A few weeks ago I asked my sister The Single Expat (read another of her contributions here) what her “life wisdom” was. An hour later, she sent me this – a brilliant, affirming, empowering piece. A challenge to us all to stop waiting and just go for it – whatever “it” is. This life is not a rehearsal. What are you waiting for?
The older I get, the more people seem to be surprised at the adventures I choose to embark on in life. Whether it is a move to another country, an unexpected/unconventional career move, an exciting or unusual vacation spot, or even an unknown menu item or strange-sounding cocktail… the remarks often centre around bravery. “You’re so brave!” is something I have become accustomed to hearing. But I don’t consider myself to be brave. I just don’t want to settle for mediocrity if I don’t have to. Living your best life isn’t brave. It’s empowered. It’s your actual best life. It’s yours to live and to do with as you please. (Though I do recognize that my perspective comes from a place of significant privilege.)
Shift your perspective
I decided a long time ago to shift my perspective. For decades I, like most people I suspect, made decisions from a place of fear. Listing all of the barriers or hurdles first and foremost before anything else and then resigning myself to knowing there’s no way on earth I could manage X, Y, or Z. There are so many barriers to taking even the smallest step outside of your “normal” routine that the big steps seem impossible. I shouldn’t order that thing that sounds delicious because people might think I am gluttonous or too casual with my money. I can’t try paddle boarding or coastal rowing because I might look silly or fall in the water. No way can I uproot my entire life, home, family, career to move to a new country, a new job, a new adventure. It’s impossible!
But what if, instead of focusing on all the barriers, you ask yourself legitimately, “why not?” Truly. Why not go on this adventure? What actually speaks against it? Is it fear? Is it just the ever-growing list of to-dos involved with a big change or new adventure? What’s your actual reason for not doing this thing that sounds exciting and fun and potentially life-changing?
The same goes for the everyday. You want to splurge on that fancy-looking cocktail the lady at the next table seems to be enjoying? Well, why not? My living room looks so lovely with fresh flowers so… why wish I had them instead of just getting myself some flowers? Want that funky new haircut you think you’re not gutsy enough for? Why not?
Toss away judgement
So often we, especially as women, think we should deprive ourselves of what we want – tiny things like a cool new lipstick colour or giant things like a transatlantic move – for reasons that we manufacture based on fear of the unknown, fear of stepping outside the norm, fear of being judged…
But what if we just ask ourselves, “well, why not?” and then – barring any significant financial, health, or safety concerns – toss away the reasons that are fear or society or judgement-based, and enjoy the adventure?
You might just end up living the life you have been dreaming of. Why wait for that illusive “one day I will…” to come to you when you can actually just do the thing you’ve been dreaming of?
Why not go from #lifegoals to #lifegoalsachieved? Life doesn’t happen “someday”, life is happening now. And my goal is to make the most of it. Not some day, but every day.
So have that cocktail, get that haircut, go on that adventure. And fall in the water! It might actually be refreshing.
Live your best life. Achieve your life goals. Do it today. Because, why not?
Editor’s note: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Since he turned 70 our dad went shark cage diving and rode the Cannibal – a roller coaster that makes me sick just looking at it- but, why not?
*Cover photo by Lynda Hinton on unsplash.com