While Anke and I are waiting in Bremerhaven for the MeinSchiff 3 cruise to leave for the Caribbean, a thought occurs to me. While I watch the arriving guests, I also see relatives who are still shaking their heads at how one can go on vacation for 35 days. “You guys are really crazy – but hey, come back healthy.” Shaking their heads, they then head back towards the car and back to their normal lives, while the others smile and face their next dream trip. Well, each as he likes it, right?

Have you ever felt like you’re constantly trying to live up to the expectations of others? Perhaps you have tried so hard to make everyone around you happy and comfortable that there has been little room for your own needs. If this sounds familiar to you, I want to tell you that it’s not too late to change. And if you decide to change that, now is the time to reclaim your full power. It’s time to be yourself.

As I embarked on this journey to myself, I was able to realize that the quality of my life is more important than what others think of me.

When you realize that the quality of your life is more important than what other people think of you, it can be the starting point you need to finally do your thing. When we put other people’s opinions ahead of our own, they control us. Now and in the future. This can lead to us becoming anxious and stressed out from constantly chasing behind other people’s wishes for how they would like us to be. Seriously, how would I have to be to always please others? No idea.

It is only when we let go of those expectations, pressures, and judgments of others that we can be truly free and live a life that make us truly happy. When we learn to accept ourselves as we are – with all our flaws and weaknesses – without judgment or fear, then nothing is more important than feeling good about ourselves. We no longer need outside validation because our inner world has become stable enough for us to find peace within ourselves.

I know that might sound wild. Just imagine – you would start living your life without apologies. That means understanding that there will be moments along the way when not everyone will agree with your decisions. And then to endure that this is perfectly fine! As long as these decisions support you on your way to more success, joy and happiness, you should stand by them. You don’t need permission or approval from anyone but yourself. You should never let anyone else dictate how you live your life or define who you are as a person.

No matter what path you choose in life, always remember that staying true to yourself is more important than anything else. The power to be yourself means you put your own thoughts and feelings above everything else – even if that means going against popular belief at times. As long as these choices bring joy to your heart and don’t restrict anyone else’s freedom, you can move forward with confidence. Because you know that no one has more power over you than you do. And always remember – living an authentic, purposeful life is one of the most beautiful things you can do for yourself. With that in mind we’re gone now for 35 days.