Break Free of the Sidewalks in Life

Traceur“You can find the way by yourself naturally… to not do this to impress people, just follow your instincts.” —Sebastien Foucan

Guest Post by Oleg Mokhov

Can you drastically improve your life through physical activity? Yes. Absolutely. And not just your health: you can find clarity and direction, increase passion and happiness, or improve any other aspect of your life through a physical activity. I did it with freerunning.

What’s freerunning? The short categorical answer: an urban running pseudo-sport. The real answer: it’s about finding your own way.

Freerunning is taking your own (most effective) path through obstacles and structures in a city, or whatever setting. Vaulting over a fence instead of walking around it. Jumping over stairs instead of taking them down. You find and take the creative short way instead of the intended long way.

Now, why would you do this? Well, first of all, it’s fun. Freerunning is an urban sport in a way. You use your creativity to find and maneuver through obstacles – like skateboarding. But freerunning can also be a discipline for personal development: following your own way. And that’s what it became for me.

Here are three life lessons I got from freerunning:

1. Find and Follow the Most Effective Path

The most effective path towards accomplishing your goal is rarely the most immediately visible. If an obvious path was the most effective, then everyone would take it. But it’s not, so you have to find it.

The good news is that the most effective path is also the most rewarding. You get results sooner than later, and you enjoy what you’re doing a lot more.

2. Be Confident In Your Unconventional Path

Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path, and not care what people might think of you for not following societal standards. Remember: you live for yourself, not for others. Your life is for you, not for them.

When you do what feels right for you and not care what people think, you start to shed self-consciousness – and boost your confidence.

3. Break Free of “Sidewalks”

“Sidewalks” are predetermined paths that most people take in life. They’re usually long, boring, and not the most effective. One example is mediocre 9-5 jobs. This isn’t knocking jobs in general, just the unnecessary day jobs that many people settle for.

You have the most fun in life and become the most remarkable by not doing what everyone else does. You do things your own way. You break free of “sidewalks” and follow your own path.

So how do you break free of “sidewalks?” Be inventive and creative: learn to look beyond the obvious in order to find the most effective path towards your goal.

During freerunning, it might be seeing a second-story rooftop and a street lamp next the building – you can climb up that post and jump over to the rooftop. In your work, it could be finding a way to increase results in less time. Your true passion might be hidden from you: it’s not a box to check off in a high school career adviser meeting, but combining your interests in a unique way.

What if you loved traveling, video editing, finding cool stuff off the beaten path, and building websites? The “sidewalks” would be to pick video editing or website design and focus on a career doing it full time. You’d be okay with that, but you wouldn’t be truly happy or living your life to the fullest.

But what if you combined all of those interests? Go to different cities and create videos documenting hidden gems, then posting your videos to your site that helps people to discover them? You can monetize it with ads, offering premium products, affiliate sales through travel guides, or whatever else. All of a sudden, you broke free of the “sidewalks” and followed your own path. And your life becomes drastically better for it.

I Improved My Life by Following My Own Way

When I started freerunning, it was like a whole world of opportunities opened up to me. I stopped seeing the city as predetermined blocks of sidewalks, staircases, walls, and so forth. Instead, it all opened up to me like a playground where I can explore and find my own paths.

After freerunning for a while, I noticed paths I hadn’t before. A staircase next to a ledge became a potential shortcut. A handicap access to a building transformed into a vaulting playground. But what’s interesting is that this finding of hidden effective paths started spilling over into the rest of my life.

I started noticing opportunities I could take with music-making, writing, and online business. Before, I felt limited, like I had to choose from a few potential careers. I could either be a electronic music artist, or a blogger, or an online business owner, but not any of them combined – much less fused together.

The more I did freerunning, the more unconventional paths I started seeing in my life. I saw past the predetermined and limiting models: the get-an-indie-record-deal music path, the write-a-daily-blog-for-a-target-niche blog method, and the find-a-niche-and-dominate-the-keywords online business approach. Instead, I realized how I could combine these passions into an organized system that was both value-giving and profitable. And that’s how my site Lifebeat was born, and why you’re reading this article now.

Freerunning helped me to find my own way. It started by running and jumping around and soon spilled over into the rest of my life. It went from physical activity to a personal development discipline. By doing freerunning, I drastically improved my life by following my own way.

Improve Your Life by Following Your Own Way

Are you living to your fullest potential? Do you want to do more but are afraid of what people might think? Are you itching to pursue your passions but can’t seem to find a way to do it? You can drastically improve your life by taking a cue from freerunning: find and follow your own way.

Be confident in your unconventional path. Break free of “sidewalks” to live how you really want to. You can only be you… everyone else is already taken.

About the author: Oleg Mokhov is the world’s most mobile electronic musician and co-founder of the premium royalty free music store Soundtrackster..

photo courtesy of amfdesigner

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