I've been thinking a lot recently about how often we humans choose the easy route. We graduate from university with all of these big dreams and plans, and as time goes by, we start to lose momentum. Life takes it's toll, and suddenly we're happy to let those dreams slip by the wayside in favour of a steady pay check and a comfortable life. It's easy to do (and I know because I've taken that route so many times myself), but I also know that extraordinary lives aren't built within our comfort zones. The sort of life I want - full of love and happiness and big achievements - can only happen when you start living on purpose. It can only happen when you refuse to settle.
If the life you're living everyday doesn't make you happy, change it. If you're waking up with a pit of dread in your stomach each morning, know that it doesn't have to be that way. If you're falling asleep with a head of full worries every evening, understand that it won't be forever. Don't settle.
If your job brings you more stress than joy, look for another job. If your work doesn't leave you feeling fulfilled and happy, find different work - even if you can only do it for a few hours each day. If you have big dreams that feel like they're getting further and further out of reach, don't give up on them. Don't settle.
If there are places you've always wanted to visit, start saving. You might not get there this year, or even next, but you'll get there eventually. If you want more adventure in your life, find it. Adventure can be big or small, local or far flung, but it's always out there. Don't settle.
If your relationship isn't making you happy, leave it. It doesn't matter how convenient or amenable it may be, if you're not in love, make a change. You deserve to feel butterflies and passion and endless gratitude for your partner, and to have those feelings reciprocated. Don't settle.
If the friends you've had for years no longer feel like the support system you need, don't be afraid to find new friends. It's never too late to find your tribe, the people who make you feel like the very best version of yourself. They're out there and they probably need you too. Don't settle.
Make sure every single day is filled with at least one thing that makes your heart happy. Move your body if it feels like you need to move it, and eat the cake if your mouth is salivating at the thought of it. Find a job that makes you feel proud of yourself on the commute home, and find a hobby that makes you smile. Remember that time is precious and none of us know how long we'll be around for. Don't settle.
That life that you've always dreamed about? The one filled with all the things you know will make your heart happy? You can have it. Don't settle for anything else.