travel-money1

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.

As Seen On

On Pursuing Happiness: What to Do When What You Want is Always Out of Reach

Posted on June 9th, 2016

Human beings are born in “seeking mode.” Our deep and constant drive to search (for what, we don't seem to know) is one of the defining characteristics of our existence. No matter what we do, what we have, or where we go, we want to do something else, have something else, and go somewhere else.  

 

We're like the cat who meows no matter what side of the door he's on. 

 

Indian thinker Osho calls this the “black hole,” a persistent gap in human consciousness that renders everything we want meaningless the minute we have it, and perpetuates the restless, fervent search.

 

No person is exempt from this pursuit. The rich, poor, young, old, educated, uneducated, religious, nonreligious all go on seeking. 

 

We take jobs, relationships, money, power, education, sex, and prestige and hurl them into the black hole that calls us to do and be something else than we already are. 

 

But nothing satisfies, so the madness continues. 

 

Ultimately we just want to be happy, but we mistakenly think that the next boyfriend, promotion, or great pair of shoes will bring us closer to that imagined state of consciousness. 

 

We also turn to the self-development industry for answers. We devour books, videos, articles, and blogs, convinced that the answer to our persistent dissatisfaction is just around the corner. Even as we look inward, we seek answers from the outside, and patronize a $10 billion industry as we do it.

 

In some perverted way, we're actually addicted to feeling a little bit unhappy. This deep and persistent flaw makes our lives meaningful — we always have something to strive for. We love our problems, goals, and strategies. We love identifying all the ways they could bring us closer to a happier, “better” us. 

 

It's such a universal affliction that sometimes I wonder if we'd still be human if we didn't feel compelled to search, to place our imagined state of happiness just ever out of reach. Isn't this quest what separates us from the dogs, birds, monkeys, and donkeys? 

 

Here's the little secret that completely cannibalizes my little corner of that $10 billion self-development industry: You can be everything you want to be right now.

 

You don't need to buy anything, have any particular kind of job, reach any level of income, read any more books, or even finish the rest of this article — you are capable of powerful and immediate self-transformation. 

 

Sure, you may have to go to medical school to become a doctor, but you don't have to become a doctor to be happy. You can step into your happiness right now.

 

Imagine the kind of person you'd be if you were finally happy. Perhaps you'd be bouncing down the street, smiling at strangers, generous to a fault, the life of the party, blissfully content and at ease with who you are. 

 

Instead of trying to learn how to do this from others, or thinking you'll naturally become that way over time as you achieve your goals, just start smiling, giving, and being that vision of yourself right now. 

 

In other words, don't create The Gap. Most of us create a gap between who we are now and who we want to be and fill that gap with a process. 

 

Stop doing that. Don't think something else will be your bridge into who you want to be. Just step into it. Your deepest inner transformation is piloted from within by sheer willpower and courage. 

 

You'll need the courage because becoming who you've always wanted to be is a very scary thing.

 

Prolonging change satisfies your ego, the naturally dominate part of the mind that clings to the past and imagines and anticipates the future. It produces incessant chattering, prevents you from living in the present moment, and is the root cause of The Gap. 

 

Most of us identify entirely with the ego, with our search. The ego is the reason why it's fun and exciting to talk about our goals and considerably less fun to actually try to reach them. 

 

Living in the projection gives us hope and meaning, but it keeps us disconnected from reality. 

 

And so we resist closing The Gap. It's the only way we know how to live. Because what would happen if we were finally, actually happy? Who would we be without our incessant search? It's uncharted territory.

 

The drive to search will continue as long as you keep looking for answers outside of yourself. It will continue as long as you ignore the power you have to address this unconscious part of your nature, to close The Gap. 

 

By becoming aware of its very existence and your role in its existence, you can change. With a snap of determined fingers, you can step into who you've always wanted to be. 

 

Every time you catch yourself being dissatisfied, imagining a happier you, and longing for the future, just become aware of what you're doing. Smile and nod at this universal malady and tell yourself: “I will stop creating The Gap. I will stop creating a process or goal that stands between who I am now and who I want to be. I will just step into my best self right now.”

 

Most probably, the emotional state you're in today is the same emotional state you're going to be in tomorrow, and next month, and next year. 

 

Don't make plans or pursue your career goals or move to a new city thinking it will be the bridge between how you feel and think about your life today and how you'll feel and think about your life when that “process” is over. 

 

By all means, have goals in life, but do them for the sake of doing them. Don't do them because you think they'll make you happier. They won't. 

 

Only you can make you happier, and the only time you can do that is right now.

Suggested Posts

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.

As Seen On

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign me up

Location

Current Location

Map

Current Location

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

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Sign Me Up

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

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