COVID-19 has brought me an interesting set of problems.
Our businesses are growing at a 20-30% faster rate than we had anticipated a few months ago. During this process, I’ve managed to outsource most of the day-to-day things I do.
Which means I don’t have to be working IN the business and can focus on working ON the business.
This allows me to work around 2-3 hours a day while allowing me to stop and spend the rest of my day thinking how I can take the business to the next level. Generate another $10M this year, grow other departments and hire new people.
However, the whole quarantine thing doesn’t allow me to do things I’m used to doing. Walking down the street while listening to the podcasts, audio courses, or books.
I can’t even go to the vegetarian restaurants I love eating my beloved falafels at and have brainstorming sessions while eating.
I’m forced to be at home, sitting in front of this table and do all this at home.
Not so bad, huh?
On the surface level, it doesn’t look bad at all.
Yet I’ve started to feel unhappy with my whole situation…
I’m trying to figure out investing options, tax optimization, and how to scale our businesses even forwards.
Good problems to have I keep repeating myself…
Yet this situation puts me in a time machine and teleports me back when I was 16.
Back then I read the first book that I finally enjoyed - Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. I got hooked.
I was inspired to achieve great things in life.
My imagination was going wild and I was imagining driving a Porsche, having a house in front of the sea...
All these things you'd consider a successful person has.
The opportunities to fulfill my dreams started coming to me pretty quickly. They first came in the form of online poker. At that time the industry was expanding at a massive rate and I got on the train.
It consumed my entire time. I was studying, playing, studying, and playing again.
It took me 6-8 hours every day and I had to make quite a few sacrifices. My personal life suffered, my girlfriend at the time wasn’t happy as I didn’t pay too much attention to her.
It didn’t matter much. Because the money in the bank account kept going up. 6 months later, I started earning more money than my parents. Combined.
At the same time I was offered to be playing football professionally (something I was pursuing since I was 7). Yet in 6 months of doing that, I realized - there's no way I can do both things at the same time.
I was playing poker till 4-5 am and had my football training sessions at 9 am in the morning.
Needless to say, I was tired AF and my performance was terrible (at least I was able to admit that).
After a while, I decided to quit football and go full into poker.
Things were going smooth, I was making decent money and my stakes were getting higher. Yet, 12 months later, I had a massive downswing, which lasted almost 4 months and consumed me mentally.
I was only 18 at that time and all the relaxation techniques like meditation hadn’t been on my radar at that time. I couldn’t deal with it.
I still had quite a bit of money in my bank account, so I decided to quit and go to study.
Fast forward 3 years I found something that excited me as much as playing poker.
I would study languages 4-6 hours a day, at the same time studying at the University and going to the gym almost daily. I left no time in my day to think about anything else - only language learning.
I loved it so much, I decided to learn 3 languages and with a few months breaks and travels between the languages, I learned them in 2 years.
Just after I finished learning my last language - Italian, I found something even more interesting - Digital Marketing. I had to restart my studies at the university, where I had only 1 left at it. But because of the events during the gap year - I knew I didn’t want to pursue my career as a football coach anymore.
I didn’t like the lifestyle it offered me.
I wanted to travel the world, have no boss, be independent, and be earning at least enough money to support myself while traveling.
While I was exploring many options, a digital marketing career seemed to be the most reasonable one.
So I did the exact same thing that I did with language learning - I studied it for 4-6 hours per day and at the end of it all, I got exactly what I wanted.
I started earning enough money to be able to travel to exotic countries, work a few hours per day and live the life of my dreams.
And while I thought I had reached my “dream life”, in 2-3 weeks I started to feel the exact same way like before playing poker. Before learning languages. Before being able to travel the world and work a few hours a day...
I started to blame the city and planned on moving to another one.
“Maybe down there I’ll feel happier” - I thought to myself.
So I moved out of Medellin and went to live in Cartagena. For 1 or 2 weeks I felt the excitement again.
New people, different food, music on the streets… Life is awesome…
Yet 2 weeks later, I had the same exact thoughts I had back in Medellin, so I bought tickets to Cusco, Peru, and flew there.
I started to see the pattern. During the first week in the city, I was super happy. The second week, I would start getting into my routines... And in the third week I would be looking for another destination.
I did the exact same thing for the next 3 months when going to Bolivia, Brazil, and then Spain until I came back to where it all started - Lithuania.
2 years later, the same pattern is emerging. I’m left on my own devices and thinking about what else I should be doing thinking that by doing this - it will make me happy.
Maybe I should travel for another 1-2 weeks? Maybe I should learn a new language? Maybe I should learn a new skill?
All these new activities I’m thinking of doing scream only one thing - I WANT TO ESCAPE MY CURRENT SITUATION.
So I asked myself a question: What story was I telling in my own head?
“I’ll be happy when I earn x amount of money”
“I’ll be happy when I travel the world”
“I’ll be happy when I’m my own boss”
“I’ll be happy when I have a Ferrari, a house in front of the sea, and an amazing wife.”
“I’ll be happy when….”
Have you ever had these thoughts?
I’m pretty sure we’ve all had these thoughts in our lives.
But you know what?
I’m not going to be happy “if”. If I’m not happy here and now, I’m not going to be happy leaving everything behind. I'm not going to be happy in another country... or having a certain amount of money.
And I’m the best proof of it.
For years I’ve tried to escape my current situation thinking life on the other side is so much more beautiful than where I’m now.
For the last 6 years, I’ve been smashing goal after goal as if they were chocolate cookies... Yet I here am... Still unhappy, still grumpy, still thinking life on the other side is so much brighter.
And guess what will happen when I go to another country?
I’ll be dragging my own old self with me and won’t be able to escape that.
So my suggestion is - if you want to live a happier life, do it NOW! There’s no reason to wait until you get to the destination.
In fact, when you reach your destination, you’ll realize that the journey was the whole point.
But you know what?
I have a small secret to share with you. Lean in closer.
It’s going to be between you and I. We don’t want anyone else to hear it.
You’ll have to experience it yourself.
Even though I’ve read many books on this subject, and was warned about all these traps in my life… I still had to experience them to learn the lesson.
I’ve read many books and many articles telling me the same thing I’m telling you right now. And guess what?
I still had to go through the entire journey myself only to realize - “shit, these guys were actually right”.
And I hope you’re going to remember your Lithuanian brother when it happens to you.