Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Looking to change your life and wondering where to start? Choosing the right location might be a good place to start. In this post I will share why choosing location wisely can help you a lot when changing your life. Dublin woke up my inner rebel and helped me take a leap towards my dream life.
In his article Cities and Ambition Paul Graham describes how each city has its own message. He very accurately describes the concept that I have lived for years yet struggled to put in words.
The key notion is that each city (at least each remarkable city) has its own message. New York screams – make more money, San Francisco – have more power, Paris – be more stylish. And while each individual designs their life in a unique way, it is hardly possible to transcend the message your city sends.
I felt it very strong when moved to Dublin from London. I have been contemplating a life change for a few years. Three years ago, I took a sabbatical, but ended up returning to the Company.
I never stopped painting, started writing, but hardly had the time to seriously pursue any of that. Somewhere deep inside my heart I knew the life I am living in London is not the life I should be living.
But I was in the hamster wheel and had no time to get a breather and think of a different life path. In addition, I was burnt out, so had no energy to act on it, even if I knew what to do.
That is when Dublin’s message came in handy. The moment I landed in this beautiful city I was stunned by the lightness of being of its inhabitants. The more I learned about the culture and the history, the more I’ve started developing the spirit of rebellion.
Through their entire history the Irish never gave up. With each new adversity, they lifted their spirits and packed their bags in search of a better life in a foreign land. The population of Ireland today is about 6.3 million inhabitants. It is estimated that 50 to 80 million people around the world have Irish forebears, making the Irish diaspora one of the largest of any nation. That was the first message Dublin sent me:
‘If you are not happy where you are, you can pack your bags and get on the road in search of a better life’.
For such a small country, Ireland has remarkable number of talented artists and writers. Patrick Swift, Jack B Yeats, Lucien Freud, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde – to name a few. In fact, almost every person in this country is a musician. Wondering the streets of Dublin, you will meet buskers on every corner. And they are no ordinary buskers.
With each one you wonder – will you be the next Ed Sheeran? This message was even clearer.
‘Everyone can be an artist, and so can you.’
It made it so real for me. All the London ‘make more money, get better status, buy a flat’ noise immediately faded away. It suddenly became clear why I was out of sync with London. I was doing really well to live up to London’s message. But it was not my message and it was out of sync.
Paul Graham suggests it doesn’t matter which city you were born in or grew up.
What matters is whether you are in the right city at the beginning of your pursuit, whether it’s becoming an entrepreneur or an artist.
In the beginning of any path, it is very fragile and requires extra nurture and support. If there is no community, no infrastructure, no spirit to support you in your planned idea, it’s a lot easier to fail.
#city #dublin #lifedesign #ireland #london #purpose #life #oscarwilde #irish #paulgraham #lifepurpose #search #lifedesign #consulting #nomad #travel #consultant #innovation #life #prototype #leanexperiment