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Navigating Life's Good and Bad- Life is in Session

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

baby taj, taj mahal, india, nomadicaddictt, sober fun, sober adventures, Itmad Ud Daulah
"Baby Taj" India

Life is in Session: Highs and Lows There's Always Something to Learn

Many of you may know/not know details about me depending on how you've come across NomadicAddictt.

Some may know the deeper stories of my past, others perhaps the more recent solo nomad adventures filled with amazing places and experiences shown on social media and Youtube.

It’s important to note, and I feel called to share for whoever is out there who may need to hear it, that social media photos and videos are always people’s highlights.

Rarely do they offer the full story or picture.

Life may look perfect at times for some, and certainly, I’m grateful for my life today. I love sharing videos of my adventures around the world (swimming with sharks, whales, dolphins, etc), it’s my passion and a huge reason why NomadicAddictt exists.

However, life is always going to be life, for all of us, sober or otherwise.

Behind the Scenes for NomadicAddictt:

Even in the paradise of Bali and nomadic travel, life happens, and always on its own terms.

Does homeownership sound amazing to you? Of course it does! We all strive for it, right?

Depending on where you live get ready for storms, regular repairs, bad renters, and damages which can cost big money, sometimes more than rent. This can and does leave some people having to sell their houses prematurely or for a loss.

Wanting to start a new business? Rock on! Certainly, go for it.

For some, however, opening businesses can lead to bankruptcy, relationship issues, extra stress (emotionally and financially), and in some cases if engaged with a business partner, lawsuits may arise- regardless of the foundation that was had prior.

While owning and operating a successful business is extremely admirable and certainly attractive to many, we all only have so much time in our day and one life to live. That forces us to have to choose, day in and day out, where our priorities lie and how we seek to build a future, while also enjoying the present.

What's the lesson in some of this?

Be ready for the good and the bad associated with the things we attach ourselves to and desire. Life wouldn't have it any other way.

Watch who you enter any partnership with, what sort of potential personal guarantees are required, and be mindful (as best you can) of the cost/benefit of time invested into the business versus time lost with family/friends.

Be ready for good times and bad times with homeownership. Make sure to have an emergency fund to support those challenging times or alternative backup plans if the need to sell ever arises, whether market conditions are favorable or not.

These are just some small examples that can come up. Of course, we all have many more.

How Then Do We Balance Our Time?

How do we find that secret recipe to be "successful" (remember, this word means something different to us all)?

The secret to that is in understanding your core beliefs and core values.

For a dedicated family person, perhaps more time with family will be the priority, and less time at the office. Alternatively, sacrificing some family time on the front end in order to ensure that there is more time for them later may be your decision.

The trouble with this is there is no guarantee that the future will provide you with that time. Matter of fact, the larger a company grows the more energy that it requires. This can quickly turn into a vicious cycle that feels like a never-ending hampster wheel race to nowhere, even if the business is successful.

What does success mean to you - financial targets, specific achievements, having a family, and a stable job?

Or is it more along the lines of experiencing peace, freedom, and joy in your day-to-day life regardless of any of the above circumstances?

Defining this for yourself is paramount to finding ways towards balance. We are not all called to be Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates. And if you are, more power to you! We need you. The truth is we are all needed in this world, and we all don't have to build massive empires to be "successful" and/or needed. There's a good chance whatever you're doing is already extremely valuable and for that, I thank you.

Life's "Good" and "Bad"

Let's pause for a second and have some behind-the-scenes fun here at NomadicAddictt with regard to "good" and "bad".

I've recently had a few run-ins with life on life's terms even while in paradise(bare with me if this seems trivial I promise there's a point)-

  • I chipped/cracked a tooth 🦷.

  • Had food poisoning 🍗 for a week leading up to a good friend's wedding and a long drive.

  • Tweaked my back weightlifting 🏋️‍♀️ after getting on a good workout and running routine weekly, leaving me unable to engage in that physical activity.

  • My laptop 💻 (which is my sole means of survival primarily for remote nomad work and of course building this site and writing for Nomadic Addictt) just happened to be under a leaking roof in the EXACT place where the water was falling during a big storm while I was sleeping. And yes, the computer was on. Had it been literally anywhere else in the room it would’ve been fine (*update: by some miracle, it survived).

  • After buying a new tire for my scooter 🛵 , it became flat randomly within the first week.... how does that even happen? No nail or puncture, just flat... hmmm 🤷‍♂️ 🤔

  • I finally get to go surfing 🏄‍♂️ after nearly a month or two off at an epic spot I love and end up slicing the top of my foot in two spots on the reef. It later gets infected (healed now thankfully) because I waited too long to treat it making it painful to walk.

Blah blah blah….

I can name a lot more (as I'm sure you all can also) but you get the point.

