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The Absolute Biggest Mistake I've Made While Traveling

Leaving places where everything is right "just because."

I just arrived in Beijing. The air is cold and crisp, the pace is fast, people are wearing suits and carrying briefcases and the general vibe here is I'm on a mission.

I hate cold weather except in small doses, and I haven't spent more than two weeks in a cold-weather place during a cold time of the year since... I don't know when, it's been a long time. A few years.

I forgot how the cold makes people move fast, crisp, not dally, not lounge about... it's refreshing. I feel like I'm in New York a little before Christmastime, which (shitty cold weather aside) is one of my favorite times in one of my favorite places in the world.

But let's about traveling (and life) mistakes. The biggest mistake I've made, by far, is leaving a place where I'm very happy or productive or I've got a good workflow. Occasionally, everything is just right somewhere... and when everything is just right, I'd recommend you milk it for all it's worth.

There is one thing you have to do before anything else…

On Transience

It can last for days, weeks or months, when you first open your eyes in the morning, the motor starts-up and you recall who you are and what you are doing here. But there is something in the shadows of your memory that prevents you from bounding out of bed with motivation and happiness; you can’t pin point where the feeling of emptiness comes from, but its there.

Recently I have been in bit of a dark place, I have somehow fallen sick with glandular fever, so it hurts very much to swallow and the headaches and muscle strains leave me so fatigued I cant work or really leave the house. I also have a lot of financial worries; I am concerned about the future and with my family also struggling to get by I feel alone with my problems. But I have to remain grateful because my family is wonderful and I still have a roof over my head. So even with most things going well, still a lot of young people feel sadness in the background of their lives, some worse than others.

We keep hearing stories of how success occurs in people’s lives and their rise to the top, and you wonder how you can also make it to the top after you fall into darkness, when feelings of worry and hopelessness overcome you. It is necessary to experience this darkness, to go through the shit and after that the strength of a person can be measured by their ability maintain positivity. To generate the power to move forwards even when you feel so powerless. This is what will separate you from those who give up on their lives, the mind creates an enormous dark cloud around your head, it will keep raining misery, fear and pain until you decide to cut through it. Imagine a beam of light cutting through those shitty clouds and it expands, this is indeed your true state of aliveness. The clouds will keep trying to remind you that you are kidding your self and you should go back to feeling the guilt and misery of your situation. But none of that is true, you will always have the right to feel hope, this is your true and honest state of being and it should always come from a place of love, not desperation. Allow your love to cut through the thick clouds of doubt and guilt, you should project the love to other people but most importantly: project it to yourself first.

This is the answer.

First you have to love yourself, and that sounds totally wishy-washy, but like it or not it is the fundamental key to all things including improving happiness, relationships with others and resilience in the face of hard times and tonnes more. Loving yourself means forgiving yourself, so do it right now, forgive yourself for something, feel it inside and really mean it. It is so true that you cannot really love someone before you really love yourself, you have to believe in this, forgive and love yourself for everything and then you can move onto the trickier stuff (which I will discuss later).

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