How many people have we judged wrong and how many friendships we gave away? How many opportunities have we let pass for fear of trying? How many yes have we missed because we fear a no? How many unanswered questions we want?
Each day that comes brings a new opportunity to connect, to learn, to grow, to help, and yet each day that passes we let opportunity go.
Thinking about all of this I could not help but remember the movie The bucket list. Remember it? The movie in which an old and sick Jack Nicholson accidentally meets an old and even sicker Morgan Freeman who in no time becomes his most endearing friend and together they write a list of things they want to get done before their sicknesses gets the better of them: travel to Tibet, visit the TajMahal and kiss the most beautiful girl they’ve ever seen.
My question though is, why do we have to wait until a grave situation comes along to decide to do what we’ve wanted to do for so long?
And maybe here someone will say to me: “well Efraín, seeing death so up close changes the way you see life”.
And I say: I doubt it. What’s more I’m sure that not everybody, not always anyway, is changed by such experiences.
A couple of years ago I wrote an old post in this blog where I explained how I am convinced that such thing almost never happens. A person changes his/her attitude towards life only when they are convinced of doing so, if not they simply don’t. I know.
I myself have experienced similar circumstances, both personally and with people I love, and those things didn’t seem to help make any changes.
So what made me change my attitude? Decision, conviction and a clear vision of how I wanted to live my life.
And so I think, do you really want to wait 1, 2, 20, 40 years to start living the life you want?
In his book “The 4-hour work week”, Tim Ferris, talks about how he under took the initiative of blending to important concepts – life balance and professional success – into one “Life Style Design”, with the basic premise that it is not necessary to wait for a special event to change our life or wait decades until we can have the time to do the things we like. And so he shares with us a series of recommendations, steps and resources we can use to actually start living our lives the way we want to today and not when we retire.
What’s more, in their recently launched book “Trust Agents”, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, take Tim’s idea and explain how technology today allows us to, as they call it in their book, create our own game.
Both books are a really great must read, and even though both titles have been quite inspiring for me, I do not pretend to do such a good job convincing you to do such a radical change in one day as they do.
That said, I do want to present you with an idea that just may be as important as the two prior ones, yet might be easier to start: Give yourself a chance.
Give yourself a chance to think, to ask, to give, to teach, to learn, to share, to seek. Award yourself the possibility to do something else, to travel, to accept help and to give help, to meet people and not judge them. Each and every day give yourself a chance to live your life a little more like you want to live it.
As Robin Sharma says, the longest of trips begins with the first step, and every big victory is formed of smaller daily achievements we conquer step by step, day by day.
So, what chance will you give yourself today?