I Turned Down $80,000 In The Search For Happiness. Here’s What I Found 57

the search for happiness

This is a guest post by Justin Light – a coach, blogger and video trainer. He’s the founder of Inky n the Brain – a blog on mind hacks and motivation. His mission is to show people how to discover their identity and empower them to live differently.

Why on earth does someone turn down a whole lot of cash for ‘happiness’?
Don’t worry, I asked myself the same question a number of times – that was until I discovered what I was searching for. Now, I’ve never looked back.

I knew some time ago that the life I was living was not what I wanted for myself. After studying for 4 years at university, getting fantastic grades and lining up great job opportunities as an aspiring teacher you would think that things were great, right?

Deep down, I had always known that there was something greater for me. I was tired of the music scene and over all of the hype. I didn’t wake up with the same fire I used to wake up with. Yet, I was on my way to becoming a successful music teacher with an $80,000 per year income on offer, a head teacher position waiting for me at a private school straight out of uni.

I knew that this path didn’t line up with the path I truly wanted but I was crippled with the fear of risking everything to find it. I was constantly warring with myself, torn between:

1. What my family and friends wanted, even expected me to do.
2. What I truly wanted to do inside.

Here are some of the most important things I realized and lessons I learned:

1. Replacing money with freedom was the best decision I ever made.

In the end, still terrified, I turned down the $80,000 job offer and deferred my second university course (I had already completed the four years of my first undergraduate course so I was only wasting six months), I decided to go on a search for happiness, but I couldn’t do that without taking a bold first step. So I traveled to China!

Thrown into a brand new culture, shocked and anxious about meeting new people, I found my feet and quickly became extremely connected. I found so many like-minded people that were searching for an alternative lifestyle to western life that had previously lived a lifestyle filled with freedom and excitement.

In short, China quite literally changed my life, mentally, physically and emotionally. As a whole, I discovered a deeper sense of fulfillment and excitement that I never thought existed before.

2. Settling in life is a dagger in the back of happiness.

Your years are ticking away every passing second, every breath you take will never come again and every heartbeat is one less heartbeat until it stops beating all together.

With this fleeting concept of time, why settle and waste those precious moments when you could be out in the world, challenging yourself, dreaming, pushing your limits and soaking up the rich rewards that come from chasing what you truly want!

Sure it will be harder than you could have first imagined, but isn’t that so much better than spending your days living a second choice life, a life of second preferences and fall back plans?

How can you experience true happiness when you’re not living a life true to yourself?

I learned that to settle for anything is to put a knife to the back of your dreams so I made a vow to never settle and always pursue what I felt was in line with my true self, no matter the adversity and no matter the risk.

3. Happiness comes from conquering fears.

There were so many dangerous possibilities about leaving my comfort zone for China:

• I could have lost all of my money (Which I actually did in Nepal quite recently.);
• I could have suffered social rejection and humiliation while trying to make new foreign friends;
• I could have made my depression and anxiety worse because of the hardships involved in solo travel;
• I could have failed at my job in China as an English teacher and had to come home embarrassed.

There are literally hundreds of things that could have gone wrong while over there, but did they stop me from going? No! And I’m so glad they didn’t because China grew my confidence tenfold, heightened my sense of self and I ultimately discovered a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness that I never knew was buried within me.

I learned that usually what you fear the most is the thing that will bring you the most happiness. As Jack Canfield says, everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Live life fearlessly, be bold, be courageous and never settle for any manner of money or possessions because unless they are a by-product of your inner most dreams, they will never give you the same level of happiness.

So what about you? Are you in search for happiness? And what can you do today to get on the right path?


If you enjoyed Justin’s story, you can check out his video where he talks more about his mission in life:


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How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off 19

How I Finally Managed to Focus and Got to Work without Putting It Off

Here are the things that helped me find focus and finally get to work:

Tip #1 Write it down.

When I say write it down I mean that whatever you want to do on the day or even the night before for the following day. Simply write exactly down what you want to do/achieve. This simple tip alone is almost like flicking a switch in your brain to do it.

Simply writing down your goals and your plans not only makes you think about the goals and the steps that you need to do to achieve them. Sometimes this can be a great way to realize exactly what you want and get you thinking of things you perhaps hadn’t thought of prior.

Not only this but there have been countless studies done showing that writing something down with greatly improve the chances of it coming to fruition than not writing it down at all.

The great thing about this is that it can be literally applied to many areas of like. You can write down your long-term goals or you can write down what you plan to do for the next day.

I, personally, do it every night after I am long finished with my work for that day. I set aside 5-10 minutes for writing down what I want to do tomorrow. The act itself cements it in your brain.

This is also a great way to help with procrastination. It’s almost like holding yourself accountable for it which I will get into more in my next point.

Tip #2 Hold yourself accountable.

5 Types of College Friendships That Matter for Student Success

Holding yourself accountable to an overall goal or target can be an excellent way to actually push yourself to that point where you get to work consistently.

For example, let’s say I want to lose some weight and be on a particular diet to achieve that goal. Telling your friends and family that you are doing it makes you more accountable than doing it alone.

Your friends/family will often follow up with you about your progress. This is a constant kick up your ass to keep working towards your goal. Also, doing things like posting it on Facebook or somewhere where people can engage with you and follow your progress is great.

Ideally, having an accountability partner would be the best option for this.

An accountability partner and you would usually be moving towards the same goal and would constantly encourage each other to get to work. Most importantly, you two will be accountable for your actions!

A great way to find such like-minded people is through social media. For example when I work on my blog FlipFlopsandAppleSauce, I have a artner that is also running a blog. We both set goals on how often we publish content to hold each other accountable. It works extremely well.

Tip #3 Don’t be focused on results.

Don’t put pressure on yourself if you aren’t achieving your goals as quickly as you want.

Let’s say you have an online business and you want to make $1000 a month in profit. Instead of focusing on how much money you are currently making, look at what steps you need to take to get to that $1000. The more of these you take, the sooner you will get there.

Tip #4 Concentrate on today.


Some people are always thinking of long-term objectives. That’s not a problem, but you should always try to break down your goals into smaller, easier steps. Then, dedicate each day to working towards completing these steps.

Not only does that make things simpler and easier to manage, but it also puts less stress and pressure on you in the long run and will undoubtedly save you lots of time.

Tip #5 Let it become a habit.

Once you get into a routine, doing some of the more tedious things won’t be as much of a problem. Because at the beginning, you had to make a more conscious effort to make them happen. But once something becomes a habit through use of constant repetition, it becomes 10 times easier to do it.

After doing something consistently for 20 days in a row, it will start to become a habit.

So, if you are doing something that you don’t enjoy 100% to work towards your goal, it would be a great idea to challenge yourself for 3 weeks. Make it a habit, because, beyond that initial 3 weeks, things should only become easier.

#Tip 6 Think goals, not hours.

Some people say ‘I want to work 5 hours on this today’. In my opinion, this is not a solid mentality to have.

People who work with that in mind tend to draw out what they are working out to achieve that time target, which usually isn’t helpful at all. Not only that, but it lowers overall productivity.

I like to set steps that I want to do on that exact day. I have a clearer target that isn’t limited or restricted by time in this case.

Also, once you have finished what you set out to do for that day, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. Which for me, is an amazing feeling that keeps me coming back for more!


David Gray is an entrepreneur that loves marketing. This “career” path allows him the freedom that he truly craves in his life.