I used to take things for granted.
Simple things, like taking a walk on the beach. I have a reminder on my calendar that goes off every weekday at 3 p.m. and it says: Break, go for a walk and put your feet in the sand. I’d mostly ignore it because I was always too busy, doing just one more thing, before the next appointment on my calendar. Until it wasn’t available to me anymore. The beach is closed until further notice where I live.
I can see it from my rooftop, and I think about all the times that I had the opportunity to just walk that one block down my street, and I didn’t. Now I can’t because they have closed it off. Police are patrolling to make sure nobody puts their feet into the water, or on the sand for that matter. My heart is heavy with regret.
I want nothing more than to throw myself into the waves, to float in the turquoise healing Caribbean waters. Isn’t it interesting that we only appreciate people, places, and things when they are being taken away from us? We have it all wrong. Fear is a powerful motivator for self-sabotage. Regret is even more powerful. The regret of not doing what we came here to do when we still had the opportunity to do it. Think about that. Could you live with it? All the excuses we’re telling ourselves as to why we can’t be, do, or have something. They’re all bullsh*t, yes really, but I didn’t know it until somebody switched on the light for me.
I was sitting in a seminar and during the opening remarks, the speaker threw out a powerful question: What are you going to do with the rest of your life? I started thinking about what it would be like when the day comes where I can’t change it anymore. Could I bear the regret of having agreed to live a life un-lived, where I put safety and security before what my heart and soul were telling me to do? That lit a match under my butt. I took action despite the fear that was so all-consuming that it brought me to my knees. I walked into my boss’ office to hand in my resignation. My knees were shaking as he looked up from his desk. He knew just by looking at my face. His words were: Oh my God, you’re leaving. I heard the yes come out of my mouth and in that moment, I thought I was either going to faint, or vomit on the floor, because I had just committed financial suicide. That’s how big my fear was. Through the fog in my head, I heard his voice: I’m so happy for you.
At that moment, everything went calm, and only then did I realize that on the other side of fear, there’s freedom and not the big bad boogeyman my mind had made up. We sat down and negotiated the terms of my exit, and I ended up working for my corporate sponsor for five more months as a full-time employee, remotely from my apartment in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This allowed me to start my own business.
If you find yourself in a similar boat, don’t wait. It is time to go for what you really want. Not for what you think you can have. Not for what others might expect of you. We have but one life. It’s precious, and it’s short. Why waste any of it living how we don’t want to live? There has never been a better time for massive transformation and reinventing ourselves. As we’ve seen over the past couple of months, security is an illusion. Everything can be taken from us in an instant. As scary as it is to accept this new normal, it also brings us an incredible opportunity, allowing us to chart a new course for ourselves. Societal structures and norms have been broken without us having a say in it, and that has left many of us without a sense of control of our lives. So, let’s break our own rules. The rules we’ve created in our mind about what we can and can’t be, do or have, the rules we do have control over.
What if these were your last 24 hours on earth, what would you regret not having done? Decide to get started today. There has never been a better time than now. We no longer have the luxury of taking things for granted. Our world has turned upside down almost overnight, and we’ve adapted in a flash. You can conquer the fear that is keeping you from your own transformation, from reinventing yourself.
This is the time to step into the next, and best, chapter of our life.