I’m going to start this with an Instagram nugget of information. There are so many amazing and talented people on my Instagram timeline. Yet, studies have shown that looking at photos of other people doing things that you want to do does not, in fact, inspire you. But makes you more depressed. You believe you’re missing out, you believe you’re stuck and you become even more dissatisfied with your surroundings and what you are doing with your time. You can think of this in another way. Seeing what someone is doing and feeling jealous and then later guilty that you aren’t living that life shows YOU what you want to be doing in life. You see someone surfing in Bali? You’re probably keen to travel and try new things. Jealous of someone’s job/promotion? You may be lacking fulfilment within your own. See someone’s new apartment/house and desperately crave it? You could be unhappy with your own surroundings. Instagram photos have a very clever way of tapping into what we feel is missing from our lives and accentuating it whilst perfecting other people’s lives. Instagram is a rose tinted lens. But you can use it to get what you want.
“Instagram takes the parts of Facebook that make people feel depressed and unsatisfied with their lot, such as looking at other people’s photos and friend’s broadcasting how great their lives are, and accentuates them. ” Jessica Winter
Social media makes it so easy to connect with other people and see exactly what they’re doing every minute of every day. This hyper connectivity is both a good and bad thing. On one hand it’s easier to reach out to people make new friends, gain an audience, start a business etc. On the other it can inspire envy. The trick is to let that envy guide you to know what your wants are right now.
Once you know what you want then you can start planning for it. Most things now a days either cost us time or money and a lot of the time, both. So whilst figuring out what you want from life can be as easy as scrolling down your timeline finding out how to get it is not as straightforward. Yet somehow, I have managed to start my journey to fulfilling one of my ‘wants”. I am always jealous of people who post beautiful travel photos. As a result I’ve booked three trips to different countries I’ve never visited before and I’m also moving to Los Angeles in September. Now this has not originated from simple photo envy but a culmination of different things. But there is no doubt in my mind that seeing other people’s travelling photos around ten times a day kept that little though alive at the back of my head that I should be travelling around the world too. I made that little spark of envy into a plan of action so that I could be doing something I really wanted to do.
Once I knew one of the things I really wanted I was able to plan for it and start bringing that into reality. I knew that travelling was expensive, especially when the locations I want to visit are long distance, so I knew that to travel I needed money. For a while I had worked bullshit jobs on minimum wage I kept that up until it drove me to tears and then I decided that it wasn’t worth the pay out. Instead I decided to do something I really enjoyed: Fashion. I ransacked my four wardrobes and pulled out anything I hadn’t worn in the past year. I had experience taking photos for my blog so I did the same with my clothes. I put every single item (over 100) up on Ebay and started the bidding at £2. By the end of the month I had £500 and I donated what didn’t sell to charity. I also set up my own Etsy store where I sell hair accessories – this also gave me a small but steady income which, on a temporal scale, lasted longer than my Ebay endeavours. I saved all of my spare money, I bought nothing for myself for months, I limited my alcohol intake so I wasn’t wasting money on something fleeting. I managed to set up a small business on the side which I love doing and which I will continue to do. More importantly, I had found enough money to travel for a while in the space of 4 short months. I kept my money in the bank until I found the cheapest deals for the places I wanted to go. I recruited my friends and I booked the trips.
One of my all time desires is that I’ve always wanted to live and study in the USA. But I never thought it possible because of their requirements i.e they need SATs not A-Levels and the extortionate tuition expenses. I don’t know if it was luck or fate but my University happened to have a Study Abroad program which I applied for – interviewed for – applied for again and then secured a place at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). I’m just one stepping stone away from living in a different country which is US Visa’s. I’m sorting that out this summer and hopefully all will go without a hitch and I’ll be set to make the move. If you’re looking to live abroad one of the best places to search for opportunities is in your workplace or at University. A lot of companies have connections abroad where you can seek a vacancy and Universities will have partner programs where you can apply to spend a year abroad (as part of your degree or as an additional year!) If you’re looking to travel but you don’t want to make a permanent move somewhere then I’d recommend looking at companies that supply your travel and accommodation and require work in return. Try searching for opportunities a CampAmerica, Intrepid, Contiki, NUCO (snow-sports) Au Pair opportunities, teaching English abroad etc.
Now that I know what I desire most in my life right now (to travel and meet new people and have new experiences) I’ve been able to plan for it and bring it into reality. Making something big happen like huge worldwide trips and a move to a different country takes a little bit of time and is not something that happens overnight or magically falls into place. If you want something or someone, truly and deeply. Then you will make it happen. If you don’t have the time or energy to plan to bring it into fruition then how badly can you really want it? Certainly not as badly as others who do have the time and energy.
I’m proud of myself for having committed the time and energy into bringing something I really wanted into fruition. It is possible and if you don’t do it now, then when? Someday is not a day on the calendar. I cannot wait to enjoy my travels and hopefully move to Los Angeles.
If your goals are not something so easily ‘planned’ for example, say you’re itching for a certain guy/girl to notice you… you want your ex back… you simply want to fall in love again then you aren’t going to achieve that being sat reading my blog. Be daring, be reckless, be brave. Go out somewhere different and say hi to an attractive stranger. Leave your number on a card for the waiter you fancy. Text the person you have a crush on and tell them. Make sure your ex knows you still love them. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You’d get rejected. Hm, fair, that’ll sting for a little while. But, what’s the best that could happen? You’d have the perfect ending and that is worth every risk of rejection in the world.
One day I hope that you are posting the pictures that make others jealous and inspire them to reach for their dreams.
I truly hoped you enjoyed this post, please let me know your thoughts. What do you want most from life right now? What are you going to do to get it?