This lies at the core of your joy and happiness

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Table of Contents

Finding your reason to live

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

“YOU CAN HAVE THIS TOO!” A voice shouts from the screen, flashing 6 digit numbers on the screen. “You can have financial freedom and buy everything you want! School is wrong, you do not need an education to be rich. Just click the link to buy my course and you will get rich!” Jay looks at his screen, could this be true? He thinks to himself. “I am 27 years old now and work at a normal 9 to 5 job that I don’t like. I do not want this kind of life anymore, I will just do this!.” Jay opens the link and buys the course, it cost him one-third of his salary a whopping 1000 dollars. “This better be good!” He thinks to himself, as he clicks the submit button. Off his money goes, to someone he doesn’t know, with riches he doesn’t have. A feeling of betrayal gnaws at him, this can’t be true is right? He kinda regrets his purchase but decides to go through with it. There is nothing he can do about it now.

That evening after work he opens his email box and gets the link to the online course platform. Jay’s room is dimly lit and he is sitting on the sofa in the middle of the room. His apartment isn’t luxurious, or impressive. It’s minimal, not much stuff or expensive things. “I never really liked expensive stuff,” jay thought to himself whilst scanning the room seeing everything he owned. Yet he was about to follow a course that got him the money to move and buy a bigger flat, with more luxury and more stuff which wouldn’t make him any happier. The initial idea of buying this course started to feel like an impulsive decision and he regretted it tremendously. On his screen, it said “Your way to financial freedom and easy riches! Working from everywhere with little to no time to spend at work.” The first video was ready for him to watch, so jay clicked it and the same guy who sold him the course in the first place, popped up on the screen. Doing the same thing he had done in the ad. “You can have this!” Pointing at a green Lamborghini, with two girls dancing around it, holding a stack of money in his hands. “In the next course, I will teach you how to get rich quickly by doing drop shipping!”

The course continuous and for some reason, Jay is hooked to it. The videos are easy to follow, understandable, inspiring and this guy is full of energy. Within one night Jay goes through the entire course and decided to start creating his own business the next day. He puts away his laptop and cuddles up in his blanket. During the course he had moved from his sofa to his bed, it felt more comforting and relaxing.

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Why doesn’t it work?!

The next day Jay gets up early and is pumped to start working on his new brand. He knows he has to go to work but takes his laptop with him to use every moment of spare time he has to build his new business. His new dream life, full of riches and luxury. It’s as if Jay is brainwashed by this course. At the office, he opens both his pc and his laptop and starts working on his pc. Finishing one after the other coding problem and fixes all the bugs and problems before 11 pm. Normally this would take him the entire day. He would often get up, drink coffee, wander around on the internet, scrolling his phone and the list goes on and on. But this time every minute he could save by working more effectively he would use to start building a drop-shipping website. It was worth it to work more efficient. As he opened his laptop and started to create a website he noticed that he wasn’t focused or efficient anymore. He didn’t like doing it. “But why?” He wondered. “This will change my life and I can be way happier afterward.” So Jay got up and moved to the coffee machine, grabbing his third cup of coffee since he started working on his project. Once back at his desk he noticed that there were some new To-do’s on his list so he started to work on those after all this time must be spent doing work for his company, he got paid for it.

The rest of his day went by rather quickly and Jay didn’t feel satisfied with his progress. He had only created a domain and looked around on the internet for a website template. But his workday was efficient though and he got a lot done. Back home he decided to eat something and then continue with his drop shipping website. He heated a pan and put in some oil. The sizzle when he added in vegetables was an amazing sound, but he didn’t hear it. His thoughts were more important. He was wondering why he could wrap his head around starting on this one project that would make him financially free and happy. He was so confused about why it just didn’t work. The motivation that the course sparked in him and completely depleted and he struggled. He quickly ate his pasta and didn’t even notice that this was one of the best plates of pasta he made. The rich creamy sauce combined with delicious mushrooms and broccoli was the best combination he had, had in a long time. The amount of added spices, salt, and pepper was perfect and the pasta was cooked just right. But yet he just shoved it in like it was a microwave prepackaged meal.

