Finding Direction in Life

Hey guys, Calvin Coyles here from Young & Wildly Successful. I just want to record a quick video for you about finding direction in life. I’m here on the beautiful Voyager of the Seas, just taking two weeks off to spend time with my family members, it’s my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and I’m reflecting back on their life and what they’ve accomplished in such an incredible life. Nearly 70 years old now, 50 years together, and I’m also approaching now two days away from my 25th birthday.

And so, I’m just thinking about all these different things. Taking some time out to stop and reflect. Our minds are reminded, I guess, about their story and about my own, about how there’s been many times where I felt like I’ve been on course. And I’m sure there’s been many times my grandparents, when they felt like they’d been on course. Where things were going in the right direction, it was smooth sailing, so to speak. And there’s been plenty of times where both myself and also plenty of times in their life where they felt they couldn’t be further away from where they were meant to be going in life.

Perhaps they had no idea, or perhaps they knew that whatever direction there were going in was the complete wrong one for them to be going in. I don’t know which category you’re in. You might be in the category where you’re like, “Calvin, I’ve got no direction in life. I have no idea what I’m meant to be doing with my life.” The flip side might be like, “No, I know what I’m doing. It’s not serving me, but I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what my X-factor is, I don’t know how I’m going to find it.” Or you might find that you’re on track, you’re just looking to get further on track, and make sure you’re going in the right way.

And what’s coming to me now as I’m sharing this video with you is something that I thought about when I was about 20 years old. When I was 20 years old, I was running a public company. I had 120 staff. We had the largest nonprofit consulting company in Australia at the time. All volunteers work for a company called The Bright Lights Group Australia. That company since folded, but when I was in that moment, I remember speaking to a mentor of mine at the time, and I said, “Look, I’ve got no doubt, the core of who I am, I know I’m here to be successful. I know I’m here to make a difference in the world. I know that I will achieve and I will be successful. Whatever I do, I know that. But I don’t want to be successful at something that I never should have tried in the first place. I don’t want to go down the path and dedicate my whole life to something, and go, ‘Look, I’m going to carve out a name in this industry in a particular space,’ if that’s the wrong path to be going down. I know that whatever path I take, I will dominate. I know whatever path I take I’m going to succeed in, because I know that I’ll just find a way. I’ve got my whole life to do it.”

And I understand the importance of connection and commitment and just going for it in dedication. I knew that, right? But I wanted to make sure that before I decided to go on one path or another, I wanted to make sure I picked the right path, because there’s no point in succeeding at something that shouldn’t be done in the first place. I believe it was once said, “There’s no point doing effectively that which should not be done at all.” And so for me, I had to take some time, and I made a decision at that stage. I was running, as I said, a huge business. I was in a relationship. I had family things that were happening. I was also studying full time as well, completing my Commerce degree at the time.

And I made a decision to stop everything. Literally, stop everything. Cut cords from everything, obviously still in a relationship, still have my family, but I made a decision that I was going to take a month, a whole month, and I was going to stop, and I was just going to go and travel. And I made a decision. I said, “Where’s the place that scares me the most?” And the place that came up to me was India. I don’t know why, but India was it. I’d been to Africa before, that didn’t scare me. I’d spend time in [inaudible 00:0317] didn’t scare me, but India for me, there was just something about it that stirred me a little bit, and I said, “That’s where I need to go. Wherever I’m going to feel uncomfortable is where I need to go.”

And so I made a decision to, literally, spur of the moment, I’m coming towards Christmas time, I booked flights. I had no money at this stage. I was pouring all my money into the business. I had no money. I think I had like $1200 to my name, that was it. And I spend $700 of that, I think it was, or $900 to get a return flight back from India. And I knew where I was going, and I knew where I was coming out of, but I had no idea what was going to happen in the middle of that experience. And whatever little money I had, like, 3, 4, 500 bucks, I took that to India and that lasted me for a month. I backpacked, I traveled, I hitchhiked, I did whatever I could to get there.

I rode on trains without paying for it, that’s a whole other story, but the reason that I’m sharing this story with you is that if you’re struggling to find clarity or direction in life, oftentimes the situation that we’re in perpetuates itself. If you’re in a stuck state, you tend to stay in a stuck state. And you need to create a catalyst, you need a shakeup in your life to be able to make something different happen. If we continue to do the things we’ve always done, we’ll continue to get the same results. So right now, you’re either not doing anything at all in life, perfect time to travel. Or you’re in a position in a job that you hate, that you know is not getting you anywhere. Or maybe you’re even in the worst position of all, in that you’re doing something that it’s okay, but you’re not dramatically uncomfortable to want to change it.

