I ran into a casual friend recently. We hadn't seen each other in several years. Within fifteen minutes of catching up, I discovered not much had changed since our last conversation. Life was pretty much exactly the same. "Any exciting plans for the upcoming years?" I asked. No real plans. Perhaps a vacation here and there. Before long, the friend had wandered off to talk with someone else.
I ran into another friend, a woman I knew from my college days. She had worked for many years at a university cafeteria and was now retired. "What's retirement like?" I asked.
"We get up when we want, watch TV and take an afternoon nap. I usually clean the house. Sometimes we go to McDonalds for a drink or go out for lunch every now and then."
I was heading that way a couple of years ago-- pretty much existing day by day with no real goals other than the "someday" ones. You know... someday I'll write a book. Someday I'll do this... or that...
If your life sounds a bit like this, I invite you to take action. Dream some new dreams. Step out of your comfort zone and try something totally new. If your dreams don't scare you, they're probably not big enough. Surround yourself with people in the direction you want to go in. Reach out to someone who needs a helping hand. Face a fear and do the very thing that terrifies you-- because the only way around fear is smack-dab right through it. Oh... and if you stumble, fall or fail, dust yourself off and keep going.
I was fortunate. Three years ago, I got a "wake up" call via a link to a TODAY show segment featuring a 66-year-old woman doing something I used to be really passionate about: barefoot water skiing. My life did a 180 and I unwrapped my passion again. I finally sat down to write that "someday" book and ended up with three books instead.
If you need a dose of inspiration, pick up a book, "The Dash, Making a Difference with Your Life." It's based on a poem by Linda Ellis. There are two dates on our tombstone: the day we are born and the day we cease to live. What matters is the dash between. "What matters is how we live and love... and how we spend our dash," goes the poem. You can read the entire poem here:
Tomorrow marks a brand new start in a fresh, new year. What will you do in 2013 that will make a difference?