How much do you pay? To yourself? To others? How many words have you used to fill space, hoping the sheer volume would overshadow the lack of actionable deeds that ought to follow?
“I’m working on…”
“I’m in the process of…”
“I’m thinking about…”
“I’m trying to…”
Leave it to a fictional character from a Galaxy far far away to lay it out straight. The more we verbally dilute our intentions, the less likely we are to actually see them through. Intentional dilution is a defense mechanism, so it’s natural to indulge the habit. Often we manage our potential disappointments by avoiding the path less traveled, no matter what our dreams demand. The older we get, the easier it is to let what is essentially fear of the unknown rule our daily lives.
We’ve all seen the mantra that it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. But how many of us actually do it? In what scenario do we shed our protective layering, open our hearts and minds… and leap? Beyond quitting your current trajectory and hopping a sailboat to Bali (although, if that’s your jam… go for it)… the large steps are often predicated by much smaller ones: visiting a place (even a store or restaurant) that intimidates you, talking to a person you deem out of your league (professionally and/or personally), proposing a deal you think might automatically be shot down… often we set ourselves up to deny greater dreams by first avoiding the smaller ones. Just like any good habit, saying less and doing more to realize your dreams takes practice. It takes time.
‘The Top Five REGRETS of the Dying‘ is a book that demands to be read, if only to solidify the common thread that runs through humanity. If ever there was evidence that we connect (even in regret), it is within these pages. Perhaps you’ll find a bit of yourself weaved between the words. Perhaps you’ll find a person you know and/or love. While regret is a common human reaction, it ought be managed like any other. Better to regret a small thing, than a thing that might define (through action or inaction) the shape of your entire existence.
Like anything else, we first find this shape through small steps. One intention, one choice, one breath at a time. The more time we spend standing in what is versus what we wish to be, the more likely the latter has the potential to become reality. You have to start somewhere. So start. These are your feet on the ground. You are alive. You are breathing. You are here.