Kelli Cooper is the creator of Live Life Made to Order, a Coach, Freelance Writer Deluxe, and the love of my life. She’s part of the dynamic, island hopping duo and I’m honored that she’s sharing her thoughts with us today, as she’s had more to do with my rapid success than any person….without further delay…
First off, I have to thank my wonderful fiancé for allowing me to write a post on his blog. It was his idea actually, and that meant a lot to me, because I know how protective he is of his brand. If he thought my writing sucked, or I had nothing of value to say, he wouldn’t have asked me, simple as that. And had I asked him, he would have found a diplomatic way to squash the request without a doubt. So, again, thanks Ryan for giving me an opportunity to connect with your awesome community.
If you have been following Ryan’s blog, then you already know about what type of life I live because I have been right alongside him every step of the way. We are ‘digital nomads’ as the kids are calling it these days, and we have been living this life since May 2011.
Passion for Travel
My passion for travel is only matched by my passion for personal development. I guess you would say I am a very growth-oriented person, and this has helped me create a life I never thought possible at one point, and helped me transform into a person I never thought I could be. And my purpose in writing this post is to let you know you can do the same. That no matter what your life may be like now, it can be different. That no matter what it is you want, you are a powerful creator who can bring it into existence. That your only limits are beliefs that are not serving you.
Before I lived the life I have now, I wasn’t doing anything special. My life was not terrible by any means, but it was not really what I wanted. I wasn’t super negative or pessimistic, but I certainly didn’t have high hopes for my existence. I suffered from anxiety and depression, and had many bouts of severe financial troubles.
But, there was always that desire within to change and be better, and once I finally honored it, I began to expose myself to new ways of thinking and being.I realized that if I changed how I thought, I could change my whole world. How we think and what we believe forms the core of our experience, and if we are willing to tweak things, we can make amazing strides.
So, I would like to share with you what helped me move from a life I didn’t want to the exact one I did. A life spent earning money online, and traveling wherever I want for as long as I want. I know if you take this advice to heart, you too can create whatever life it is you want, whether it is to travel, build a successful home business so you can spend more time with your family, or just simply create the means to live life on your own terms.
Got Clear on What I Wanted and Why
Do you know one of the reasons most people don’t have what they want? They have no freaking idea what it actually is. We kind of have vague ideas, like wanting to be happier, having a better job, finding a healthy, loving relationship, fulfillment,etc.. But, there is no meat behind these surface, generic longings.
But, we sure as hell know what we don’t want and what we don’t like, and we are all too happy to bitch and moan to anyone who will listen. We put so much focus on the crap, and guess what happens when we do that? We get more of the same. There is a lot of power in where we choose to focus our attention. What we focus on expands, so you need to figure out what it is you do want and start putting your energy towards that.
By knowing what we don’t want, what we do is pretty much implied, but again, what we focus on expands, so this is not the tack we want to take to make things better. Use what you don’t want as a springboard for figuring out what you do.
Most people really don’t do this to any real degree. We may have gotten caught up in a life we never wanted, and now feel it is too late. Plus, we were taught what we ‘should’ want by others, and adopted these desires as our own without every really questioning it. We may have wanted something better at some point, but got off track, never to go back.
Regardless of how you ended up where you are now, you can always shift course. Really think about what it is you want. I mean really want, not what you think you can have based on what your life is like now. What is happening now, and what has happened in the past, is completely irrelevant to what the future can be like.
How to Live Your Dreams
Be willing to let go of the disempowering stories that have held you back all this time. When I first did this exercise, there was nothing about my life at the time that would have suggested what I wanted was possible in a million years, but I wrote out that list without holding back. Years later, I found it, and every single thing had come to pass. There is immense power in clarity.
And once you figure out what it is you want, you need to clearly define why you want these things. Without a strong why, you’ll never do what it takes. You’ll get off track and will give up at the first sign of bumps in the road. You’ll gravitate back towards your comfort zone no matter how unhappy you are there. Write down all the things you want, and why you want them. Then look at that list of ‘whys’ and ask yourself why you want those things, and then those things. This exercise helps you hit the root of your desire, and your core values.
When you get clear on what you want, and why you want it, it is easier to move forward. You’ll have a much clearer sense of what you need to do, and you’ll feel more confident making decisions that will support your goals. The criticisms and judgments of others will sting less because you know you are doing what is right for you, and that insecure part of yourself that responds to all that crap will continue to shrink. You’ll get more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and this is crucial.
Gave Myself Permission to Be Awesome
One of the biggest reasons most people are stuck in a life they really don’t want is because they don’t give themselves permission to go after something better. There are often issues of deserving at play here. We think things like ‘who am I to want something better?’ and ‘what makes me so special that I should have all these great things?’ We may think of things we have done in the past, things that were ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ and feel like we don’t have a right to be happy.
Then there is this idea of just settling for good enough and feeling like it is asking too much to want more. Don’t get me wrong—I think it is very important to show gratitude and have appreciation for all the good things in our life. It is important to be grateful to have been born into circumstances where we have the luxury to focus on what we want, and not just worry about mere survival. It is important to appreciate your spouse, children and all the other things in your life that bring you joy.
