“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
As a traditional “bucket and spade”, Victorian seaside resort, walking along the promenade at Sandown always evokes feeling of nostalgia. This Bank Holiday weekend, there’s a twist. Scooters are buzzing along the streets, some so laden with mirrors that they look at tipping point. Every few steps along the pavement there are groups of smiling people dressed in traditional Mod gear, hugging and shaking hands. The Island has opened its arms to embrace 6,000 scooters (and riders) for the annual Isle of Wight Scooter Rally.
In his article “10 things happy people do differently” (www.lifehack.org, 20th August’13), Scott Christ observes that “happy people are passionate. They find their passions in life and pursue them to the full.” There are at least 6,000 people doing exactly that on my doorstep this weekend.
For many of us, our grown up responsibilities have taken over the space in our lives, leaving our dreams and passions packed away in boxes, hidden in the loft. Mine sat up there for 20 years, before I ventured up the ladder to re-discover them. They’d been up there for so long, with other clutter piling up around them, I didn’t know where to start looking.
One of my favourite day dreams is about winning the lottery. It’s not about having lots of money to buy things, but about what I would do with all of the freedom that comes with it. How I’d spend my time doing things that set my soul on fire. Getting to the root of that passion meant stepping back into childhood, looking at what I chose to do with all of that innocence and freedom. For me it was learning to help people, family holidays by the sea, playing the piano, camping and walking, baking and sewing with my grandmother, reading and spending time with friends and family.
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost, that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”Henry David Thoreau
In their book “Sticky Wisdom”, Allan, Kingdon, Murrin and Rudkin explain the importance of making a creation real. For your hopes and dreams this perhaps means drawing a picture of them or writing them down. Why not fill your desk, your fridge door or your iPad with the results ? You are then a step closer to achieving them. You have them in a place where you can examine them, question them and work out the practicalities.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama
Setting your soul on fire can be a bit of a slow burn. There have been easy changes I’ve made, about choosing to spend my free time to do the things I enjoy. Others have been a real challenge. Fortunately for me, as Scott Christ observes in his article mentioned above, happy people see challenges as opportunities.
Living by the sea has been a long-held family dream. Seven years ago I saw a job advertised in the Channel Islands, which made my heart skip a beat. Financially and from a job security perspective it was a massive risk, but we just had to follow our dream. We had a wonderful few years, met and made amazing friends and I learnt so much, both professionally and personally. It paved the way for us to return to the UK, to another beautiful island, closer to family. I never tire of looking across the beautiful coastal vistas and feeling blessed to have realised a dream and live somewhere so breath-taking.
Friends of mine have recently ventured out from their safe, well-paid jobs to follow their passions, setting up businesses in completely different arenas – moving from accountancy to photography and gardening, from graphic design to yoga. Scary, scary stuff when you have a mortgage and a family. It requires super-hero bravery, but I know that they’ll make it work – they have their hearts and souls invested in it. They won’t be living their lives wondering “What If ?”.
“In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet”. Albert Schweitzer
It doesn’t have to be about making big, bold life changing decisions. Passions come in all shapes and sizes. They can be old, they can be new. In fact there is nothing more exciting and exhilarating than discovering that you love doing something you thought you hated. I always struggled with art at school, but in recent years I’ve discovered quite a talent for drawing and achieved top marks in an interior design diploma. As we do with our children, let’s give ourselves opportunities for new experiences. Perhaps we will find a new passion.
Last weekend we jumped in the car with our crabbing buckets and lines, popped into the local shop to buy cheap bacon and headed for the rock-pools. Scattered along the beach were clusters of young families with children squealing, jumping up and down as they found tiny crabs and shrimps. We met a man who had spent hours happily wading through the rock-pools, sweeping a net trying to catch enough shrimps for a tea-time sandwich. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things in life that make us happiest.
As my 10 year old’s favourite t-shirt says, “Life is out there”.
Let’s get out there and grab it !
Note: Please check out the other pages on this blog for inspirational quotes, recipes and recommendations (services, websites & books). There is also a community page on Facebook called “The Lettuce Patch”.