How to Get Everything You’ve Always Wanted: A Guide to Jealous-Free Living

Since taking to documenting my travels and fortunate mishaps, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received from readers like you. When I started this blog, I thought I would just record my insane adventures to laugh at down the road. But I’ve been touched to find that there are so many others out in the world who identify with my experiences and want to laugh with me. Everyday I receive an e-mail, a comment or nod from a kind and encouraging soul. It’s support from inspiring and creative people that keeps pushing me through untrodden territory, and for that I thank you.

But what I’ve been more surprised to see are the number of e-mails, Facebook messages, or comments from people expressing jealousy and envy of my situation. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be in my shoes when they could be experiencing their own unique adventures.

Over the past year I’ve learned that jealousy is a mark of discontentment and resentfulness with one’s own situation. It’s a draining feeling that wastes valuable energy on unattainable ideals (I mean, I can never be you, so being jealous over your situation is pointless). I think people turn to jealousy not because they want to, but because society accepts this emotion over challenging the status quo.

And since you have all been so supportive of me, I now want to help you. You too can live the life you’ve always wanted. There’s no shortage of happiness to be pulled from the well of possibilities. If you there is something that you want to have in your life there is nothing stopping you from having it, except you.

Courtesy of French Minds Matter

So how do you move away from a place of jealousy, discontentment, and stagnancy toward your dream job, location, relationship, or lifestyle? I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you continue to grow and move toward that which you really desire. I’m calling it…

Let’s all be happy, damn it. Here’s how, yo…

1. Think about what you want and imagine the worst possible scenario. What did she say? She seriously wants me to catastrophize how wrong this could go and why I shouldn’t do what I want to do? Yep. I know you know how. Make me proud.

We, as creatures of a modern society who feel obligated to fill socially acceptable roles, love love love to provide ourselves with dramatic ends to our feared behaviors (like public speaking). We punish ourselves in the worst possible ways: with our minds.

You can (and will) imagine every worst-case scenario, down to the sweat on your naked bodies as you stand in front of the judgmental crowd you are supposed to speak in front of. You can imagine every national news crew and Youtube channel uploading your most embarrassing failure for all to see. All you want to do is crawl in a hole and die a quick death to avoid the overwhelming amounts of embarrassment you feel. But naturally, because this is the worst possible scenario, that won’t happen. You will live for a hundred more years to see your demise replayed over and over. Clearly, since you have so successfully created this outcome, it will happen and you shouldn’t do it, right? Wrong.

The first step is imagining and really feeling the emotions that go along with your utter failure. The second step is asking yourself, well now what? What if this really happens? The likelihood and math will statistically show you that this scenario won’t occur. But even if it does, you’ll live. I mean, you just lived through it now, right? You’ve already felt what it’s like to go down this path and drink in the embarrassment, fear, or failure. So now that you’ve gotten past that hurdle, let’s move forward and try it out.

What’s the worst that will happen, you’ll experience the emotions you just found out you can handle? That’s not so scary, eh? Plus, how many times in your life has something gone exactly as you thought it would? The actuality of your situation will probably be much less traumatizing than your mind’s prediction and possibly (could it be?) fun.

2. Accept your fear. I’ve heard all of the excuses, all the reasons why one shouldn’t be allowed or can’t leave their current life to pursue the one they want. “I want to, but I have to make money. I work all the time. I have a family. I would love to move to Bora Bora, but I have roots here. I’ve got bills to pay. I don’t have the education. I’ve always wanted to try that, but I’m scared.” Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve talked myself down, I’ve wasted time toiling and waiting to move because I was convinced I couldn’t do it on my own. But the reality is, it’s all a bunch of crap and you know it.

These reasons are just veiled fears. There is a fear of not being able to support oneself, not having a full-time job, leaving the comfortable for the unknown, and so on and so forth. The reasons why you rationalize to not do something are probably (well, maybe) very logical. However, they needn’t paralyze your movement. Just accept what you’re afraid of by simply substituting an “and” for the “but” in your rational thinking. Here’s an example:

Me before acceptance- I want to see the world, but I have no idea what I’m doing.

Me after acceptance- I want to see the world and I have no idea what I’m doing.

Not much changes, except that you are no longer in your own way. You are recognizing your limit and you are pushing past it. Sometimes this small change in the verbalization of your goal can make all the difference. Now instead of stopping yourself, you’re giving yourself the freedom to be scared. And just think how excited you’ll be when you are able to conquer your fear.

If Rocco can do it so can you. Photo by Andrea Preziotti.

