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The Live Unbound blog exists to inspire anyone who strives to discover what they are truly capable of achieving. 

Motivation is the push. Inspiration is the pull.

Lately I’ve been finding myself struggling to find motivation to do the same work that used to happen naturally. I try to push myself to keep doing the things that have satisfied my creativity in the past but sometimes it just feels too forced. I ran into this article “Inspiration vs. Motivation” and it states that motivation is required when you’re not connected with your highest values.

“Inspiration is a calling to act because you’re in direct alignment with the luminous marrow of potential that is you.” - Jonathan Mead

So instead of seeking motivation I’m now in the process of re-aligning. For me the first step is to let go of expectations which disturb the flow of my imagination. The flow that takes me to a place where I can create effortlessly without flatlining. Second is to reconnect with why I fell in love with the work in the first place. I do that until I feel the energy and excitement that lights the path ahead. 

Do It

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The Guiding Light

We all have a treasure that awaits us.  When we’re young, our heart constantly gives us clues on how to find it.  We start our search and quickly face obstacles which test our ability, determination and courage.  As we struggle in these challenges we become distracted by an easier, safer path.  We often take it because avoiding pain is our priority, not seeking pleasure.  Our heart tells us we’re off course but we ignore it.  We settle into a life of mediocrity, convincing ourselves that our search was a far fetched dream and now we must face reality.  We go to the movies, read books, visit museums and marvel at the incredible work that others have created.  Completely unaware of our capacity to create the same beauty.  

As the years pass our guiding light becomes dimer, as if our heart knows that we suffer when reminded that our search is over.  But as dim as the light may be, it never disappears completely because in some far off place still lies our greatest treasure.  

Inspired by “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

 

Photograph by © Ben Canales

Flow

I live by this chart!

According to M. Csikszentmihalyi "flow" is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment. 


When the Wave Comes

Think of a balloon flying through the air with no control of it’s destination.  I think everyone needs to have that experience once in their life. Go on an adventure with no expectations.  Just let go and allow the natural flow of life to take a hold of your destiny.  

Of course the balloon will eventually lose it’s helium and drop.  You’ll end up somewhere you’ve never been before, feeling calm and content.  In the horizon you’ll see an approaching wave of goals, expectations and desires.  You can run in the opposite direction but you’ll end up running forever.  When the wave comes it’s time for you to take a deep breath and ride it.

Photo by Matt Kurvin

Fake It Till You Become It

When I was younger I was very shy and whenever I felt that confidence was necessary I would play a little trick on my mind.  If I had an important job interview for example, I’d pretend that I was that cliche charismatic guy that everyone wants to be around.  I was always shocked when it actually worked.  By pretending my weakness were my strengths they failed to define my character.  But it was always a bit uncomfortable because I would find myself in situations that demanded skills that I wasn’t sure I had.  So again I would pretend like I had them and pretty soon I didn’t need to pretend anymore. 

As Amy Cuddy said “Don’t fake it till you make it, fake it till you become it.”  

Inspired by this great talk by Amy Cuddy.

Photo by Brian Bielmann

The Neverending Want

When you’re depleted of energy you need fuel.  Everyone has their own version of fuel or the ingredients that make them feel truly alive. Mine has always been inspiration.  It makes me feel excited about life and forces me to be in the here and now.  I felt a lack of inspiration lately, partly because I was searching for it in a computer screen, but also because I was overwhelmed with desires.  A desire to experience adventures and to make my mark.  In Zen they say to get rid of all desires and you’ll be free but isn’t that a desire of its own? I think desires are essential; they give you purpose and when you achieve them they give you fulfillment.  But when they become an uncontrollable obsession they eliminate the magic that is required to attain them.  When they begin to define your character you must work on detaching from the neverending want.  

That was the purpose of the snowboarding trip I just took.  I got completely lost in the ride until the destination became irrelevant.  The thrill of the moment was no longer distracted by the dream of a brighter future.  I feel fully rejuvenated and ready to get back to the work that I love so much.   

Photo by Karezoid Michal Karcz

No Regrets

People are very quick to say they have no regrets.  It’s important to feel the pain of the mistakes we’ve made in the past.  The discomfort it creates is fuel for change.  

Photo by Hoch Zwei 

The Blank Canvas

Every morning we wake up face to face with a blank canvas and an opportunity to create whatever we envision.

