Say, “yes.” Just do it. Don’t think too hard about it. No need to get out the scales and the +/- lists. Just say, “yes,” and launch yourself over any barriers that may be preventing you from experiencing something new.
I have met some really incredible people on this trip, and with one of them we had a conversation about self-actualization and the mental barriers that we construct preventing us from pursuing what we truly desire.
I could never start my own business.
Really? And why is that? You have all the tools that you need.
But I don’t have the funds, the know-how, a charismatic type A personality, blah blah blah.
I’m beginning to realize more and more on this trip what potential there is to live one’s life intentionally, whatever that may look like. You can do whatever you want! Meeting people who are pursuing some really incredible things has helped me to see the unbounded potential to realize whatever it is that we want.
If you want to be a painter, then paint. If you want to learn how to sail, become a Hungarian folk artist aficionado, proficient at cooking good pad thai, then do it. Say “Yes!” to yourself. One of my favorite lines of all time is a quote from the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. At the end of Benjamin’s life toward the end of the movie, a voice-over comes on as his daughter is reading from the journal that he had left for her. He writes:
For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
It’s such a beautiful paragraph, especially the very last line: “If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” It’s easy to become complacent when you’re comfortable, but you risk becoming stuck in familiarity. If you’re always doing the same things and having the same thoughts, some of the greatest joys of being human, experiencing growth and seeing yourself change, mature, and screw up, are missed.
A number of people have told me that this motorcycle trip, or a trip of this nature, is something that they would like to do but could never see themselves doing. When I say that you can do it, or something similar, as well, I mean to communicate it humbly and sincerely. I feel compelled to say it because I see so many who limit themselves for no reason, constructing non-existent mental barriers, and because taking this trip has already been such a big learning experience for me.
Self-doubt is a starved, convincing, skinny bastard that slinks around in the shadows, slipping in unseen and blotting out our hopes with a crude hand and black ink. Everyone feels it from time to time, suffers from a lack of motivation, but there is no greater tragedy than giving up on something that you really want.