By Amanda Brown
I sit here this morning charting a new course, a new path to travel this summer, as I continue along my Adventure that has changed over time and completely changed my life 16 months ago. The 9-to-5 existence that was once mine is over.
How did I get to this point in my life, you ask?
The scene from “A Beautiful Mind” was what my roommate walked into on that fated day in July 2011 when I decided to rechart my course through life. I listed my strengths, my skills and what I desired for my future. Not having a husband, children, or pets made it easy for me to move forward with my plans – the responsibilities that restrain most were not holding me back. What I wanted – an Adventure of traveling and writing – would allow me to share my experiences and breathe life back into the spirit of those so devastated by the economic downturn, those who could not follow the same path.
STEP 1: Get a big piece of paper and tape it to the wall. Get a box of crayons. Put yourself back into the mindset of when you were a kid. Make lists, draw pictures, dream of what you want…put it on your “wall.”
It took me six months to tidy up my life. I got rid of baggage. I narrowed down my existence into sheer simplicity and took off for my adventure. It wasn’t easy; I just made it look that way. I knew in my heart that what I was running towards was better than anything that I had run from. The naysayers came out in full force, not great things happened to me that could have thrown me off track, but nothing did. I had faith.
STEP 2: Have complete, total, unshakeable belief in yourself. When you do, when you know and believe in yourself, what you are working for will happen. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever give up.”
A few months into my Adventure, I discovered that my original plan needed rethinking. I was now my own boss in charge of my own destiny. When I realized that my business model was not working, I reshaped it to fit the changes that I experienced in the global market. I didn’t waste time: stagnancy was the road to ruin and not a part of my vocabulary.
STEP 3: Use the “splat method.” Throw your idea against the wall and see if it sticks, if not, try something new. DO NOT waste time on something that does not work.
It takes gumption. It takes ability. I discovered during my year of making the least amount of money that I have ever made, that it does not take a huge bank account! My resume is comprised of job-building blocks that got me to this point. A decade ago I couldn’t do what I am doing now unless I had been born an heiress. Now, thanks to technology and globalization, I have embarked on an Adventure around the world as a photographer and writer gathering the material for a children’s book series that I am writing.
To create change in your life, whether large or small, you will have to jump out of that safe space and into the unknown; into a place in life that can be the scariest yet most fulfilling. I have noticed during my travels around the world while on my Adventure that Americans place too much emphasis on worrying about things about which that they shouldn’t waste their energy worrying. That they allow other’s perceptions to hold them back from achieving what they want; yet we are the lucky ones living in a country that is based on freedom, individuality and entrepreneurship.
My advice to you:
R: Rethink your present.
E: Evolve into what you want.
I: Invest the time and effort.
N: Never ever, ever give up!
V: Venture into the unknown.
E: Embrace the change.
N: Nicely, yet with slight narcissism, put yourself first.
T: Tirelessly work towards your goal.
About the Author
Amanda is on the journey of a lifetime circling the world wearing cargo pants by day and evening gowns by night. She loves exploring the cultures, creating breath-taking photography and sharing her experiences – extreme, life-changing and otherwise – through her writings. Someday she’ll return to the States, but for now she has a children’s book series to create and fine art prints to sell. She’s not stopping until she makes it happen! You can follow Amanda on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, her travel blog RSS Feed, subscribe to her monthly newsletter, purchase her art at her store and read about her adventures on her travel blog. To find those links and learn more about Amanda, visit her at http://amandasbigworldadventure.com.