How My Ambition Made Me Miserable
Not so long ago, I was pretty miserable.
I was unsatisfied with life and I blamed everyone else for the way I felt – my husband, my boss, my colleagues, my parents, my siblings and friends, and of course, even strangers who would cut me off on the road or gave me an attitude in the grocery store. I would have fits of rage sometimes, and I was constantly annoyed and frustrated.
It was obvious to me that if everyone simply behaved the way I wanted them to, my life would be much better and I would finally be happy.
At the same time, I was successful in my career making more money that I thought I would at such a young age. I had bought my third property, would spend my free time trying the latest restaurant in town and my vacation time traveling the world.
My pivotal moment came after a week filled with family time, fancy gatherings with friends, sightseeing, and dining out (my favorite thing to do). I knew I should be happy.
Nothing was wrong in this moment, and I knew it. I couldn’t say, “if only I made more money” or “if only I was closer to family” or “if only we could do this or that”. I remember my husband even trying to hug and kiss me and I was so annoyed by it. I came home and I couldn’t stand my life and the empty feeling I felt inside. Finally, for once in my life, I couldn’t point outside myself for the answer.
In that moment I decided (with the most conviction I’ve ever made any decision in my life) that I would figure out how this whole life thing works and find my happiness. I needed to try something different, and I was certain that I could continue to try to make more money, and buy more things, and travel to more places, but that wasn’t going to change the way I was feeling. I had to try something else.
The rest is really history, it’s magical, and it’s a miracle, really!
I’m still shocked that I wake up every day focused on my happiness, my joy, my bliss, and that I get this giddy feeling at least once a day.
I’m still on a journey, and not much has changed externally. Well, I easily lost weight, turned around my relationship, enjoy my job now, and started my own company helping others find their happiness.
I guess things have changed, but my focus is on how I feel. That’s the true miracle.
But let’s back track even further…
Where did I come from? What got me here?
I was born in Austin, Texas to my mother and step-father who has raised me since I was born (my biological father has always been in the picture, too). My parents are all (mother, father, and step-father) from Mexico. My mother came to the US with only a few years of school. She cleaned houses and then started cleaning hospitals where she was offered an opportunity to get her GED. Both my father and step-father only have primary school education, and have worked in construction (remodeling and painting, respectively) since I can remember.
We struggled a lot growing up, but I think like most low-income kids, you don’t know that you’re low-income until much later in life. I remember a friend coming over when I was only about 12 years old and asking me why we didn’t have any food in the fridge. I was confused because there was food in my opinion, just not a lot and not any snacks or extra things. There was probably just eggs and milk in the fridge.
It’s just how you grow up, so unless someone makes you feel less-than, you just live your life with a little less than others and don’t question it. Once a year, we did our back-to-school shop on the tax-free weekend to get a pair of sneakers and a couple of school outfits. I loved that day every year. We lived a simple life. I didn’t have my own laptop until I went to college, and I think it was given to me used (and I’m a millennial!).
I wouldn’t say that we were poor because we weren’t. We had running water, a roof over our head, and food every day. Plus, I had a mom who was truly poor growing up, and actually I don’t think she would accept that description either. She grow up in a place where there was no floor, running water or electricity, but they had each other (she’s one of the eldest of 12 children) and tortillas and beans every day. She told me that they would still sweep the floor just to remove the loose dirt from the ground. They couldn’t afford to have meat, but they ate and that was all they needed.
I’m not sure where or how I got the courage to dream so big, but I knew I never wanted to struggle. I wanted to live in a big city and do big things. My first job after college, I was already making much more than the household income of my parents. I was in Corporate America (still am!), and my first manager, such a sweet guy, asked me as we took our first business trip together, “Where did you go on vacation while growing up? Did you have a go-to place where your family would go?”
No, I did not go on any vacations with my family growing up. That idea wouldn’t even cross our minds. But I’ve been so beyond fortunate my whole life. It’s been hard at times, and there’s things that I don’t need or want to share, but with everything that I’ve said, would you believe me if I told you I had a friend who would take me on vacation with her and her family, that I got to go to China at age 14 after studying the language for a year, that I went to one of the best high-school’s in Houston (for one year before we had to move) through their magnet program, and then I got accepted to Baylor University.
I had all of these experiences with no money. The universe has been good to me, and continues to be good.
But I did get fixated on money at a young age.
Somehow society taught me that I would be better and happier with more money, and less fat on my body, and lots of friends, and better clothes. Then I learned it’s not about things, it’s about experiences, so I started travelling like crazy tallying as many experiences as I could fit in one year.
I met my husband and we got married on a whim. I continued to get promotions at my job, did a master’s degree at Northwestern University, and just started going through life as fast as I could – not really cherishing or embracing the moments or special people in my life.
I’m so glad I had my “wake up” moment.
It wasn’t an enlightened moment. It was a hard place. It was a hopeless place. But in that moment I made a decision to find my happiness. I decided to do something different.
Now, I’m here to simply tell my story, and that happiness is possible for even the most cynical of us. Even those of us who are never satisfied with life even though we have countless reasons to be.
I’m also here to tell you that happiness is not in the money you make, the degrees you have, or the material things. In fact, it’s not even in that person you love or a child you have.
And more importantly, I want you to know that life isn’t supposed to be hard. You’re not supposed to feel empty or unsatisfied. In fact, those are all signals that something is wrong.
Just like your body yells for help through physical sensations, your soul is sending you signals every day by the way you feel. Sometimes we’ve ignored those feelings for so long that the emotion can be physically felt in your gut, your chest, your throat, and sometimes your hips. And the answer isn’t “out there” somewhere, it’s within you.
You have wisdom and understanding beyond what your conscious mind can even handle or process. So you won’t be able to figure this out the way you have figured out everything else. Yes, your mind is brilliant, but it’s limited.
At some point, you’re going to have to trust your inner guidance system revealed to you by the way you feel. You’re going to have to leave the logic behind, and get into your body, trust your intuition, and follow your heart.
In my search for life’s answers, I’ve looked for ways to get results and get into a better feeling place faster. I love sharing tips and my services in that pursuit, but my main message to you is that you will never be complete and you will never be done.
There will always be more expansion, more joy, and more desires.
It is your nature as an eternal being to be never-ending. And because you are eternal and all expansive, you cannot get this wrong. Being wrong means it’s the end and there’s no other option. But there is no end, so you can’t ever be wrong or get it wrong.
You are on a journey, and I would love to show you how to make that journey more enjoyable. But just remember, it’s not about getting “there” or being “finished”. There’s none of that. There’s only more and more and more of what you choose.
I thoroughly enjoyed sharing more of me with you.
This was blissful for me. This was easy. This was natural.
Now, go and do what feels blissful, easy, and natural for you today.