I have always been much better at executing the plans of other people and companies than consistently going after my own dreams and ideas.
(Passport stamps: Perth, London, Budapest)
I hesitate. That's my problem. I come up with an idea. And a plan. And then I sit on it, if I ever get around to pursuing it at all. The agenda of other things that are in my life take priority. And what interests me remains just an idea, where it is safe.
I can count the number of times where in my own life I wasn't afraid to pursue what I wanted, with minimal hesitation:
- Moving to NYC at age 23. Though I almost backed out at the last second.
- Moving to NYC at age 34. Though I felt incredibly guilty about turning my marriage into a "commuter marriage" where we lived in different cities during the week.
- Quitting my job and traveling the world for months at age 36. Though I thought about backing out all throughout it.
Most of the time, with even some of the smallest decisions, I waver back and forth... Giving a lot of time to think far too much about something, and never doing anything about it. But with this travel adventure I've been on, I pretty much just went for it once I realized I had nothing really preventing me from going for it.
(Passport stamps: Buenos Aires, Iceland, Rome, London, Singapore, Lima)
I was very fortunate. I had the money. I had no relationship holding me back. And I was able to find someone to replace me at a new job I had just taken. And I realized that if I didn't seize this opportunity, and just allowed fear to hold me in place, I was going to be disappointed in myself. It's perfectly great to try something and fail. You can be proud of that. And you should be proud of hard work, even when it leads you to a place less than what you had expected. But to not try when you have that desire and can logically put everything in place to allow you to go for it? That is something you should be ashamed of in yourself.
I lived for many years in an environment where "risk-taking" was discouraged. It was questioned, largely by myself. And when I tell people that I had to "push myself" to do this travel adventure, I'm not being modest. I truly did have to do just that. It was an indulgent experience, but filled with many enriching experiences.
(Passport stamps: Antarctica, Cape Town, Lima)
So, obviously, it was worth it.
But trust me, I worried all along about whether or not I was doing the best thing for me. I worried about leaving a six-figure paying job. I worried about whether or not I'd find a new job when it was all done. I worried about the money it was all going to cost me. I worried that others would be worried about me - because who wants to cause others stress?
In the end, the thing that pushed me through each stage of travel, continuing forward rather than just calling it quits and getting a job (for which there were many opportunities to do so)... was just blocking all that "discouraging noise" out. I wanted to live as much in the moment as possible. And not spend time worrying about what could happen at the end of seven months, or whether or not people thought I was being crazy and selfish.
I was relying on my expectation of the Universe.
And the Universe provides, people. I've believed that my whole life. Many times I've felt that it was very selfish to have the expectation. But the times when I had the strongest expectation of the Universe was with those items I listed above. I put that in my mind as being what I wanted. And it all unfolded. It may not look and feel the way I imagined or expected it to. But I've learned that the adventures you have along the way are what count. Not where you land. And the Universe will push you on your way, if you let it. Keep focused, accept the failures and setbacks as they come, but keep going. And remember that the Universe is expanding... So pushing forward is the only way of life.
(Passport stamps: Turks & Caicos, Istanbul, Cabo San Lucas, Indonesia)
Whatever you choose your journey to be, if it is with others or on your own, don't be afraid to imagine possibilities. And certainly don't be held back by the ideas and confines of how things are supposed to be done.
Expect to be happy each day you wake up. Expect that you will deal with your challenges, and that will help feed that happiness. Expect to love and be proud of yourself.