"There are two types of people in this world. Those who allow money to define their lives, and those who seek adventure to enrich their lives…Become the latter.” --William Wordsworth
San Diego, California is where a young lady named Janalyn calls home. She surrounds herself with peers who share her common love of the ocean, yoga and a healthy lifestyle. Janalyn enjoys the modest fruits and stability that a 12 year professional lifeguarding career has provided her. It is an occupation that she claims to enjoy “most of the time”. Additionally, Janalyn has a colorful palate of talents and opportunities that could springboard her toward a life of yoga and photography. She is suffering from an inner conundrum of which path she should take her life. While ocean lifeguarding provides her with quantitative security, Janalyn has a continued thirst for a higher quality of life and variety that her passions could possibly afford her. Quality or quantity? We’ll get back to Janalyn.
During the mid 1800’s, Edmund Dantes grew up the only son of a hard working merchant, under what most would perceive as “humble circumstances”. His best friend, Fernand grew up wealthy and spoiled, yet often found himself envious of Dantes. As kids, Fernand was given a prized pony for his birthday, while Dantes only received a whistle. Their childhood friend, Mercedes, had always maintained that it drove Fernand nearly mad that Dantes was always happier with his whistle than he was with his pony.
The takeaway from this tale is the idea of quality over quantity. The world provides endless opportunities for us to make more out of less. Pack a picnic instead of a $300 dinner bill, rent beach cruisers on the boardwalk instead of a Harley in Malibu, kayaks on the bay instead of a houseboat. Simplified fun can be created with very modest means. A healthy billfold is not necessarily synonymous with quality of life, one needs only to restructure their thinking.
Naysayers are the cancer. Do not allow yourself to be railroaded by the resistance of critics who are crippled by the adage of making something out of nothing. How one can be happier with less only confuses them. The glass will never be half full until they can stop wondering why it is half empty. Lesson learned? Make the most out of what you are given. Steve Jobs encapsulated this brilliantly when he claimed… "When it comes to money, if you’re not enough without it, you’ll NEVER be enough with it”.
The bloodline and fuel to a life of quality relies on the human body’s ability to produce endorphins. For those who need a refresher, Webster defines endorphins as “hormones produced by the nervous system that provide the body with a feeling of euphoria”. That said, endorphins are imperative in maintaining our health. In this case, “health” is looked at as the quality and stability of our body, mind and soul. A misconception that our society commonly shares is that endorphins are released only with “extreme” activities- skydiving, base jumping, climbing Mount Everest. True, these do demand the lion’s share, but endorphins are also released when simply trying something new. Take a cooking class, go mountain biking instead of jogging, etc. The barometer is not set to equal the extreme, but to merely keep your body and mind stimulated. This is not to say that you should cash in your life insurance and bet it on a horse. I realize that the mortgage must be paid and responsibilities still must be tended to. Just be encouraged to avoid complacency by creating variety. Complacency is a death sentence that illustrates a monotony in our lives. Of all things, monotony limits our inner potential and stunts our ability to grow as human beings and live a life of quality. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint. It's about the process and progress…not perfection.
Back to Janalyn. With encouragement from her family and her peers, along with an inner thirst for broadened horizons, Janalyn is chasing her dream. While the capitol ebbs and flows, coming and going in unpredictable waves, she is able to cut and paste the necessities in life and create a new chapter for herself. She contends that, “While I am no where even close to retirement, the places I’ve seen, people I’ve met and experiences that I am privy to have afforded me an unparalleled quality of life. I wake up grateful every morning.” Janalyn chose Quality over Quantity, and she is getting paid to live her dreams through her talents.
Sometimes a change in direction can bridge the gap between a life of mediocrity…and a life of true happiness.
“Dreams are what make life tolerable.”--John Wooden