Progress from failure is better than the illusion of success

I think we all have a creative side to some degree. However we don’t always put thoughts into action. We can all choose to contribute if we want and after walking past a piece of street art being created it got me thinking about how we choose to live life.

We are all creating art, every single day. The problem is the majority of us contribute to someone else’s artwork most of the time, and this might be our only creative output. Most of us are working for someone. The lucky few will be moderately happy in their daily roles, or simply content. However if I asked everyone I met walking down the busy streets of the CBD if their dream job was different to what they are currently doing, I would guess most would say yes. But a dream job is incredibly difficult to achieve. But it isn’t about getting there. It is about getting as close to it as possible.

Our minds are like a sports car we constantly leave in the garage. It’s capabilities are amazing but rarely does that capability see daylight. And our daily lives are like the speed limits, forcing us to withhold that opportunity and capability and more often than not, never actually realise it.

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Every now and then I will hear a story of a person that has won the lottery and decided to stay in the job they’ve always had. That scares the hell out of me. I mean if someone wants to do that then fair enough, as long as it is a personal choice. But what scares me is that some people might not realise the endless potential being financially free from working for someone else. The freedom to be an individual and contribute with the uniqueness that we all have, all too often shackled and blended with the rest of society. I cannot help but to hear that life clock ticking and our time on earth slowly fading away with each passing day like the grains in a sand timer. And with this knowledge I try to look at my life and see what I can change to make it my life.

Travel is the most obvious one. I quit my job in 2017 as many of you know to travel to the other side of the world. A world away from the cold, rainy streets of the UK to the golden beaches of Australia. I love my country though, I just needed a break from the norm. I left my role as an assistant reception manager, a role I was promoted to after four years with the company. But I did enjoy working there and have enjoyed every job I have had. I have always worked in hotels and I have gained great experiences and opportunities along the way.

Early into the role, my father died. He was in fact in hospital as I was leaving one job for the one mentioned above. It took just three months for my dad to go from perfectly healthy to us planning the funeral. It took us completely off guard and left me numb for the next few years. I believe this is one reason I stayed within my role for so long, but despite the lack of motivation to move on I was becoming increasingly more aware of how fragile and limited life can be.

Life started feeling like one of those video games where the floor is falling all around you. With everyone I have lost growing up, which is quite a few people both young and old, I started to develop anxiety and mild depression which I attended therapy for. The butterflies you get when the roller coaster stops at the peak, waiting to plummet at any moment, I was getting that daily. I felt totally out of control of my life and I had less and less of a grip on the reigns. In fact, there were no reigns.

So I needed a distraction from life. My blog has been great therapy for me as it keeps me active, keeps me distracted from negative thoughts and I write about what I want, when I want. This is a part of my life that I control, and helps me to take back the reigns. I don’t feel like I am floating with no control of where I am, instead I feel now that my feet are firmly on the ground.

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Travel has helped me with this too. I did come here by myself and wondered if that would impact my mental health, but because I am constantly meeting great people along the way it has not been an issue. The travel aspect again is me choosing where to go, when. It is another reminder that I can have some control over my life whilst ensuring I am gaining as many experiences as I can along the way. There have been so many benefits to this decision.

But of course travel isn’t always easy. I still have to work to live. Again, I really enjoy my job and go in everyday with a smile on my face. But ultimately my goal is to keep creative outside of work and follow my passions with an aim of being able to live off those passions instead. Even if this is a very slow process, it is the realisation that today we are closer to it than we were yesterday. And tomorrow that distance will be even shorter.

I have started to notice the little pockets of time that I have wasted so much in my life. The commute to work and back. That is one hour of the day. The queues we wait in for food, or the restrooms at a concert, the elevator, the airport terminal, the hotel check in, the kettle boiling. These one or two minute waits contribute to a hell of a lot of time daily and throughout life. I now spend these waits writing down blog ideas and posts, uploading photos to my posts if I won’t have time for the rest of the day. Thinking of what I can write about next and what is obsessively going through my head that could be put down in blog form. The more I utilize these brief moments that I wasted all to often, the more I see it has had an impact on my blog. I wen’t from having 600 followers in September 2017 to probably 10,000 followers by June. The sooner we realise there is so much time we waste doing nothing, the quicker the progress will be. And we have a lot more free time than we think.

This isn’t all about followers of course. I am just delighted to see that the more hours I spend here, the more people have been enjoying my posts. It has also made me blog a lot more than I did previously, and gives me the motivation to get out there and take more photos and provide more thoughts. It is a very positive cycle keeping me on route.

The more ambitious our goals are means the chances of success are less likely. But it also means our personal development skyrockets. It is much better to aim for a dream job and get half way there than to set a very achievable goal and get 100% there. That’s what I believe anyway. The progress from failure is sometimes so much better than the illusion of success.

We are all artists in one way or another in our daily lives. And the more we create that art for ourselves the more fulfilling our lives will be. The more reasons we have to live and the more we stand out. For me, it is about climbing the ladder I built and having it where I want it, and that motivates me to keep on climbing.

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Featured image by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Commuter image by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

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Cheers!

