the world. If we think everyone’s against us, we’ll keep seeing things that reinforce that story. If we think we’re better than everyone else, people will constantly let us down. We react to things based on the story we believe about our world, and as a result, we wind up perpetuating the story by playing along with it.

But there’s a bigger story, a story so hulking and omnipresent it warrants a post in itself. It’s a really shitty story our whole society has deluded itself into believing. That really shitty story is the ridiculously depressing notion of “The Way Things Are.”

You may not realize The Way Things Are is a story. That’s part of what makes it so devious (and powerful). Most people just accept that it really is… well… the way things are. As a result, they play along with it without realizing they have any other choice. They take it as a given rather than one way of seeing things.

And since the majority of people are going along with it, it really does become the way things are.

 

So, How Are Things?

Pretty damn crappy, if you believe the story.

If you subscribe to the general belief in The Way Things Are, life is a pretty grim set of circumstances you can’t control and probably don’t like. Here are some elements of “The Way Things Are” mentality:

  • You have no choice but to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for pretty much most of your life.
  • You have to do this because you have to have a car, a house, 10 credit cards and a steady stream of stuff and distractions at all times to keep you happy.
  • You need to be kept happy because you probably hate the job that takes up the majority of your waking hours.
  • (Lather, rinse, repeat the above 3 phrases as needed. It’s a nice vicious circle.)
  • You deserve lots of things you can’t afford because you put up with the unfairness of the above circle. Future You can deal with paying for these things.
  • Debt is something you only need to think about when the bills come each month. It doesn’t matter if you’re paying off that flat-screen TV for the next 30 years, because they’re probably going to be 30 miserable years anyway, and the least you deserve is to be able to watch Dancing with the Stars in high-quality HD.
  • What you do doesn’t matter.
  • Dreams are for the naïve and the misguided. Resignation is the mark of a real, functioning adult.
  • If you don’t already kind of dislike your spouse, you probably will after enough time together. Kids will only make this worse.
  • You should still have kids anyway.
  • No one is where they want to be. That’s just part of growing up.
  • No one likes The Way Things Are, but they can’t be changed. Suck it up, have a drink, go out and buy something. It’s almost the weekend.

I could go on, but it’s too depressing. And I think you probably recognize the story by now.

 

If We All Hate This Story So Much, Why Do We Keep Telling It to Ourselves?

The thing is, no one is really happy living according to The Way Things Are. Any story you have to constantly resign yourself to is not a good one.

So why do so many of us resign ourselves to it?

Because we don’t realize we have any other choice. If we did, we think, more people would be doing something different, wouldn’t they? The fact that everyone around us seems to be keeping their heads down and trudging along makes us think that must be our only option. So we all put our heads down and keep trudging, and this grim picture of the world continues to be the way things actually are because no one realizes it can be any different.

It’s not surprising most of us don’t think to question it. Everything around us reinforces the story.

TV shows give us characters who live neatly in The Way Things Are: dysfunctional families, disgruntled cube farm workers, harried moms and overworked suits and couples who communicate in nasty one-liners. We find these shows funny or moving because they portray things we recognize. They make us feel better about our own shitty circumstances by delivering the reassurance that “we’re all in this together.” You don’t see many shows about minimalist, location-independent lifestyle designers living life on their own terms. (And if you did, people would probably argue that they’re completely unrealistic.)

Commercials sell us products to help us escape from The Way Things Are. We deserve that big SUV with dual heat zones and seat-back DVD players because nothing else in our lives is going right, and the least we can do is give little Johnny the comfort of knowing we’re keeping up with the Joneses. (The money we put towards that SUV could fund part of little Johnny’s college education, but what matters is pleasing Johnny, and ourselves, N-O-W.) We need energy drinks because we’re exhausted after 8 hours at a desk and only have an evening of drudgery to follow, and it’s easier to guzzle a little bottle of something than find a lifestyle that actually energizes us.

We’re inundated with ways to work around The Way Things Are, to distract ourselves from The Way Things Are, to make The Way Things Are a little easier to live with. But The Way Things Are, in itself, is considered a given. And if everyone around you is operating under the notion the earth is flat, you have no reason to stop and wonder if it’s not. You just go on living the best little flat life you think you can.

 

What You Don’t Know

What you don’t know could turn everything upside down.

Did you know it’s possible to sell all your stuff, pay down your debt and be free to live literally anywhere you want, at anytime?

