After my post about Dreaming Big, someone shared a comment via Twitter about Mel Robbins’ TedX talk. I had expected to be something about chasing your dreams or creativity, but instead I got a nice insight to psychological tendencies and motivation. I liked it so much, I’ll probably share it with me team at our next staff meeting. Because of the video, I was awake earlier today. If you’re wanting to make a change in your life, watch this video.
My first thoughts were about George Carlin’s skit regarding being “Fine”. His was funny. Ms. Robbins’ talk is funny and truly insightful. In order to act on an idea, we must not only do something, but we must do something quickly. Think about how often you do something, even just a small thing, but it eventually leads to a big change.
Let’s take the example of my camera collection. After realizing I had 21 cameras, I decided to get rid of a few. Then I bought a few more. But the simple act of starting to sell and give away a few of them triggered a big change. I’m down to four – all of which I haven’t specifically written much about before: a Minolta Maxxum 7, a Hasselblad 500C, a Bronica SQ-Ai, and a Zeiss Ikon Contina. At this point, I expect the Bronica to leave eventually. I’m even selling my trusty Maxxum 5’s. All of this in 6 weeks.
They’re just cameras, but I had gotten into the habit of searching out interesting cameras. Of course now I’m drooling over Minolta AF lenses. So I’m not fine with the change, but I’m growing.
What if I could take the next step towards financial independence? I’ve been dreaming of riding a bike to work for 6 years. Exercise, fresh air, and a commute all in one activity. Plus it saves money. Moving closer to work might allow me to do that, plus be home more.
Then there’s the time: even my modest 20 minute commute adds an extra 4 weeks of working time to my year. 20 minutes each way is 160 hours per year. Moving within 5 minutes of work would be like getting an extra 3 weeks of vacation time! No wonder my hour commute at previous jobs was killing me, and all the flights and waiting in airports were draining my energy.
Think about this: my wife drives 75 minutes one way! She only works 180 days per year, but the commute in time alone is like working an extra 11 weeks each year! Oh my word! Then if we think about wear and tear on a vehicle, or both cars, plus gas. How soon could we retire? It’s probably $150k or more every 10 years. I could do the math, but I’m already wound up enough at this point….
I’m not fine. They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Whoever ‘they’ are, they’re wrong. What you don’t know can kill you, or least steal your dreams. I’m not sure I’m OK with the amount of sacrifices we’re making to live they way we live. Maybe we need to consider another change to get to our dreams sooner. If we both decide to take that step, it might be scary, but it won’t be the end of the world. Who knows? It might open a whole new world.
So much is possible. We don’t need to live average lives. In fact, I don’t feel like my life is average – but it’s not as excellent as it could be. Maybe 30 years ago this wasn’t possible. Maybe society really has changed enough with technology that we truly can have even more freedom than ever before. Perhaps it’s just the availability to get all the individual perspectives and knowledge that makes it seem more real, and people have been doing exactly this for decades.
Has this possibility always been there, but it’s just something else “we didn’t know”? I honestly don’t know, but the thought of this level of freedom is awesome and invigorating, and a little aggravating at the same time. I’ve got to do SOMETHING to capitalize on my piece of freedom and make the most of this awesome life that was just so highly improbable to even happen. All of us are in the same category of uniqueness, and we are meant to do so much more than what the average person does.
Ignore the media and the daily news. Dream big, then do small things to move towards your dreams. Even something as simple as giving an unused possession like a camera to Goodwill can get the ball rolling.