India - Finding Space

Varanasi, India April 1, 2017

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There's a massive shift in thought processes that comes when you allow yourself to live for a purpose outside of making a living. When you remove the obsessive focus of 8:00 am meetings, proper attire, to do lists, deadlines, dinners, and happy hours... suddenly you have an immense amount of space surrounding you. Open space that can allow your mind to venture in directions outside of that typical "work" focus. By cleansing my plate of all of the distractions of my routine life; my requirements at work, desire to climb the corporate ladder and advance my career, goals to increase my net worth or take vacations - when I cleanse my plate of all of those desires - suddenly I have room to actually sit. And think. Reflect.

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And I never would have been one to say before that a key to better focus, deeper reflections, and uncovering your creative source would be to just... stop. Stop all the thinking, stop all the doing, stop all the to do lists and check boxes. This year was the first year in probably a decade where my goals were focused nothing around a tangible advancement. I did not write down a particular dollar amount I wanted to save or earn, a particular growth rate I wanted to see in my IRAs; I didn't write down a precise plan on how to execute goals for work, nor did I even write down the places I wanted to travel. This year my goals list consisted heavily of self work. Simply on being conscious of each moment. On improvement of personality characteristics, creating consistent awareness of my mind, deepening levels of appreciation. -

It's when you eliminate all of the distractions that you've created yourself - FOR yourself - your entire life - then you can really focus on within. You can really allow your reflections to come out. -

I'm not a hippie and I'm not an advocate for a nomadic free spirit life of no goals and no direction. But everybody preaches about balance and seeks this balance through work life, friends, exercise, and even religion. But with a constant feeding in your mind of the expectations at work, social habits of friends, internal comparisons of fitness, and the overlying umbrella of religious expectations - who is really taking the time to silence the expectation and reflect. Because deep in the back of your mind, even within those moments of reflections you are still clinging to this ideology of meeting some standard... at work... with friends... in religion... -

We are nearly six months into travel and my deepest internal reflections are just bravely surfacing. If you want to change something in your life, if you want to challenge yourself, if you want to learn something, to grow, to deepen your thinking, open your mind, and release your creative palate - stop. Stop all of the habit you're living in and push yourself to experience change. -

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-AS @travelingsnow


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