I met up with my friend Rob in August of this year. He’d sent out a message to his friends on Facebook looking for anyone interested in going out for a meal/drinks that evening to get over his cabin fever. Well, I hadn’t seen Rob in ages and thought “Why Not?”
An hour later, he was picking me up and we headed to the King’s Head pub in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. (For those not familiar with our fine city, it’s a beautiful historic part of town where many movies are shot.)
We spent some time catching up on a number of fronts (family, friends, work, hobbies and other activities, etc.). We spent hours in what felt like deep, effortless conversation, the kind of conversation you can usually only have with friendships that stand the test of time.
Among the topics were items on our respective bucket lists, things we want to do or get back into. Of course, these are sometimes just as much dreams as they are intentions but, either way, they’re a good thing to have. I mean, who doesn’t want something to look forward to, whether it’s a trip, developing a skill or completing a project of some sort?
Little did I realize just how important this discussion would be.
Rob told me about the health challenges he’s had over the last number of years. Man, the guy’s been through a lot! And he’s not one to complain so I have no doubt it’s been quite rough. So much so that I can’t believe how resilient he is. "Gritty" doesn’t even seem good enough as a descriptor for this guy.
I offered to help him as much as I can with a wish he’d stated: to recover some of the strength and range of motion lost due to illness/injury. He took me up on it without missing a beat. I was delighted.
The interactions I describe above shouldn’t surprise me. In a way it's sad to me that they did to some extent. Every time I engage in a conversation that includes the sharing of hopes and dreams, good things happen. It’s rare that connections aren’t made or ideas exchanged. At the very least, sometimes someone asks a question I hadn’t considered that helps me move forward.
Case in point: here are some examples of actions I’ve taken as a result of sharing wishes or dreams:
- Was told about a $8K bursary to help me cover the costs of an MBA program when I wasn’t sure we could afford the hefty tuition. I applied for it and got it!
- Stated a desire for a piece of property that was already sold, found out the initial buyers were rescinding and managed to get it before it went back on the market. That property is where we built our first home fifteen years ago and still live to this day.
- Went on an African safari to help my bestie fulfill an important dream.
- Trained with a girlfriend and ran a full marathon to help her fulfill that ambition.
- Completed a kinesiology degree, doing part of it full time because I asked for and was granted a sabbatical to be able to complete it.
- Got a radio interview and then became a book curator because I declared my love of books and my goal to read 1,000 of them (for starters).
- Stated a desire for a photo shoot in a short turnaround time and the stars aligned to make the impossible happen.
- Wished for and accepted an invitation to share a personal story on stage in my home city. I will never forget that very personal, moving experience.
- Sought out and was granted the opportunity to share insights gained through Free to Pursue with groups of amazing people.
In the Works
- Getting the opportunity to visit Guatemala because Pauline, a fellow blogger, put a wish out for a dog/house sitter during an upcoming absence.
- Getting the opportunity to collaborate with two great people in 2017 & 2018 on new projects because we simply declared an interest in doing so (specifics to follow, assuming the projects come to fruition).
Decent list, I think?
Then why don’t I have these types of conversations more often if having done so in the past has usually lead to great things?
Is it fear that I might be called to act on them? Is it a worry that I might feel ridiculous talking about them? Is it because it feels selfish or too self-serving?
If anything, I appreciate it when others share hopes and dreams. It's uplifting, energizing, thrilling even.
Whatever the source of the apprehension, I need to stop feeling this way because it’s preventing both me and others from enhancing our life experience.
After all, regrets are the most painful thing to experience when we look back on life, and they're usually associated with what we haven't done as opposed to what we've done that didn't work out.
In short, I need to get over myself because I’ll go farther in doing what I dream about and hope for if I do.
Sometimes we have to learn a lesson more than once, and that's OK with me. I just hope it sticks this time.
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