Hello dear friends,
It is time for my weekly post and today, I decided to talk about inspiration and bucket lists. A topic that came to me as I was enjoying a fresh pitcher of sangria and many delicious plates of rich tasting tapas with a friend. Inspiration is a theme that is continuously ongoing in my life and is a personal goal of mine to achieve on a daily basis as a career guidance consultant. We were talking about these lists of things to do before running out of time (ahh mortality! It makes everything more beautiful because any moment may be our last). Both of us agreed that living in accordance to this list and being in the moment would surely lead to a life with no or less regrets. My friend asked me what was on my list and at that moment, my mind became blank as my memory was scanning the archives of all significant life events. I realized just how much I had crossed off my list, counting childhood dreams:
What drives you?
What inspires you in life? What made you get out of bed this morning, apart the alarm clock you wanted to smash with a hammer? What are those secret goals or dreams that you have perhaps pushed in the back of your mind while saying to yourself: "one day..." Hmmm. A stimulating yet scary question this can be, depending on just how much you decided to get done on that bucket list by now. In Cegep, I was once moved by something a classmate had said during her oral presentation: "Life is now". I thought wow, it truly is. Why wait to compliment someone? Why save that dress for a special occasion? Why not greet a friend with a hug if you feel like it? Why not have a Laura Secord ice cream cone with an extra piece of chocolate on top?
Just to be clear, this happened back in 1999 before the YOLO madness started justifying all kinds of absurd and careless behaviour. I am also NOT saying to spend all your money and act impulsively. Rather, using good judgement, living in the moment and making choices that make you genuinely happy. From that moment I heard those words, a switch turned on and fueled my already present drive to live life to the fullest - whatever that meant to me. I base my decisions on will I regret not having done this, yes or no? The answer is usually very clear. What moment made you realize that you must enjoy the little things as much as possible? As my friend and I discussed, he mentioned that sometimes, it unfortunately takes an illness or other sorts of negative life events to make us stop and realize that life truly is short. Too true. That being said, let us not wait for such news to hit us.
What's you carrot?
I would recommend for everyone to write down on paper what their goals are, even the craziest ones and start assessing the possibilities of making them happen. There is something concrete and confrontational about doing this. You will be face to face with that list of recent or dusty dreams you had put away for so long. Of course, as you read through it, you will quickly realize what the obstacles are: money, time, distance, competition, "this makes no sense", adversity, etc. Yet, I truly believe that if there are important dreams on that list, it is imperative to, at least, review them and see what place they hold in your life. If the dream is big and important enough, the obstacles become only a matter of time. Keep your eyes and heart set on the carrot at the finish line while going through the journey. If you start losing sight of the carrot, either you don't want it bad enough (which is also something you may discover along the way and that will liberate you as you realize it wasn't for you after all) or you need help.
Think of a succesful moment when you achieved one of your goals. Looking back at it now, who would you want to thank for it? Great success is rarely achieved alone. There were probably many key players who helped along the way, who believed in you (even when you didn't), who cheered you on. There is also that one person who will sacrifice his/her own wants to help you reach yours. Don't forget these individuals. Cherish and protect their respect and loyalty to you. Kind souls are precious and create positive energy in your life. They are the cheerleaders in your path and will help you face adversity and celebrate your glory when you get there. Give back to them when you can. Now, back to your list - who could help you reach your goal? Will you let a lousy phone call get in the way of it? What key will open the door? Even if 4 years stand between you and that key, will you give up or fight for the key which will take you to the carrot? What will it take for you to quit on the carrot?
This is not to say that we can't capitalize on failures. Actually, sometimes we learn a lot more by NOT achieving certain goals (Randy Pausch, last lecture, check it out on youtube if you have time). If after many attempts and endless efforts we still cannot reach the carrot, we will have the satisfaction of being able to say: "I tried absolutely EVERYTHING within my power" and there are no regrets in that. Randy Pausch also said that "the best of the gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap" aka it takes hard work and loads of unpleasant situations to get there. So you may get all the help in the world, but if you don't have the discipline, stamina and perseverance required to dig through the barrel...all that help goes to waste. You have to be the main active agent in this journey. You may not have the priviledge of getting support from those cheerleaders I was describing above. That is when you will truly learn to know your limits. If your own engine stops, how many times will you be able to start it again? Or worse even, what if instead of cheerleaders, you have people crashing into your path with negative thoughts and drain your energy away? What then? Are we not strong enough to take a step back and focus? Will we not get back up and try again? Will we not smile and remember the carrot? Oh yes. Yes we will. Like ballet pointe shoes that look so delicate. Beneath the pristine pink satin lies a hard enclosure in the front end of the shoe (called a "box") to support the toes and help the dancers balance. To achieve our goals, we can be like those ballet pointe shoes: soft and beautiful, but then demonstrate a rougher edge to endure hard work, discipline and pain. Both sides based on true passion.
It is never too late to realize what is important and fight for it. I wish to share this fuel with you and if I have the slightest chance of setting the wheels in motion or spark something for just one person, that is something else off my own bucket list I can cross off.
P.S. The friend with whom I discussed this bucket list topic crossed this goal off his own list last night: riding in a Dodge Challenger. Important detail of the goal: it had to be the black with red stripes one. Done! ...and thanks for the inspiration! ;)
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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