Are you looking for the best way to tackle your fears and live your most desired dreams? Then grab a map and start planning your next travel destination. Traveling is the best way to expand your mind beyond what you already know and tap into the potential that is within you.
I left all of my doubts and fears at the door when I decided to travel around the world on a 6-month international performance and service tour with Up with People. I traveled to cities in the USA, Mexico, Bermuda, and Europe, where I had the chance to network with influential leaders from all over the world and deliver over 100 hours of service by volunteering at schools and community organizations.
What surprised me the most was the courage and commitment that I witnessed from world travelers under the age of 30, who were fired up about their future and willing to do what it took to pursue and share this traveling opportunity.
Here are inspirational thoughts from 30 world travelers under 30 who took the leap to live their travel dreams and use their gifts to impact the world:
1. Seize the opportunities. Not just the ones that are in your face and those that are presented to you in a nicely wrapped bow, but watch out for the smaller opportunities that are hiding in between each moment. – Tess Zondervan, Netherlands
2. No matter what your aspirations or interests are, perspective is your most valuable asset. You have to pursue that, regardless of fear or anxiety, because you can’t know the things that are on the other side of them. Step out on faith and travel the world. –Cameron Wright, USA
3. You need to get over your fear of failure if you want to travel. I think ANYONE can travel. It doesn’t have to be scary or a huge commitment. The worst thing that can happen is that you quit your job and have to start over. People make things so serious when they don’t have to be. –Katie Walter, Sweden
4. Prepare yourself for your next adventure by practicing spontaneity. Let’s keep that kid within us who isn’t afraid to try something new. Your inner child is waiting on you to say YES to all the things that your conditioned mind thinks are too irrational. –Charles-Guerin Valtille, France/Belgium
5. The hardest part about trying something new is that you question everything you do before you do it. Stop wondering if you are making the wrong decision and start acknowledging everything that is right in that moment. Be present. –Vicky He, China
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
6. If you want to travel, don’t look at all the roadblocks. Clearly set your intentions, and you will get everything you asked for. You will be better qualified for what you want to do next, and you’ll discover things you didn’t know you were interested in. –Melanie Jean, USA
7. Be very clear about what type of life that you want to live. If you want to experience a different type of life and meet people outside of your social circle, you have to be willing to step beyond what you know now so that you can gain something better later. Traveling around the world is a great way to experience a new type of life. –Ou Lu, China
8. When you surround yourself with the same people, it’s hard to find something new. Stepping beyond your comfort zone allows you to meet people who inspire you in a different way. –Pepa Ul, Germany
9. Don’t get so hung up on hypothetical situations before you execute your plans. You don’t need to overthink everything. Just do it! Traveling can bring you something more than you expected. I think people need to travel in order to find themselves. –Mike Johnsen, USA
10. If you are seeking a career as a credible business professional, you have to be open to new cultures and new ways of operating in order to remain relevant and maintain a sustainable enterprise. Traveling allows you to enhance these relationship-building skills that are crucial to your success. –Jialu Pang, China
11. If you are not finding the answers to what you want to do in life, travel the world! Traveling opens your mind to new experiences. You start to think about things that you would have never thought about before. –Marie Englebert, Belgium
12. Whether you meet individuals who are 10 or 100, everyone has a different experience that can teach you something. When you are traveling, you have a unique opportunity to encounter a teacher everywhere you go. –Sophia Berntzen, Norway
13. Nothing can boost your confidence faster than doing something that you didn’t think you could do. Taking the leap to travel is truly empowering. You can gain back your self-confidence by increasing your understanding of the people around you, becoming a world citizen, and stepping outside of your safe zone. –Paulina Ramos, Mexico
14. If you have a little bit of urge to do something, don’t second-guess yourself. Just do it! Don’t fixate on the money. Your experiences may connect you to the passion and power that is within you, and that discovery is priceless. –Chelsea Henak, USA
15. When you learn about new places and cultures, you learn more about yourself. This is one of the best investments you can make. Most people only invest in education and things that bring temporary satisfaction. Invest in experiences, and you will receive rewards that will enrich you as a person. –Jennifer Brown, Sweden
16. We have been conditioned to follow the rules of society. Now it’s time to follow our hearts. We need to find what sets our soul on fire and pursue that. Amazing things only happen outside of your comfort zone. –Lenize Dos Santos, Cape Verde
17. Don’t be afraid of the challenge zone. Enjoy the challenge zone! Traveling allows you to take on experiences that expand your capacity to stretch yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. If there were no challenges, life would be boring. –Glenn De Kemel, Belgium
18. So often we learn the grammar rules of a foreign language at school, but we are hesitant to use what we learned in real life. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. People will be inspired by your willingness to learn another language, and you may inspire someone else to learn something new. –Margaux de Boeck, Belgium
19. If you think something is impossible, you are just limiting yourself to your safe zone. You have to be willing to invest in yourself outside of a classroom. Traveling exposes you to so many opportunities that will help you learn more about yourself and the world around you. –Timo Bossema, Netherlands
20. You will be surprised by how much you can learn while traveling. You can start learning a different language in one week! Immerse yourself in the language by taking advantage of cultural activities, host-family living, language buddies, and cell-phone apps in order to accelerate your learning. –Roxane Blondel, Belgium
