Many of you may be living alone away from home as a student or on work. I have also lived away from my roots for couple of years. As I look back there are certain things I feel like sharing with those who are currently living alone or planning to settle away from home in future.
The ideas shared here are good for students, start-up entrepreneurs or people who are staying away from family for extended period of time for work on some long-term assignment.
Find a house that you will be happy calling your home: When you are with family, love fills the gap for everything. You may be living in an old house but when you go home you will know that there are people who care for you. But when you are way then your house will be your friend. Look for a place that you are comfortable in. Check out for neighborhoods that you like and house that have amenities that you are used to. If you are leasing it is good to check with property owner for basic guidelines. Look out for any restrictions on time or bringing friends home. Do not look for perfection but see that most of the facilities that you need are provided.
Find friends: It is good if you already have a friend living in the place that you are moving to. If that is not the case then find friends who have some common interests. During my stay away period I made many good friends. One of those friend and I recently worked on organizing a local TEDx.
Have fun and live your dreams: Many a times when we are living close to our families, we are fully immersed into social obligations. Take time away to do what you always wanted to do. You enjoy dancing and want to take professional training. Go ahead and do that. I did exactly the same. I loved the mornings that use to start in the dance studio with the sound of ‘Aicha Aicha’. Live your dreams and not somebody else’s – but just do it, this is the best time.
Focus and step towards success: if you want to create, solitude is a necessity. No need for 24 hours of solitude but it is good to have couple of hours in a day to create. When you are staying alone there is nobody to bother you. Of course you will have errands to run; but you can batch those and set your own schedule. In a way you will have more control on how you choose to spend your time. So enjoy your time and work on something that you always wanted to do. My times away from roots gave me an opportunity to write more, speak to diverse audiences in different settings. You can use this time to focus and do your thing. Steve Jobs created Apple in similar situations and many more heroes big and small made their success using focus and solitude.
Work to a schedule: When you are living your life on your own there is also risk of going overboard. Because nobody is around to talk to you about things — right or wrong. So get connected with your conscience and do what you feel is the right thing to do. It will develop your ability to take decisions. If you observe outcome of your decisions and learn from it then over a period of time you will learn to take decisions that work.
Also when you are working or having fun – know when it is time to stop. Of course no point stopping when you are – in the zone — and going with the flow while writing, hacking, painting or designing. But keep some time aside to eat well, exercise and sleep when you feel sleepy.
Learn to cook: It has two benefits. One is that you will save money; second that you will eat healthy. With a diet of pizzas and burgers it is really to put of extra inches around your waist. Not healthy and does not do anything good for the way you look.
Become involved in community: By doing so you open your mind to new experiences through which new opportunities emerge. This also helps you hone your leadership skills and you get to know right people.
In a similar situation, I founded a group of existing and wannabe bootstrap entrepreneurs. The effect was two-prong. I got to know the community; people appreciated what I was doing and opened their homes and hearts for me. I learned new things and also got opportunity to share ideas and thoughts. There were many ideas that we discussed in those days. One of my good friends and I used to meet over lunch regularly then and talk about doing things together. Later we went on to do our own things but those discussions shaped our current lives in some way. So go out, start a movement, meet with people on the same path and see if you can move on the journey together. Two better than one — is true most of the times.
Stay connected to your roots: When you are away make an effort to stay connected to your roots. Once in a while say hi to your old friends; because it is always good to stay in touch with your childhood friends. These are people who knew you since you were without worldly masks. They know at least a part of who you really are. When we will grow old, it will be good to sit with these friends and talk about good old days.
I am sure you have some experiences to share. Take a chance and share your thoughts in comments. Your simple experience may be profound for others.