Photography task: Inspirational
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Camera setting: Portrait, Close up
What do you want in life?
Easy question, right?
World peace, happiness and money are probably the most common answers. But in my opinion, every single one of those answers is shallow and tells a story of a person’s ignorance.
Sure, I’d like a bit of world peace and I don’t think I could ever have too much money but those are not my personal goals and hopes in life.
As a famous proverb goes, “Keep it simple, stupid”, so instead of answering this question in a way that I assume everyone else wants me to answer it, I’ll give an honest, selfish, and tangible answer that I actually can reach.
I want to live a life where I have no regrets and where every single day is worth looking back to with a smile on my face.
I want to live full-on so that if my life ended tomorrow, I would know that my life was perfect, worth living and simply awesome.
That’s what I want. Basically, I can say that I have discovered the meaning of life for myself. And because I know exactly what I want, I strive to live my life accordingly. So far I’ve done quite well.
And in order to be true to what I want my life to be, settling down, starting a family and working in a big corporation for infinity is not a life worth living in my view. But this is only my view, keep that in mind.
I need adventures and experiences; I want to meet new interesting people; I seek to learn as much about this world and the people and cultures in it as I can. I must admit, ignorance is sometimes bliss, but for someone as curious as me, ignorance doesn’t really work.
I’ve lived in Finland, Scotland, England, Slovakia and now Estonia. And I’ve tried to soak up as much of the local culture and values in each country as I could, and I’ve done well everywhere else except Estonia.
I guess it’s justified to some extent that they are as closed up and straight on hostile to people coming from somewhere else due to their violent recent history under the Soviet regime. But come on… It’s history now, you gotta move on peeps!
Having lived in 2 countries that survived the Soviet times I can tell you that the way Estonians perceive their history and how they cling on to all the negativity, and still see spies everywhere, is completely overwhelming and makes me feel sorry for them.
It’s frustrating but as always, there are glimmers of hope here as well! Younger generations are much more international and thus much more open-minded than their parents, or even people my age. This sort of change comes slowly, but for the Estonians’ sake I hope it comes soon because they are missing out on life!
I’m aware that the sort of life that I have led doesn’t suit many others. Sometimes I just seem to forget that because my friends are and think very much similarly to me in this regard. But I got a reminder of this when a colleague was offered a job in Ireland and I was one of the most vocal people encouraging him to go for it and emphasizing what a great time he would have there.
Turns out he did take the job and travel to Ireland but after couple of weeks he realized that this was not for him. The life comforts that he had come accustomed to were too much of a price to pay in his view (the houses weren’t up to his standards and he didn’t have friends there to receive him). Which is fine. I understand him completely considering how much I struggled with basic everyday things, for example, in London.
It all comes down to personality, I guess. I’m infused with Sisu and if I decide to do something, whether it’s about painting the walls in my house or moving to a developing country, I will do it and thrive in it no matter what obstacles I might encounter!
So, how do I live an adventurous life with no regrets?
First thing we all should come into terms with is the fact that past is in the past and we can’t affect it one ounce. When you accept this fact it makes life altogether so much easier, because you then realize that all the mistakes you’ve made, all the wrong and right choices are all done and dusted.
But the future is a completely different story. That you can affect with your future choices, future plans and in fact also with the way you behave right this moment. Instead of ignoring your past mistakes, look back at them and try to see what went wrong, why, and how you could’ve behaved/acted/decided instead.
This is called, oh yes, learning from your mistakes. And take it from me as an expert, it really helps in the long run when you do learn from your mistakes: Decision-making becomes easier and clearer, you realize that regretting is a waste of time and energy, and that your past can actually have a positive impact on your future. Great, right?
This has been a guideline I’ve lived by for years now; look to the past to gain valuable information for future decisions. And then just go for it! So what if you fail to understand coding, pour a cup of coffee on your white skirt on the first day in a new job, or say something embarrassing. Laugh it off and move on!
Another guideline I’ve followed from a very early age is that it’s better to risk it than to regret not even trying. You’ll never know how capable you actually are unless you learn to rid yourself from the fear of embarrassment and try, go for it and enjoy the ride! Don’t worry about what others might think, what might happen, how it all could fail, NO!
It’s all about RIGHT NOW, here and now, not the past or the future, the NOW! I know, I know, we tend to worry about stuff and to some extent probably even enjoy it. But seriously, if you want to live your life to the fullest, you gotta sacrifice at least some of your worrying time and replace it with enjoyment.
It’s up to you. But I can promise you, it’s totally worth it! ;)