Whatever category you’re in, you need to make a decision. And I know I’m preaching to you right now, but it’s coming from the truth of my experience, and that is that the only way I believe that we’re truly going to find ourselves, the only way we’re going to try and find our authentic voice, the only way we’re going to find our own true North. Our own compass. Our own shining star to go after. The only way we’re going to find clarity and direction in life, the only way, is to get ourselves out of our environment that we’re currently in.

Get ourselves away from the people that we normally hang around with. Don’t worry, they’ll still be there when you come back. But getting ourselves away from that, literally stripping and shredding away the facade of who we become to the world, and going in and venturing into the unknown. Whether that’s going on a journey at sea, or whether that’s going to India, or Africa, or the Middle East, or Korea. I don’t know, but going somewhere. Going somewhere that challenges you, and go for longer than a week. Ideally, a month to three months is a good enough time.

The reality is, guys, particularly for young people, will go, “Oh my god, if I left for three months, I’d run out of money.” Bullshit. You won’t run out of money, you’ll find a way to make it happen. You’ll build resourcefulness, which is a huge art and a huge skill to develop at a young age. The second reason, as well, is that we go, “No, no, I can’t do it because I’ve got a job.” Bullshit. Your job is not where you’re going to be in 30 years’ time.

So if this is now the opportunity for you to let it go, if you’re good enough at what you do, it will be here when you come back. And if you’re not good enough, it’s a good chance for you to go away, get some new skills, come back, and then prove to them why you deserve your job back. The reality is, guys, is I don’t care where you are financially, economically, in relationships, in your health, in your business, I don’t care where you are. No matter where you are in life, no matter why you say you can’t go right now, and go and spend a month to three months traveling around the world, that’s the exact reason why you need to do it.

Now, I said, “I can’t go because I’m in a relationship.” And I spoke to my partner, and she said, “Calvin, if you believe that you need to go and do this, I want you to do it for you.” I spoke to my family, and they said, “Cal, you need to go an explore the world and see it for yourself. And if you get stuck, we might not be able to help you, but you’ll find a way.” And then I spoke to my team, my business, and they said, “Calvin, the reality is you’re 20 years old. You’re not building Bright Lights for the rest of your life, so if you want to take some time for you, go and do that.” And I did. And then I looked at a variety of other areas of my life. And I made some decisions, and I had to cut some things off, and that was painful, but when I left, and when I went and traveled, the whole world changed for me.

And I’ve had the pleasure now of traveling to nearly 40, 45 countries on the planet. And I’ve seen variety of cultures. We’ve worked now with 64 countries. Different cultures from 64 countries around the world. Fifty thousand people. And I can tell you, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing right now if it wasn’t for those journeys and those experiences. Going to places like Africa. Going to places like India. Traveling around different parts of Southeast Asia. Going over to Europe a number of times on trips. Going to the United States.

And it’s important to travel with a group of people, I totally get that, but my suggestion to you is if you want the best experience, travel alone. When you travel alone, it’s a different experience. So many young people feel this need that we’ve always got to be connected to the world. Bullshit. Separate. Separate and find out who you are so that when you connect, you connect with the entirety and the authenticity of you are, not with who you’ve become as a result of all of these different connections.

And so my message to you is really simple. I just want to encourage you to be able to live the best possible life for you. And for many of us, we get to the end of our days, and realize we never did that because we never took the time deliberately and consciously to create it. And a best way to create it is, first, to find out what it is for you. And the only way you’re going to do that is if you get yourself far enough away from your natural environment to be able to find yourself in you, and you realize, what I realized when I traveled, was that Calvin in Perth, Western Australia, for example, that his family and his friends and his loved ones know, that’s Calvin.

But what happens if Calvin goes to India when no one on the planet knows him? Who is that Calvin? What is the Calvin that travels? What’s the Calvin that’s still there? And these might be esoteric thoughts, but you’ll appreciate it when you travel alone. Who’s the Calvin that’s still there? Because that’s the essence, when you strip away all the things that I should be, could be, would be, have to be, and you focus on who you actually are, I want to see more of those people in the world. I want to see you being the very best version of you, and the only way to do that is to get yourself our of your comfort zone.

So that’s a little message from me, guys. I hope you appreciate it. Onboard the Voyager of the Seas having a phenomenal time. Great different style of cruising, as well. Not quite relaxing as you expect it to be. A heap of activities, but nonetheless a good opportunity to reconnect with the family as well. Lots of love, guys. Good luck. God bless. I don’t know where you’re going to go on your journeys, but please share them with us. I’d love to find out more about them, and believe in yourself. You’ve got more in you than you can possibly begin to imagine. It’s time that you started to stretch yourselves. Lots of love. Good luck. God bless. Live life on your terms. Bye.

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