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Part 1: I am following my dreams. Are you?

Today, I’m writing this post from a coworking place in Berlin, will probably edit this article in Bulgaria and if everything works out I will finally publish it next week in Spain (Trip to Spain has been canceled). In the meantime I have held a TEDx Talk at the American University in Bulgaria about exactly that topic “The Importance Of Following Your Dreams.”

A lot of people think it is amazing that I live how I live and don´t really understand why I do what I do. Elder ones because they think “what do you know about the possibility to follow your dreams, life is hard and you need to look to get around” and younger ones who grew up in a surrounding where it was important to be successful and not to talk about dreams. What they have in common is that they think, that I´m lucky that I can live the way I do, but they don´t consider that they would be able to follow their dreams.

I was born in Mallorca in Spain and my parents got separated when I was 4 years old. It wasn´t always that funny because we were short of money and as my mom is German we moved near Salzburg when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t an easy time, I was able to speak and to read German but I wasn´t able to write it. I hated it so much and rebel as I was I got kicked out of school but I took it as an opportunity  So I went to a boarding school, finished school and then moved as far away as possible. I moved to Australia and worked in Marketing and Logistics. I had a great time in down under. I was 18 and living far away from home and trying to figure out what life is all about!8387633969_d8003f4509

With my newly earned freedom I felt like a rockstar. Worked hard and partied hard! I bought myself a nice car to explore the region with on the weekends. Regular trips to the sunshine and gold coast, byron bay, moreton island and fraser island were my weekend activities. After a few months it was time for a longer holiday. Grabbed all my belongings packed my car and made my way up the coast. Saw and experienced incredible places, met awesome locals and foreigners and got to know myself a bit better while driving alone on the more or less empty country roads of Australia. In the town of 1770, during a morning stroll a snake twined around my ankle, at the whitsundays my bed was infested by bedbugs and I was surrounded by a 10 foot tiger shark while snorkeling. And since all good things come by three in Sydney my drink got spiked, I got robbed and hit by car.

There I was, in a city that I didn’t know, all alone. To make a long story short, it was a hit and run, I was left on the street unconscious, somehow after a few minutes I recovered consciousness, limbed down the street, stopped a cab, drove to hospital and spent over a week in there.

My wrist was smashed and my whole left side numb. I was in a wheel chair for a while and because I couldn’t work anymore and my relationship ended the day I got out of hospital I returned to Europe. It took me two years to realize what happened at the end of 2008. When you are in an accident, everything goes by so fast that you have no time to think. You just act! And this time I was in constant movement, I started to study, I travelled a lot, I was busy all the time – but I did not think about my life – I just lived and it was certainly fun – but it was a way of running away, making sure that you are busy so you don´t have to think.

About two years later my last relationship ended. And that was the moment, when I sat down and wrote my ultimate bucket list of things I want to do in life. For the first time I actually thought about my dreams, I was bored and disillusioned, I was studying in the Netherlands and didn’t like it and was trying to escape the pain of a broken heart and then suddenly all the stuff from the accident struck me. My whole life played in front of my eyes like a movie. The countries and places I lived in and been to, the people I met, the accident and what a lucky guy I was, that I was still alive after that night.

So I sat down, with a pen and paper and while all my friends were out partying, I thought about my life. One thing I quickly realized is that I didn’t really have a dream of what I wanted to do. I was more or less only functioning. Back then I thought that the only thing I’m really passionate about was traveling. By the time I turned 20 I had already seen more than 30 countries, founded 3 more or less successful businesses but I wasn’t really happy.

I realized that I was following the status quo. I was doing things I had to do because they were expected from me. I didn’t want to do them. I didn’t like them. They restricted me. They restricted me in my creativity. That night my blog was born and with the blog the promise that I would go out and explore and do the things I love. And I love to travel, I love it to meet people, to explore countries.

There is nothing worse than doing a work you hate. Time doesn´t pass by and 5 minutes feel like an hour and an hour feels like a day. Who doesn’t know this feeling? I’ve done jobs that felt like this. Today I want to stop the time. It is so much fun to do all those things that I sometimes wish my days would have 48 hours and I wouldn’t need to sleep. This only happens if you are really passionate about something and love what you are doing.

Don’t get me wrong, following your dreams doesn´t mean that every minute is full of fun and happiness. It is hard doing what you want. Especially in the beginning it is hard to go your way. People think you are crazy. You inspire some and you antagonize others because you don’t fit in their way of looking at things.

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To follow your dreams takes a lot of courage. Working online in times of social media isn’t always easy; some people have taken it on themselves to criticize everything that has been created. Therefore everybody who has the courage to actually DO something and pursue their dreams should get a medal. If you fail, it’s not a bad thing. You will realize that failure is part of the success. What is bad are all the people that criticized it without having the courage of doing it themselves and only opened their mouths to criticize.

I realize how long this post is becoming… stay tuned for post numero two! Arrived in Bulgaria, it’s warm here!

In the last years I’ve been reading many books and watched some movies/series that helped me to identify and define my dreams: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho  The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life by Srikumar S. Rao The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide: The Inner Path to Finding Your Work in the World by Rick Jarow (expensive but worth the money)  The Secret (Extended Edition) by Rhonda Byrne

What about you, what are your dreams and when are you fulfilling your dreams? If you have some time, I’d love to hear more in the comments!

Photos by: suendercafe & Wickerfurniture
Sebastian Canaves
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