Tag Archives: make a change

The path that is true to you

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This week I have been reminded of the importance of following my own path and creating a life that has meaning for me.

It is all too easy to get caught up in others expectations of what they believe to be right or wrong in life, success or failure in our endeavors, and to make life choices based more upon others than upon ourselves. I should know this, as I spent the best part of a decade living in a way that I thought I ‘ought’ to, that I ‘should’ do for the benefit of society and it wasn’t right for me. That chapter of my life didn’t contain the fulfillment of my own dreams or wishes, it contained mostly me trying to find acceptance at work, with peers and at home by conforming to their ways of life. Throughout it all I forgot one simple fact (that is true for each of us) – I am unique. I had absolutely no sense of self or belief in me and I spent my days trying to blend in as a sheep in my relationships, my career and home life. I said ‘yes’ so many times to others demands and opinions that in the end it made me miserable and I became destructive within a reality I had created and yet did not want. There was nothing wrong with that life as such, I had a lovely home and career and I met many wonderful people, but it wasn’t the path that is true to who I am. I always knew something was missing but assumed it was me being greedy and dismissed the niggle in my mind. I ignored the loneliness I felt inside.

 

I had blinkers on and I didn’t realise that there could be another way to live that would be more fulfilling for me. I had no idea that there could actually be a way in which my opinions, my likes and dislikes, my dreams and aspirations actually mattered and were worth following and voicing. No matter how wild and outrageous they seemed to my fearful mind and to those around me who laughed at my creativity and at my habit of daydreaming in meetings. I thought everything would stay the same because I didn’t know how to make a change.

 

And then I read this quote two years ago. It gave me a huge wake up call.

 

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Actually it really does matter, more than anything else, that we LOVE wholeheartedly what we do each day. There is only ever right now in life and there is absolutely no point in delaying following our dreams for some other time in an unknown future, because there never is that tomorrow. We work hard and we bank our lives for a retirement that may never happen and some of us spend years miserable at work because we hope it will be worth it. What if you die before even reaching that age? Will delaying your dreams and working so tirelessly at something you were not passionate about have been worth it? Of course not, for it never is. We only have now to take a risk and make a change, to have a positive impact, in this world. We only have now to smile, to laugh, to love and to be thankful for the incredible gift of life – and to do it justice by following a path that is true to each of us. For only then can we spread more happiness across the globe and impact positively upon society.

 

The world doesn’t need more money, more order and people worked to the bone in jobs they hate. The world desperately needs more people that have come alive.

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The death of my mother shortly after her retirement highlighted all of that for me and it is in her honour that I strive to live a life that has meaning for me every day. I was absolutely terrified when I walked away from a well paid and stable career a year and a half ago to pursue what a lot of people dismissed as a low paid, pointless adventure that would go nowhere. In my time overseas I have worked extremely hard at times, I have often felt the fear of ‘what on earth am I doing?’ and yet I have never laughed more and that is because I love the path I am on. I have learned more about myself during the past month than during the past thirty plus years of being me. I have discovered a drive and passion I didn’t know existed, found my spirituality deepen and found abilities and talents within myself that I had failed to even notice before. Oh and I have also realised that no matter how many times I work on a boat I will always get sea sick. Damn.

In spite of injuries that have left me a little bit broken and still recovering a few months down the line, I am truly excited about the future, about today, and leaping into the unknown is bringing me such joy. I may not be earning a great deal (yet) and yes I wake up in cold sweats wondering how I will make this work but I am creating my charitable cause Friends for Sharks and I am proud of that. I am writing articles and books that I hope will propel me forwards (more on that in the months to come) and that I hope will inspire others to follow their dreams fearlessly. I am living proof that, whilst it isn’t easy at times, taking a leap and following your dreams is absolutely worth it and anyone can do it.

I wouldn’t change a moment of what I have done and I urge you to take a step towards the dreams that set you free. Do it right now and smile all the way.

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3 Ps for Change

Fear

Noun: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. A feeling of anxiety.