Did you know you can visit every single country in the world in 5 years?

Did you know playing it unsafe is a viable option?

It’s time to free yourself from The Way Things Are and instead create The Way Things Ought To Be. (Tweet!) Poke around the blogosphere long enough and you’ll find that more and more people are doing it — real-life, ordinary people who are, in their own ways, rejecting the mass delusion and creating the lives they’ve always wanted. Start reading just a few of their stories. It’s like someone flipping the Technicolor switch after you’ve been watching black and white all your life.

I’m not gonna lie to you. It takes hard work and some serious faith to pursue a life on your own terms. Another reason The Way Things Are has such a stronghold on us is because, shitty and completely miserable as it is, it’s oh so easy to fall in step with it. But you’re always sacrificing something, whichever story you choose to live by. The choose-your-own adventure stories take discipline, hard work and a willingness to stand out and be different. The Way Things Are story takes your soul, your dreams and your day-to-day and long-term happiness.

Guess which sacrifices I believe are the better deal?

It’s your choice. It’s your story. Which road are you going to take?

Image: Eamon Brett / Flickr

You Do You Like a Boss (or a T-Rex)

The Tyrannosaurus Rex was the pimp of the dinosaur world.

He took names, he called the shots, he ruled the show. Which dinosaur got to be the logo for Jurassic Park? Which dinosaur do most kids want to see first at the science museum? Which dinosaur’s name (rex) actually means “king” in Latin?

That’s right: the mother-effing-T-Rex.

Because he is the incarnation of awesome killer monster dinosaur power.

But you know what? If a T-Rex existed today, he’d be lying on a couch in a psychiatrist’s office talking about his feelings of inadequacy despite of all the fame and glory he gets. Why?

Because T-Rexes Have Tiny Little Arms

For all their razor-toothed, huge-headed terrifyingness, the T-Rex has one genealogical (and rather hilarious) flaw: He has stumpy, useless little flaily arms that The Powers That Be had to have included solely for the purposes of amusing irony.

This means that, in addition to being the target of mean playground ridicule, these kings of the dinosaur world have all sorts of things they CAN’T do.

They can’t do pushups:

They can’t give each other high fives:

T-Rex high fives tshirt

 They can’t adorably express how much they love their significant other:

It’s enough to give any dino a complex.

But you don’t read about these things in the history books. Because—aside from the fact that pushups, high fives and relationships did not exist in the dinosaur era—T-Rexes did the one thing they were designed for very well: they killed things, and they killed them dead. They were predators, and they preyed like nobody’s business.

Brontosauruses, on the other hand, were physically stunning dinos—massively large, tall as fuck, and with all four legs perfectly proportioned. They were walking, symmetrical mountains. And they got killed. They got killed dead—by T-Rexes. Because the gimpy little arms didn’t matter, anymore than the Brontos’ impressive heft did.  Brontosauruses were made to eat leafy things.  T-Rexes were made to eat things that eat leafy things.

What’s the Lesson Here, Cordelia?

The lesson is this:

a) I want any and all of the t-shirts above, and will gladly accept them as early Christmas presents; and

b) We are all designed with certain talents, and certain shortcomings.

You can’t compare your skills against someone else’s, because they’re different. All that matters is that you do what you were designed to do—and you do the everloving shit out of it. (Tweet!)

You may hate your social awkwardness, but you can write one mean piece of copy that magically makes total strangers leap to do your bidding. That’s amazing. A million aspiring writers would kill for that talent.

You may not be the prettiest belle at the ball, but you’ve got the snarkiest, sharpest sense of humor of anyone you know—which is exactly what your future prince charming is looking for in his princess.

You may not know how to run a marathon, or juggle, or have any idea what the latest trending meme is on Twitter. But you do what you do like a boss.

And that is all that matters.

 

Image: Flickr

You’re Worth More Than That. Seriously. Stop It.

If you ever start to feel P.O.’ed at the self-obsessed nature of our society (how many pics of other people’s dinners must I be subjected to, Facebook?), you can get a healthy counter-dose of sadness by taking a look at examples of some people’s horrible lack of self-worth.

How? Just peruse some of the big freelance job boards.

It’s not pretty, man. I’ve seen things.

People clambering over each other to snag a gig that pays $5 for a 500-word article, SEO optimized.

Jobs that pay the equivalent of 5 cents an hour and have 46 bids on them.

But the worst — oh, the worst! — are the projects with open bidding, because then you really get to see what people think their skills are worth. From what I’ve gathered, 99% of the freelancers using these sites must owe society a sizeable debt of some kind, because they’re basically giving away their work, with a desperately eager smile.

I know the big free-for-alls like Elance and oDesk seem like the best way for an unproven freelancer to score a gig or two with little experience. But they’re really just an exercise in how low you’re willing to value yourself.  Even the newbiest of newbs has to know that offering to line-edit a 100-page ebook for $20 is doing themselves a disservice.

I’ve unsubscribed from all of the job boards I used to follow, largely because none of the offers I got were worth my time but also because seeing the bids people were putting in depressed the hell out of me. I wanted to send each low bidder a message that said, “Dude, why are you doing this to yourself? I’ll pay you $20 to stop bidding on this crap. I implore you. Think of the children!”

(I don’t know who exactly “the children” are in this case or how they come into this, but I’m sure it doesn’t benefit them, at any rate.)

 

Why We Lowball Ourselves

This is, of course, about more than freelance editing rates. It’s about all of us.

We sell ourselves short regularly, downplaying our skills and accomplishments and eagerly kowtowing to whatever crapportunity is tossed our way, regardless of whether it’s something we really want or something that’s even worthy of us.

We settle, in other words. Sometimes very low.

We take the shitty corporate job that drains our soul because it’s a paycheck and the title looks impressive on our business cards. We figure no one likes their job, so we’re doing pretty well in the grand scheme of things.

We settle for relationships with people who put us down, hold us back or just plain don’t “fit” us right, simply because we want to be in a relationship. We feel more validated being part of a couple, even a miserable one.

We brush aside our dreams, dismiss them as silly hobbies and refuse to imagine they might actually be possible, because we don’t think we’re smart enough/special enough/talented enough to make them happen.  Growing up in “The Real World” has taught us that schlepping and plodding are what people do. It’s only celebs with that uncapturable “it” factor who deserve to live fantastic lives. You know, like Kim Kardashian. Or Snookie.

We volunteer to be unremarkable before we or the world even have a chance to determine what our true worth is.

Why aren’t we more willing to stand up for ourselves?

 

You’re a Glittering, Ass-Kicking Star, Baby

(And If You Tell Yourself Otherwise, I Will Throttle You)*

*For the sake of the effectiveness of this threat, I am a 6′ weightlifting Amazon, not a 5’2” little girl with what my husband affectionately calls “Grover arms.”

I don’t care if you’ve never published anything beyond a poem in your high school anthology. If you’ve got a book in you, fucking write the hell out of it. And don’t write the version of the book you think will “sell,” or I will materialize at your writing desk and smack you roundly upside the head. (Even Grover arms can deliver a good, quality smack. Don’t test me.)

Write the story that wants to be told.  Write the story only you can tell.

I don’t care if you’ve only ever baked things for your nieces’ and nephews’ birthday parties. If your “no big deal” cakes are actually elaborate SpongeBob SquarePants ocean scenes complete with graham cracker sand and a fondant Squidward, then get your ass learning what it takes to open a small business. Because you’ve got real talent.

Timmy isn’t saying you make the coolest cakes ever because he’s a toddler and they think anything is cool. He’s saying it because you’ve got mad skills, and he recognizes.

I don’t care if you have no freelance “experience” and you don’t think anyone will hire you. The kind of experience you need is not a portfolio of shit jobs that demonstrates you have a remarkable capacity to accept insulting pay grades for doing complex, skilled work.

It may take a little longer, but hold out for the good stuff. You have a valuable service to offer, one that takes time and effort to perform, and quality clients will be willing to pay for that.

You have to believe you’re worth it first, or no one else will. (Tweet, tweet!)

Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t introduce yourself to the world as an amateur or a wannabe. Whatever your dream, whatever your talent, go out there and freakin’ own it like you’ve already made it.

People will take note. I guarantee it.

 

Image: Flickr

Are You Chaining Your Elephant?

I bet you don’t know how elephants are trained.

I didn’t, until I read the method in a book recently and was floored. Here’s how it works:

A baby elephant is placed on a chain that is staked to the ground. The chain is substantial, and although baby elephants are not small by any means, they’re also not quite mammoth enough to pull a big chain from the ground.

So, every time the baby elephant tries to roam, or wander, or (more proactively) break the hell free from its restraints, it can’t. It’s stuck. And after enough times of trying and trying and getting nowhere, eventually the little trooper gives up and realizes he’s beat. That chain ain’t lettin’ him get anywhere. So he stops trying.

Fair enough. Seems like a logical conclusion.

But here’s the kicker: When that little pachyderm grows up into a big, hulking, people-crushing adult, it still thinks the chain is stronger than it is.

At this point, it could very easily take an angry running start and yank that puppy clean out of the ground, setting itself free and trampling any trainers, circus-goers or other smaller mammals that try to get in its path.

Just a yank or two. And it’s free.

But it doesn’t even try, because it’s learned that being chained means being trapped. Never mind the size of the chain. It doesn’t even try to break free, because in its (admittedly not mammoth-sized) mind, “chain = stuck.”

If it tried? It would pleasantly surprised.

But it doesn’t. And it won’t. Because elephants, as they say, never forget.

 

You Are Not an Elephant

This whole training process seems ludicrous, right? (And more than a little sad?)

I mean, this big, wild, super-strong animal is held captive by a tiny little chain simply because it’s been trained to believe the chain is stronger than it is. It’s the equivalent of you being fixed to one spot in your yard by a rope of Silly String, because someone when you were 5 once told you, “That thing will hold you in place, no matter what.”

Except, it’s not so ludicrous.

Because every day, we’re held in place by equally flimsy chains, courtesy of negative training much like our floppy-eared friends.

We don’t bother trying for that dream or that position or that gorgeous guy or girl, because we know we’re not good enough. We’ve been told so. We’ve failed before. Failure seems to be our thing, so why bother?

We’re glued to our miserable cubes for 40 hour a week because we don’t see anyone else trying to break free, so we assume it can’t be done. There must be no other options. This is just The Way Things Are. We learn to deal because that’s what good, well-adjusted grownups appear to do.

We let ourselves be bound and limited by fears, anxieties, insecurities, anger we’ve been holding onto all our lives, because they’ve become internal narratives we don’t even realize we’re telling ourselves. Like subliminal messages, they influence us without our even realizing it, and we never think to fight back because we don’t realize there’s anything to fight against.

The trainers have got us.

Whether it’s our own inner hang-ups, cultural expectations or bad things that have happened in the past, we tend to operate in the same tiny little patch of life, never imagining it’s possible to move further, let alone that we have it in us to do so.

But we do. More than we may realize.

 

 Break Free

We have in us the potential for infinite progression.

When we were little, we were wise to this. We knew we could become astronauts, or doctors, or prima ballerinas because we saw the world for what it was: a playground of possibilities just waiting for us to start experimenting with our options.

So we experimented. We tried a million different things and learned about ourselves and didn’t let grownup silliness limit us because the adults were still letting us have our fun before “reality” hit.

But as we got older, we got the chain training. We learned the parameters of what could and could not be done– what was acceptable, what was expected, how to operate within the confines of the world as it had been parceled and boundaried out for us.

We learned to fit in — to boxes, to predefined expectations, to our own biases about our faults and weaknesses, to what “the average person” did in “the real world.”

Except the real world has always been much bigger than we’ll ever be able to explore, and none of us is as small as we’re led to believe “the average person” is. We just stop seeing that after enough training to respect the chain, no questions please.

 

Well, Fuck That. Fuck It Hard

You are a mammoth, people-crushing ball of possibilities, and you have the power to roam wheresoever the hell you choose in this great adventure called life.

Are you really going to keep puttering around your same little circle, thanking life for the peanuts it throws you while you’re one good lunge away from infinite possibilities?

I don’t think you should. Because you know the secret now. You know the chain has no power except the power you give it in your mind.  (Tweet, tweet!)

And once you know that? It’s awful hard to keep respecting the chain.

What’s keeping you bound to the same tiny circles? What can you do to break free?

 

Image:  Flickr

Never Feel Guilty for Following Your Dreams

A while back, A.J. O’Connell left a comment on a post (“The Way Things Are Isn’t The Way Things Have to Be”) that really got me thinking. She wrote:

“I still feel like since my comrades at the newspaper (and most people I know and love) are trudging along, meeting society’s expectations and suffering for it, so sometimes I feel like I’m not carrying my fair share.”

Her words struck me because this is something I’d secretly been feeling, too, but I didn’t fully realize it until she pointed it out.

When I tell people my plan to quit my job, the response I most dread hearing isn’t “You’re crazy” or “That’s impossible.” (I’m perfectly fine with those responses, because I know they’re entirely mistaken.) The response I dread hearing is “Well, wouldn’t that be nice?”

I hate, hate, HATE that phrase.

First and foremost, because it’s a form of the completely unattractive woe-is-me-ing I can’t stand hearing other people say. If you’re unhappy with something, change it. If it can’t be changed, learn to deal. Complaining and resenting do nothing but make you and everyone around you miserable. Rant concluded. Proceed with normal post.

I also hate that phrase because it makes me feel selfish for not trudging along with everyone else. It implies I’m trying to get away with something that isn’t fair, that I think I’m better than everyone else, or that I’m somehow harming other people by following my dreams. I’m not, I don’t, and I’m not, but that phrase still leaves me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut.

It’s funny (or really, kind of sad) how thoroughly one person’s bitterness can undercut you.

 

Bad Vibes, Deconstructed

Guilt-trippers, like naysayers, are 100% worthless and to be ignored at all costs. But this particular guilt trip is tough for me to shake off because I’ve had similar guilty thoughts of my own since making my decision to escape the 9-to-5.

If you’re trying to do anything that’s a little out of the ordinary — or that other people secretly wish they could do too (but aren’t) — chances are you’ve felt some pangs of guilt yourself.

The good news is, you’ve got nothing to feel guilty about. The “wouldn’t that be nice” jab (like any other weapon in the guilt-tripper’s or naysayer’s arsenal) is faulty to the Nth. Let’s take a look at how well it really holds up:

 

Guilt Inducer #1: You’re trying to get away with something that isn’t fair

It’s unfair if you follow your dreams, and someone else follows their dreams, and you both put in the same amount of work and faith and passion… but in the end, you achieve your dream by some random fluke of luck and the other person fails by another, crappier fluke. (Not your fault, incidentally, but still universally unfair crappy.)

It’s unfair if you steal someone else’s dream away from them, cheat them out of their dream, or if your dream somehow infringes on the achievement of theirs. (Your fault, and also crappy.)

It’s unfair if you can only achieve your dream by hurting, lying to, stealing from, or taking advantage of someone else. (Your fault again. And shame on you!)

If someone else isn’t following their dream and you are following yours, that’s not unfair. That’s their fault for not following their dream.  (And don’t let them start telling you all the reasons why they’re not going after what they want. They’re not. End of argument.)

 

Guilt Inducer #2: You think you’re better than everyone else

The truth is, we’re all way too good for a subpar existence, and we all deserve better. But you can’t live anyone else’s life for them. You can try to motivate, or inspire, or give helpful pushes, but in the end, yours is the only dream you can bring into existence.

Downplaying your own dreams to make someone else feel better about not following theirs is stupid. (Tweet, tweet!) Sorry to be mean, but that’s the brutal truth.

You owe it to yourself and the world to live the best life you can. Period.

 

Guilt Inducer #3: You’re somehow harming other people by following your dreams

There’s nothing “take one for the team” about trudging along just because everyone else is.

We have to live our own lives the best way we can, and there’s nothing noble or self-sacrificing about resigning yourself to being miserable just because everyone else is doing it.  If anything, you owe it to those around you to go for your dreams just to prove it can be done.

Would I have locked step with the office drone lifestyle if I’d known, out of college, that it was completely feasible to live a minimalist, location-independent life and spend my days sitting in coffee shops writing things and being awesome? Hell to the Yes. But I didn’t even know such a lifestyle existed, let alone that it was possible. All I saw were people locking step, so I did the same, even though I felt kind of icky even as I was doing it. Had I found back then one fraction of the bloggers I currently follow, things could have been so very different.

There will always be people content to trudge along for a paycheck and live their lives quietly or desperately on the weekends. You’re not depriving the world of anything it won’t miss by being one rogue out of the horde of mindless drones. If anything, you owe it to people to show them there’s an alternative.

 

So, What Do You Say?

The next time someone throws the “wouldn’t that be nice” grenade your way — explicitly or implicitly — what do you do? How do you handle it?

I, for one, aim simply to nod, as Zen guru-like as possible, and say, “Yes, I think it would be.” And then I will go along and keep striving for what I am striving for.

Hopefully, the person will start to think I might be on to something.

*Cordelia postscript: Having made my impossible dream happen, I can tell you from experience that it is quite nice. 🙂

What guilt-trips have you been letting get you down, and how will you punch them squarely in the gut? Share your triumphs and tribulations in the comments!

Image: Flickr