LIVE COURAGEOUSLY OR DIE TRYING: STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN FOR NEWER AND RICHER EXPERIENCES
Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. Love like there is no tomorrow. Dance like no one is watching. -Author: Unknown
Eleanor Roosevelt said “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
Aging is a Hot Topic Right Now
My friend and renowned author & speaker, Dr. Ken Druck, even has a new book soon to be released titled “Courageous Aging: Your Best Years Ever Reimagined. As we age, we often ponder all the “What Ifs?” in life. We do not know what the future holds for us. I’m not trying to sound dismal, but realistic. Life events often make us examine our own mortality and reflect not only on the things we have done, but more so on those we regret having not done. Watching my mother rapidly decline with dementia has had deep impact on me. It gives me impetus to examine my life more closely and ask some serious questions of myself and you:
- Do you feel you are experiencing life to the fullest?
- Are you hesitant to step way out of your comfort zone?
- What things are you doing out of guilt?
- How many things are you doing because you want to?
- Which things truly bring you joy?
- What things/people are toxic in your life?
- Would you attempt to do something if you knew you couldn’t FAIL?
- Would you attempt to do something if you knew there was a high possibility of FAILURE?
I wrote down my answers for self-reflection and realized a lot about myself, the things I have wanted to do, or even worse, love to do, that are not even on my radar, no less the ones that are way out of my comfort zone.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
As you know, I recently went skydiving – jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet with my handsome instructor strapped to my back! I posted pictures on Facebook and wrote an entertaining article about this experience.
Many friends, patients and family have asked me, “What made you do this? Weren’t you scared?” I reflected on the experience myself and asked a deeper question, “Why didn’t this fear or anxiety hold me back?” Yes, some of you may say it’s because I’m a bit crazy – and maybe you’re partly right!
Life is too short and you cannot hold back. Live according to Nike’s slogan and “JUST DO IT”. If you want to jump out of a plane with gusts of air at 120 mph, swim with delightful dolphins and get kissed by one after, or lead a cooking class at Sur la Table with 12 girlfriends – JUST DO IT! Yes, some of these experiences created more fear for me than others, but each stirred a little anxiety in me. I had thoughts of possible death, personal injury, and even rejection circled through my mind.
I am telling you as a doctor and friend, take the bull by the horns today – not wait for “someday” to come along because someday may never arrive. Don’t wait for the perfect conditions or situation to take a plunge into the unknown. Live life now – and live it FEARLESSLY!
Margie Warrell and Our Self-Limiting Thoughts
One of my recent favorite inspiring self-help books is by Margie Warrell, esteemed author and speaker on courage and bravery. Her book is entitled, Make Your Mark: A Guidebook for the Brave Hearted. Margie speaks to our fears and our limiting thoughts. How many times have you told yourself that you’re just not good enough? Not smart enough? Not skinny enough? I could go on but I think you’re getting my drift. We are the reason for how our lives are right now at this moment. Our decisions, both small and big, have painted the landscape and focal point of our lives.
How do you get the courage to take the first step to living life to the fullest?
“You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just the first step.”
– Martin Luther King
Take the first step. Write down 3 things that you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t because something held you back.
5 Tips to Living Life – Courageously
- Feel the fear and do it anyway. Don’t let your negative self-talk limit you. Go for it!
- Not able to just throw caution to the wind? Start with baby steps. No need to sprint up the staircase, just put one foot in front of the other to start on the path of courageous living.
- Partner with positive, like-minded people. If you want to learn to scuba, research for the best instructors and connect with people who share the same goal. Meetup.com is a great place to find like-minded people.
- Flex your “courage muscle” each day. Like exercise, you need to practice stepping out of your comfort zone every day. With time, each feat will become easier and easier.
- Celebrate your successes! After accomplishing something that you’ve feared, celebrate your achievement. Treat yourself to a spa day, go out with friends and enjoy a delicious healthy meal, or just chill on the beach. Choose what works best for you!
Stay tuned for my next “adventure” – it will knock your socks off!
In health and happiness,
Please share your comments and experiences!