I have always had a dream to buy up some land, build a dream house and pursue a life living in the country. Some of my relatives and friends think I’m crazy. Should I take the risk or should I just play it safe?! I’m torn because I feel I’m really letting people down.
Playing it safe
Dear Playing it Safe,
If you believe that we only go around this worldly experience called life once, then you might want to make every day count and pursue the dreams, career and lifestyle that you feel most passionate about. I don’t think we’ll look back on our lives during our final death review and figure that we should have spent more time at a job we hated because we earned good money at it, or that we shouldn’t have taken that world trip full of memories and experiences because it just was too expensive and time-consuming.
If you need further inspiration, why not interview a senior citizen? Ask them if they have any regrets or if they would have lived life differently. For a past university assignment, I interviewed a senior and was just amazed and inspired at the knowledge, passion and wisdom that she was able to share with me. It was truly moving! If ever I had any doubts about the ability to live life to the fullest, it was quashed after talking to this amazing 80 year old woman who had lived life through some incredible emotional peaks and valleys. Taking risks, learning to listen to her intuition or ‘inner voice’ and acting on her dreams and passions were truly inspiring to hear about. She taught me a lot that I’ll never forget.
In everything you do, you will have people that are disappointed, judgemental, jealous or angered by your actions. You have to be true to yourself and follow through on those dreams and nagging gut feelings that you should be doing this, or pursuing that. You will know what those dreams are as they keep surfacing until perhaps you will thoughtfully listen and pay attention. It would be a shame to mute those voices until it’s too late to lead that fulfilling life that is calling out to you. Just ask yourself realistically what the worst thing is that could happen. Can you live with that? If you can, what’s stopping you from moving forward?
It’s hard to know just when we’ve crossed the line from being passionate about a dream to being a bit unrealistic and foolhardy. If we were to check out Steve Jobs’ philosophy (co-founder of Apple Computers), he would give us the thumbs up and tell us to ‘Stay Hungry and Be Foolish’. Recently Steve Jobs passed away, and in reflecting on his life through the media, it was interesting to find an amazing speech to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University students in which he told three stories. I would highly recommend that you check this out through a Google or YouTube query. His words are quite inspiring and show that even in our greatest moments of embarrassment and despair we can pull ourselves out to uncover our true desires and reach personal fulfillment.
“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change.” Eckhart Tolle from his book, A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose