The Dog Ate My Homework ... and Other Excuses for not Living Your Ideal Life
― Benjamin Franklin
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
Whether it's been on your mind or never crossed your mind, there comes a time where reality about this notion of "life" and what it really is settles in and you realize that you're saying "I wish had..." I should have..." What if I..."
Do you really want to wake up one day, perhaps when it really is too late, and have regrets about all the things you might have done? Call it the "Bucket List," "Second Chapters," "Life Reinventions," they're all a nagging reminder that living large and the journey of life can be quite extraordinary. It can be spiritual, health, career, hobby, relationships, business, skill related -- anything you've thought of that might enhance this journey in your life.
Do you find yourself living vicariously through others -- marveling at their Facebook page, reading stories of amazing ventures that others dared to take on, life changes that were a complete 360 that someone had the courage to figure out and tackle?
STOP! Stop doing that to yourself. It's time to stop making excuses. Especially now as you start to enter the "Empty Nester" phase of life. This is the most exciting time of rediscovery in your life. Recognize the things that have held you back for the last 20+ years and stop hiding behind them because if you ever had an excuse, now's the time to dispel it.
Find the one thing you want to do, that you've dreamed of and you're yearning to try and make it happen. It may take ten minutes to act on it or two years to plan, save, research and go do ... but just do it, for goodness sake.
I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't...
Sure you have a laundry list of excuses and I'm here to hold the mirror up to you and bet that you can identify with at least three or four of these below with regards to some dream or another that you have about your one precious life.
The 10 excuses we make for not getting on with the dreams/second acts/living large are right here and there are plenty more of them -- how many do you identify with ...?
1. Too busy with the current version of your life
2. Not sure of what I want to do/be/explore
3. Don't know what I'm passionate about anymore
4. Can't afford to invest/spend money on the venture/"crazy/not-so-crazy" idea
5. Afraid to risk not being successful at this
6. What will others say/think?
7. Don't know where to learn more about what I want to do
8. Never been good at starting something new and it's overwhelming
9. Have to stay focused on all the things that help my family run smoothly
10. Always have to put everyone else first -- they need me -- I could never do that for me, it would be selfish
If you can relate to at least two or three of these excuses, it's time to take an even harder look at all the reasons why you SHOULD dare to dream and pursue a passion that you've long yearned to pursue.
So how are you going to do this? What will motivate you to stop making excuses? Here's a little guidance -- much of it obvious but these reminders are to help you gain clarity and direction that might just get you there...
It won't happen all on its own. You have to consciously create your reality and your life to be what you want. It's not luck, it's intention, a goal, a road map and a plan to get there.
Come up with your Action List -- pros, cons, things you have to do, people who may be a part of it, a timeline, goals, milestones, and ideas that will get you there.
Buy a great little notebook and make it your place to check in with daily. Create tabs or sections for each category you want to focus on and the project details listed above. You can use a computer or notepad on your smartphone, but writing on paper in a little notebook is more visceral -- connecting at a deeper level with you, thus helping you to actualize it.
Pick a time each day that you know you can stick to -- wake up 15 minutes earlier, 15 minutes before bedtime, 15 minutes of your lunch hour. Whatever else you've been doing, make this your new priority. Use this time for research, jotting down ideas and plans, making lists of how you're going to accomplish your goals, write down the challenges you foresee and how you'll overcome them.
Set the intention of what you want to the point that it's so clear you can feel it, smell it, taste it and help manifest it becoming your new reality.
Reinvention and evolution in your life are inspired, creative, exciting times. Don't make excuses any more. Take those baby steps and with every step, comes a reward of accomplishment and satisfaction that you can actually create what you want the moment you stop letting those excuses get in your way.
So take one small step towards creating your life with courage. Don't sit on the sidelines and look at others in awe when that could be you fulfilling your own dreams. What may seem like a daunting task and unachievable is yours with each and every step you make towards it. Every little step will be a major milestone for you to celebrate -- with a pat on the back, a glass of wine, a victory dance -- it's yours, so own it!
Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic!
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