We all have these lists. Again, some are more serious than others and I purposefully listed more of the "quality problems" for a reason. Regardless of what life throws at us, it can and often does feel like a lot at times.

Uncomfortable, unenjoyable, perhaps even painful.

For me, I’m reminded to ask, Do I want to be a victim right now and feel sorry for myself?

Or do I want to take control of what I can, lean into the discomfort life may be throwing at me in the present moment, and seek to learn what I can do and how I can control my reactions to circumstances as they arise?

I hear you… “What’s the point? There's a lot of rambling here”

The point is....

"Good" things happen to “bad” people

"Bad" things happen to “good” people

Life happens to everyone regardless. And often times it's our own attachment to these ideas of what good and bad mean that drive us to frustration, anger, and/or resentment, thereby impacting our outlook on life and even our relationships with others.

Into Solution- Navigating Life's Highs and Lows

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from William Shakespeare, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

Our own ideas and perceptions attached to what is good and what is bad are what lead us to our emotional responses.

Late for work? More often than not that is seen as "bad".

Missed being in a car accident because you were running late? Now that same scenario is "good".

I think you get the point our friend Mr. Shakespeare is making. In both scenarios, nothing changed. Same circumstances, it was the thinking attached to the scenario that elicited different reactions.

This brings us to the popular Buddhist teaching, attachment leads to suffering... but we know this right?

It makes sense.

Attachment to the idea of having good outcomes consistently will inevitably lead to disappointment. This is not likely to happen, nor is it possible.

I offer this as a baseline, expect the worst, and always hope for the best.

Decent motto- seems to work for me.

An optimistic realist as it were. Hope and believe in the good, while also recognizing that there are far too many variables in life to control any outcome, regardless of our best efforts.

Life is in session... always show up for class.

What can I learn today?

happy, sober, free, sober fun, recovery, sober adventures, nomadicaddictt, nomadicaddict, be better

Don't be Bitter, be Better

Being a naturally positive person people often ask me, Zac, do you ever get angry?

While rare these days, the answer is yes. Who doesn't? It is only natural.

However, I try to dive deeper into understanding what is prompting me to be angry. Is it fear, resentment, envy, or even grief/sadness?

Am I feeling wronged or hurt by another?

This often helps me take a step back and pause before I react to a situation and the good news is it often will ease any anger that may be present.

Do I get Frustrated? Of course.

Grateful? Usually. I often find my way back there regardless of how things are going whether desired or not- especially if I choose to focus on the things I am grateful for.

Positive and encouraged? Always 😊

Remember our cheat sheet, optimistic realist mentality?

Houses get fixed, computers replaced, and lawsuits settle.... eventually.

One thing is for certain, I can’t get my time back and I'm sure not going to waste it on being negative.

The truth is it doesn’t usually help anyway.

Is anyone with me here? Raise your digital hand 🤚

High-five through the screen.

More Solution:

We have to learn to shift our relationship and perspective with pain and change.

Pain often is a precursor to change and change is inevitable. Change can be a very good thing.

Encourage yourself to think new thoughts like "I’m not a glutton for punishment, I’m hungry to be sculpted".

Painful moments in life sculpt us into our future selves- a futuristic version beyond our present. I’m hungry for that version and when I stay in that mentality, It helps remind me that pain is temporary and necessary for growth and change.

And that's the goal, isn't it? To grow and be better. Bit by bit, day by day.

Each day is a day to use as best we can regardless of the circumstances.

This is life, feel free to remind me if I ever forget how lucky I am to be blessed enough to live it and to have a body that carries me through it.

Final Thoughts

All that said, I truly hope each and every one of your days are smooth, fulfilling, and calm- and if they’re not, that you’re finding peace ☮️ in the process.

I share this because I want anyone out there to know life happens to us all. Some situations are “worse” than others. No one is immune, regardless of the magic reels and trending audio of social media.

Just because you hit a roadblock or some challenges it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the wrong path. I wouldn’t change anything that's happened to me or the mistakes I've made because it has led me to where I am today.

And just for today, I’m happy. Not always stoked (like when all the nonsense I listed above- "quality problems"- happen in a single week), but I don’t have to be.

We need the downs to understand and appreciate the ups.

We need our contrasts in life.

They help with gratitude for those extra special moments.

Things will come and go. People, places, and things will fail us. These are facts of life. We can embrace them knowingly while still being positive.

Wherever you are in the up and downs, I wish you much love and many blessings.

You got this. Don’t give up. This too shall pass. I’ll always be here to try to offer any support I can along the way of your journey.

We’re all here to support each other 🙏

Much love always my friends and safe travels ❤️🌏

The world is open… hope to see you out there!

Just watch where you leave your laptop 😂

*Read more encouraging and supportive blogs in my "Mental Wellness" Category.

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