I have a 50% success rate in selling everything I own, packing up what’s left and driving to a new city far away to start a new life without knowing a soul.
If I were a heart surgeon, that success rate would terrify you. Despite that, others often ask me advice about making similar life changing decisions.
Moving somewhere new and constructing a life from scratch is a universal day dream for many us. But the reality of making it happen is 10% awesome and 300% scary as hell. Therefore most people continue drifting and confusing talking about their “someday” plans for taking action.
To recap my first move: I moved to Los Angeles in 2011, stayed less than two weeks, hated it, and moved back to the Midwest. People have vacations longer than I had an address on the west coast. It was embarrassing.
After my return from LA, I woke up everyday knowing I wasn’t honoring my heart by growing old where I grew up. I yearned to wake up in a city that I was excited to call home. Double win if I didn’t have to shovel snow. After my Los Angeles adventure didn’t go so well I was afraid to fall on my face again so I made a fashion statement out of cinderblock shoes and stayed put for a few years in the Midwest. Result: my soul spent 2 years feeling like it couldn’t breath…. and I cursed excessivly every winter.
The Question That Changed Everything
Many of us think things over for a long time before we take any action. Quitting a job. Telling someone how we feel. Or relocating. How do you know if you should do it? You don’t. You may never know for sure. But this question changed everything for me:
How would I feel if I knew that I never accomplished _____________?
How would you feel if you knew you were going to live in your current city for the rest of your life? How would you feel if you knew you had to clock in and out of the job you have now for even 5 more years? How would you feel if you never told someone how you really felt and then lost that chance? Imagine it vividly.
The answer to this question sacred the hell out of me. It scared me more than liquidating everything I owned (once again) and moving to a new city where I knew no one.
If I hadn’t considered what spending the rest of my life living in the Midwest would feel like, I’d still be falling asleep there.
To know how I feel about where my life is now and knowing how close I came to not taking that scary ass leap of faith that brought me here is terrifying. I’d like to point out, I wasn’t any more courageous than the rest of you. The timing sucked. I didn’t have the funds. I was fucking terrified. And, I had already struck out once on a cross country move! Que double extra pressure to make it work! I questioned myself daily. But I just kept reminding myself what it would feel like if I didn’t give it another try; how it would feel to give that dream up. And I used that for fuel when my faith in myself was living off fumes.
Ask yourself friends; what if whatever you’re longing to chase after or try was no longer an option? Does it scare you? Does it make you angry? Every day that passes without you taking action is like throwing a shovel full of dirt on your dreams. It won’t feel like much at the time, but eventually one day you’ll wake up and realize you put your dream in grave.
Not making a decision is making a decision.
It’s absolutely normal to be terrified. It’s the only time you will be given a chance to be brave.
The time will pass anyway, where will you be six months from now? The clock stops for no one.
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
– Stephen King
Soundtrack to writing these words:
Breathe – Breaking Benjamin
Kontiki (Dryo Remix) – Hardwell
Jonny Craig – Find What You Love And Let It Kill You
Question: Have you dreamed of living somewhere new? If so, where and what’s stopping you? Please leave your responses in the comments below. Thanks for adding to the conversation!
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