 

I woke in the middle of the night, gulping cold air into my lungs as the panic subsided and I pulled myself upright. My eyes searched wildly across the room, my face wet with perspiration. I reoriented myself and looked up at the stars twinkling down upon my fearful face. Everything was okay yet I could feel the terror in my mind, in my fingertips and fluttering heart. I had slept and lived my nightmare. My greatest fears weighed heavily on my chest as the panic subsided and I began the slow journey back to rational thought. I had only one question on my mind…Why on earth did I think this was a good idea? I can’t do this.

We all know how those moments feel. Whether we care to admit to being vulnerable or not, moments of fear and doubt happen to us all and the strength and certainty of those feelings is terrifying. They convince us that the decision we have made to live our lives differently, perhaps to pursue a new challenge or adventure, make a personal change, chase dreams and face fears is a really bad idea. An impossibility and pointless. The fear inside you tells you to go back to sleep and continue with everything you know. Do not put yourself out there. Don’t strive, don’t dream and accept that you simply cannot do it. You cannot be more than you already are, it only ever happens to other people and your fears and issues will never fade away. Go back to sleep not just tonight but every night and give up.

 

The mental diatribe quietens down. You listen and hear your heart die a little as your dreams fade away unrealised.

 

Fear continues to grow inside you and wraps its icy tendrils around your heart. You die a little more every single day as you push your dreams deep down inside of you away from the light of day. It depresses me to write that out but it’s true and it happens across the world as we continue to live in fear of the known and unknown.

We don’t dare make a change to improve our lives and the lives of others thanks to fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being vulnerable, fear of speaking up, fear of living, fear of dying, fear of love and fear of being ourselves. And that’s just the condensed version of the list.

 

We may as well roll over and give up then? Live in this state of fear and remain the same?

 

Wrong. Wrong, every single time. Always wrong. No, no, NO.

 

But why make a change? Why pull yourself out of the slumber and dare to be different?

 

Because you have Potential

 

You have this incredible gift of life. You are alive today, you can breathe and you owe it to yourself to dance with potential and see what you can do.

 

Everyone has inside himself a piece of good news! The good news is that you really don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is! – Anne Frank

 

Potential

Adj: Having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future

Noun: Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead into future success of usefulness

 

You have no idea what you are capable of until you try. Yes you might fear reaching out to someone you love, you might fear choosing new adventures, you might fear stepping outside of the house. But if you stay indoors you’ll never realise your potential. Your life with continue to be a What If. Recognising you have potential is everything. It is the open door that you can take to make a change, to grow and see who you really are. Not who your limited mind and fears believe you to be. How exciting is that?!To think that there is so much out there for you to discover about yourself, about the world around you? A lifetime of adventure without and within and the opportunity to be whoever you want to be.

 

As you begin the journey of realising your potential you’re going to need two new friends; Persistence and Positivity. These are two of my favourite friends in my army against fear.

 

Persistence

Noun: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition

 

Positive (Positivity – Derivative)

Adj: Constructive, optimistic, or confident, with no possibility of doubt

 

It isn’t easy making change, pursuing new avenues and becoming more than you were yesterday but you can do it. You will need to persist and you will need to be positive. Commit to yourself, commit to your decision for change and step forwards every day. Take baby steps if you need to, forget focussing on the finishing line (there isn’t one, life is a journey remember), and believe with absolute positivity that you will succeed. That whatever it is you dream of will happen because you will persist and you will be positive every step of the way.

Of course you will have days when persistence and positivity are hard to find and sometimes giving up feels like the only option. Then what? Step back and listen to your heart. Can you hear that dream still alive within you despite the weariness? Is your intuition telling you this is the right path for you? Yes? Then march on my friend, march on. Have a slice of cake to pull you through, rest, wake up tomorrow and then try again. Do what you can with what you have each day. Smile, persist and be positive.

 

Smile like the freaking Cheshire cat if you have to. It works, trust me.

 

And if necessary turn back towards your shadow called Fear and invite her along for the journey. Accept that you will always have a shadow, you will always have doubt at times but your shadow needn’t dictate your future. Dictating your future is up to you. Go for it. Dream big with unlimited potential in mind. With a thankful heart, positivity and persistence by your side.

 

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow my fear to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone I will turn my inner eye to see its path. And where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” (From Frank Herbert’s Dune)

 

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