“Okay, let’s do this.” Jay thought to himself, trying to hype himself up to get to work. He cleaned up his plate, grabbed a cup of tea, and reached for his bag. He pulled out his MacBook and flipped it open on the sofa. His website was still open and he decided to continue with that. He had created a Pinterest board with interesting designs and just picked one. Now it was time to code, the thing that he was good at, it was his job to code websites and applications. So this must be a breeze, he thought to himself. Yet again his focus seemed to be consumed by a monster hungry to disturb his precious time. Every time he thought of starting and doing that which would bring him a better life, he was roughly interrupted. His focus seemed to disappear and things like YouTube, Instagram, and movies seemed to transform into irresistible candy. As if he were a kid in a candy store again, having bought his favorite candy already but being bombarded by different candy on his way out. He started to doubt whether this was the right call. And instead of feeling this discomfort he rather chose to focus on things that distracted him from these feelings.

His phone made three dings indicating it was about 10 o’clock and it was time to stop working and make himself ready for a good night of sleep. He closed his laptop, frustrated. Annoyed. Angry, for not doing anything again. “What a waste of my day.” He thought to himself. He pulled off his clothes and stepped into his small but comfortable shower. A warm sensation of water moving down his back relaxed his body, but his mind was constantly in a battle with itself. “Why doesn’t it work? Why can’t I focus on this for once? I finally want to act upon doing something that will make me happier and now it doesn’t work.” Where some of the thoughts he experienced. Far in the back of his mind, a subtle voice whispered. “This is not what you want. You don’t need money. You want to be free and do what you love, but this will not get you there.” But this voice was so soft, so subtle that it was barely audible through the loud noises of his frustration.

A call with a friend

It’s a rough sleep for Jay that night. His dreams are like a pest, he can’t seem to get rid of them. Every time he falls asleep he is roughly woken again by someone, or something chasing him. It is as if in his dream he can’t escape them. He tries and tries and tries to get out of their grip but the hill he is walking on to is getting steeper and steeper. Making it harder for him to keep going and soon after he is caught by the thing that is chasing him. The weird thing is, he can’t see what that thing is. “Is it a human, someone he knows?” Jay thinks when he wakes up from the bad dream. “Or could it be something instead of someone? But what could that thing be then?” Jay’s brains grind and creak, trying to figure out what he is running from. He feels his chest pumping like crazy. And his bed is soaked with sweat. His pillow and blanket both are on the ground. The moment he notices this his body feels cold and reaches for them. Pulling them onto the bed again. Jay makes himself as small as possible covering his entire body in the blanket. He’s in a complete state of rush. His fight or flight mode has switched from fighting to flighting and he doesn’t get much sleep that night.

At 6 am the alarm clock beeps again. Waking Jay up from a few hours of deep sleep. After a while, the dreams disappeared. The time seemed to move so slowly. He had seen the hours go by, one by one. Until it was 3 am and he fell asleep and didn’t wake again before 6. He stood up and put on some warm clothes. It was Saturday morning so that meant he didn’t have to go to work. “But why in the heck did I leave the alarm clock on then?” Jay wondered to himself. A moment he paused, leaving his trousers around his ankles. Then he remembered again, he wanted to get up early to do a lot of work for his website. It was time for him to finally finish it. He continued putting on clothes and made his way to the living room and kitchen. Grabbing a bowl and putting in some soy yogurt with corn flakes. This was his usual weekend morning routine. Getting up, putting on clothes, and eating some yogurt in front of his laptop watching some show on Netflix. But this time he opened his laptop and was instantly greeted by his work he left off the day before. It frustrated him. Massively. He had created the first iteration of his website design but hated it. He clicked the delete button and erased the design. Then he closed the lid again. He wasn’t ready to do this yet.

