What am I doing here? I’m sitting on the back balcony of my apartment in Elizabeth, New Jersey. I have been sitting here for 5 hours. I started my day like many other days on the road. I made coffee. I took a shower. I ate an old tough turkey sandwich from yesterday. But something about today is different. Today, I began to dream like never before. I look down at my feet where my orange notebook fell. The main points to an upcoming speech circled and almost organized on the front page. In the midst of thinking about my past and going over things I had learned. I started to think like a child. Every problem, obstacle, boundary had a solution. Risk was acceptable. Vulnerability was the norm.
Fear of failure. Fear of people. Fear of embarrassment. I’ve spent too much time already trying to live for the world. I haven’t spent nearly enough time being the adult that I promised I would be. Fearless, confident, adventurous. When you are a kid, there are no limits, only dreams. Like many of you, I have so many dreams. I dream of more time with my family, more time spent making lasting connections, experiencing real emotion, helping others. I dream of experiencing poverty and fully knowing that relationships and humanity are all we have. I dream of hiking the Camino de Santiago and spending the evening reading to my kids on the trail. I dream of walking through tiredness, heat and thirst to find a shade and a spring. I dream of meeting strangers in a strange land and telling stories of home. I dream of a journey so remarkable that Shakespeare would have written about it. I dream of having time to write about my stories and time to speak and listen to thousands along the way that are living their legends. I’ve wasted to much of my life living quietly and trying “be normal.” But, the fact is I’m not normal and neither are you. Life is not meant to be lived quietly and peacefully. It’s not meant to bounce every idea around in your head until it dies worrying who might not like it. We’ve spent billions of years in the dark waiting our turn. This is it my friends. RIGHT NOW we are the show. The main attraction. Don’t waste a single second of it worrying what others think, say, or do. The world will always be full of people in all different places in their lives. Surround yourself with people who are living courageously. Surround yourself with people that understand your dream. It’s not too late to get started but you have to start. Here’s an amazing TED talk by Mel Robbins I found this week on “activation energy.” A.K.A. Getting your ass in gear! She talks about what that exact moment feels like when you throw the covers off in the morning and get down to business and how this applies to everything you want to accomplish.
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
What’s your biggest dream? What would you do today if money was not an issue?