In pursuit of happiness: What we’ve learned along the way

A couple of months ago, I wrote about my epiphany. I finally realized that simplifying my life was going to be a big step in our pursuit of happiness. Initially, it was tough to make that mental shift in thinking. It also took me a while to finally “get it” and convince my ego; “Living with Less is not about living without; it’s about less debt and less stuff that I don’t really want or need. One of my end games is less stress”. Unfortunately I have a history of letting stress control my life. Life is short and it was time to take action.

A couple of years ago, while walking the 500 mile Camino with my wife Morgan, we rediscovered life was about connecting with others and with God (I wonder why I still struggle saying this three letter word). Living is about bringing back the wonder and discovering the beauty of this big beautiful planet where we live. Fulfillment is about making time and focusing on the things that serve you in your life. Toward the end of this pilgrimage, I remember thinking “finally I am living life and life is not living me”.

Since our return, at times it seemed we were starting to fall into our old habits. We let life happen and our dreams of hikes and pilgrimages throughout the world started to fade away. This is when we made the decision to downsize and take back control of our lives.

Since we made this hard decision, we have cleaned out closets, attics and sheds. We were hoping to have an Estate Sale but instead donated a load to an Autism Support thrift shop.

Emotionally putting our family home up for sale was initially tough. I hesitated for days putting the sign in the yard. Once the sign was planted, this is when things really picked up.

There was an immediate offer on our home and we accepted. This is crazy but at first I was depressed about selling. We now have one month to find a new place so we will need to find a short term rental. This is OK. We don’t want to make a rushed decision. I am now feeling good that we are moving down the path of where we need to go.

When we buy, I have discovered there are great places to live that will allow us to pursue our dreams. Homes with less upkeep and less debt are just what the doctor ordered. Less debt gives you flexibility in what you do for a living and gives you more time to pursue the things that matter.

We have discovered with the power of prayer and intention many things are possible. For me it was taking the first step and staying focused on the end result.

If everything works out, this summer we are looking at one of the following treks.

  1. Camino de Santiago – a return to this incredible journey across Spain,
  2. Walk across Scotland – perhaps the West Highland Way
  3. Walk across or around Ireland
  4. Parts of the Israel National Trail

When we go we would love to share our journey with you.

Yikes! My worrying habits are still hard to break; especially about things that never come to pass. Lately I have been worrying, what about my business?   If I am gone for a period of time will this hurt my business? What about my clients? Allowing the power of intention to work, I have realized it’s not a choice of one or the other. I have a great team and if I take advantage of technology, I can provide support from most anywhere in the world.

Again, I am not a great bible scholar, but this is a good word.

Luke Chapter 11 verse 9 and 10

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receive; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Is there something you would like different in your life?  I urge you to grab a family member or friend and go for a walk and take in the beauty of our planet. Talk about what you would do if you had less debt, less stuff and stress.  Think of how you can take control of your life and pursue what serves you. This could be our only rodeo, let’s take advantage of it. It is your life, commit to take the first step today.  Are you in?

Gregg Patterson

© Copyright March 2016


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