I’m posting this on an airline as I jet off to Hawaii, marking me as official traveler to all 50 states.
I am a firm believer that during their lives, virtually everyone will have an issue, a decision, or an event that affects their life and their mindset from that point on. Some people will have many of these during their lifetime. It doesn’t have to be a traumatic event, a near death experience or a massive change in geography.
It could be something as simple as having a conversation with a loved one, volunteering for a charity, or taking an unusual job. The “what” is not as important as the “if.” What’s important is IF you allow yourself to have these experiences, examine how they might affect you, and then allow yourself to be affected by it. I’ve had a few experience like this in my life. Below is one of them.
In 2010 I had finished up a long stretch of work that had meant long hours and long weeks. I had been doing work back and forth between a non-profit and a political campaign and the campaign had just finished with a successful election victory. The following month I traveled with some friends on a cruise to the caribbean. I had been on a few cruises before and since, but it was on this one that the magnitude of my life and my work truly hit me. Just before dinner, I took a walk over to the railing, leaned over to relax and took a long look out at the horizon.
“I’m standing on a boat that weights thousands upon thousands of pounds and yet is still able to float. The culmination of generations of math, science and technology. It has kitchens, waterslides, mini golf courses and movie theaters. I’m on a floating city in the middle of the ocean, something people a few hundred years ago would not even be able to fathom. I’m watching one of the most beautiful sunsets of nature I’ve ever seen, spending time with friends, not worrying about the day to day of life and work, and just enjoying being in the moment. I can’t imagine any place in the world I’d rather be than right here, right now.”
And as I reflected on the time and place I was at, I had another thought. “At this moment I’m an educated, capable, hardworking individual, born in a place that’s full of opportunity, and born in a time period that is unmatched by any other in human history for the advances and opportunities of a hardworking and dedicated human being. I know what I’m capable of, what I can achieve and what goals I can set and accomplish i I set my mind to it. I can do anything I want right now and do anything I want when I get home….
I can literally do anything I want with my ENTIRE life…
Why would I spend a single second doing something I don’t want to, don’t enjoy, or don’t feel challenged by?….
Powerful stuff. And at that moment, it hit me more than perhaps any other in my life. “I can do anything I want… I can do ANYTHING I want… I’m capable, I’m hardworking and I enjoy challenging myself. I believe I will be successful at anything I do in life. So what’s stopping me from challenging myself continually?…
That was a “moment” for me. One that made me put into perspective everything around me and re-examine where I lived, where I worked, the physical stuff I just “had to buy” and the lifestyle that the media and the culture tells us we all need.
If you’re in a rut, stuck in a job you don’t like, or unsure of where to go from here, tell yourself this. “I can literally do anything I want with my entire life. Why would I spend a single second doing something that makes me unhappy?”
The answer? You shouldn’t. And I hope my blog helps you to realize this along the way.
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