I just got back home early this morning after taking the redeye from Kauai. Even though I feel a little sleepy and discombobulated, I’m also re-energized and inspired from spending a week in such a stunningly gorgeous place. Kauai has a special, untouched feel to it that I think is pretty rare. Even though it is part of the USA, it feels more like a remote Thai island…except the beer is way more expensive!
As I mentioned in my last post, my intention initially was to go on a “me-cation.” When I went on Airbnb I was looking for a place that was remote, isolated and tranquil. I thought some time alone with my thoughts starting off at the endless ocean would give me some peace and solitude after a turbulent 2013. When my studio mate Jamie Smith and brother Chandler decided to join me last minute, I was very relived and excited because I knew it meant I would have more fun. We ended up having an absolute blast, and Chandler was there to kill some of the jumbo cockroaches that wanted to join the party in our jungle hut! Note to self, next time I go to book my next me-cation I will make sure I book a sealed room that is not in the middle of nowhere 😉
The three of us spent our days exploring the island in a convertible Mustang, hiking and hanging out on breathtaking beaches. There was a lot of fish taco eating, beer drinking and giggling too. Despite having my two awesome travel companions, I was still able to do some soul searching and inner reflection. Since I’m writing a book proposal, I’ve been doing a ton of thinking about the different ideas and concepts I want to explore. Mindset and success are most fascinating to me and I’ve been a sponge soaking up as much information as I can.
One thing I kept thinking about is definition of success. When you are an artist there is always the feeling that success is this far off place that one day we’ll reach. When we have a certain amount of money, respect and recognition that will mean we are successful. Striving towards this goal is what often motivates us to keep going.
Being in Kauai, I had noticed that locals appeared to be really content, happy and relaxed. This isn’t hard to believe considering they live in paradise, but I do think that have mastered some valuable life lessons that can be helpful for the rest of us. After chatting with a few Kauaians, I learned some pretty interesting and profound things about their mindset.
Kauaian life lessons:
They appreciate and respect nature
They are open and interested in connecting with other people
They are grateful for where they are
They take pride in where they live
They live in the moment instead of being obsessed with the future
They don’t rush
They keep things simple
They take the time to enjoy and savour
They focus on happiness and joy
They have lots of fun and don’t take life too seriously
They are connected to their community
They are more concerned with being than buying
They hang loose!
I for one feel that I can learn a lot of taking things a little bit slower and focus on the moment instead of being so concerned about striving for my future goals. This doesn’t mean I will be any less ambitious, but in 2014 my focus is feeling good about what I do instead of reaching a level of success that I feel is expected of me. Life can get so complicated and messy, but I don’t think it has to be. Defining success on your terms and living the life that you want to live is the most important decision you will ever make. Appreciate what you have today and celebrate small successes as often as you can.
Being in Kauai amongst all the natural beauty and wonderment reminded me over and over again to be present and awake. I know I will eventually achieve all my big, beautiful goals, but today is all I’ll ever be able to truly enjoy. I’ve decided that 2014 is going to be an extraordinary year for me, and I’m so grateful to have been able to kickstart it in such a magical place. If going to a tropical paradise isn’t in the cards for you, I highly suggest taking the time to really get clear on what success means to you. Make sure what you are seeking is truly what your heart wants.
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