“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – Unknown
21. Traveling can help you become a global instrument. The more you discover about yourself, the more in-touch you are with those around you. You learn how to be the best person that you can by embarking upon different cultural experiences.–Nikki Smith, Philippines
22. If you have a dream, traveling won’t make that dream go away. In fact, the insights you receive while traveling will only magnify your dream if that is something that you truly want to do. –Alexandra Bungum, Denmark
23. Business students often wonder if they should take advantage of more internships or study-abroad opportunities. I think that you should travel as often as you can, whenever you can. The job will always be there. Traveling fosters new ideas and allows you to expand your mind in ways that will heighten your impact in the job market. –Tiki Shou, China
24. Don’t have doubts. Just jump in. It’s not as bad as you think. Traveling is the path to freedom and independence, because it’s up to you to figure out how to manage your money, allocate your time, and develop relationships. If you want to gain the confidence you need to follow your own path in life, travel to a new place alone. –Lauren Reed, USA
25. The more you get out there and just do stuff, the more your comfort zone expands. You will feel like you can do anything. That is the best feeling. Traveling allows you to tap into this feeling and will move you in ways that you never imagined. –Violette Defourt, Belgium
26. Sometimes you think you have to gain access to a certain key in order to gain happiness. When you travel, you realize that happiness is not a key but a puzzle. Each key is a part of the puzzle. Every experience may not give you exactly what you wanted, but it gives you exactly what you needed in order to complete your puzzle. –Xavier Rosales, Mexico
27. Take advantage of opportunities that allow you to do things you have never done before. Every new experience that you take on can be used to propel your future goals. Whether it’s singing or dancing or acting, you need to see the full picture and how everything comes together — that’s with anything in life. –Caity Cecio, USA
28. You have to tap into your creative bones when you travel in order to make the most of situations that come your way. Traveling teaches you how to use your gifts more intentionally in order to achieve certain results and connect with people from all walks of life. –Raymond Mulangu Gieskes, Netherlands
29. Things will work out the way they are supposed to be. Be vulnerable to everything that comes your way. Through vulnerability, you can fall easily, but through vulnerability, you can fall softer. Traveling experiences will show you how to jump in and be vulnerable. –Andrew Erusha, USA
30. Every day you have to choose to say yes to what you are doing, because it may be your last day. What you are doing now may not be your dream job, but look at it as a way of prepping you for something else. Traveling opens your mind to being flexible in your career and taking advantage of the NOW. –Alicen Schade, USA
What do you need in order to make the leap towards your dreams? Have you learned any new skills while traveling? Let me know in the comments section below!
6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed
Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)
How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost
A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.
Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.
Why Problems Overwhelm Us
As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?
Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.
How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.
Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.
Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.
“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie
How to Take Action in the Face of Problems
Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”
In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”
To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:
1. First, I acknowledged the feeling
Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”
Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.
2. Next, I prepared for the worst
We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.
In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.
The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar
3. Lastly, I examined the situation
Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.
I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.
Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.
The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.
Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.
Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.
How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!
8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing
You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.
Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.
With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:
1. Practice Mindfulness
Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.
Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.
2. Stay Physically Active
As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.
You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.
“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman
3. Get Sufficient Sleep
Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.
Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.
4. Develop a New Hobby
Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.
Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.
5. Eat Healthy
Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.
Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.
6. Laugh Your Heart Out
Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.
And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?
7. Try Relaxation Techniques
‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.
Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.
“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy
8. Count Your Blessings
We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.
You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.
There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.
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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)
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