This past weekend, as I’m sitting in my hotel room in Hong Kong, I get a ping on Facebook. It’s a private message via Facebook Messenger from someone I’ve known for more than 10 years. This individual and I have never really been friends, but we’ve been acquaintances and went to high-school and university together.
The message reads as follows:
"Your words are inspiring. I dream of seeing the world one day. Recently I’ve been thinking I need to make a major life change but I don’t have as much courage as you."
To be honest, this message took me by surprise. For those who know me really well know that I am not the most open person in the world. I hold my emotions and feelings close to me. And that comes off as not very social. It was much worse when I was growing up. When I moved to the United States from the Middle East, I was shy. I never really talked to people and kept to myself. On the other hand, the person who sent me this message was the complete opposite - she was a social butterfly.
And the reason her message to me this weekend is surprising is because so many people keep pursuing a life that is well accepted by society but also completely detrimental to personal well being.
Don’t like your job? Quit. Don’t like your career? Find a new one. Dislike the person you’re with? There are 7 billion others in the world. Don’t like your friends? Find new ones. Don’t feel that your family is supportive enough? Move out. Don’t like the winter? Move to a beach. Want to travel the world? Buy a plane ticket.
There are always excuses to NOT pursue something (too old, too young, too poor, too many responsibilities, etc.) But your only responsibility is to yourself.
Here’s my only question to anyone dealing with any of this dilemma - if you lived like this for the rest of your life, would you be happy? If so, don’t change a thing. If you took more than a second to answer that, go find your passion.
Yes, it’s scary. It’s supposed to be. When is the last time something good happened because you were comfortable and protected in your little shell?
Life is short. Live it.