I hear it all the time. When people learn I quit my job to travel they usually say something like “Oh I wissssh I could do that.” or “I want to travel more but I just can’t.” or “You’re so lucky, I could never do that."
People, people, people, let me stop you right there. This attitude drives me nuts because you CAN do it. Simple. It’s possible. Actually, whatever the heck you want to do is possible. You just have to know the secret.
A good writer probably reveals the secret at the end, but I’m going to tell you it right now.
The big secret: There’s a different between wanting something and actually wanting something.
I want a lot of different things in my life. I want to travel and learn a new language and read a minimum of 12 books a year and learn a new skill and take dance lessons and meet new friends and become involved in the community. And too often I find excuses for not doing them. I just want them, I don’t actually want them.
Because when you want something, it's a wish. When you actually want something, you're willing to sacrifice and change and actually do what it takes to make that thing happen.
Let me explain.
I consider myself pretty athletic. And while I’m not a big runner, I figured it would be fun to do a marathon. And then I thought well heck, if I’m going to put myself through the pain of running a marathon, I might as well make it the mother of all marathons. And so I decided I wanted to run in the Boston Marathon. Fun right?
So I started running…..ish. I ran here and there and quickly realized how much it was going to take to actually do this thing. The training and the running and the blisters and the number of shoes you go through AND, turns out, you have to qualify. What?
My one Boston Marathon dream suddenly became a whole lot more work than I was thinking it would be and you can guess what happened next. Basically nothing. Nothing happened. I still haven't participated in a single marathon.
But I have a friend, Jenna. See Jenna wasn’t a big runner either. But like me, she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. And so Jenna trained. She ran. And she ran and she ran and she ran. She changed her diet, she got new shoes, she got blisters, and she went to bed early and got up even earlier....to run. She said no to friends, she sacrificed nights out, she limited her drinking. And then she ran and ran and ran some more. She ran like she wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And you know what, she did. Jenna qualified and ran in the freaking Boston Marathon. Because she didn’t just want it, she actually wanted it. She was willing to make sacrifices and change and do whatever it took to make her thing happen. You go girl!
What Jenna did is incredible. But here’s the thing, I’m certain I could do it too. I’m in no way taking away from Jenna and all she’s accomplished, I’m just saying if I trained like Jenna did, disciplined myself, sacrificed, shifted my diet, went to bed early, got up even earlier and ran and ran and ran I think I could do it too.
But here’s the kicker. While I want to run in the Boston Marathon, I won’t do it until I ACTUALLY want to run in the Boston Marathon.
I’m not willing to sacrifice and train and change like my girl Jenna was. That girl worked her little bum off. Me? I’m pretty happy with my daily lap around the neighborhood.
See for me, my Boston Marathon was traveling. It was the thing I wanted most. It was the thing I thought about all the time. It was the one thing, when I looked at other people traveling, I wanted to do it too.
And so? I did it. I changed from wanting to travel to actually wanting to travel.
My mindset changed from this far off, 'I'll never be able to do that' dream, to being willing to sacrifice and change and take steps to actually make it happen.
And it took me 3 years. 3 whole years from wanting to travel to actually wanting to travel.
I got myself a part-time job in addition to my full time job. I started saving my money. I started saying no to going out with friends. I quit watching TV and instead dove head first in to reading travel blogs with different tips and suggestions. I looked in to travel insurance and passports and transportation and hostels and how in the heck I was going to make it all work. I wasn't just handed these cool opportunities to see the world. I made sacrifices and changes to make it happen.
And so, I hear you. I do. Because I’ve been there too.
I know you want to do these things but it feels like there's something standing in your way. Things that stand in your way and make you think you can’t do that thing you want to do.
Maybe you have debt. Or student loans. Or kids. Or a really good job. Or it’s scary. Or way too big of a change. Or really unknown. Or you’re not ready yet. Or about 101 other things that come up as reasons for not doing that thing.
But know this, nothing will change until you actually want it to change. When you're finally ready to sacrifice and change and dive head first in to making that thing happen.
When you go from just wanting something to actually wanting something.
That my friend is when things happen. That’s when you realize you can do just about anything if you actually want to.
I know it, because I've been there. And so has Jenna. And my friend Katie. And my sister Haley. And a lot of other people in my life. They actually wanted something and they made it happen.
Take a look at that thing you want but haven't quite taken the steps to do. That thing you're always thinking about but seems so out of reach. What's holding you back? What's standing in your way? Do you want it, or do you actually want it? Because I believe you can actually do it if you're willing to sacrifice, change, and do what it takes to make it happen.
Live boldly friend.
PS: Have you heard of the Luci Light? They're a solar powered, inflatable, lantern that we keep in our Jeep, always! We have 3 of them and recommend them to everyone we meet. Check them out here!