3. Live for everyday adventure. Sometimes the struggle isn’t necessarily changing your situation but changing your attitude. Everyday is an opportunity for you to do something special and worthwhile. You don’t have to move to the coast, fly a plane, or invent a time machine in order to have a meaningful and adventurous life. Again, we are blocked by our own assumptions and perceptions of where and how we live.

I am a perfect example of how someone can miss what is obvious to others. I grew up in Sin City. I lived in a town built on a reputation of entertainment, nightlife, and excitement. (I double dare you to guess what I thought of my city). It wasn’t until I started traveling and meeting others who were so enchanted by my town that I realized how lucky I was to call Vegas home. I was no longer stymied by own preconceptions about what was possible as a local. When I broke through that mental block, I was introduced to a world of adventure that lay only miles from my doorstep.

Start doing things that are just slightly outside of your comfort zone. Take a late night drive with the top down, go skinny dipping, read a novel by an author you’ve never heard of before, say hello to someone in a coffee shop, learn to cook a new dish, do something sweet for a friend. I promise you it will be a story worth telling. And even if you go to a party that features fondue and frog legs, at least now you can say you had that adventure.

4. Appreciate what you have now. When you start appreciating what you already have, the universe is more willing to give you what you think you’re lacking. But what you’ll probably realize is the more you practice appreciation, the more you’ll find that what you’ve been looking for is right in front of you.

Our need to be something different than what we are stems from constant comparison. It’s not your fault, really. We live in a society built around being ‘the best’. It’s natural for us to want what we don’t have. But let’s start building a more evolved society that’s focused on being our personal best, rather than the ‘ultimate best’. Really, who knows what that means? You have been blessed with so many wonderful things. Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective. It’s like the ancient Indian proverb states, “I cried because I had no shoes, but then I met a man with no feet.”

Need help finding the beauty and adventure in your everyday life? Start an affirmation book. Take five minutes everyday to write down ten awesome things that happened to you that day. It could be as simple as, “I made the most bang-up batch of brownies,” or, “That cute barista smiled at me.” It can also include people or things that you are grateful for. Some days you may have to stretch for ten but always do ten. Over time it will become easier and you’ll find yourself waking up excited to live the day exactly where you are.

5. Always, always, always keep going. Life is hard. People are mean. At some point someone will try to take your happiness and your confidence. Some people just can’t stand to see others succeed. Forgive them and understand that they are just people with the same insecurities and inward battles as you. Recognize that life will not always go your way. Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes you are in the path of destruction and devastation. Without struggle there would be no compassion, no growth, no appreciation. You will live through the pain. Just never give up.

Being able to break through your personal blocks and your hindered state is such a beautiful thing, but it’s only the first in a long line of accomplishments. Once you reach your dream, you’ll realize that wasn’t the ultimate journey; it’s just the beginning of what the world holds for you. Keep putting one foot in front of the other; you will find wondrous things. And remember, you’re not alone on this journey.

Convinced you can do this yet? That you are deserving of your dreams and the ultimate happiness of living in the moment? Don’t worry if you’re not there yet. You set the pace for your own success. The reward will be worth your consistent plodding and if you ever need reminding of that, feel free to get a hold of me. Iā€™m happy to support you.

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95 thoughts on “How to Get Everything You’ve Always Wanted: A Guide to Jealous-Free Living

  1. I just recently found your blog and started reading it from the beginning. This post in particular really resonates with me. Since graduating college two years ago my boyfriend and I have bounced around the country working different jobs in some amazing places. We so often get raised eyebrows and not-so-subtle “when are you gonna get this out of your system and get normal jobs” looks. It doesn’t bother me so much as intrigue me; who says what is “normal”? What makes the 40 hour work week normal? Just because it’s what a lot of people do, doesn’t mean it’s what I want to do, and reading your blog has been so encouraging and inspiring. Its amazing to see someone so young doing so many amazing things, and visiting such incredible places. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing and I will surely keep reading!

    • Hi Lauren!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! I am SO happy to hear you’ve been enjoying reading my blog! That’s a lot of posts to read through so I’m very appreciative. =)

      Where are you and your boyfriend at now? What has been your favorite place to visit thus far? Congrats on living the nomadic lifestyle. Maybe we will meet up for an adventure one day!

      Thank you for reading! Looking forward to being in touch!

      • Its so awesome you take the time to answer your comments, that’s quite commendable.
        Currently we are working at a an outdoor clothing company in NH, but we will hopefully be spending out summer working on some organic farms in Hawaii….I’ve worked on the San Juan Islands in WA, and we spent 6 months last year working in Alaska, which was by far the most amazing place I’ve ever been (so far)….

