Who we really are?

The other day I spoke to a friend of mine. About how funny it is that while we travel, go to a festival, or do something we really like, we become who we really are. No faking, no hidden agenda, we just enjoy life. Things become easier and simpler. You’re never gonna waste time speaking to people you don’t actually enjoy talking to while on holiday. Why waste that precious time? So my question is: “Why don’t we consider all of our lives as holidays and stop wasting time on unnecessary things?”

BE FREE: after a festival where my friend felt like she owned the world and nothing else other than music and happiness mattered, she came back to her normal everyday life. Walking around the city and stopping to buy something she had spotted a cute guy. He obviously spotted her as well and they shared a long look and a smile. However, they both went their separate ways even though they were both probably wishing the other person would say something. At least a simple: “Hello”. – If that situation happened while they were at the festival they would end up talking to each other for sure. That doesn’t mean anything would happen, but at least they would give themselves the opportunity to see if something would.

BE OPEN: you’re taking a tram/tube/bus in the city you live in. If someone would start a conversation with you, you’d probably be like: “Dude, what kind of creep starts talking to you on a bus?” You’d probably think he/she is a harasser. But when you travel or go on holidays you meet loads of people at airports, buses and trains. And there seems to be no problem whatsoever to have a conversation or even to become friends. In fact, the guys I’ve shared a room with in Vang Vieng, Laos and then went to travel with to Thailand were people that I met on the bus.

HEAR PEOPLE’S STORIES: you would never have the most honest and purest conversations with people you pass by every single day while getting out of your apartment. However, while traveling you’d share all your personal stories and thoughts with random people you meet on the way. Is it that much easier to talk to someone else’s neighbor than to your own?

DON’T WASTE TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU DON’T ENJOY WASTING TIME WITH: in our lives there are people we have to see every day. People that we’re not particularly fond of. So what most of us do is listen to the people we dislike, smile and nod, while thinking: “Oh God, what an idiot!”, and then once they leave the room, we start rolling our eyes and talking about them behind their back. Why? Are we at gunpoint while talking to that person, or is it just that we want to leave an impression of a nice person even though we couldn’t care less about what he/she is saying? Would you ever do that while on holiday? Definitely not, you don’t have time for that on your precious holiday. So why do it at all?

DON’T JUDGE: don’t talk about others like you’ve already walked in their shoes. There’s a very common phenomenon in society that people tend to practice: talking about everyone’s life rather than talking about their own lives. “Is your life so boring that the only stories you have to tell are one’s of other people?” Why does it happen that what was initially set up as friends having dinner ends up as friends having dinner while discussing the life, decisions and actions of a person that is not present at that table? Firstly, who gives us the right to talk, judge or accuse other people? Secondly, you can never ever know why someone did something until you’ve actually walked a mile in his shoes. Would you be bothered with talking about other people’s lives while traveling? No way. Why should you? You got your own life happening right now!

GET RID OF THE NEGATIVITY: there are people in our lives we like, however, they seem to bring a lot of negative energy. Whether it’s speaking badly about others or just having negative views, they seem to make us feel negative as well. Even though they might be good people and we genuinely like them, it seems to burden us. If you were at a festival and Seth Troxler would start spinning and your mind would enter a state of delirium, would you want someone telling you about all the negative things in the world? No! Definitely not.  You’d probably just walk away because there’s nothing and no one that can come between you and Seth Troxler! Why is that so hard to apply that in everyday life? Why do we keep surrounding ourselves with negativity, instead of avoiding it?

BE HONEST: a lot of people do not say clearly what they think or feel. In order to preserve the “tough guy” image of ourselves we find it better to beat around the bush rather than saying what we really mean. We seem to pretend like there’s nothing wrong, while something is clearly bothering us. We seem to lie to ourselves and try to make ourselves stop feeling what we truly feel. When did honesty get out of fashion? When did hurting ourselves and others become easier than just saying and doing what we really really want? I’m not a 100% sure, but as far as I know, we’ve only got one life. So why can’t we seem to understand how precious our time is, and how wonderfully it could be used, if we would just be clear and honest.

FOCUS ON THE PRESENT RATHER THAN THE FUTURE: we keep on stressing about the future. We keep on thinking about how everything is going to work out and what we are going to do. But the thing is, you can never know what is going to happen. Never ever. And even if you do plan everything perfectly and you’re doing everything to have a future you’ve decided is good for you, things don’t work out the way people imagine them. Which does not mean they are going to work out badly, just differently. So while you’re stressing about the future you’re losing the opportunity to enjoy the present. You are dismissing everything positive that the present could bring to your future. While we’re enjoying ourselves we live one day at a time, one week at a time, and take the most of what we’re given. Why can’t we seem to apply that throughout life?

BE GRATEFUL: how many of us are being truly grateful for what we have? While we’re bitching about the telephone bill or a boring colleague, do we stop for a second to think of all the good things we have? Even though I don’t go to church, a synagogue or a mosque I am thankful for a lot of things. Our minds should be our temples. So when something goes wrong, just stop for a second and think about the good things. It seems as if we’ve stopped taking seconds to see how lucky we are, while spending hours, days and months thinking about how unlucky we are.

BE YOURSELF: the most important thing. Society, whether modern or ancient has created frames. Lifestyle frames, work frames, love frames. There is a zillion of rules to follow and not enough frames to fit in. We’re all different, but we keep on wanting to be something that society would approve of. The thing is, when we are being ourselves things suddenly seem to work out. So accept yourself for who you are, for what your thoughts, desires and intentions are. As long as you’re not hurting others, there is nothing else you should worry about. It’s OK to love a certain kind of music, to believe in certain things, to fall in love with someone even if society does not approve, to dress how you want, to eat and drink what you like, to talk to anyone you wish to. It’s OK to feel all the feelings you feel, as long as you don’t go hurting other people.

The next time you’re in any of these situations, just ask yourself: “What would I do if I was on holiday/festival?” and try to apply that. Life can be a festival, you are allowed to be yourself, the time we have is precious and the world is full of wonders. Why bother with anything else?



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