When was the first time you heard someone say, “You can be anything you want to be”? Was it a parent or a teacher? They saw you drawing or coloring or kicking a soccer ball or shooting hoops. I wonder what dreams they had for you. Or, were you watching a television program or a movie that portrayed characters who rose up from extreme circumstances and became heroes in their lives? They did it; so can you! I know. Story of my life.
Have you become that “anything you want to be” person, yet? Tell me about it. Me neither. What’s up with that?
I’ll share with you a thought experiment I routinely conduct with my students. Why don’t you play along with me—explore the questions and speculate what you would do. Here we go. If you had all the money in the world and could do anything you wanted to do, what would your day look like? Write down what you’d be doing every hour, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed.
Before you go on to the next paragraph, get paper and pen. Spend some time working out your perfect day.
Let me tell you my students’ typical results: Sad face, here. They never get past writing their specific and detailed breakfast. How far in your perfect day did you get? How specific were your activities each hour? Do you know why that is? Well, take a minute to answer this question: When have you had the chance to create your own schedule—to be in full control of your day? Tell me that you created your own schedule in daycare, preschool, K-12, college, your j-o-b, your own home! Nope. Your time was committed… within someone else’s system. Why would you know how to control your day?
But, here’s the rub: Trying to control your day, which leads to trying to control your life, is a trap that leads to FEAR, which is a popular acronym for False Expectations Appearing Real. Expectations are what you want to happen in the future. But, real talk: The future is unknown. It can’t be known. There is only one thing in the gap between the known and the unknown: NOW, which I’d like to suggest can be an acronym for Nurture Other Ways. Next week, I will offer an idea for you to live NOW. In the meantime, what idea can you come up with? Share it in the comments.