Seriously. What do you want out of life?
Sail around the world, live on a boat? Be a beach bum? Drop off the corporate ladder and sell paintings in some tourist trap? Busk in Paris? Backpack from Paris to Hong Kong?
All these things sound exotic and interesting, and some people really do get out there and actually do it. They step away from the norms of society and blaze their own trail, and in general, we praise their courage.
But not in the specific. In the specific, those people are probably dealing with a lot of criticism. When he calls from Provence, worried mothers ask their busker son if he’s ever going to grow up, come back and get a job, like normal people. Friends and fathers worry about that artist in cottage country – how is she going to heat her run-down shack when the season ends and the snow replaces Bermuda shorts and sun hats?
We pay lip service to the general concept, but societal inertia stops us from following our hearts. Time and again, the elderly tell us to follow our hearts, to live and explore and dream and be ourselves. To hell with the worry and criticism. Go do your own thing. After all, you’re the only one who has to wake up every morning and live your life. And time and again, we ignore this most true, most profound, most heartfelt advice and trade our dreams for a shinier car that doesn’t get us to the job we really don’t like any faster in rush hour traffic.
It’s a tired old saw, but its tired because its so true. Think you’ll lay on your deathbed and wish you had worked more? Got just one more promotion? Had a house with one more toilet to scrub?
If you could remove all the filters, operate without fear of criticism of your actions, what would you aspire to? What would you do, if you no longer had to worry about how others would judge you?