Why This 1 Phrase Made Me Quit My Job (+ powerful exercise inside!)

“Be careful so that you’re not chasing someone else’s dream.“

We were a group of about eight people, sitting around a too sharply lit table at a hostel in central Bangkok. Seven of us listened hypnotically to the guy who just uttered the phrase that might have been the beginning of the end for me. End of 29 years of chasing someone else’s dream.

It was my last night of traveling before going back to Europe again. Europe and corporate life. I should be excited to start my “real” life, but I kept frantically scratching that mosquito bite on my sun burnt leg, hoping it wasn’t gonna lead to dengue fever.

The guy was an American author and motivational speaker, and what he did at a cheap hostel in central Bangkok is beyond me. Maybe he just made that story up. His name has become dissolved in a cocktail of full moon parties and failed attempts to flee from my inner chaos. Long story short, I found myself in a frantic period where I questioned everything I thought I knew about life, relations and the nature of the universe itself - a crescendo that would lead to my spiritual awakening many months later.

There and then, however, I couldn’t even spell trust and anxiety was my constant companion. So of course the universe sent me this person to silently point out the right direction. Almost two years later, I would use this quote as a theme for one of my very first yoga classes that I taught. I remember this last night of traveling, how the American guy had us make an exercise around our personal values, an exercise that normally was solely for the attendees of his conferences. We all found pieces of paper and leftover pens from travelers. With a blunt pencil in my hand, forgotten by a traveler from God knows what distant country, I took a deep breath.

And I blanked. Values? Personal values? What were my values? Who was I? “Honesty” sounded good. Many sunsets have passed since this exercises and I frankly don’t remember it in detail, but I remember there was something about the foundation of the house, then the windows representing your image towards the world. Your mask.

What I wanna convey is how my palms went all sweaty despite the noisy air conditioning, because I didn’t know my values. I didn’t even know it was possible to have values - even less why it would be useful!

But this unknown American author opened up more than the sloppily sketched door on the house on my forgotten piece of paper from God knows what distant country.

Because I slowly realised I had been chasing someone else’s dream all along.

I hadn’t shown myself that oh so important honesty.

Let’s go back in time. I invite you to Central Hostel in Bangkok. It’s suffocating outside, and please turn your head away as you pass by the redlight district on a side road. We walk past one of the countless bars beside the hostel, where a group of British 19 year olds are singing way too loud for the early evening hour. Inside of the hostel it’s quite chill though, a friendly atmosphere and the owner’s wife cooks the best green curry in town. I’m buying one and the portions are enough for a sumo fighter, she refuses to give you less, so I ask for a doggy bag to take it with me to the airport the following morning. I wish I could say it’s because of the environment, but there and then I’m in such a state of confusion that the only one I can care about is myself. Barely. Not enough to figure out if I actually believe “honesty” to be one of my core values, or if it’s ratber someone else’s that I’ve copied.

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You sit down beside me around the table. There’s the girl from South Korea who’s obsessed with Paris and speaks seven languages. The shy guy with the dreadlocks who never speaks but has no fear around being the center of attention when playing his guitar. And that guy with too many tattoos who has become a perpetual backpacker. Who brags about having been to 10 pub crawls the last week. The cool British girl who has already drawn an artistic masterpiece though her pencil is even more blunt than mine - I think she was part of a circus back home - or was it a dance collective? - the guy that has to be Dutch because he’s so tall he has to fold himself all over the table or almost, and that annoying girl who’s constantly Skyping with someone from back home in the middle of the night.

And the unknown American author.

Without judgment I can say he was the only one with an abundance mindset. He radiated confidence, yet he was humble enough to share. That irritated me. Confident people were not humble in my world. I remember seeing him as some kind of exotic creature from another planet. I mean who works as a motivational speaker? And how is it even possible to live on Earth in 2016 and publish a book?!

That was where I was at. I had accepted that I was just not someone who:

  • had dreams

  • went for them

  • decided to make them happen no matter what.

But it only took one phrase to turn that around. Words are powerful. Life changing, even! Miracles happen every day.

So I hand the blunt pencil over to you. Or wait, scratch that! I go look for a knife in the kitchen. And I sharpen it for you. Because I’ve realised that life is too short for blunt pencils.

And I invite you to write down your values. Values are guidelines for decisions! Which makes life easier. Mmm.

  • What are your 3-5 core values? The most important things to you? (and yes you have the right to choose honesty)

  • Are these values yours, or did you copy them at some point in life? (been there done that)

  • When looking at the actions you’ve taken in your life during the last few days - are they in alignment with your values? For example: a value can be “being open-minded”, and you might have judged someone yesterday for their horribly bad taste in music.

  • Is your current job/business working on spreading these values in the world?

My number 1 value is FREEDOM. I wanna be free, I wanna set people free. I believe that’s what will make this world great again. That’s really what my abundance coaching business and personal brand is all about! (And yes, the yoga too - an open body leads to an open mind. Or something along those lines.)

If you feel stuck - don’t worry! If I could do this with my very limited mindset and my blunt pencil, and that itching mosquito bite that wasn’t dengue fever after all, then so can you!!

Leave a comment or tell me what came up for you. I read everything personally and I’m so curious!

Because awareness is always the first step. That’s why I’m so passionate about showing you what’s possible! Once you become AWARE that a certain lifestyle is possible, one that is completely aligned with your values, and that it’s possible for YOU because it is for all humans on this planet, and that you DECIDE to go for it no matter what…

Your values will go from building a house on a forgotten piece of paper to buying one on a tropical beach or a big city of your choice.

The decision is yours!

For more fun facts about abundance coaching, jump over here!

Thank you for investing your valuable, precious time in reading this. I seriously appreciate it.

And as always, remember that you are enough and deserve love! Peace <3