If someone were to ask you at the end of your life if you had any regrets, what would you say? Would you say that you are free from disappointments and took advantage of all the different opportunities placed along your path? Or would you begin to list off and balk at the sea of things you “should’ve” or “could’ve” done? Although I’m no mind reader, I think it’s fair to say that most people will have a regret or two at the end. Maybe even three!
So, my question is, are you living your own life to the fullest? Now I’m not talking about the acquisition of money or material things, but rather living on purpose without paying attention or even caring what other people have to say or whether they agree with your course of action. Once we accept this truth, I believe we will leave the world with less sadness and dismay at failing to go out into society and being ourselves. These are words I take to heart.
For clarity, after a conversation with a dear family member earlier this morning, I realized that the centre of my decision is on what someone else thinks. Rarely do I make a step without first consulting the army of friends and family in my corner, which usually goes something like this. I decide I want to complete a Ph.D. Feeling a little unclear, I then take it upon myself to check with several of my “counsellors.” Bless their hearts because they are so readily available to share their opinion and tell me what is best for me. By the end of it all, I’m left entirely indecisive and shaken about my plans. In the end, I abandon going back to school, feeling too conflicted.
While I’m sure we all can agree that the right advisors are vital because wearing blinders can be dangerous. Yet, outside noise should never override your desires or who you are. How many people’s dreams are unfulfilled today because someone dissuaded them from going after their passion? How many folks failed to uncover their strengths and untapped creativity because a naysayer didn’t feel they were capable of what they imagined? Perhaps that’s you. I know in more ways than none that’s me.
I recognize that I have been afraid of taking leaps in life, whether in my education, relationships, or career, all because of what “so and so” said plays over and over in my mind. I become insecure, even as a full adult, to make y choices. Therefore, I am living someone else’s life – a life I do not want – and I end up with internal chaos. My life becomes glimpses of recurring regret instead of risk-taking that leads to a life of discovery and fulfillment.
Today I have made a decision. I refuse to continue living for another. I choose to live my own life, even though it may not be one that everyone agrees with. At the end of it all, I won’t be reflecting on what my family or friends did. I will look back on my journey.
Are you living life? The kind of life that is uncaged from the feelings and perspective of those around you. If not, I encourage you to start this way of being now. Don’t wait until the New Year or until you have the opportunity to break the news to those you care about. Choose to orchestrate your life after the pattern of your own heart. Put aside people’s no and push through until you get that yes.
Yes, to the right kind of job! Yes, to the relationship you desire or none at all! Yes, to school or going after some trade! Take a risk. Today!