If it were not important to make money or have a life purpose, how would you spend the next 10 years of your life?
I’ve asked many of my clients this question and so many respond in the same way: “I’d travel the world” or “I’d go on permanent holiday!”
When we explore the reasons for these answers, the responses are surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) similar. Some people say they’d love to see new places and things of beauty. Others say they’d love to meet new people. Still others hanker for unusual and exciting experiences and adventures. Some people say all three.
What a wonderful notion: new places, faces and spaces. I know, right?
Consider this: What if we simply don’t wait for that holiday? What if there were a way to have those amazing experiences right now?
The moment we step outside, there’s a world waiting to embrace us. There are people we haven’t met yet. And how many times have we heard someone say, “Oh, I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never visited (insert local tourist attraction of your choice)?”
Step outside your comfort zone. Take a different route to work. Smile at a stranger. Initiate conversation. Visit that local tourist attraction you’ve never made time for. Discover, uncover and relish things in your immediate vicinity. The world isn’t hours away; it’s right outside your door. When we view our neighbourhood as an entity yet to be fully discovered, a wonderful shift in perspective arises.
So how do we effect this shift?
1. Set an intention
Before leaving home each day, set the intention to notice and appreciate things that you have or haven’t noticed before. Some of my friends say, “Oh, easy for you to say—you live near the water!” Well, that’s true, but even when I visit a city, I make it my intention to find something to marvel at.
If you work from home, don’t use that as a reason not to explore. Take a break, stand outside for a few moments. Listen to the birds. Feel the sun or rain on your shoulders.
2. Make eye contact and smile
Interesting people are everywhere; they don’t need to have an accent or live on another continent. Everybody has a unique perspective and a story to tell. I’ve been delighted by tales told by my local “check out chick” about her cat and its penchant for mischief, and I initiated our first conversation by smiling at her and asking her how her day had been.
3. Have an attitude of gratitude
It goes without saying, but focusing our gratitude on that which we are thankful for and the feeling we derive from giving thanks is a powerful magnet for more of what we are thankful for. Place your attention on what brings you joy. This is a most pleasing practice.
If it were not important to make money or have a life purpose, how would you spend the next 10 years of your life? Answer this question for yourself honestly. Whatever the answer, take steps towards it today.
We needn’t wait to start having fun. The world engages us the moment we decide to interact with it. Don’t spend time wishing life away. Be here…now!