Do you have a dream that you want to fulfill someday? Is there something that you want for your life, and you would honestly go get, if only your circumstances were better? Do you have an awesome idea for a business kicking around in your head that you’re hoping to start as soon as you get your finances straightened out? Maybe there’s a dream vacation, or extended travel that you’re planning on taking, once you retire and have the time. Perhaps you envision your “true” self as being this sauve, sexy and fearless hottie, and that’s totally who you’re going to be as soon as you get enough confidence.
Honestly, what’s holding you back? When are you going to really Go for it? When do you think you’re going to get that confidence, and start living your dream life?
I’ve got news for you. We all have this thing backwards.
You don’t get confidence, and then start living your dream life. You start living your dream life, and that gives you the confidence! The key is to Start! That’s the scariest part of the process. And this fear of starting is what holds us all back.
We also delude ourselves into thinking we’re safe in our mediocrity, because we’ve got time to develop still, and become what we want. We’ll fulfill our dreams in the future.
But you see, tomorrow never comes. Once we hit tomorrow, it’s today! And today. And today. And today. Until we suddenly have no more todays, and we’ve wasted them all, waiting for tomorrow.
I just rewatched the Queen Latifah movie Last Holiday, which is a personal favorite of mine, because of the message it gives. Also, Queen Latifah is so damn charming in it. So, not long after the movie establishes the world she inhabits, and also the meek personality that she’s playing, her character Georgia is suddenly given a false diagnoses of a terminal illness, with only a few weeks to live. We learn that up until that point, she has been a humble and introverted department store sales clerk, who has dreamed big, but lived overly cautious. But as soon as she learns she only has a limited time left to live, she cashes out all of her carefully amassed life savings, and decides to blow it all on living out those dreams she’s only archived in her scrapbook! So she jets off to Europe – First Class, thank you. Instantly, she’s fearless in her choices, and upfront with everyone she meets. With impending death leaving her nothing to lose, she starts really Living! Of course, by the end of the movie, she learns that she is not really going to die. But by that time, and because she wasn’t afraid to lose it all, she has gained everything, which includes landing a romantic boyfriend in her longtime crush (played by LL Cool J), and owning a thriving bistro restaurant that is championed by the famous TV chef, Emeril Lagasse!
Now, those are the fun movie magic details. I want to repeat the most important thing here, which is the story’s message:
Because she was no longer afraid to lose it all, she gained everything.
Steve Jobs (college dropout, and co-founder/CEO of Apple, Inc.) said:
Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know how to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
So, is there something that you want to do for your life, but you’re afraid of what might happen if you screw it up? Perhaps you’re waiting for the perfect time, or for that time when you have it all worked out. Wake up! If you’re waiting for the perfect time, then you will be waiting forever. Take the leap! It simply can’t work out for you, until you jump into it.
Georgia literally leaps off the side of a mountain in the movie, free as a bird. She proves to herself that she can do it, and at the same time, wins the praise and respect of all of the intimidating, wealthy characters circling her in the movie.
I must admit that her free spirit, and fearless way of showing kindness, while being forthright with what’s on her mind, totally charmed me as well!
That’s why I watch it every year around the holidays, when things start to slow down, and when I’m contemplating the end of the year, while also dreaming about what I want for the new year to come.
Right now, I’m also reading the autobiography of Sir Richard Branson, Losing my Virginity. Right from the start, he details how at fifteen years old he got fired up to publish a magazine, brazenly calling up major companies (under the guise of being much older), to sell advertising for a magazine that not only didn’t even exist yet, but was to be edited by two fifteen year olds still in school! And he writes something profound, that struck me even more than the idea that he was so enterprising at such a young age. He said that if he had actually tried that a few years later, when he would have been old enough to think more rationally, then he would have never picked up the phone at all! Instead he writes:
I was too young to contemplate failure.
The result from just bravely going for it, propelled him into a success mindset. He went on to become a self made billionaire, creating incredible companies that are famous all over the world. I believe his companies have been so successful, because of the magic he put into them. In fact, one of my favorite parts of my enchanting trip to London two years ago, was the exceptional experience I had in kicking the journey off by flying his Virgin Atlantic Airways. That same year on my birthday, I flew to Maui on Virgin America. On both flights, I was treated like a rock star. I imagined I was being treated as if I was a personal friend of Sir Richard Branson, a real rock star in his own right. The self made billionaire founder, who owes his success to going for it, jumping in, and not paying attention to fear.
But most of us do pay attention to that fear. So what are we so afraid of? What is that fear? It’s the fear of making mistakes.
Frank Wilczek (winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics) said:
If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a mistake.
It may be too much for you. I get it. And you can avoid major mistakes altogether. You can take the easy road. Play it safe and small. Ensure that you won’t screw up and make a mistake that could have you “lose it all”.
But if you keep on that path, you will also prevent yourself from living to your greatest potential. You’re actually preventing yourself from just simply living! Life is a gift, and it will keep giving to you, and keep giving to others that you touch along the way, but you have to Live that Life, and not worry about screwing up.
Because you’re gonna screw up. And you should screw up. Re-read the quote from Mr. Nobel Prize winner, Wilczek up there. Screwing up helps you learn how to adapt and get what you really want out of life.
More movie wisdom: One of my favorite parts of the thrillride new Aquaman movie, was when he screwed up a plan big time, but didn’t let it stop him from his race to save the world. Instead, he confidently, and with a wink declares: Plans change, shit happens. And then he continued to kick ass!
By the way, do you know what’s the best way to screw up? It’s to focus on screwing up. (hint- If you’re worrying about it, that’s focusing on it.)
Don’t worry about the screw up! Worry about getting to action, and going for it. The screw ups are going to happen without you adding to them. If you focus on action, you’ll be able to keep on moving towards your dreams.
And don’t fall for the trap that you’ve tried before, and it didn’t work out. Remembering how you’ve failed in the past, and being convinced that you’ve made mistakes that you just can’t recover from. If you’re still here today, then you can start again. And again. And again.
The main message from the charming new Jlo movie, Second Act, is to not be afraid to start over, and to not worry about whatever happened in your past. A beautiful quote that clearly stood out to me was: The only thing stopping you… is you.
Finally, because it’s Christmastime, and magic abounds, Mary Poppins Returns gave me: Everything is possible, even the impossible.
It’s a magical line. But if you break it down, it goes hand in hand with what Jenny from the Block is saying: The only thing stopping you… is you. Your thinking that “it’s impossible” is the only thing making it impossible!
We’re about to start a new year in our lives. 2019. Let’s make the impossible, possible! Let’s go for it, while we are still alive!
So what’s the bottom line here?
Well, the fact is that we are all going to die. On one of those tomorrows, I’m going to die, and you’re going to die.
So the question is: With one of these todays, are you going to Go for it – and LIVE?
There is much love here for you. ~ FoxZM