Sam

Categories: Blog, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , ,

26 Comments

  1. Great piece. I especially liked the bit about you using “free” time to work on your blog and how that ultimately increased your followers. This is a piece of advice I’ll try to use. I often think of what my next blog post could be, tell myself I need to set aside time to write it, and then at the end of the day tell myself I’ll do it tomorrow. By using my little pockets of free time to work on my blog I should definitely be able to put out more posts more frequently.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Kimmy, I am pleased it has been a little bit of motivation for you. By doing little bits and bobs here and there, even if it is starting a draft by adding a title and a photo whilst on a walk to the shops, and keep adding to it, you will have a blog post in no time. And it will be from the time you didn’t even think you would use towards it!

      I wish you all the best on your blog 🙂

      Like

  2. Sam, I really appreciate your perspective on the world. It’s nice to just be able to sit down and read what you’ve got to say. Thanks for sharing. I wish I had the courage to up and move to the other side of the world. You’re a pretty brave soul.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much V, I really appreciate the fact that you are reading. I like to think that I am brave, but for me it was harder to stay in one spot any longer 🙂

      I hope you are having a great week!

      Like

  3. Time is an invisible dimension we humans appear to be bound by. Learning to inhabit each moment with whatever tools we can cultivate is a deeply creative act. Without investing meaning for the context of those moments, I fall into acceptance of my safety zones.That you deliberately chose travel as a way to break the norm, and invite the risk of the unknown into your life, is so inspiring. Thanks for being a thoughtful fellow traveler.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautifully put. I think we all fall into that acceptance of our safety zones but knowing where they are means we know how to leave them. For me, life is all about leaving them if it means we can benefit from it.

      Thank you so much for the comments, I hope you are having a wonderful week.

      Like

    • I am so sorry to hear Carmelle, I am pleased you have found a way to process this and I do feel writing is a great help. I hope you’re okay.

      I also hope you are having a great week, and all the best with your blog 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sadiewolf2014

    Lovely post Sam, and I am sure very inspiring to many people, as well as particularly helpful to people with anxiety who may feel they are not able to do things like this. My son is around the same age as you I think- 29, 30 in September. He has had severe anxiety for years, barely able to get on a bus or go in a car, let alone a plane. He recently got back from New York where he had his art in an exhibition and pronounced that flying was ‘easy’ after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really appreciate your kind words here, and I do hope it is a help to some people who feel the same way. I am really pleased to hear your son enjoyed flying, and that his art was in an exhibition in NY! Great achievement!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. friendswithirony

    I loved reading this. It’s really heartwarming to read about how traveling helps you regain a little bit of control over your life because you are the one making plans for yourself, and not anyone else in that moment. That is also an important form of self care.
    Thank you also for mentioning how much time we usually dedicate to waiting for certain events to happen. This time is a valuable asset that we could use in order to educate ourselves on the things that we REALLY are passionate about or want to pursue aside from our jobs. Implementing more creative time into my day when I have downtime is what I want to do from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a touching, thoughtful, thought-provoking, heart-breaking, yet inspiring post, Sam. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to so many of your feelings and what you’ve gone through.

    I’m so sorry that you lost your father and many other loved ones at your young age. Between 2017-2018, my husband and I both got laid off. We lost two geriatric dogs (who were essentially our kids) and much worse I lost my father – a quietly remarkable person who I adored – after he battled a terrible illness. It wrecked me in a way and – along with other factors – required that I hit a giant reset button in my life. My father’s illness and passing were what ultimately prompted me to pursue my long pent-up desire to really travel, and became my means of processing my grief and beginning the healing. Admittedly it was an escape, but my four-month tour of the western U.S. last year made me a calmer person. I genuinely believe spending so much time seeing new places – primarily natural spaces – helped me to acquire a greater personal peace than I’ve felt in perhaps my entire life.

    In spite of the financial setback, I am thankful for the flexibility I’ve had the past two years of self-employment (for a spell unemployment). I would not trade the time got to spend with my Dad (and Mom) for anything. Over the past year I have experienced emotional recovery and personal growth, but getting back into a “normal” life has not been easy. My husband and I are still struggling finding a new place to land and jobs that are more fulfilling and less monotonous. But as you said, it isn’t about getting your dream job, but “It is about getting as close to it as possible”. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Marsi, I appreciate your thoughts here on the post and sharing your own experiences. I am sorry to hear of your own losses and the effects it had, but it is great to read you have found ways to overcome this and continue to try and live the best life possible.

      Life isn’t easy, however it is about how we deal with it and ensuring we keep trying to make it as easy as possible for ourselves, or as fulfilled as we can make it.

      Thank you so much, and I hope you are having a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your kindness, Sam. Your positivity and outlook are infectious, and I often come away from a visit to your blog feeling pretty zen, almost as if I’ve meditated (I don’t, but probably should!). I hope that you have a great week too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • This was really great to read! I never knew that I could write posts that would have such an impact on anyone at all, so knowing you value them makes me happy and very motivated to keep on going!

        Thanks Marsi, and happy Friday!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post. One of your best. It’s good to fill the empty spaces with creative thoughts and work. But it’s also good to be in the moment occasionally. I hope you don’t miss out on what’s right in front of you from time to time. Practicing mindfulness can help you appreciate the quiet moments in your life. Those moments are not always wasted. Sometimes they too can aid your creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I do try to live in the moment, I am always worried about missing things that I will regret later haha. And that is true, sometimes these moments would be good to focus on well being and mindfulness, I just find I am bad at it. But if anything that means I should practice!

      Thank you again.

      Like

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