The past 12 months have been crazy. I’ve quit my job; travelled more than I ever have before; worked with some exciting, ambitious clients and also began building my own startup.

It’s not all been plain sailing. There have been some tough times. But throughout I’ve tried to remain focused on enjoying the journey. After all, life is something to be enjoyed.

The below five lessons have helped me to enjoy the ride in both the good times and not so good times.

 

Love What You Do

I love the work I do. I feel lucky every day to be able to get up and do what I do.

“Work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”  – Steve Jobs

At my old job, I didn’t love the work. Worse than that, I took little pride in the work I was doing. It felt unfulfilling.

Finding something I’m passionate about and being able to pursue it as a career feels great and has allowed me to maximise the amount of time I’m truly enjoying myself each day.

Even when things aren’t going to plan or I have to complete a load of tasks I don’t enjoy (more on that below), the fact that I can spend a large percentage of my time doing something I love is amazing and gets me through the more mundane tasks.

 

Be Thankful

When things have been a bit pants (no work coming in, money worries), being grateful for what I have has been an amazing tool to stay positive and focused.

I don’t have a list of things I’m grateful for, I don’t write down everything I appreciate, but every day I try to think about how lucky I am and be thankful for what I have.

When you sit back and think about everything you have to be grateful for you realise just how awesome it is to be alive.

 

Focus on Now

Before I left my old job, I had ambitions to be my own boss, build a startup and enjoy freedom from the constraints of an office.

At this time, I was always focused on the future: what I could do once I’d left my job and I think this was a key factor in making me unhappy both in and out of work.

Studies have shown we’re happier when we’re lost in the moment and the more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.

We’re surrounded by stories of others successes and it’s easy to get caught up in wanting instant success or focusing purely on the end goal.

Over the last year I’ve tried to focus myself more on what I can do right now (or today) to work towards my goals, rather than focusing purely on long-term ambitions.

I still have long term-goals and ambitions, but I need to focus daily on breaking them down into smaller steps to move forward.

Every morning I ask myself: “What can I do today to work towards [insert goal]?”

 

Choose to Enjoy the Moment

I have tasks I don’t enjoy. I’m sure we all do.

Me? I hate email. There are times I’ve left a number emails in my inbox unanswered or let interesting conversations go stagnant due to slow replies.

With the daily tasks I don’t enjoy, I try to associate positivity with them and have started to train myself to enjoy the moment.

For example: Instead of looking at email as a pain, I try look at it as an opportunity for great conversation or be thankful that someone has bothered to reach out to me.

If people like Gary Vaynerchuck, Joel Gascoigne and Noah Kagan can stay on top of email, there’s no reason I can’t. And there’s no reason I shouldn’t enjoy it, either.

 

Take Time Out

This past year, I’ve also had far more free time to spend doing the things I love outside of work, too. Basically, I stopped being “busy”.

This has lead to a happier, more productive lifestyle.

I used to work all day and night and I feel this approach is actually counterproductive. Escaping my desk helps me to clear my mind, boosts creativity and helps me to feel refreshed every day.

 

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

Get my best content on startups, growth
and travel directly to your inbox: