We are expected to follow a certain path in life, go to school, get a job, get married, buy a house, have children and retire. I don’t have enough hands to count how many times I have been asked about my progress in these stages. Some people may only complete a couple of these, or all of them in a different order. Either way we are born into this infrastructure and there’s not many people around who say it’s okay deviate from ‘the path’.
Another concept we are born into is obligation. There are always things we ‘have’ to do for other people. If we don’t do them, or stop doing them, then bad things will follow. Or so we convince ourselves…or should I say we let other people convince us of this. Despite these life constraints we are told we are free or ‘have freedom’. I am not sure who allowed me this freedom, although I thought it was given to me at birth as standard, clearly not. So we have all these expectations and obligations clothing us every day but then one day…opportunity knocks. What now?
This opportunity could be to move to your dream country, to compete in a sport internationally, a risky but exciting business venture, a yearning to go around the world in eighty days, or finally being able to buy that exotic animal everyone tells you is dangerous and will eat you. Stuff that you initially think isn’t feasible or that is too far-fetched goes on the opportunity list. I call it that because anything really is possible if you want it bad enough.
A leap of faith could literally change your life yet you believe you are constrained by obligations and expectations. What is the worst that can happen though? Surely those who truly love want you to fulfill your dreams even if it means leaving them behind? And this is ultimately what stops us taking that leap, the judgement of others. The uncomfortable truth is, there are people you love right now who wouldn’t give a second thought to uprooting their life to change their circumstances for the better. Mum, Dad, sibling, best friend, child, you name it they have their dream bubble in their head and rightly so. Life is too short to carry feelings of guilt, regret and resentment. If opportunity knocks you may as well take it. The worst that can happen is you fail and you’re back to where you started, big deal! Like anything in this world, time moves on and so do people.
Fearing people’s judgements and opinions is pointless and a waste of precious time. Firstly, you are the main contributor to your life. That can never change. The opinion you hold about yourself is the most important. Judgements and opinions of others are formed when they don’t have the full picture of you and they never will. Only you can know everything about you, everyone else gets flashes of your existence here and there and then make their own assumptions. Secondly, it’s draining. By taking the judgements and opinions of others seriously you are slowly letting yourself be broken down into millions of worthless pieces. What’s even worse than that is letting these people stop you from making the life changing decisions. The easiest way to live is to surround yourself with people who don’t talk about people. Seriously. They are less likely to get in your personal business and talk your opportunities down.
Granted, none of us are perfect, we all talk about somebody at some time or act a little negative. Imagine though if that time was spent on improving ourselves and achieving our dreams? What worlds we could create for ourselves, yet we trap our spirits with imaginary barriers. The next time you are somewhere you don’t want to be, talking to someone you don’t like, or find yourself talking ish about someone else, simply walk away. Walk away and go do something you actually enjoy and want to experience.
Opportunity knocks, so don’t leave it standing at the door, welcome it in!