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How to find meaning in your life (1 realization for change)

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“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.” -Thomas Carlyle

In April I decided to forgo a planned trip to Europe and instead jumped on a 56-hour train ride back to Michigan. Through the Heartland of the beautiful country, playing witness to the small towns that forged this nation, riding over the Rockies and through the tunnels, sharing meals and passing conversation with travelers – young and old,  I knew I wanted something different for my life.

I knew I needed to find life purpose.

The typical 9-5 dreary mentality was sickening to me, or at least heavy, and a weight I knew deep down I didn’t want to lug around with me for the rest of my life.

I found myself back home with a newly purchased van and an influx of ideas. Some of them were quite unrealistic when thinking back on them, but to be honest, it was those dreams that carried me through. The unorthodox dreams I dared ponder, paired with the foreseeable pain coming from a path of the same old same same old, was enough for me to get to where I needed to be… which is here with you.

For the first few months I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I was living in my van, had a cat, and worked at a coffee shop.

It was great but I felt something was missing. I’ve always loved people and have always wanted to help. I enjoy storytelling and I am passionate about what I believe to be true in life – imagine the ideas a passionate and creative individual can have…

Then, as the wheels were spinning in the quicksand of my mind, I decided the best thing I could do was give up social media and dive even deeper into the land of minimalism – only this time more in thought, rather than material.

I sent away my laptop, deactivated my social media outlets, and began to wander off into nature with the unknown as my destination. Being a passionate individual who happens to love people is a formula for distraction in this society. Social media was something I didn’t know how to manage and it was ruling my life – I wasn’t Master of my domain.

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I need to put meaning back into my life.

I tend to be a bit of an extremist, but the more I age and the experiences I gain, the better I’m able to narrow my focus and dial in the right mindset for the job. I guess I just don’t want anyone else telling my what my limitations are. Let me find those boundaries, and I challenge you to do the same. I am on a path to grow, develop, and share because at the end of the day I don’t see how I can do anything more worthwhile with my time.

While living in the van, I’ve found that adventure is hidden within our very own breath. I used to think that I needed to go places to find adventure but the truth is.. it is here right now knocking at the door and waiting to be let it in. Money will come, it was created by us and rather than letting it swallow my existence, I am choosing to put it to work – slowly but surely.

Meaning and purpose in life comes in many forms.

I still have debt and I am still human – much like the struggles you face on a day to day basis – I face as well. I’ve also found that life is relative in the sense that no person is exempt from the laws of pain and struggle. Every person who has ever walked the face of this Earth has seen struggle, challenges, and personal demons, but the thing that separates all of us is the unique stories we write for ourselves, ultimately guiding and directing our lives to the feelings we feel now, as well as where we’ll take ourselves in the future.

I say to you,

Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.” – Michael Landon

My mission is to simply show you another perspective.

I’d like to show you how life wasn’t intended for you to pay the price, but rather for you to thoroughly enjoy the price. It’s a simple difference in perspective, but one that can lead to a completely different life. The wind blows the same on us all, but the place we end up isn’t a result of the wind – open your sails, direct your focus, and take massive action toward your desired life.

What do you have to lose? Seriously, what do you have to lose? Take a chance on yourself.

Shape your own life meaning.

In parting I’d like to leave you with three words I encourage you to adopt into your current life manuscript: wiser, stronger, better.

When faced with a tough circumstance (and you will be) slow down and ask yourself how you have become wiser, stronger, or better from the decision you made in that moment of time? Don’t dwell. When you are dwelling on past mistakes or missed opportunities, you are convincing yourself that is your destiny. Instead, shape your meaning into one of purpose, growth, and learning – become the miracle of the future!

Written by Dan Osterman

Dan is an aspiring Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. He is a current vandweller living in Marin County, CA, while working as a Barista and writer. Blog: http://www.moderndaymavericks.com/blog

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