Over the year, I tried to challenge myself to say yes to everything that scares me. If there’s anything that will make me push myself beyond the borders of my comfort zone, I told myself that I would force myself to say yes.
Do I want to travel alone? No… But Yes!
Do I want to talk to strangers? No… But Yes!
Do I want to speak in front of the crowd? Definitely No, No, No… But definitely Yes, Yes, Yes!
It’s amazing how one word can change me. Saying ‘yes’ more often (given proper thought, of course) has transformed me into the person I am today. In fact, there’s one particular instance I’d like to share, which affected my life more than I could’ve imagined.
Back then, my life was plain and simple. As long as I had good grades and lived up to the expectations of the people around me, I would be happy. But doing the same things over and over again made me sick and tired of my life. I became grumpy, stressed, and miserable. Inside of me was a bomb waiting to explode. I was a wreck, broken, and I felt like I wasn’t growing. Just when I thought I was getting closer to meeting the expectations others had of me, I realized how happiness was unattainable.
So what will you do when the work you do and the things you love start to taste like dust? When the song from your heart ceases to play, can you survive the silence? I started to question my purpose in life. “Who am I? What am I here for?”
Then a friend of mine asked me a striking question: “Are you living the life you are dreaming of?” That time, I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless.
After that conversation, I found myself staring at the bucket list I made four years ago after I graduated high school. Out of the 100 things that I would’ve loved to do, only a handful of them were being accomplished. This challenged me to start doing the things I wanted to do. Armed with a little push and a courage to start, I prayed about it and then went on creating plans… and I made it through somehow.
It started with just a gut feeling, then turned into a thought. Then it grew into something bigger until it became contagious. Chasing the life I’ve always wanted was not just about dreaming, but about working hard and becoming more determined as ever. I know that the more successful I become, the more work there is to do. But compared to my old self, I am now more ready to face the challenges with my head held high.
A sudden flow of energy came into me, but it was not instantaneous. It just came, slowly rushing, and I felt it tearing down the walls I put up inside of me.
Doing the things that initially frightened me has also made me fearless. By becoming passionate and purpose-driven, I became happier. I know I’m just halfway along the journey, but now, I feel like I know a magical secret, and that is to live in the moment, not dwelling in the past and not worrying about the future too much. It’s the feeling of that “unrushed yes” which made me become braver and more optimistic than I’ve ever been. “It’s the electricity that comes from being more open to what’s out there that encouraged me to become more passionate with what I do.”
As Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”