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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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3 Steps to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness

Posted on June 22nd, 2016

Only recently did I realize I’m exhibiting signs of borderline insanity.
 
I’m facing a very fulfilling present moment, a career and life situation that has miraculously worked itself out to support my ideal lifestyle. I’m traveling the world, doing work I love, maintaining my friendships over the distance, and becoming closer with my family. I’m actually happy. 
 
Or rather, I could be happy if I allowed myself to be.
 
I’m not completely happy because I’m constantly worrying about being this happy in the future. I’m thinking along the lines of, “Oh man, I’ve kind of got it made right now. I should enjoy this, but I’m also terrified that it’s all going to fall apart and I won’t ever have a chance to be this happy ever again.”
 
So instead of just enjoying where I am now and capitalizing on my current happiness potential, I’m ruining the present moment by stressing myself out about being happy five years from now. 
 
Essentially, that guarantees I’ll never be happy, because even when I’ve managed to get all the right pieces in place today, I’ll stress myself out about the potential of not having them tomorrow.
 
That’s what I mean by insanity.
 
But the exact predicament I find myself suffering from is exactly what 99% of all other humans suffer from, simply because of the structure of our brain: we spend almost all of our time reliving the past or worrying about the future. It’s our nature.
 
Luckily, we can consciously evolve ourselves, even when we’ve crossed the brink of insanity, and I’ve identified three main ways of doing this.
 
1) Be aware that you're sabotaging your present moment happiness.
 
When it comes to matters of consciousness and psychology, sometimes the only thing we can do is be aware of where we struggle. You might think that awareness isn’t enough, but awareness itself actually indicates a higher level of consciousness. Awareness leads to statements such as, “I caught myself doing that again today.” 
 
Wait a minute. Who is “I” and who is “myself?” Congratulations, you’ve already created a higher self-reflecting being within yourself (I) that can monitor and change the mind (myself). 
 
When you identify a pattern of thinking that isn’t healthy, don’t admonish yourself, just simply acknowledge that you’re doing it. Sometimes that’s enough to initiate change.
 
2) Use your mind like a tool.
 
As we established above, courtesy of a logic I was first exposed to via Eckhart Tolle, you are not your mind. If you were, you wouldn’t have the capability to make the “I vs. myself” statements we just examined. 
 
You are a much deeper, essential self, while the mind is just a mechanism that articulates your biological processes and takes you into the past and future as it attempts to ensure survival. 
 
That very flaw in your human operating system ultimately robs you, the essential self, of the present moment. 
 
View your mind as something separate from you, and reassert control over it as something you can pick up and use when necessary, like a tool. 
 
3) Replace worrying with planning.
 
Now that you can view your mind as a tool, assess how you’re currently using it. You should allocate approximately 80% of your time to living purely in the present moment — we’re not all Indian gurus who can be “in the moment” 100% of the time, nor should we. We still need time to consider the future, but it’s about how we do it. Do we worry and imagine and project, or do we plan? Spend the other 20% of your time on planning, not worrying or projecting.
 
These three methods are helping me to stop tainting my present happiness with senseless worrying about the future.
 
I've decided that I will not rob myself of the potential to be happy when happiness is readily available because I'm worrying about the times when it won't be.
 
I will do my best to plan strategically instead of worrying about the future andI will embrace moments of happiness and unhappiness with the same degree of mindfulness.

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

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Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

img_6015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Like Me On Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram