Today I found myself wanting to live someone else’s life…
Today I found myself wanting to live someone else’s life…!
I love my life. I live 200 yards from the beach, am married to the most incredible woman and I get to help people every day be the best version of themselves. But today I found myself wanting to live someone else’s life!
It was subtle. It crept up on me. I was simply pottering round Instagram checking out posts from people I know, love and follow. And down the rabbit hole I went….
It started as me liking some pictures a friend had recently posted. Then my feelings began to shift.
My day started as it usually does — my carefully curated morning ritual. Lemon water: check. Savouring my first cup of single origin Guatemalan Coban coffee: check. Enjoying a brief walk to the beach with Abbey: check. Appreciating a beautiful sunrise, framed in a crystal clear azure blue sky: check. Being mindfully absorbed in the moment through my daily yoga practise: check. Contemplating the things I am grateful for: check. Not looking at my phone for the first 60mins of my day: check.
Then I headed to my desk to sort through emails and review my priorities for the day. That done, I opened Instagram just like most days, and it began…
A small voice in my head started to question whether I was really making a difference like my friend was… (look, there they are on-stage speaking to thousands of people) — why wasn’t I invited to that conference… (ooh… see, they’re hugging that inspirational person I always wanted to meet) — how come I haven’t met them yet… (really…they just launched their book and look who’s endorsed them) — you really haven’t got enough followers to be taken seriously (how many people liked that post..!?!?!)
It’s fear. That’s what it is. Fear of Missing Out, which is basically my ego sharing a moment of doubt — that I am not enough, that I don’t matter, that I am not complete just as I am. That my friend is all those things that I am not. All of which are untrue. But all of which are thoughts that are familiar to me.
We all get these thoughts and feelings sometimes.
Today I had let my attention slip — today, when I had sat at my desk I had let my level of gratitude dissipate a little — today I had forgotten that my greatest happiness and fulfilment comes from serving others, irrespective of the recognition I get for it.
Today I had let my ego set the narrative for the day rather than my heart.
I don’t really want my friend’s life (however much I love them) — I don’t really know what their life is like because Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are just a deliberately sculpted story, an illusion not a reality. No. What I really want is to be fully me, an expression of all I am meant to be right now. Here, in this moment. Because that is where my happiness comes from.
And I forgot that just for the briefest few minutes before I caught myself.
So, when I spotted it I did what I knew I should do, what I have told hundreds of other people to do; I closed Instagram and wrote out my gratitude list. I sat and I simply breathed for a few minutes taking the time to be as fully present as my mind allowed. I made another cup of coffee and drank-in the experience. And I set to work writing something that might be helpful to others.
And there it was — my peace had returned. I could celebrate my friend and enjoy their life from afar but I didn’t want to live their life anymore. I no longer wanted to be the person in their pictures.
I love my life. I am grateful for my life. I have an awesome day ahead of me — and I don’t know what it contains because anything is possible. But it will be an adventure finding out. And I am pretty happy with the way it is going so far…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Charlie Hugh-Jones is a Life and Business Strategist. He writes, speaks and coaches individuals and organisations all over the world on how to “Unlock the Best Version of You”.
If you’re interested in working with Charlie or hiring him to deliver a life-changing and business-transforming keynote then please visit: www.charliehughjones.com