‘I achieved everything I wanted but it didn’t make me happy’

If you’re reading this it’s likely that you have heard the phrase ‘create your own lifestyle’ and it’s sparked an inquiry within you. More and more we are realising that we have the power to actively create change in our lives. So, What does it mean to create your own lifestyle and how do you do it?

I was 23 years’ old and working full-time in my dream job. I was getting paid to travel and in my first year at the company I’d worked my way to a $15k pay rise. By all accounts I was kicking some serious goals… but I wasn’t happy. I was coming home from work and experiencing anxiety and a sense that something was wrong. What I would later come to realise is that whilst I was doing what I thought I ‘should’ be doing in order to be successful, I wasn’t living in alignment with my purpose or passion.

Before I Knew What Was Wrong

My story began like most others, I was a type A, career driven go-getter on a mission to get to the top of the career ladder at any cost. I was ‘that person’ at university studying Public Relations full-time, working full-time whilst also interning at two different companies. I was determined to get to the top, even though I didn’t really know what that meant.

Very early on in my career I landed my dream job, I was getting paid to travel, worked for one of the coolest tech companies in the country and was bouncing over to Silicon Valley, networking my way around the startup scene and working 24/7. I was completely addicted to my work and the adrenaline of ‘being busy’, but there was something inside of me that wasn’t fulfilled. I was finding this fast-paced tech environment more and more difficult to reconcile with my love and passion for health and wellness.

There Was No Denying It… I Was Out Of Alignment

When you realise that you’re living out of alignment with your true self it’s a beautiful and challenging thing. I fought it for two years, telling myself that, “I’ll never get another opportunity like this” and that, “If I stop now, the years of studying would become redundant,” and then, of course, “What the hell will I do with my life?”

I decided to do an exercise that ultimately changed my life. I wrote out my top personal values and why I valued them (I’ll share how you can do that, too). I realised that as much as I tried to tell myself otherwise, I wasn’t living in accordance with those values and that signaled to me that something had to change.

Fast forward four years (literally to this day) and I’m now living a completely different life, one that four years ago I never thought existed! I am still living my dream of being paid to travel, however, this time it’s to run retreats and workshops as a qualified yoga and meditation teacher. I speak to corporate groups at events about health and wellness, write for national publications on the subject, and have co-founded The Mindful Morning Collective which holds regular events offering yoga, meditation, live music, healthy food and community and Ritual Retreats which offers retreats around the world, teaching people how to embody Yoga rituals into their everyday lives.

Alignment Isn’t A Destination

My work life continues to evolve, and every day is different and exciting. That’s not to say that there aren’t days where I think, “Oh my gosh, what happens next?”, Choosing to live and work a little differently is definitely not without risk, I DO NOT want to sugar coat this. Instagram may make it look like all I do is pull my leg over my head, drink turmeric lattes and travel the world but the reality is, I’m working just as hard as I was in my full-time job, probably even more so… As Lori Greiner said, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours to avoid working 40 hours a week.” The difference is that I love what I do and feel that I’m living in accordance to my values, my days are filled with things that nourish me on a deeper level which, for me, has created a sense of connection to my purpose.

How Do You Create Your Own Lifestyle?

This is not to say that in order to be happy and successful you need to quit your job and do what I did, not at all! By following the processes I’ve listed below I was able to understand what worked for me. We are all individuals having an individual experience. Take the time to find what kind of lifestyle works for you. So long as you are HAPPY, what’s the point of doing something you don’t like?

Here are some tips from my own experience in creating your own lifestyle:

  • Get clear on your why. When you know why you’re doing something, the how and the what will occur naturally. Be clear with your intentions.
  • List out your top 3-5 personal values. Reflect upon how you are living them in every aspect of your life. Value-based living is, in my opinion, one of the most profound ways to create purpose in your life. When you know what you value, it’s easy to come back to those values whenever you’re faced with a decision or opportunity, if it doesn’t align then it’s not for you.
  • Be realistic. It takes time for things to grow to a sustainable level. Be patient with yourself and know every step is a step towards creating the life you want to lead. A rash decision to quit your job next week or book a one-way ticket to Paris may cause you more stress than it’s worth. Take the time to get clear on the direction you want to pursue and make your move slowly, all in divine timing.
  • Listen! Your inner teacher always knows the answers. Sure, it’s great to get inspiration, advice and ideas from others but at the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer to. Sit quietly and listen.
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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.