8 Things I Learned From Not Doing

pexels-photo-1070750.jpeg

 

It took me years before I realized what I was giving up by not doing. I wanted to live in a foreign country and build a name for myself as a writer. I also wanted to be a full-time blogger and have built a business by 25. On that long list of things I wanted to complete and accomplish — publishing a book was one of them.

After years of going around in circles, I realized that I never took that first step — which was quite obvious because the first step is always doing. These were the valuable lessons I learned from not doing, not showing up and not acting on all the things I wanted.

1) Fear is literally just a mindset

With the bad, many people may fear the good. Because with every good thing, there’s always a bad thing that follows because life is a makeup of balance.

Yet, there’s something worse than fear and its control. It’s letting that fear take complete control of your mind, your actions, your emotions, and your power. It’s letting fear take the steering wheel when you can let any other emotion drive you — including ambition, hope, motivation, happiness, and success.

2) The younger generations are losing out on a role model

You’re going to make an impact in this lifetime. There’s no ifs, buts, and there are no maybes, too. The thing is you will only make an impact if you show up and you do what it is that stirs within you while making some mistakes along the way.

If there’s no movement, there will be no discoveries and the younger generations are going to miss out on learning from an amazing mentor — you.

3) Regret

Regret is one of the most obvious things you will experience by not doing. The thing with regret is he has a companion, and that companion is “letting go.” Letting go is neither fun easy, and some regrets run so deep that sometimes it takes a lifetime to let go.

4) Life isn’t meant to be lukewarm

There needs to be shift at some point in our lives because we are human beings designed for growth. There’s nothing wrong with sitting in comfort if you feel fulfilled — once again, the idea and definition of comfort differentiate by the person.

Even in the most comfortable stages, drive yourself to feel all the sensations that life encompasses. You’ll amaze yourself with how much you are willing to tolerate and actually settle for.

5) Years will start looking blank.

When we’re stuck in a cycle, it usually takes one traumatic or impactful event for us to remember that particular year. Those Wednesday nights, Thursdays waiting in line at the bank, dinners, and get-togethers will all somehow get mushed together.

Someone asked me if I remembered what happened in 2015. I stared blankly. I didn’t remember anything, because I was doing things on repeat and almost robotic. I was working two jobs, partying all night, rinse, eat, and then repeat. This went on for a couple of years and I never got closer to publishing that book or moving to a foreign country.

Now, if people were to ask me what I did in 2017, I can say that I took a leap of faith and went to Bali for a two-week program to become a digital nomad. And as for 2018? I just bought a ticket to Bali to start that writing career I’ve always wanted.

6) You’re letting down the people who believe in your power and your craft.

There will be people those who support you since the beginning and those who will probably give a nodding head and go about their business until you make it.

On the days you don’t believe in yourself, there is a handful of people who will continue to nudge you forward because they see potential in you.

Know that you have a gift and be grateful that the world has given you a support system on the days you don’t see it yourself.

7) We all have an untapped superpower

The more you do, the more you will learn; it seems simple, but it’s just as powerful. By dedicating every day to running for an hour, maybe you’ll come to realize that you might want to give marathons a chance. If you dedicate yourself to writing every day, maybe you come to realize that you enjoy writing stand-up comedy rather than literary fiction. Just by doing, you are tapping into another superpower of yours that continues to fuel the craft you have to offer the world.

8) Time will not wait for you

Time will never wait for anyone; not for you, not for me, not for the richest person and neither will it wait for someone with the purest heart. It’s unbiased and by not doing, all you are doing is letting time slip. And one day, you will look back at the “what ifs” and “only if I did that” and even then, time will keep moving.

So just go and DO.

Do it well and do it with love.

Apple Juice + Smooth Jazz

fdee4-luca-upper-97759-unsplash.jpg

I got a terrible fever over the past weekend and what I wanted more than anything was apple juice. I even got a lecture from the cashier at the corner gas station because I should actually be drinking “orange juice” and that “apple juice” contained all sugar. I didn’t care. I still wanted my damn apple juice.

It's only because when I was a kid, my parents would always give me apple juice when I would have a fever to make me feel better. That’s the one thing I remembered, and it felt like a little treat after feeling like a hot and miserable toaster strudel. Since then, I would only crave apple juice when I was sick.

Well now that I'm over my sickness, I decided to finally get out of this funk I’ve been in from writing. Instead of tuning into my usual Spotify playlists, I realized I made a playlist in college called smooth jazz. My mom didn’t let me listen to much hip-hop when I was a kid, and it was always smooth jazz at home and in the car.

The sounds of Peter White, Bob James, and Four Play brought calmness over me – one I haven't felt in such a long time. It's been some time since I listened to the gang that brought me back to those hot summer days in San Bernadino, where our black stereo box sat in the kitchen of our small tiny apartment on the second floor. While my mom would be reading, I would be coloring, and we'd sit at the table listening to music.

It made me realize that even during the "bad times” or what I thought were "bad" (when I was a toaster strudel), were the little things that I would find joy in later in life.

Things like apple juice and smooth jazz.

7 Reminders to Carry into the New Year

244d4-stephanie-mccabe-24621.jpg

This year I wanted to make myself a list of reminders to bring into the New Year. I can safely say that I know myself well enough that down the line, I'll need some reassurance. These are my reminders that life's a work in progress; we're all a work in progress.

  1. Life’s not as serious as we make it out to be. There is no need for all the pressure you place on yourself and stop blaming yourself for both the things you can and cannot control.

  2. Enjoy and Explore. Even if it’s not your scene or outside of your comfort zone, embrace that moment. Because those spontaneous moments make the greatest stories and could lead to lifelong friendships.

  3. It’s okay to not be positive all the time. Just don’t let the negativity consume you.

  4. Put that gift to work and then give it back to the world. You have a purpose, and it's time to embrace that.

  5. Take that leap of faith - that one leap you know will change your life. Because that is the one thing you have complete control of. Then trust that everything else will fall into place.Remember that trust too, is a leap of faith.

  6. The energy you give will be the energy you receive. Stay humble and be grateful.

  7. One bad day is not equivalent to a bad life. You don’t have to hard reset on occasions like birthdays or the new year. You have the power and choice to start over anytime.