But, you can still want more..it is okay to want more. Don’t tell yourself that you should just be happy with what you have if there are other things you would like to have in your experience. That doesn’t make you an ungrateful tool, selfish or any of the other bad things you think this makes you.
There is something very powerful about giving yourself the green light to pursue a better life for yourself. It sets intentions, and intentions are very powerful for setting all sorts of events in motion on an energetic level.
Studied the Law of Attraction
There is so much misunderstanding of what law of attraction is really about, and it’s a shame because it turns off so many people from exploring it more deeply, and consciously working with a process that can change your life in ways you can’t even imagine. It isn’t about thinking things and making those exact things happen.
It is about attracting situations that match the feelings and beliefs you currently harbor. No matter what it is you want in life, you are after a feeling, and if you can learn to cultivate those feelings now, the things you want, and stuff that is even better, will come into your experience.
This means you can’t bemoan the life you have now, and determine you won’t feel better until things change. You can only attract things to which you are a match, so things will continue to stay the same so long as these more negative beliefs and feelings persist and are predominant.
When you realize how much power your feelings and beliefs wield when it comes to your life experience, you make the awesome realization you have immense control over your reality. The Universe has your back, and can help shape your more desired reality in infinite ways—its machinations are no match for our puny human brains that can only think of like five ways we can get the stuff we want. That is a lot less than infinite, no?
You realize all you need to do is focus on the ‘what’ and leave the good old ‘how’ to this wonderful force. It leads you taking inspired actions that feel good, and not forcing yourself to do things that make you feel like crap out of a sense they are necessary, or because you fear not doing them, will prevent you from getting what you want.
Studying law of attraction lined me up with oodles of freelance writing work with every little effort on my part—I don’t scour job boards all day long, applying to dozens of opportunities. It helped me line up an amazing housesitting job in Fiji. It helped me go from being broker than broke to making more money than I ever had, working only part-time.
If you can cultivate faith in this process, and be okay with not understanding it completely on a logical level, you are golden. It will give you the courage to dream your dreams, and start moving towards what you want even if you can’t see the full picture yet. You have absolutely no idea what people, ideas, situations and what have you will float into your experience. You can’t possibly figure it out, so don’t try.
I could write about law of attraction all day long, but I’ll stop here. Just start studying it..be open. Learn what it is really all about. Trust me…you won’t regret it.
Took Complete Responsibility for My Life and Saw Where I Was Making Excuses
I’ll tell you one thing right now..if you don’t take complete responsibility for your life, and all the results you get, you’re doomed. Blaming things outside of us is really easy and we can make very compelling cases for why things are not our fault, or why we can’t do the things we want to do. Being ‘imperfect’ humans with all sorts of jacked up beliefs, it is understandable why we do this.
But, that doesn’t make it okay, and if we keep buying into lines of thinking that lead us to give our power away, or make excuses for why we aren’t where we want to be yet, we’ll stunt our growth and progress will be a slow, painful crawl.
No matter what happens to us, we always have the power to choose how to perceive the situation and how to respond. That can be a hard pill to swallow, and is not a belief that may have a lot of traction behind it. There is a lot of momentum behind our victim mode line of thinking, and it is easier to keep thinking thoughts that support it, than ones that refute it. But, you need to do this or you’ll forever shortchange yourself.
Be honest with yourself here if things aren’t going as well as you would hope. Where are you abdicating responsibility for your life? Where are you making excuses?
Don’t blame the government or economy for your financial situation. Don’t blame a crappy childhood for the decisions you are making decades later. Stop using kids as the excuse for why you are still struggling to get your blog or online business off the ground–considering most people end up having children at some point in their lives, more likely than not, a majority of the most successful people in any field are parents too.
When we really want something, we make getting it a priority; we take the reins and don’t let things outside of us get in the way.
When we aren’t willing to start taking responsibility and stop making excuses, we best find a way to learn how to be content with how our lives are now, because it isn’t going to get much better than that.
If this part made you a bit angry..good. It means that something I said struck a nerve and there is some truth to it. So, go within and see what is happening. Don’t try to soothe that part of yourself with your usual stories that keep you stuck in this way of being.
This isn’t about beating yourself up for your poor choices, it is about honestly assessing what is happening , how you have contributed, and how you can start turning things around.
So, there you have it. While there are so many other factors that went into creating my dream life, I felt these four were some of the most important because of the strong foundation they set for my ‘work’ in creating my reality. I know it is cliché, but if I did it, you can do it. Yep; I wasn’t anyone special. But I was just willing to let go of beliefs that no longer served me, cultivate a little faith, and act in spite of my discomfort. I hope you enjoyed the post and found some inspirational nuggets you can apply in your own journey.
What are you doing today to live your dreams?
How can you better align yourself with your dream life?
What steps should you take to be happy, now?
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About the Author
Kelli Cooper is a writer, traveler and ‘happiness consultant’ living her life made to order and inspiring others to do the same. If you want more awesomeness in your own life learn more about her coaching services.