“Define your goals.”
We are often told that we achieve our goals through perfect planning. It should enable us to use our time most efficiently and to work towards our 3- or 5-year goals.
But does perfect planning and seemingly almost complete control over things leave room for personal development? What if we cannot foresee everything or what if something goes wrong? A personal development that you try to manage through maximum planning may turn out to be rather stressful and exhausting.
What if we replaced a little planning by trust? It might sound a bit scary and counterintuitive. But Aline shows how such trust and optimism became much more important on her very exciting journey than any planning.
In short, Aline left her home country after high school, discovered the globe, settled in Bali, had to make many decisions and eventually started her own company. What stands out in all of this is her unbroken confidence and infectious optimism.
So, what makes her being so optimistic?
Dealing with the question
It took me some time, thinking about this question. And I think the answer is a bit surreal but then again makes so much sense.
In the past months, there were quite a few people who noticed my enthusiasm and optimism about life in general (Thank you!). What others found brave, I often found normal or at least not such a big deal. When I see exciting opportunities, I go for them. Honestly, I didn’t think of myself as particularly brave or optimistic until some people shared their views with me. It is interesting, and at times surprising, to see what other people remember about you.
So, where does it come from?
The pattern that I recognized in my life, is that I trust that everything will work out at the end.
The universe always had my back and it will in the future. I simply trust that. Even in the craziest times. I am not saying it’s easy to go through the rough and brave times. But I trust that I have to go through them and that it will be okay at the other side.
By the way: the fact, that the trust is there, does not mean that I am in a position where everything is perfect. I had, have and will have phases where I doubt everything. Also, I have phases where I control, hold on, and cling on the illusions of what I think would make me happy or safe. I just learn to step in early enough and remind myself to trust. That’s where my growth of optimism lies!
It’s a process
A few years back I was not as confident as I am today and I surely want to become a lot more confident as I am now. And I accepted that this is a process. It is a journey I’m very excited to be on. But I’m not lying, it’s also a very scary one. It’s a lifelong learning experience; we’re meant to develop over time.
And if you do not feel as optimistic about life right now, then that’s totally fine. If there was no room to improve, there is no room for growth which would be a lot more concerning. Growth is just a natural need for every single human and it feeds our happiness, confidence and optimism. Through growth, we feel alive.
I just see it as important to be aware of the moments you feel stuck, scared or unhappy… knowing that they will pass eventually.
The “after” of hitting rock bottom
The reason I have this huge trust for life comes from experiencing the rewards that I’m blessed to receive after I go THROUGH the darkest, hardest and most challenging situations I faced in life so far. Have you ever experienced that? The moment you are hitting rock bottom, was also the greatest times of growth?
Why is that? You used to control everything so much to make it okay but that only makes it worse. And then when you feel the lowest, you are finally able to give in, finally, let it be okay. Finally taking a step back. Funny enough, life then takes a surprising GREAT TURN.
But not only that: You’ll feel extremely empowered because you know now: “I am capable to handle also dark times. Dang, …that’s amazing, I’m proud of myself.”
Making these experiences over and over again helped me to gain the trust that eventually everything will be okay.Just that knowledge alone calms me down now and opens up my mind to find opportunities and positive things in dark places.
From food poisoning to genuine new friends
Travelling is as well a huge example of how I gained that trust even more.
The reason I love being on the road so much is that it puts you out of your comfort zone almost daily. Everything is new, your brain gets triggered and challenged a lot. You go beyond your comfort zones many many times. I have never been so open and willing to learn things. With 19 – when I left home – it’s been an intense, and adventurous journey that I never want to miss again.
This one time, I got terribly sick in Vietnam, it was a very bad food poisoning. I was in the middle of nowhere and I stayed with a lovely family that welcomed me first firmly into their home. As soon as I got sick, I had an opportunity to truly become friends with those people who cared for me.
There was no doctor around, the people made their own traditional medicine from the jungle that I came to enjoy and experience. I can remember drinking a glass of extremely bitter juice that was made out of some tropical plants. Eventually, I felt a lot better and a beautiful time followed as the locals warmly opened up their homes for me.
They showed me the way they cook, the way they live, and worked. In such a short amount of time, I felt part of their family rather than a backpacking tourist. I am extremely grateful to have met such great souls being able to live such an authentic life with them.
Like Yin & Yang
I realized where there is a low, there is a high. It is natures law. EVEN IF we can’t recognize it, the good times are there and they will show up as soon as you are ready to see them.
It’s all about through which glasses you want to look through. The negative one that only recognizes what is not working or the glasses that see opportunities for joy, fun, adventure and growth in everything.
People can go through the exact same situation but yet have a COMPLETELY different experience. I am beyond thankful for the travel experiences that transformed me into who I am now.
And on a last note, if you’re making brave decisions and are optimistic, but others do not, remember: Your way of living life doesn’t have to fit into an opinion of another person or society. You live your life on your terms and they do on theirs. Complaining about ‘them’ is a waste of time. Always know that they too are just wearing another pair of glasses, through which they see what they call reality.
Thanks for reading and thank you, Aline, for sharing your story.