Did you ever think about a project and decide, “I could never do that!” When I heard about Tammilee’s project to do 40 new things before she was 40, I said, “How can I do 50 new things before I am 50? That would be nearly one a week!” And then someone recommended me to read, “I Dare Me!” by Lu Ann Cahn who did one new thing A DAY for 365 DAYS! All of a sudden, 50 things did not seem like so many.
Cahn talks about “how I rebooted and recharged my life by doing something new every day.” After reading her book, I feel inspired to find 50 great new things to do! She talks about how anything can be turned into a great moment, for example, “go to ice cream store and have a tasting marathon!” She says: “You’ve got to take little tastes of everything. And what’s true for ice cream tasting is true for life; you just never know what you’re going to like.” I agree, how will know what you like? Try something!
I want to be on an exciting path and say yes to the next thing. This quote from Alan Alda really spoke to me: “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
2016 has been all about discovery. I have really re-started my life and my business, We Said Go Travel. I am thrilled to take on this opportunity to grow even more. As Cahn says: “We often travel the same paths in our lives, literally and figuratively. Firsts are about getting off that well-worn path. Strike off on a different trail for a new, fresh view. As this little adventure proved to me, you don’t have to wander far to find new roads in your life worth exploring.” I am often literally on a voyage in a new place or country but I loved how she could find something new at her place of work or just by going home a different way.
As in Shonda Rimes’ book, Year of Yes, learning to say yes more and how to properly say no to others to say yes to yourself was a big piece of learning. Cahn explains: “No was part of the reason I was stuck…I realized I had to do a real life version of Jim Carrey’s movie Yes Man and just say “yes” to as many invitations as possible, even if I didn’t think I wanted to do it.” When to say no and how to say no is a great skill but mainly “life is a big fat exciting menu. Order up something different.”
Cahn’s book reminded me that I am on the right path. Taking on 50 new things before I am 50 is the perfect next step for me. As she says: “How often do we watch life go by and think we’re living? It’s so much more fun to be in the parade, passionately doing something. Why be a bystander? Sing at the top of your lungs. Say “YES” and jump into the parade of life.” Luckily, I said yes to the writer’s conference where I met Tammillee and said yes to this idea of hers. There were many earlier yes’s that brought me to Texas and I am grateful to everyone who supported me and believed in me to get this far.
I agree with Cahn that “It’s easy to make excuses: “can’t,” “too old,” “will fail,” “will look stupid.” We all have weaknesses and disabilities. If you have a bad back, you should not get on a mechanical bull. Still, we don’t push the limits of what is possible. You may think you are protecting yourself by staying safely at home, but in fact the real fountain of youth is in the “doing,” in the places where the unexpected happens, and in a life where you say “I dare me.” I love the idea that by saying yes to life we have created our own personal fountain of youth!
Remember what Albert Einstein said: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” I hope you will be inspired to try one new thing this year or this month or every day for a year.
My suggestion is to share a story in my Gratitude Travel Writing Award. I have published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries. When I first began, I just hoped that 10 people would enter! It has certainly grown past my expectations. When I made my first video, I was thrilled when 100 people had seen my YouTube channel. Now I have over 1000 subscribers, 600 videos and nearly 750,000 views. What will your first step be?