“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life” – Steve Jobs
If you don’t go after what you want in life, then the chances of you getting it are slim. In the past, I was often hesitant to accept opportunities that came my way either because they were out of my comfort zone or I was afraid of missing out. Fear of missing out funnily enough has it’s own acronym now – “FOMO”. When it came to planning where I was going to spend my summer last year, I was torn between spending it with my friends and family in London or the US. Either way, I knew I would end up missing out on something. I decided to spend most of my summer in London, but I had to come back to Boston early to start an internship. I remember feeling this ache of envy as I clicked through picture after picture on Facebook of my friends in London, all together at festivals, having an awesome time.. without me. Then I would sulk, stop living in the moment and sit around wishing I was back in London instead of Boston. And trust me, wishing you were somewhere else is not a good way to live your life.
Anyone who knows me well would know that I used to absolutely hate making decisions. I would go back and forth; always in fear that whatever I decided would end up being the wrong choice. Even little decisions like staying in or going out with some friends would cause me serious stress. If I went, I would have fun and be a part of everything and if I didn’t go, I would probably regret it and feel left out when all my friends would be talking about it the next day. Thankfully I have come to realize that life is way too short to stress about decisions as simple as that. What it should come down to is simply whether or not I feel like going out or staying in. You can’t be involved in every single thing, that’s part of life. Now that I have accepted that, I am able to base my decisions on what I feel is right, which is so much easier.
I will never forget one opportunity in particular that I almost turned down – working at the 2012 London Olympics games. I knew that working all summer, including weekends, would cause me some serious FOMO – but thanks to my family, who knocked some sense into me, I decided to just do it. I am honestly thankful every single day that I did take that opportunity because, not only did I learn a lot about myself, but I also enjoyed myself and made lifelong friendships. It turned out to be one of the best summers I’ve experienced yet! And to think I almost didn’t take it because of a now ex-boyfriend I was worried about missing and parties with friends.. oh man, how much would I have regretted that?! Another factor that was initially holding me back was the fact that I knew nothing about sports, let alone the Olympics.. meaning, the job wasn’t exactly in my comfort zone. But it turned out to make it that much more exciting, and now I constantly strive to push myself out of my comfort zone – because that is truly where all the magic happens!
It’s still very early into this year and I already feel like this whole shift in attitude/approach to decision making has really benefitted me. And I’m loving it. This summer, I get to do an internship with the JED Foundation (previously posted about them here) in New York, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I will get a good taste of what it is like to live in New York while working for a foundation that I fully support and am passionate about. That right there is the right attitude to have. The old me probably would of been too scared to take that risk. Well, like I said.. that was the old me. The bottom line is, we will all end up regretting the chances we never took, so we might as well take them. It’s never too late to turn your life around or take a chance you’ve been ignoring. No matter how old you are – it is never too late.
“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 safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain