The other day while sitting at a cliffside cafe in Santorini, Greece overlooking a stunning view of the Aegean Sea, I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m doing everything today that I’ve always wanted to do. It has all come to fruition.” Being able to take my mom around the world and watch her smile and take pictures of the incredible landscape was even better than the view itself. These are the moments that make everything we’ve experienced in life (both good and bad) worthwhile. It’s all about which perspective we choose.
I’ve always wanted two things in life more than anything else: to travel for extensive periods/live on my own terms and to run my own business doing something purposeful and passionate. Today, after many years of work, triumphs, and challenges, I have both. I never put my life on a timeline, I just took it one day at a time. However, what I did know was what I wanted out of my life. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get there, but I did know that I was willing to work as hard as necessary to achieve it. Today, I can’t help but feel immensely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had -both good and bad. The silver linings, the twists and turns; they’ve all served a purpose to bring me to the fulfilling place I am today.
Life can throw us so many curve balls. You may experience adversity and pain that you think you will never recover from, but trust that everything shows up in your life when it should. Almost all of us have had traumatic experiences as children or adults. Whatever adversity, fortune, or lessons you experience can happen in a purposeful order –if you change your perspective. This is not “destiny,” because I believe you can change the trajectory of your life by making different choices, it’s more about trusting your experiences -good or bad- to take you to the next step in your journey.
Too often we’re encouraged to follow some proverbial life schedule, but living “by the book” can limit your dreams, experiences, and opportunities. Leading an extraordinary life almost always involves forging your own path, taking risks, and challenging the status quo. We also must live with deliberation to maximize our efforts. While living in the present is important, living with intention, vision for the future, and an abundant mindset is equally essential. I’ve never believed in limitations or timelines about anything; whether it’s career, marriage or other big life decisions. Whether you’re 25 or 55, you can change careers, fall in love or move to another city. Even having children later or on your own is possible through advanced medical treatments or adoption. The possibilities are endless. I think it’s important to understand that everyone has their own journey, so don’t ever limit yourself or believe it’s “too late” or that you’re too far down another path to pursue what you really want. Every day is a new day to pursue your goals and dreams.
All of life’s events, whether they’re triumphant or tragic, serve a purpose. These events teach us lessons we wouldn’t have known otherwise. They bring us continuous wisdom, empathy, and character. Have you ever met a perfect person? Neither have I, but I’m sure if we met them, they’d be quite uninteresting and uninspiring. Because here’s the thing, all those quirks about yourself that you think are “flawed” give you beautiful character. They make you who you are. Of course, we can all improve on our “flaws” that are negative or don’t serve us, but the lessons learned from those self-defeating flaws also serve as a valuable purpose. So, contrary to popular belief, adversity can make you better, not worse. It’s all about your perspective.
Everything -good or bad- serves a purpose. Whether it’s to bring joy or to bring us a lesson, so we can feel, improve, and become wiser, better versions of ourselves. So, take in all your experiences and adjust your perspective to turn those tough experiences into positive outcomes. Your perspective is what can profoundly turn your life around and change everything.