Now in my fifth decade, I choose not to live with regret, or worry about the future. But, if I could go back and talk to my younger self the biggest piece of advice, I would give her is “Follow your dreams and trust the rest will fall into place.”
As I have learned now, in my later years, life should be about being happy, enjoying every moment. It is about experiences and emotions, not material things. Every day should be spent savouring the magical gift of life.
In my lifetime, I have let myself be influenced by others when making decisions. Follow the herd, do what is sensible, do what is safe. This led me into a corporate career that I did not enjoy, but it paid well, had great benefits, and would provide a good pension. This, at the time, was what I was told was important. Happiness, desire, or passion had nothing to do with choosing what I wanted to do with my life. It was always about security and I believed that was what I should focus on.
As time went on, I began to understand that there was more to life than being secure. There was happiness and feeling alive and excited about what you do every day. But as time slipped by, there were mortgages to pay, mouths to feed, and it was easy to get trapped in the corporate world because of the security it provided. But at what cost?
If I had had the knowledge, the courage, the support to follow my dream at a younger age, my life would have been much different. I would have taken chances, embraced risk, learned from mistakes but kept going, because it would have felt right. I know the desire would have kept me going because the desire is till there today. It never faded. Things in life have a way of working themselves out when you trust in them, if only I had known that thirty years ago!
Fast forward a few decades and I am grateful to have changed my life to incorporate my desire. It has been a journey as that limiting belief of making sure I am secure and sensible runs pretty deep. But by discovering Mindfulness and changing my mindset I now have more confidence in myself to succeed at what I want to do with my life. Now as a Mindfulness Practitioner, Meditation teacher and author I am finally starting to live the life I dreamt of.
The Pandemic, has made many people re-evaluate their lives. We all got a big reminder of how precious life is and how quickly everything can change. It is so easy to find yourself in a life that you did not imagine for yourself and feel stuck there because of responsibilities. I urge you to think about what is important. I understand that financial responsibilities need to be considered but there is always a way. I started to follow my passion as a side hustle and let it grow at a pace I could manage.
We deserve to live the life we desire, anything else is just settling. Life is an amazing gift and none of us should be settling. If you are a parent, make sure that your children do not settle, make sure they go after their dreams. It is better to try and fail, rather than never try at all.