Lessons from my first year of freedom based lifestyle -

Lessons from my first year of freedom based lifestyle

A year ago, I walked out of my corporate job in a communications consultancy to live life on my own terms, which for me then meant doing fulfilling work, creative expression, travel, spending more time with loved ones and enjoying an inspired lifestyle.

Stylish Paris boutique The Broken Arm

Paris boutique The Broken Arm

Excited about possibilities that lied ahead I booked myself on a trip to Paris the day after I left my job to do research on effortless Parisian chic, to enjoy the city and its beauty, to get inspired. I chose a lovely boutique hotel in the middle of trendy Le Marais, ate at amazing restaurants and spent half a day with a shopping and style advisor discovering new boutiques and chatting about the secret behind Parisian elegance.

I went on to travel to some of my dream destinations, such as Venice and San Francisco, and gave myself what I thought was enough space to get all my lifestyle and travel desires satisfied before I started working on setting up my business officially. I had a couple one off clients at the time, but no real structure or even clarity on how I wanted to continue.

In full pleasure mode in Venice

In full pleasure mode in Venice

After one of my trips, this time to Lisbon, I decided it was time to start working “full time” as I needed to think about the next step and begin to create income and fulfilling work.

What followed was an incredible journey of growth, experimentation, hard work, fun, mistakes, which I now see as lessons, and successes.

Looking back, I feel a sense of peace and gratitude. It has not always been easy but it has certainly been a beautiful journey so far.

I would love to share with you the lessons I learned over this past year and how they helped me to live a more fulfilled joyful life. Essentially, this is what I wish I had known a year ago or even earlier.

Lessons from my 1 year of freedom based lifestyle

1. Freedom and fulfilment come from within, not from your circumstances

If I could share one lesson with those seeking to leave their jobs to enjoy a freedom based lifestyle, it would be this. Freedom does not come automatically when you leave your boring or unfulfilling corporate job. The same goes for fulfilment. If inside, you are not prepared to experience freedom and fulfilment every day, any external circumstances can seem like a burden.

I have come across people who left their jobs to start their own passion based businesses wanting a better lifestyle only to create an even busier job for themselves. I was one of those people at the beginning. Not only was I working much longer hours without breaks, but neither did I allow myself to experience all those things that are essential part of an elegant lifestyle for me, the precise reason I left my job for. The worst part was that I was busy for for the sake of being busy, as so many people are these days, whether they work for themselves or for someone else.

So freedom comes not from leaving your job ir starting a passion based business but from how you relate to your lifestyle, your work, your external circumstance. Only after I began to let go of my corporate mindset, was I able to begin to live an elegant lifestyle, my own version of it and feel the real freedom.

2. Living from achievement to achievement is not fulfilling

Achievements, as rewarding and important as they are in life and business or career, are not what make our lives fulfilling and fun. What makes you happy is how you live your life every day, how you relate to yourself in between achievements, especially, when things are not going great, what you choose to enjoy, how you grow, who you connect with. Our current focus on achievement helps us progress quickly on the one hand, but on the other hand, it can rob us of everyday pleasure, of fun, creativity.

What made the most difference in my life since I left my job a year ago was not how much I achieved, although I am proud of my achievements, but how happy I feel, how much I honour who I am and what I require to thrive, how much more pleasure I choose to receive from life every day even when I am not travelling or doing something “interesting”.

3. Productivity and working hard is not the same thing

This has been one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn and I still have a long way to go. A lot of us, especially those with a corporate career background, have learned to equate hard work with productivity. Often, hard work is the opposite of productivity. If something is hard for you, you are probably not being very productive. Today, productivity for me means being in the flow (fully engaged in my activity).

Women Fashion Power exhibition at the Design Museum this week

Women Fashion Power exhibition at the Design Museum this week

I have spent many days sitting at my desk, trying to do as much as I physically can – and if you are working for yourself, you know how much there is to do every day – only to feel dissatisfied about what I did not accomplish that day.

Productivity has little to do with getting a lot of to-dos ticked off while sitting at your dest all day. I know when I allow myself to go out and experience what I desire, be it sitting in a cafe (and yes, sometimes working from there), seeing an exhibition in the middle of a working day or having lunch with a friend, I experience more clarity, exciting ideas and connection with strategic vision, and, as a result, motivation to do the activities that make the biggest impact on my business.


4. Responsibility is empowering 

Having no boss, nobody to blame quickly teaches you to take responsibility for your own success and happiness. When you are living and working on your own terms, you are fully responsible for your happiness. Having this level of responsibility is very powerful. I was at first scared of the world “responsibility” seeing it as burden that I may not be able to deal with, until I learned that I responsibility means I have a choice, always.

Taking responsibility for my happiness means I can chose every day how I relate to my life: whether I stay in my corporate mindset or whether I choose freedom, whether I learn from mistakes and failures or whether I feel defeated and paralysed by them, whether I have fun with my work or whether I struggle with it.

Once you realise that it is not in anyone else’s power to make you feel happy or fulfilled, neither your loved ones, nor your clients, nor your boss have this power, it is only your responsibility, you immediately connect with your inner power.

I would love to hear from you.

Where are you in your life and career right now? Do you experience freedom and fulfilment? Do you feel happy every day?

Please share your thoughts and play ideas in the comment area below.


nataliashpekAre you ready to take full responsibility for living your desired life and having a fulfilling career? Do you want to have more joy, fun and inspiration in your daily life? Then I invite you to apply for a complimentary Lifestyle Enhancement Session with me by clicking here, to get clear on your life and career priorities and what steps you can take today to experience more pleasure and fulfilment.

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