The phone rang. Jay was shocked, who in the hell called him this early in the morning. Jay looked at the black marker clock in the living room and noticed that since the moment he started breakfast almost an hour had passed. It was not almost 8 am. On the phone, a name pops up above the answer or decline buttons. It is one of Jay’s dear friends. He grabs the phone and answers. “HEEEE, How are you?” Jay says out of excitement to his best friend. “I’m fine!” Jay’s friend says from the other side of the phone. “How are you?” He asks Jay. “Meh, not so great Jay says.” The two friends have learned that they should always be honest with one another, so Jay is not afraid or hesitant to share how he feels. If they don’t feel well or slightly off they call the other or ask for help. “What’s going on Jay?” Simon asks with a kind tone in his voice. “So you know I haven’t been satisfied with my current job right?” Jay starts. “Hmhm” Jay hears from the other side of the line. “Well, two days ago I came across this online course that could teach you how to make easy money online and live a life full of freedom and luxury,” Jay said, noticing that he wasn’t that excited to tell this to Simon. “But I’ve been trying to work on it for about two days now but can’t seem to get going. Every step is laid out perfectly for me. I only have to follow the steps and I will be done in no time. But for some reason, I can’t. I am lacking motivation and focus and am continuously scrolling through different social media pages. As if I need some kind of distraction. I haven’t even felt this unfocused or unmotivated doing my current job.” Jay rembles on. Simon just listens. He knows that his friend likes to talk a lot, but that this talking is his way of getting through things and dealing with them. All Simon ever had to do was listen and wait for a moment to give some advice or tips.

Why am I even doing this?

“It is as if my mind is creating distractions for me to keep me from doing this. But I don’t know why. I finally decided to create a life I do want to live, and now the motivation is lacking tremendously. I don’t understand why?” Jay says desperately. “I understand Jay, I am glad I called,” Simon says from his own home. “Have you thought about the reason why you don’t have this motivation? It seems to me that you aren’t liking this either. So why are you doing it?” Simon asks Jay. “Hmm, I didn’t think of that. I just want to create a free, happy, and worry-free life. So earning a lot of money seemed to me to be the best option.” Jay said as his voice softened with each word he said as if he was doubting himself. “I see,” Simon replied, leaving a silence afterward. “But is money the only way to be free and happy?” He asked as if he already knew the answer to this question. “No…” Jay said, softly. His enthusiasm had turned into doubt and regret from spending all this money without even thinking about it. “What a waste!” He said out of nowhere. “No it isn’t,” Simon said. “It might have been a lot of money, but who cares, that money will get back to you eventually. What matters is that you have learned something from this experience.”

“And that is?” Jay said, annoyed at himself. “Well, that’s up to you. There is no reason for me to tell you what you can learn from your own life. I think you already know. Don’t you?” Simon’s voice was patient and he fiddled around with a toothpick whilst he was looking at the steam rising from his cup of tea. He was glad Jay had finally leaped to start being happy. He knew how Jay felt about his current job. It was horrible. He was way too qualified for that job. If the two of them met, they would always talk about all the ideas that Jay had thought of. Jay’s mind seemed to be a pit that was never-ending, full of dreams, ideas, excitement, joy, meaning. Jay was truly a marvelous guy, and Simon knew how hard it was to make that decision to focus on your dreams. It was unsafe, scary, wobbly. As if you stood on a block of ice, slippery, and wobbling on the waves of the water. Thinking that with one missed step you would end up in the ice-cold water and freeze to death. But what Jay didn’t know was that if he made that wrong move and he slid off the ice cube, it would just be a small swim to the shore. The safe shore. Yes, it would feel uncomfortable for some time, his body would shiver and he will most likely be undercooled but in the end, he will make it to the shore again. Having learned something and ready to step onto the next block of ice. But this time he would choose a larger block, more stable till the point where he could stay on for the rest of his life. Enjoying every passing moment.

