Why Thriving Anywhere is Always Possible / by Amy DeRosia

 CC by   Michael Quinn

We all feel tethered by something. But, the real legacy of our lives is in how we work within those limitations and persevere. 

I feel the vacuum, the loneliness, the silence, the dehydration of the soul as people who want desperately to save our constitution, country, and planet still wander the streets without knowing how to say hi to one another.
— Sam Smith

A lot of people turn off emotionally because it's too stressful to care about the problems around us. There is so much to improve about the way our nations and communities are run, injustice happening in the world, and uncertainty in our own lives. Our culture makes it easy to assume the way things are is how they will always be.

The same is true in our cities. Pompous attitudes about the superiority of big city life are common place. But for many of us, it simply doesn't make sense to move away from our family, friends, and jobs to the 10 coolest cities in America without a specific reason and a lot of preparation.

In this digitally connected age, opportunities for influence are more democratized than they've ever been. We don't have to uproot ourselves, wait to be picked, or try to impress the right people. We can create our own platforms and find the people like us out in the world without moving.

We can live interesting lives where we are. Our biggest obstacles are often within ourselves. This often calls for a whole new set of skills.

Cultivating Inner Strength

No revolution in outer things is possible without prior revolution in one’s inner way of being. Whatever change you aspire to...must be preceded by a change in heart.
— I Ching Hexagram 49

The instability in the world requires us to make bold and courageous choices. In order to handle the stress of these risks, we have to learn to be more resilient by cultivating a stronger foundation.

We have to find our own ways to relax and stay in motion. If life gets too complicated, get back to the basics of self care, solitude, and positive relationships. When you feel yourself getting stuck, do something that scares you.

By taking action regularly, you stay empowered. Live your life exactly where you are. Be preparing now for bigger opportunities.

By learning how to move harmoniously between action and rest, you have  the flexibility to stay steady. You can see failure is as an opportunity to learn. Loss helps you grow in detachment and compassion. Mistakes reveal what you can do differently next time.

Be Easy On Yourself

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.
— Japanese proverb

Living a remarkable life is important, but we can't take ourselves too seriously. There are too many funny moments, mistakes, and crazy experiences to not to stop and enjoy it every now and then.

The past two summers I've gone up to Portland, Oregon for a conference for creative, unconventional people called World Domination Summit. They're my tribe. They make me feel normal.

After my first WDS, I came home inspired ready to "dominate the world" with big ideas. A year went by quickly, and I hadn't made much progress on my goals. After beating myself up about not achieving what I had committed to, I decided to be honest with my fellow WDSers about my disappointment. You know what I heard from almost everyone ? "Me too." or "I've been there." Over and over again. What a relief.

I've learned that this is what the creative process feels like a lot of the time. We care so much and disappoint ourselves. But, you still have permission to go after what you desire when you fall short. Be easy on yourself.

Could I have tried harder or made some different choices? Definitely. But, the most important thing seemed to be choosing to keep going.

Sometimes the strength to persevere comes from a weekend of massive dance parties with a bunch of strangers and new friends. We save each other from ourselves and make changing the world a lot more fun together.

Thriving anywhere has a lot more to do with attitude and behavior than physical realities. We all experience hardship. But, those situations can make us better people.

 Like the little acorn in this animated short, don't give up :)