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The One Simple Thing I Do to Live a Happy Life

by Sean Ogle | Last Updated: March 6, 2015

After a long travel day yesterday I arrived in Vail, Colorado where I’m spending the week working, skiing, and…well, working and skiing.

They’ve had 40 inches of snow in the last 10 days, including a solid 6 inches last night. I woke up this this morning to clear blue skies, and everyone around me seemed like they were drunk on happy pills.

Seriously, you’d assume the mountain had never seen a powder day before.

I got out of bed early and was on the lift by 8:30. For the next four hours I was treated to one of the most epic days of skiing imaginable. Big, wide open back bowls full of untouched powder.  It was a Wednesday, so it wasn’t super crowded, and I easily could have gone on skiing like this all day.

But I didn’t.

At 12:30, I went in, took a quick nap, and then spent the rest of the afternoon working.

Why on earth would I come to Vail for a ski trip, and during the most amazing ski day of the season, stop after only a few hours?

The answer is pretty simple: because I wanted to.

One of the toughest habits to kick in life is that of always doing what you feel you’re supposed to do.

I should have spent the entire day skiing.

But I knew I’d be happier buckling down and catching up on work – even if everyone would think I was crazy for it.

How many times have you done something just because you felt like it was what you should do?

In college how many times did you really want to stay in on a Saturday night and watch a movie, but went out because it was what you felt you were supposed to do?

Maybe at some point you bought a house and took on a mortgage because that’s what all of your friends were doing.

It’s taken me a really long time to get to this point, but one of the primary reasons I’m so happy with my life isn’t because of the business, the flexible hours, or the freedom (I mean, yes, that’s all fantastic) but it’s because I’ve started doing what wanted, rather than feeling obligated to do what others might have done.

If I’m in a foreign country, I used to always feel like time was wasted if I wasn’t constantly out exploring or seeing the sights. Now maybe I’ll do that, or maybe I’ll just hang by the pool with a book.

The idea here is that once you make the conscious decision to only do the things you want to do, you’ll be much happier in the long run.

“But what about all of those things you’ll miss out on?”

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) can be a really powerful force.

Even today I had pangs of feeling “man, I’m missing out on some snow that I may only see once this season.” But I felt immeasurably better by starting to push some new projects over the edge that I’ve been sitting on for way too long.

Seems like a weird day to finally start working on those things – but hey, that’s when I got inspired.

You’ll never be able to do everything. You’ll always be missing out on something. Once you accept that and just focus on doing the things you want, for the reasons that are important to you, a huge source of stress is lifted.

Sure there are plenty of other things to stress you out in life, but if you focus what will make you happy, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Share a time in the comments when you’ve wanted to do one thing, but ended up going with the crowd instead?

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
Build a Lifestyle Business Giving You Freedom You've Always Wanted

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