The satisfaction of making that decision to get off the shore and step onto a block of ice was wonderful. Simon had experienced it himself years back. In school. He almost finished it… almost. Just half a year to go, but his dream, his purpose was unbearable anymore. It was killing him to let that go. So he made that step. Onto the block of ice, and he wobbled a bit and stood. His block of ice was already fairly large, for he had always pursued his dream throughout the school. So he had already learned much but never had he made the jump onto an ice block. After some time Simon wobbled a bit too much and slid off, but his way back to the shore wasn’t that rough. And soon he was back onto an ice block. This one larger, than any he had been before. He hadn’t fallen off and was doing great now. Why? Because Simon decided to do something that would not only help himself but for others as well. So instead of his ice block shrinking, it grew and grew. More and more people joined him and now it was Jay’s turn to step onto his ice block.

“I don’t even know what I am doing?” Jay said, after what seemed to be minutes of silence. Simon had drifted away into his memories of the same feelings Jay was going through now. “How… Why… What…” Jay stumbled with his words. “How have you figured out what to do?” Jay then asked Simon.

Begin within the core

“Hmm, that’s a great question, Jay. This is a question I can answer for you.” Simon took a sip of his tea, and Jay grabbed a cookie out of the cupboard. “Do you remember when we were both in college? We were both dreaming of pursuing our dreams. And they weren’t small. No, luckily they weren’t.” Both of them laughed on the phone and the conversation wasn’t that serious anymore. “Every dream is large, they are designed to be large and almost unreachable. So that we end up at the place where we do belong. I decided years back to quit. To stop with college just before I got my degree. I couldn’t keep it together anymore. The anger and resentment had grown massively within me. My heart just wouldn’t take it anymore. So I decided to pursue my career as an entrepreneur. Starting my own business and helping people to keep growing themselves. I can tell you this Jay. It has been the hardest thing I have done in my life thus far.” He paused for a minute and touched his heart, Jay of course couldn’t see this. But he did feel that Simon was feeling thankful for this decision each day he lived. They had spoken much about his courage to quit and Jay could always see a fire burning in his eyes when he spoke of this.

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“But that decision to quit didn’t come from a desire to make money, to be free or anything like that. It came from a deep desire to grow myself, live a joyous life, and to find meaning by helping others. It never came from a desire to make money, or to be free, too have no worries. I think this life has given me more worries, more doubts than ever before, but I made that decision because it came from deep within me. And over the few years spend college that feeling bubbled up to the surface until it needed to be freed from its cage inside me.” Simon always spoke with a sense of inspiration and fire when he was talking about his dream. Because it had never been about him, he didn’t want great amounts of wealth. Not for himself. Jay thought to himself. “The thing I am trying to get to..” Simon continued. “Is the power to begin within your core. Ask yourself this one question. Why are you alive? That why. That reason why you feel you are alive. That should be at the core of all your decisions. If you start at that core of your being you will find joy, meaning, peace, purpose, infinite motivation, rest, and you can do anything you want to do. Because the things you deep inside want to do can always be traced back to your core.”

Jay stayed silent for a moment. He didn’t know why he was alive. He did know that it wasn’t because he wanted to make greats amount of money. Nor to be free. But what was it then? Why was he alive? He thought to himself. Simon knew that in this silence Jay was thinking of why he was alive, but Simon knew this couldn’t just be written down. This took some digging. “Now Jay doesn’t think you can just find that why right away. Allow yourself some time to figure this out. I suggest to put your phone and laptop away for today and dig into your memories. Do what feels right.” “I will!” Jay said slightly excited. Simon had made him realize that it wasn’t about money, or being safe without worries.

In pursuit of happiness

Over the next couple of weeks and months, Jay continued to dig in search of why he made all his choices in life. Slowly he started to figure out a pattern. A reason for living. He learned that life will always give you things to worry about, will always be uncertain no matter if you had a steady income, a degree, or great wealth. The struggles will always come your way. He figured he could better ask himself what struggles he wanted to face. Did he want to choose to struggle to stay motivated and to stay happy, but being safe? Or did he want to choose struggles of discomfort and doing something that others didn’t think was the right thing, but being happy and motivated his entire life?

That’s a question you should ask yourself too, dear reader. Why are you alive? What struggles do you choose to endure? Are you alive to be safe, or are you alive to experience the beauty of living? Both the ups and down? Finding out why you are alive is at the core of being happy. For the reason why you are alive is most certainly to be happy.

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