TRADED THE “RAT RACE” FOR A BACKPACK AND A PLANE TICKET. – DAMIAN HATTINGH

And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” – Randy Komisar.

A fancy car, a good job, a socially acceptable set and stone future laid out for me. Yet every morning society’s marionette would pull me in a direction I knew was simply not for me. I’d hear the ticking of my expiration clock and not help but wonder “what have I even done?”

“Happiness is defined by the house you have , the car you drive, the clothes you wear , the degree you obtain and the money you accumulate in the bank” a concept drilled into our heads constantly. So we grow up with the preconceived idea of what happiness truly is. Until one day we wake up to realization that perhaps we were fooled.

I remember waking up one specific morning knowing I cannot do this anymore; what is “this” you may ask ? I simply cannot live a life where happiness is always one step ahead and no matter what I buy or how much I earn , happiness remains an object or salary bracket ahead. At the time I probably didn’t know much but I knew things needed to change.

So I quit the job I once wanted so badly. I got rid of the car that was meant to bring me happiness and pretty much sold everything I owned. Minimalized my life to the point where everything I owned could fit into a single suitcase. Bought a one way ticket to a destination where I knew no one, had no prior knowledge of and simply left everything with no return date. In a single moment I completely flipped my entire structured world upside down.

I left my comfort zone, my structure and pretty much everything I knew behind. I remember looking out the window of a plane as the place I called home got smaller and smaller until it was finally no longer insight. In such a chaotic moment I found myself over whelmed with the feeling of peace. I had finally done what I knew i wanted to do since a child.

I truly found that as soon as I let go of the wheel and stopped trying to fight and control everything , life has this way of surprising you with adventure and memories, money simply can’t buy .By just embracing the unexpected and unknown, I’ve been lead down paths and to places I could only have dreamt of. Tested myself in ways I never have .Found the strength and courage to do things I probably never would have done a few months prior. Trusted myself in situations where I would previously have trusted others.

I was always someone who thought I needed a set plan. Thought I needed to follow a set schedule, as if I was some modern day robot. Day by day I felt my imagination and dreams start to tether away as i “grew up .I always felt I needed someone else to be happy but through solo travelling I have found immense comfort in my own company.

I realize now happiness had been there the whole time, in me and in the world around me. Happiness is not an inanimate object, happiness is not the size of my house and happiness is not the amount of money I hold in my bank. Happiness is found in one’s self, in the world around us, In the nature we continuously take for granted, happiness is found in the ability to help others, in the ability to love and be loved.

The definition of happiness simply says serve others, including nature and live in harmony with nature, realize your human values and wisdom. When we talk about the human values we talk about love as the foundation of a house of happiness. There are four pillars that hold the roof. Those four pillars are RICH – relationships, integrated/truthfulness, compassion, humanity on top is a roof of trust.”- Dr Saamdu Chetri.

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“I cant wait to grow up” – Damian Hattingh

“The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or response to an event ,or grow, or heal is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment.”

– Jon Kabat Zinn

I find it ironic how when we’re young we want to be old, yet when we’re old we want to be young again? i clearly remember impatiently wishing my teenage years away. Life always seemed so much more appealing the older you got. Infatuated with growing up while neglecting the present moment.

I had the privilege of bumping into a wise elderly man along my journey , we engaged in a long conversation, throughout this conversation he brought up the fact that  unfortunately he had been diagnosed with cancer and being the age he was, which was what looked like between 70 – 80, the probability of him surviving for an extensive period of time, was probably low.

I couldn’t help my self but ask: “knowing what you know now, if you could go back and do it all again ,would you do anything differently ?” Of course i received a long list of things he said he would have done differently, which i was expecting. I’m well aware that over short time periods, people are more likely to regret actions taken and mistakes made, whereas over long time periods, they are more likely to regret actions not taken, such as missed opportunities for love or working too hard and not spending enough time with family.

But there was something he said that truly stood out at me like a sore thumb. He said ;

 “I wish I’d lived more in the moment.”

Which got me thinking, how guilty am i of not living in the moment, not grabbing every moment i can and truly living in , not just existing in it. I think as humans we’re so obsessed with the past and the future ,one of which has already passed and can not be changed and the other isn’t even promised .Yet the time we do have control over, we tend to neglect.

I mean think about it , how many times have you gotten into your vehicle, driven somewhere; be it 10kms or 100kms .You arrive at your destination and haven’t a single clue how you got there , as if you were in auto pilot mode. How many times have you had a meal, ate the entire meal yet when you get to a clean plate, you cant even remember the taste of the meal you just had. We are so busy thinking about irrelevant things; normally regarding your past or future and yet the present moment simply drifts past as if we have unlimited moments to just let them drift away.

 

 

Your mind has the power to be your best friend but your worst enemy at the same time. if you let your mind , your mind will limit you , break you down and simply prevent you from any growth.

Mark Divine, founder of www.navyseals.com and SEALFIT explains that you are capable of at least 20 times more than what you think you are but why is it that most people never reach their goals and dreams? We either allow fear to prevent us or we sit complaining and blame our pasts or futures.

I’m a firm believer in the concept of energy , we often choose to put all our energy into the past or future but had we put the same amount of energy into the present, every moment would be magical, the future would no longer be a problem, we would no longer have to worry about regrets of the past , as we would know we have lived every moment to our fullest.

We are capable of a lot more than what we think we are, we only have a certain amount of time at hand here, LIVE as much as possible while you can! No one is responsible for your time here other than yourself. Put everything into the moment you have now as its all that is truly promised.