I was at a networking event recently, sharing with someone about my digital nomad lifestyle, and their response was ‘that is really courageous‘. I said ‘thanks‘, because I wasn’t sure what else to say.
My life doesn’t usually occur as ‘courageous’ to me so my first inclination is to blow off this sort of comment. But when someone points it out, especially a stranger, I’m reminded that it really is, courageous.
What’s happening in your world right now that frightens you? Are you doing it anyway?
I love my nomadic life. I very intentionally created it to be what it is. And, it has been a slow, intentional and scary process to get here. Every time I did a purge of my belongings it felt daunting and I fretted over what I could live without. It was nerve-wracking when I sold my house and had nowhere to move next, rather chose to put my belongings in a 10’x10′ storage unit and commit to living out of a suitcase. Each time I get to a new city and have to learn new roads and driving styles, every time I arrive at a new client home and have to learn how to adapt to their living style – it’s all scary. Yet I do it anyway because the result is so important to me.
It doesn’t help any that many people don’t understand my choices and it often makes people uncomfortable. There are plenty of times where it would be far easier to live a more ‘normal’ life. In fact, every time I choose to go deeper into this nomadic life, I become masterful at psyching myself out, obsessing and worrying about it in advance as I’m planning it and thinking about it.
Then, once it’s actually happening, and I’m doing it, I’m totally chill.
I was reminded of reminded of this video of Will Smith speaking to a group of students, he says “The point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear”. This is so true! The time I’m obsessively worrying and stressing, nothing is actually happening that puts me in any danger or risk, I’m just planning, thinking about something. Then, when the thing is actually happening, when there is some potential risk of all those things I was worrying about coming true, in the moment I’m not worried or stressed anymore. I’m simply in action.
How awesome would it be if I could discover the secret to skipping the step where I experience worry and fear?
In the movie The Bridge of Spies (great movie by the way) Tom Hanks plays a lawyer representing an accused spy, throughout the movie the lawyer is continually asking the spy if he’s worried and every time the spy responds with ‘would it help?’. To which the lawyer always ponders and responds ‘no, I suppose it wouldn’t‘.
While I haven’t reached the point of enlightenment where I can just not worry, I can adopt the lesson from this book I recently listened to (amusing read by the way):
“I was a shy little girl and an only child, so on vacations, I was usually playing alone, too afraid to go up to the happy groups of kids and introduce myself. Finally, on one vacation, my mom asked me which I’d rather have: a vacation with no friends, or one scary moment. So I gathered up all of my courage and swam over to the kids, and there was one scary moment . . . and then I had friends for the first time on vacation. After that, one scary moment became something I was always willing to have in exchange for the possible payoff. I became a girl who knew how to take a deep breath, suck it up, and walk into any room by herself.”
So, I do live a pretty courageous life. I take the actions in the face of that fear, worry, anxiety etc.
Most people regret the things the didn’t do, but rarely the things they did do.
I use the hashtag #adventuresofSunni to remind myself, daily, that my life is one big adventure and there’s nowhere to ‘get’ only the adventure happening right now.
You have your own adventure. The thing you secretly dream about, worry about and perhaps haven’t yet taken action to make come true. It could be creating a digital nomad lifestyle, applying for a promotion, buying a farm, putting your jewelry hobby on Etsy. Whatever the thing is. I encourage you to focus on the adventure that is yours, dance with life, play with the universe.
Ask yourself ‘would it help?’ and remind yourself that it’s just ‘one scary moment’, and then….jump!