        Thanks again for sharing and being such a great inspiration to those of us who are just beginning our journeys!!

        • Of course! If you’re willing to take the time to comment, I’m going to take the time to respond. Only seems fair. =)

          Wow! Sounds like you guys have had quite the ride so far! What an absolutely delightful journey!

          And thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot to hear that.

          I don’t know if you’d be willing, but I’m currently in the running for Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs in the World campaign. I’m one of the 25 shortlisted applicants for their ‘park ranger’ dream job. I’m trying to get as MUCH support as possible. Would love if you would stop by their facebook page and tell them you’re on #TeamHilary?

          http://www.Facebook.com/AustralianWorkingHoliday

          Looking forward to following your journey and being in touch! Lots of love and luck!

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  3. Great blog post. It inspires. I stumbled upon you/your blog when I was checking out the website for the surf retreat in Nicaragua. Feeling the need to broaden my horizon and make some new friends on my wavelength and deciding whether or not to drop a chunk of change on that camp.

    • Hi Erica!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! So cool that you’re considering going on Holly’s retreat. I completely understand the need to broaden horizons. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. I’m happy to help you if I can. =)

      Happy Adventuring!

  4. this is so encouraging. I started my travel photos/prose blog for that very reason – to remember and be thankful for the beauty and joy i have experienced and continue to experience. it’s a continual choice to be thankful, but it really does change everything =)

    • I’m so happy to hear you found it encouraging! I absolutely agree that life is all about choices. It sounds like you’re making some good ones =).

      Keep going! I wish you memorable travels and many happy moments! Please stay in touch!

  5. These posts are phenomenal! I packed up and left America when I was 19 in 1998 and have never looked back. I’ve lived in 4 countries, visited 24, learned a heap of languages and am having an incredible time. I’m always thrilled to find others who are living the same kind of adventure. And you’re right, for every major life decision you have to take the worst worst thing that could happen and weigh it against the best best thing. If the result is acceptable to you, go for it. Respect! I love your blog!

    • Wow, thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed the post!

      You are definitely A LOT braver than me. I don’t think at 19 I could even think about moving out of the country! Respect to you!

      What do you do for work? Have you had a favorite travel destination? Do you have any advice for young travelers such as myself?

      I hope we get to meet someday on the road! In the meantime, I hope you’ll stay in touch!

      Happy adventuring!

      • I teach business English in Germany now, it’s an awesome gig and has seen my through several countries! I’d say you’re doing it exactly right for exactly the right reasons. As for my favorite destination I’d say my heart belongs to Paris, Tokyo and Berlin. You’ve been to Paris already so you know why, Tokyo is the closest you’ll ever get to taking LSD without ever having to take LSD and you’ll never eat better, Berlin is absolutely the coolest city I’ve ever been to! I can also recommend Edinburgh: the people are the friendliest ever, they have a pub called the Sheep’s Head and there’s a volcano in the middle of town. Right now though I’m totally into my cross-European hike. I love finding these little towns nobody gets to see and being alone, walking through the countryside with just a backpack and a map is really freeing. And if you ever want to celebrate one of the largest European carnivals here in Cologne I can promise you booze and fun and floor space to sleep it off if you need :-). Can’t wait to read more about your Australia trip!

        • I laughed so hard at your Tokyo comment. The funny thing about that is that I always have thought it would be exactly like that! I’m so thrilled to hear someone interpret Tokyo in a similar manner.

          Your life sounds absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to hear more about your cross-European hike! And I absolutely am with you; it’s all about those little places that no-one else talks about. I love it!

          And thank you so so much! I hope I get to take you up on that offer one day. And know you always have a tour-guide waiting for you in Vegas. =)

          Can’t wait to share my adventures with you! Looking forward to staying in touch. Hopefully one day soon we can swap stories in person!

          • I’m not sure I can be trusted in Vegas šŸ˜›
            The whole problem with this gig is that every place you go you find 8 more you HAVE to see…it really never ends! But Tokyo is a full on must-do. It really isn’t expensive, I don’t care what anyone says. If you stay away from imported stuff (tea instead of coffee, noodles for breakfast instead of bakery things), stay in a cheap ryokan and get a prepaid card for the train (cheaper rates) you really don’t spend much at all.
            When’s the big Australia/Fiji trip? soon, right?

            • Haha, I absolutely agree with you!

