Let’s talk about the past. And about the future.
If 2018 was the year of reset buttons, then 2019 has been the year of new beginnings. Most people fear change. It’s scary, it’s unknown and it gives you that feeling of anxiety in the pit of your stomach.
I think that change is a good thing. I mean, nothing lasts forever, so maybe the conversation shouldn’t be “how can I keep things the same?” because that conversation is one of fear and playing small and not living up to your potential.
Things change, and that sucks. Someone that you were close with becomes an acquaintance or less. Somebody who you barely knew becomes close. These are things that we cannot always change. Some people are only meant to stay in your life for a little bit.
It’s not about keeping things the same. It’s about growing intentionally with like-minded people.
A few weekends ago I was asked to speak at the #Change1 self-development conference. It was a unique opportunity for me because it forced me to think critically about the past few years of my life.
I spoke about what it meant to me to pursue my passion – publishing a book. As I prepped for my discussion I thought back on my crazy journey. It STILL seems surreal to me. I left a job where I was happy for the chance to do something different.
Just a chance, nothing more. Nothing was guaranteed, and I knew that I would have to work for every little thing which I earned.
I took that chance because my entire life I had played it safe. Played small. And here’s the thing – you can’t do things that people will remember by playing small. You’ve got to take chances – hoist the black flag and slit some throats if necessary. That’s scary. Terrifying, really.
Big risk, big reward. I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunities that I did if I hadn’t left my job. I wouldn’t have met the people I have, most likely.
Pursuing your passion means taking some risks. You often have to jump in with both feet, even if you haven’t tested the waters yet.
It was great having the opportunity to share my story at #Change1. Ya gotta push yourself out of that comfort zone, people! Looking back made me start thinking about what the future looks like.
Do you live your life on purpose? For me, that’s an important concept. How else can you work towards the life that you want if you don’t give a thought about what that looks like? I don’t mean things like hoping you win the lottery. If you do, good on you! Most of us won’t in our lifetimes.
I probably never will again. I tapped that out WAY too early when I won on that scratch ticket after I turned eighteen. But I can hope! I could use twenty-six million dollars, how about you? Heck, I’d be good with winning the Kinsmen Jackpot bingo pot.
Most of the time we have vague ideas about what we want the future to look like. It’s things like “I want to buy a house,” or “I want to have a winter home in the Caribbean.” But most people aren’t deliberate about it.
Live your life on purpose. 5 years from now, on a Tuesday, what does your life look like? Who are you with? What are you doing? Where do you live? Be as detailed as possible about what it all looks like, then ask yourself why. Why do you want the big house with the dog and the white picket fence? Why is that something that is important to you?
Does that speak to your values or the mark that you want to leave on the world?
For context, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. If there’s something about me that I want to change, I’m not waiting until January 1. But I love the concept of goal setting, of intentional, achievable targets.
Five years from now there are a few things which I’d like to do:
- I’d like to visit a new continent. I’ve been to Europe, and I’ve been to North America (obviously). There has GOT to be a story or two in me that could be uncovered by visiting a completely foreign place
- I’d like to be traditionally published. 2020 for me is going to be about continuing to improve in my craft. That means I need to keep writing. It may sound strange, but I can see the threads in front of me. I know that I can do better than my first two efforts. I have a story, I just don’t know what that means yet.
- Stretch goal! I want a bestseller on the New York Times bestseller list.
These are my writing goals over the next five years. More immediately, I need to find an agent. New York could still help me accomplish that – I’ve heard back from one of the agents who requested material. It was a no from that person, but that’s okay. I still have six strong, viable options.
At this time it’s been just over three months. I think it’s time to poke them, don’t you? Sound off in the comments over whether or not you think I should reach out to them.
What did we learn this week?
- A lot can happen in a year. Much more can happen in 5.
- It’s been over a year since I dropped my keys down an elevator shaft. I still clutch them extra tight whenever I step into one.
- Since I’ve been doing Christmas shopping a lot this week, I’ve been thinking about how fortunate I am. There’s nothing that I NEED. I think I need to remember that more.
- Wine tastes best when it comes in a box. You might disagree, but you’re wrong and I hate you (not really, but you ARE wrong).
- Sometimes at the end of serious posts, I try to lighten the mood. What other way than with bad jokes, right? Probably to have people leave on a good note! So… you’re welcome!
- You should totally buy Far from Ordinary if you haven’t already. Even if you have! It makes for a GREAT Christmas gift.
Also, I haven’t heard anything from the camp of Imposter Murray. I assume that he is cringing in his Christmas boots.