“Quando todos os dias ficam iguais é porque as pessoas deixaram de perceber as coisas boas que aparecem em suas vidas sempre que o sol cruza o céu.” –Paulo Coelho, O Alquimista
“When each day is the same as the next, it is because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”
For better or worse, my most recent read, The Alchemist, fueled my ambitions and travel bug. As an impressionable recent college graduate, I found the story of the wanderlust shepherd chasing his dreams to be both the push and reminder I needed to get out there and actively pursue my goals.
Top 3 lessons learned from The Alchemist:
- Follow your dreams and do what you love– If you don’t, you’re only cheating yourself from seeing and experiencing the world as you imagine it.
- Don’t underestimate yourself– Comfort zones are meant to be challenged. If you’re not reaching beyond your (already established) abilities, you’re cutting yourself short of what you could be and do. Put your mind to it and you can do virtually anything.
- Find what makes you happy and hold on to it– Be or become aware of your likes and interests. Get to know yourself. More than likely, this requires reflection and careful attention to your words, actions and thoughts.
Although the story emphasizes travel as it takes you on an adventure across countries and different cultures, it also underlines career paths and professional endeavors. Not so coincidently, I’m at a crossroad with the two.
Traveling and getting a job are priorities in my life right now. In an attempt to combine the two (since getting a job abroad proved more difficult than anticipated), I’ve been searching, applying and interviewing for what seems like a zillion positions while planning my current trip to Uruguay and Argentina. It’s called balance, right? Or maybe, “treat yourself!” Either way, the end result is what matters: I’m making it happen.
Does it concern me that I don’t have a job secured for when I return to the States? Yes. Absolutely. That said, nearly every person I know has encouraged me to take advantage of this rare time or “limbo” stage to go travel. I’ve considered this trip a graduation present to myself, but the fact of the matter is I’m simply ceasing this moment of ‘no strings attached,’ ‘no obligations’ and ‘no school.’
What it boils down to for me is this: don’t be afraid to do what you love, even if it means going against the grains of society. In an attempt to keep myself accountable to my words and my goals, I’m writing some of my top goals for 2017 below.
1. Write a blog post every month
2. Find and participate in volunteer opportunities where I can use my Spanish
3. Study, write, read or speak in a different language every week
With that, a happy 2017 to all! Please feel free to comment your goals for 2017 to stay accountable and inspire others to achieve more, too.
More to come on Uruguay and Argentina!