              And yes, I leave in thirty six hours… It’s still a little surreal. And I’m not ready. Which makes it panic worthy, haha. Speaking of, I should probably go pack… šŸ˜‰

  6. So many good lessons to be learned here! I just made a huge leap, and left university in the UK to come out to Australia to train as a chef, scraping together every penny I could to get out here. Hardest, yet hands down the BEST decision I’ve ever made. You’re so right when you say that ‘you’re only one to stand in your way’ – I had a few moments of doubt about what I was doing when my family were saying ‘you need to stick with university, it’s really important’ because I didn’t want to disappoint them. I think I was making excuses for myself as I knew they’d be proud no matter what! Love the Law of Attraction mention there too, it’s amazing how it works.
    Anyways, I just discovered your blog, love it! I saw you said you couchsurf sometimes when travelling – if your nomadic life ever brings you over Sydney ways, I’d be very happy to give you my couch for a bit.
    Take care,
    Zoe

    • Hi miss Zoe!

      It sounds like you definitely made the right decision for you! I know it can be so hard to balance the pressures of family and friends with what you want. I think parents in particular can get really freaked out about the idea of their children picking up and leaving because of the lack of stability. But in my experience, once you show them how happy you are, they become a little less terrified šŸ˜‰

      I’m actually headed to Sydney in ten days! I’m only in town for two and a half days (on my way to Ciarns) but I would love to meet up with you and grab a coffee or something.

      • Awesome, give me a shout when you’re here (zoesyumyums@gmail.com) and we’ll meet up! I just read your post about your nightmare booking to get here. From experience, a bad start before even leaving your home country = a very good thing. Looking forward to meeting you!

  7. You are amazing, the way you stand in life is really inspiring! I’ve been travelling around a bit and I get quite some people that say “I wish I could do that” and I always tell them you can! Just pack your bags! On which they start laughing.

    Anyway, I am looking forward to following you!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, Kyley! I’m glad to hear that you find the lifestyle suitable as well!

      Whereabouts are you now? Hopefully one day we’ll meet down the road =).

      Until then, stay safe and happy adventuring!

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  9. I absolutely love reading your blog. I am a college undergraduate and I have been stressing on what my future holds for me. Truthfully, I don’t even want to do it. I just want to travel and explore the world. But I realized uncertainty is a good thing even though it is very scary.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope I will soon be following in your footsteps and having my own adventures!

    • Hey there!

      First of all, I am so happy you like the blog! Second of all, don’t stress! The goal is to find the balance between your internal motivation and the external pressures. And I promise you, what you want to do with your life will change constantly. So just enjoy the ride, because once you get what you want (i.e. your degree, a job, etc.) you’re going to want something more (a higher degree, a pay raise, etc.) =)

      Let me know how I can help reduce your stress! You’re on your way to greatness, I can tell!

  10. I was wondering, how you have learnt all these things! these are the exactly the same things, that happens to my life… but i never consider the situations in this way… thank you so much…. i m gonna bookmark this page, and will read this many times…. šŸ™‚

  11. great amazing advice! just what i needed to hear at this moment as i feel bogged down by a “to do list”, wondering what life has in store for me and for trying to make sure i am working towards my dreams!

      • oh man!! i’g glad you asked what SOME of them were cause sometimes im overwhelmed by them all. my momentary focus is to LEARN lots and finish gradschool. some of my other dreams….. to get paid to do what i love- which is make art & teach art! to help others be the best they can be and do the same myself!

        • Those are some great dreams! That is so great that you’re taking the time to finish grad school! And I have no doubts you will find a way to teach and make art!

          Please stay in touch! Can’t wait to see where life takes you. =)

  12. Pingback: Allowing Time to Grow | Runaway Rose

    • Hi Jo!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I am happy to hear that you can find some the advice useful.

      What are some of your life goals? Is there a particular piece of advice you’ve carried with you through your journey thus far?

  13. Wow. This is a powerful message. I’m really glad I stumbled upon this post! I get that constantly too, and it’s very discouraging. People try to dictate what is ‘normal’ and from the moment you decide to push out of those boundaries, they find all manner of negative things to say. Keep doing what makes you happy! I know I will!

  14. Pingback: It’s the Ides of March – Should I Beware of You? « Mental Health Food

  15. Enjoyed reading this– stuff I know I should already know by now, but sometimes it’s just good to listen to a stranger tell you the same truth in a different way.

    I really like the substitution of but for and, when assessing life risk. I’m taking that with me.

    • =) Thank you so much for reading it! I am happy to hear that I could help remind you.

      And I’m very happy to hear you’ll be using that method. It was one of my favorite exercises I learned while doing clinical hours for my degree.

      What kinds of things do you want to do?