Photograph by Nick Van Buuren

LIVING VICARIOUSLY

We stare into this rectangle for the majority of our lives.  Why not?  Everything and anything is one click away.  But it’s also a reminder of the adventures we’re not taking and the dreams we’re not living.  Stop living vicariously and start living unbound.

Photograph by © JP Photography

Photograph by © JP Photography

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK

Our minds work hard to avoid the pain that is necessary for our growth.  Don't forget that the good you’ve gained was sometimes painfully won. Remembering that you have emerged wiser and stronger from your struggles means that you are secure in your ability to survive.

Inspired by this powerful JK Rowling speech. 

Photograph by © Bernie Baker // Oahu, Hawaii:

In other news check out LiveUnbound Facebook for more details on how to win a T-shirt from our shop.  

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A BOOK, WOULD ANYONE WANT TO READ IT?

I’ve always been jealous of birds and their ability to fly wherever they please. Then I realize I have that same ability.

Artist Unknown

A long time ago I heard the famous question - If your life was a book would anyone want to read it?  My immediate thought was probably not.  Today, more than ever, I’m trying to change that by living a more venturesome life.  I find myself embarking on difficult and unusual courses of action in order to satisfy my desire to inspire others.  

I think the most exciting part about what I do is that I don’t know what I’m doing.  

-Yali

And last but not least LiveUnbound is now on Instagram @weliveunbound and Tumblr: www.weliveunbound.tumblr.com

FAILURE IS BETTER THAN REGRET

Most people do more to avoid pain than they do to gain pleasure.  Take a moment to imagine yourself at 90 years old, sitting in a rocking chair, looking back at your life.  You recall encountering a wall which separated yourself from the life you desired and deciding to walk in the opposite direction.  You imagine what your life would have been like if you took the leap.  Come back to the present and make a choice between the possibility of failure and the inevitable regret.    

TODAY IS A BEGINNING

How satisfied are you with the life you are living?  Do you have any big, unfulfilled dreams?  Are you living for yourself or is your life controlled by the expectations of others?  

Today is a beginning.  It’s an opportunity to start taking action towards the life you truly desire.  

Photograph by © Aaron Feinberg

The Strength To Suffer

It’s not easy to abandon your dreams, to accept a lesser life, to settle for mediocrity; but human beings have become quite good at it.  In a persistent effort to avoid risk and uncertainty, people have developed the strength to suffer.  This strength weighs you down, inhibits your growth and keeps you far from the incredible person you really are.  

Image by © Uwe Kils

ACTION CURES DOUBT

Doubt is the result of our powerful imagination used to visualize the worst possible outcome. This expectation of failure causes inaction, making us lose the good we could have won.

We can’t think our way to self-assurance, we need proof that we’re worthy of the confidence we seek. That’s why taking action is the only thing that can cure our doubts. Prove them wrong and watch as your newfound courage guides you to new heights.

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© Mattias Fredriksson // Athlete: Espen Linnerud // Location: Stranda, Norway

IF YOU WANT SECURITY, GO TO PRISON.

I got this incredible photograph and writing from a fan describing her transition into living unbound.  I liked it so much that I made a little video for it while also testing out the GoPro Hero 3.  

"I live my life behind the safety of my shielding hands.  With my eyes covered, I feel comfortable but lost.  Suddenly, something awakens deep inside me.  Revealing a truth I’ve ignored.  This security is a prison.  An unstoppable force takes over.  Overpowering all my fears. As my hands fall, I see a path.  Behind the bars of my fingers, I find myself.  I live unbound."

Photograph by Evan Sharboneau

YOU'RE CONFINED ONLY BY THE WALLS YOU BUILD

I recently got a message from someone who is struggling with depression and it really struck a chord with me.  He said “I live bound, bound by myself”.  Everyone feels suppressed or limited at times but few are aware that in most cases, it’s caused by their own thoughts and beliefs.  The good news is that since we create the walls, we can also destroy them.  That's why LiveUnbound exists, to remind us that true freedom is attainable.  

If you’re going through struggles you want to share (confidentially) then email me at yali@weliveunbound.com or send me a facebook message.  I’m always happy to help in any way I can.  

-Yali

Poster designed by Andrew Murphy