Last Friday, I had one of the best nights in my life: I went to a Coldplay concert in Bangkok, but that was just the destination.
The journey is what I really want to talk to you about.
Shortly after I arrived to Southeast Asia in January, I learned Coldplay was playing a concert in Bangkok. I’m not a diehard Coldplay fan, but I am in Southeast Asia, where concert tickets (like everything else) are basically half the price of what they’d be in a Western country.
I planned to be in Thailand at least a few days before the concert, but I didn’t buy a ticket. I was waiting to meet someone, preferably a female companion, who would go with me to the concert because I’m a hopeless romantic and is there a better date than a Coldplay concert?!
Fast-forward to last week, and I still hadn’t met anyone who wanted to go to the concert with me. I was in a Thai city named Chiang Mai, which is about an hour-and-a-half plane ride north of Bangkok, and the clock was ticking. I really wanted to go to this concert, but not alone.
Finally, at 4:30 pm last Friday, with the concert starting in less than four hours, I decided not to go. I’m sure I’ll have another opportunity to see a Coldplay concert in the future, I told myself.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized this isn’t about whether or not I’ll have such an opportunity in the future. It’s about what I have in front of me today — and why wouldn’t I take advantage of an opportunity to do something that makes me happier, especially if it’s in my control?
At 6 pm, I bought a ticket and booked my flight. Two hours later, I was jet-setting from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, and by 10:15 that night I was rocking out to one of the greatest bands from the last 20 years (bold statement, I know).
I’m telling you this because we all have one thing (or even many things) that we want today — things that are totally in our control, but things we let pass us by for no good reason. We make excuses and find ways to rationalize our inaction. For me, it was not wanting to go alone.
But there was no rhyme or reason for my inaction. I was unrealistically waiting for the perfect set of circumstances to unfold (meeting a female companion), instead of making the best of reality (going alone), and doing something that — in hindsight — I am so happy I did.
So, the next time you want something — something that’s in your control, and something you might be inclined to let pass you by — ask yourself this:
Why wouldn’t I take advantage of an opportunity to do something that makes me happier, especially if it’s in my control?
Give yourself the permission to do things that make you happy.
Originally published at medium.com