Have you ever had a Dream, Idea, or Opportunity that felt really exciting or right, but because you could not name anyone else who had taken that path – it also felt so outlandish that you said to yourself, “I could never do that!”. We have all had those.
It could be something really simple . . . I love hats, and in my artsy college days I wore a lot of hats of all different fashions. I can’t tell you how many folks came up to me saying, “That hat looks so fun, I wish I could get away with that.” Well, the way I see it – if you have a head, you can wear a hat!
Or maybe something much larger . . . we all know stories of the first (fill in the blank: woman, African American, person in your family) to do something that was outside the norm. And if it goes well, people say: “I always knew he/she would succeed”. And if it goes badly, the response is “I always knew that would never work”.
It’s really easy to sit in judgement after the fact. But that is – I would submit – precisely the reason that we often remain on the sidelines when we envision a really great ‘game’ that we would like to get involved in. Why do we humans always wait until the “lemming effect” reaches its “tipping point” before jumping into something that we have wanted to do for a long time?
The past few months have really taught me the relativity of life. While here in Bali, meeting expats from all over the world who have done amazing (and not so amazing) things to find their bliss . . . the general story when asked “how did you do it” – is the same, “well . . . I just sort of . . . then I talked to . . . . and I just decided . . . then I adjusted . . . “
Just as I am writing this article about how the concept of what is “brazen” or what is “obscure” is relative, I take a break for a little warung food and – you are not going to believe this – I run into two Americans about my age who not only are in Bali, but are CYCLING – with no SAG support – around Bali. As if this is not enough to make mine and Marc’s little gig seem menial, they tell me that they are quitting their jobs soon to CYCLE America and South America to raise funds for Brain Cancer Research! They have completely proven my point. No matter how ‘out there’ an action you hanker to do seems, as long as it is safe and has some logic to it . . . JUST DO IT! There will always be someone else that is even more out there than you, even if you and your people don’t know that person.
I know that I have mostly referenced larger life decisions, but in the spirit of ‘intentional living’ and personal growth, apply this concept to those more emotional or personal actions. How many times do people say, “I wish I could say NO” or “I wish I could be honest about …..” NOW IS YOUR CHANCE! Think of one simple action that might not be so simple for you – and JUST DO IT. Is it telling a family member you can’t shoulder the load anymore? Maybe setting boundaries with your work? Or heck, maybe it is just wearing that hat or piece of jewelry you think you “can’t pull off”. Choose an action, plan it out, and EXECUTE! Then savor the EXPERIENCE (not the outcome) and analyze its value for future experiences. The screw diver might just be your courage cocktail of choice!
WANT TO TAKE A DRINK? In Creative Stress Reduction seminars I used to teach, I would make the group play “follow the leader”. A simple child-like action that we as adults feel too ‘self-conscious’ to engage in. So, your challenge is to choose a simple child-like act that might make you feel a little outside-your-box – and do it! Maybe blow bubbles in your front yard, skip down the street, or swing at the park. Take a little walk on the wild side as your first step to diving in!