If you’re feeling frightened about what comes, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart… where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again
A lonely, naive, younger version of myself once read a quote in a book that has been turning over in my mind ever since.
“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”
If ever there were motivation to lead a full life, to not question your capabilities and to chase your dreams, this is it. Reading this was just so sad. It’s absolutely true, which I think is why it’s so sad.
So many people don’t go after what they want in life because they’re conditioned to a life of security and conformity. They believe that what they have is all they will ever get. At the same time so many people don’t go after what they want in life because they’re afraid of the uncertain, the unknown and believe that all that could be out there for them is pain.
When I think of all of the reasons to not try – things that aren’t always within someone’s control, I can’t help but think there are so many more reasons to try.
There are days when my anxiety is absolutely debilitating, and I know I am not the only one to feel that way. And there are people in this world who are really suffering horrendous situations that I could not fathom, nor understand. But, they’re still trying. And me, I’m going to keep going. Even when my anxiety is telling me to not get out of bed. I don’t want to be one of those lost souls in the graveyard with the unwritten book. And I don’t want to think about all of the unmet potential laying in graveyards around the world. I want to be known for encouraging my friends and family to go after what they want in life.
So, to follow up one sad but true quote with a powerful and true quote, the moral of this story is:
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.
It can be exceptionally easy to plop yourself down on the couch and kiss a few hours of a day goodbye, if you allow yourself.
I have an exceptionally easy time putting off tasks. I can waste the day away, I can waste a week away without even thinking twice about it. And lately I am realizing that I can’t be like that anymore.
For a lot of people, wasting time is not even about laziness. There isn’t so much a desire to just lay on the couch and waste the day away. For a lot of people, deep down, there’s an anxious mind propagating fears. The fears of messing up that keep us from even starting a task in the process, this is what contributes greatly to wasting time. I have a lot of those fears, and I have them often.
Note to self: stop wasting time, start getting things done.
Ask yourself ‘why?’ Why am I procrastinating? Do I know how to start? Do I know where to start? D I have the courage to do this, to get things done and to not stop until it’s complete? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the hard questions.
Too many people live with the notion that if it can’t be done perfectly then it shouldn’t be done at all. This is wrong.
Don’t aim for perfection. Aim to get things done. Once progress has already begun, or a task has already been completed, it is much easier to edit or reorganize your work after the fact.
Clear distractions from your life. If having the tv on is going to cause you to lose focus, put the remote away. If having your laptop on is going to distract you, put your laptop under your bed. Don’t allow yourself the opportunity to get distracted.
Write shit down. Write it all down. Write down what you need to get done, and hey, if you can, write down some things you’ve already done. There’s a certain catharsis that comes from being able to cross something off your to do list. Just seeing something crossed off will provide you added motivation to cross more off.
Give yourself a window of time. Be it ten minutes, be it an hour, be it a day or a week or whatever time frame you give yourself, set a time limit. If you have a limit of time in which you can get things done, you will be more inclined to finish things before your deadline.
Celebrate your accomplishments. It’s important to note that when you get something done you need to celebrate the accomplishment. Celebrating finishing a task will help you with motivation for future tasks, and, if you are one of those people who gets anxious about things, or has fear of the future, celebrating the small victories can be really helpful for your confidence level.
These things, they may seem rather straight forward, but, sometimes it’s just nice to see things in writing to remind myself. I know that I need a reminder every day. I also find this list is filled with things that are really easy to overlook/talk yourself out of doing.
Drink water. There are integral benefits to your body when you fill it with lots of water each and every day. Feel a headache coming on? Drink some water. Feeling thirsty and tired? Drink some water. Bored? Drink some water. It’s not a be all to end all cure, but it sure does help in a lot of ways.
Wash your face. Your face is your first impression – get yourself a gentle cleanser, one without fragrance, and make sure that you’re washing it. Get rid of the dirt and impurities that might be hiding in your skin after a long day of it being filled with pollutants. Guy or girl, your skin will thank you for it.
Watch the news. Read the news. Listen to the news. And I mean the news, not a facebook or twitter update. I believe that it’s highly important for EVERYONE to be informed of what is happening in the world. You might not think that things half a world away will have an affect on you, but when Saudi oil prices rise or goods from China are more heavily taxed, these things will make a difference in all our lives. Really, I could go on and on about this one – but I’ll just leave it with – keep yourself in the know so that you don’t look like a fool if you don’t.
Be active. Whatever this looks like for you and your body and your lifestyle, do it. Stretch, go for a ten minute walk, go to the gym, do some yoga, do whatever it is that you can to get your body moving and your endorphins running. Endorphins trigger positivity… and who doesn’t want to be more positive?
Stay organized and clean. There is truth to the statement ‘healthy space, healthy mind’. Walking into a dirty house, bedroom or bathroom can fill you with anxiety. Don’t allow yourself those triggers. Keep your home organized and clean.
Wear sunscreen… EVEN ON CLOUDY DAYS. UVA and UVB rays can penetrate you anywhere and everywhere. Protect your skin from being leathery and wrinkly when you get old, and protect yourself from the very real reality that is skin cancer. That’s not meant as a scare tactic. It’s just something that’s true. It’s so easy to put on sunscreen, so why not?
Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, nutritionally speaking. It sets your metabolism for the rest of the day and it either makes, or breaks (if you don’t eat it) your energy that you can put forth during the day. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast and notice the difference in makes in how you operate the rest of the day.
Face your fears. Insecurities are something that can very easily eat away at you if you let them. But, if you go out and go after your fears each day, even if it’s in a small way, they’re not going to feel so big the next day. I think Lululemon penned the saying originally, but ‘do one thing a day that scares you’.
Ask yourself “Do I really need this?” In this day and age, it’s really easy to purchase things that you don’t need but feel the desire to buy because of a whim. If you have a hard time keeping a budget, or even if you don’t, don’t be someone who collects thing just to collect them. If it’s going to take up space and clutter your life, you don’t need to bring it home from the store.
Remember who you are. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like being yourself isn’t good enough. If you’ve got a sense of humour, if you’ve got a bubbly personality, let those shine through. Let the world see who you are and don’t ever shy away from that. The best people in this world show exactly who they are. Don’t ever be afraid of that.
She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”
I would like to dedicate this post to my mother who is currently undergoing treatments for cancer. She is a lover and now a fighter, a warrior and the strongest woman that I know. Thank you, mom, for always being the light at the end of the tunnel and for always holding the universe together. I am so proud to be your daughter.
Here’s to all of the badass women in this world who continue to push us forward, make us better and make the universe more. I am forever grateful to know you, to love you and to aspire to be like you.
Who are the women and girls in your life that you admire? Who do you aspire to be more like?