  16. I am sending this blog to my friend. He’s at a transitional point in his life and really needs to read this.

    As for me, I look forward to your next post and your next adventure! šŸ™‚

  17. Excellent post Hilary.
    Jealousy seems like such a useless emotion.
    Funny for me to find this here today. As I was driving home earlier I was thinking how much happier I am now than a few years ago. I chose to make a lot of changes in my life. I took full responsibility for what I wanted to have happen. All the outcomes I wanted haven’t happened, yet. Many very positive things have happened. The others will come, or be revised, or fail to matter any more. It’s a much more productive approach to life.
    Keep it coming Lady!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I spent some time constructing this post as its purpose was very dear to me, so I’m happy to hear that it’s being well received.

      And it’s funny how things seem to work out like that, isn’t it? Keep living your life as you are. So many wonderful things happen when we take responsibility and have faith in ourselves. =)

  18. Great post! Inspiring …I especially agree with you comment “sometimes it’s not the situation that needs to be changed, but the attitude.” Keep sharing your wisdom, please!

  19. This post reminded me of a nice song by Howard Jones called “Specialty”. Like Howard Jones you always seem to have the right words at the right time.

    Specialty
    Don’t chop off his head
    To make yourself look tall
    Don’t tear a strip off
    To make yourself feel wonderful
    Who wants to compare
    As if this was a competition
    Leave that to teachers at school
    Must preserve their tradition

    ‘Bout time you realised
    You are a specialty
    There is no one like you
    Spend your life worrying
    ‘Bout what you could have been
    Can’t you like being you

    Don’t need a scalp
    Don’t need to be a juror
    Take care of yourself
    No need to feel so insecure
    Waste of energy
    To prove a holier than him
    Waste of energy
    To find out who commits what sin

  20. This needs to be said: I love you.

    Really, I do. This post is great. About 3 years ago a friend of mine working IT in NYC decided “it was time” to do what he really wanted: pick up stakes, move out west, and join a fire company. I was so proud of him for having the courage to be able to do something like that. I knew, I never would have that courage. For 2 years whenever I’d get off the phone I’d think, “Man, I wish I could do that.” Not exactly jealous of his life but his courage…until it hit me. There was no reason that I couldn’t do that. So when I got home from my trip to Yosemite last year I decided that’s exactly what I was going to do: live my life the way I wanted. Now, exactly what that means has not been revealed to me quite yet other than I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing right now. So since life happens to us most when we allow it to, I’m putting myself out there…looking for jobs, applying to grad schools, saving money so when I reach that magic number I can just figure it out.

    I’m not jealous so much as I’m proud; proud of your courage.

    • Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to write this up. I was so moved reading this. Really, thank you.

      I have complete faith that life will work itself out for you and that you will find your calling. I hope you enjoy the ups and downs along the way. They can be terrifying and oh-so exciting. I’m looking forward to being able to watch you grow and experience this tumultuous time with you. =)

      Thank you so much again for your support. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such positive and loving people. And I love you too! =)

  21. Great post. It is a shame that you are getting negative messages of jealousy etc….I am enjoying your blog and your adventures. Some stories inspire me to try something different, or look at something in a new light! Afterall, isn’t that part of the point.
    Luckily, I have had no negativity from others about my adventures – sorry to hear that you have! Glad you were able to look at it tongue in cheek and look forward to your next adventure! After, it is more fun if we just keep going and living the dream as much as we can!

    • Hi Anita,

      I hope I haven’t misrepresented my followers; I wouldn’t say it’s been negative towards me in any way. I’d say it feels more like people try to compare situations which aren’t comparable. I wanted this post to inspire and encourage those who think they aren’t special or worthy of adventure to try it and hopefully find that they are.

      I am so grateful to have you as one of my readers. You are such an inspiring woman! Thank you for living the dream with me =)

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Michael. I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this post. I’ve really enjoyed working on it and am so excited to share it. I hope others enjoy it as much as you do.

  22. Kind of appalling that you get negative messages, but sadly, I guess that’s just how it goes sometimes.
    Glad you let it roll off your back, and keep on rockin!

    Oh, and not sure if I missed it, but it helps to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at yourself when you do screw up.
    If you haven’t seen it yet, you might like ericmurtaugh.wordpress.com He does a lot of posts on the how and why of adventure.

    • I wouldn’t say they are negative at all. I think people look at what others are doing and then compare themselves. My message is that there is no need for comparison because everyone is capable and can do so many amazing things in their lives. We are all on unique journeys and should not want to be someone else. I am in no way trying to say that I am hurt or upset by these messages, but that I saw an opportunity to help others realize that they can do whatever they want to. I hope that comes across.

      Thank you for the recommendation. I will have to check out his blog!

      Thank you again for reading and taking the time to comment. I always appreciate your support!

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