My Challenge To You

What do you want to do before you die?
Have you accomplished all you’ve wanted to do? If not, why not?

It’s really not as morbid as it seems
It’s actually a challenge to live the best life you can, and really make every day count

So often we aren’t living our dreams because we are living our fears. We get caught up in all the what ifs and why nots and can’ts, that we forget life can actually be spectacular if you let it.

Frequently underneath fear are many secondary reasons that hold us back or contribute to the fear.

Maybe we feel insecure. On his hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow lists security as our number two need above food, water and shelter. For something so important, fear would seem natural if our security was threatened.

Sometimes it’s uncertainty that trips us up. If we aren’t much of a risk taker or we avoid situations when we aren’t sure what they are or what the outcome will be, uncertainty can be paralyzing. These people, like myself, tend to be control freaks, or “planners” as we prefer to be called.

Maybe it’s doubt and worry that cause your anxiety, which leads to fear. Like the saying goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.”

We cannot predict the future. Even the best psychics I know will tell you that what they see is only one possible future, and all it takes is us to use our free will and choose differently, and that future is altered.

Think about that. One choice can change everything.

For some that’s enough to trigger fear right there. But what if you shifted and realized that if things aren’t going how you like, or you are unhappy with your life, often all it takes is one choice to create change.

There are many things we can do to overcome fear and make the most of our lives. Often people will do meditation to help them tap into their intuition, which acts like a compass to steer the direction of our lives if we feel off course. Mediation also helps us be more present in our lives to help us enjoy it to a richer level.

Sometimes making the most of our lives is being of service to others, like doing random acts of kindness: holding the door, buying someone a coffee, or letting someone in  line in front of us. We never know how far reaching these simple acts can be.

I heard a story of a man who waited at a coffee shop with a sunflower he bought for his new date, but she never showed up. Also in that coffee shop was an elderly lady who was sitting all alone and looked like she’d been crying. The man decided to give the flower to her, so it didn’t go to waste. The elderly woman had lost her husband that morning and he had always bought her sunflowers. The two shared a wonderful moment, and all because the man reached out to try and improve a crappy situation. Both lives were significantly changed.

Having goals is something I personally recommend and help people with all the time. However, goals must be balanced with spontaneity. This allows us to make the most out of all the opportunities that come our way-really saying yes to life.

What did you want to be as a kid?
Where along the way did you lose that magic?
Where would you travel first if I gave you a free plane ticket to anywhere?
Would you write a book?
Would you love deeper?
Would you face your fears and make each day count?

What do you want to do before you die?
It’s really not as morbid as it seems.
It’s actually a challenge to live the best life you can and really make every day count.

Grab a blank sheet of paper. This is for you to make your own dream board or bucket list.
Look at all the possibilities that blank sheet of paper provides!
Toss your fears aside and let yourself dream
Find the magic back from when you were a kid

There are some things you don’t realize are on your bucket list, until you do them and overcome a fear. Eight years ago I was helping my dad up at a trade show north of North Bay, Ontario and we had greenhouse structures to set up. I had always had a terrible fear of heights and I would black out if I went two rungs up a ladder. My dad couldn’t put the structures up alone though, so I needed to help. Slowly I faced my fear, one rung at a time.

First I overcame the 12′ ladder, then I touched the top rung of the 18′ ladder. Finally I went up in the 156′ Hydro One boom truck. It was terrifying…but exhilarating! I had a huge sense of accomplishment that I still carry with me to this day.

What will make you feel exhilarated? What fear can you challenge? Write it down! Your page is waiting!

There will also be some things that in your wildest dreams you may never think you’ll accomplish, although you secretly want to. When you put them on your dream board bucket list, you never know what the universe will conspire to make happen.

On mine, I have my writing dreams, trips, ziplining, seeing the Northern Lights, even meeting Elizabeth Gilbert and Tony Robbins! I never know what life has in store.

My godmother started chemo the Friday before Thanksgiving, yet she is thankful for wigs and procedures. She’s taking trips and plans to retire in her favourite place, Prince Edward Island. She’s making every day count.

Have you watched the CBC interview with Gord Downie from the Tragically Hip? I highly suggest it. Here’s a man diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and he sets out on a nationwide concert tour, takes on raising awareness for indiginous issues, and is set to release a solo album-all while his brain attacks him more every day. He keeps pushing on making the most of every day.

What have you been waiting for tomorrow to do?
Don’t wait for a diagnosis. Start living today.

Knock Knock…
Answer it…
It’s your life waiting.

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