I was pondering a blog post just now when up pops a link on the computer to a video considering what makes us happy. It was narrated by Stephen Fry and that’s enough to make me happy in itself. That man could wax lyrical about root canal fillings and I think I would still enjoy listening to it. But I digress. The video was actually promoting, or simply explaining the principals of Humanism and as such might not be to the taste of a lot of God fearing people but the message at the end of it must surely appeal to everyone. That message was that we only have one life on this earth and surely the best way to make ourselves happy is to live that life to the full. To make the most of our precious slot in what ever way fulfills us. Provided, of course, that it doesn’t harm anybody else in the process.
Which brings me back to my thoughts for this post. Over the last few days several people have made the same comment about our adventure. They have told me that what we are doing is generally a very good thing and that we are wise to do it now while we are still young enough to enjoy it. I believe they are genuinely happy for us but in every case I sensed that their kind words came tinged with a hint of regret. Regret for what they never did and a conviction that now it is too late. Many of these people were older and consequently wiser than I am but I would respectfully suggest that they may be missing the point slightly.
You see the mistake is to look at what somebody else is doing, or is about to do and to lament the fact that you can’t do the same. But the same isn’t the point. It’s the essence of what we are doing that matters. Just because age, money or circumstance means that you can’t ride around Britain on a bike doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own equally satisfying, life changing adventure. Not a bit of it. We can’t ride around the world because we have commitments and insufficient funds but you don’t have to ride around the world, or Britain, or anywhere else to bring about change. It is change that is at the heart of our plan. Changing where we live, meeting new people, changing our jobs and how we think about our lives. Any or all of these changes can come from a thousand different journeys. They don’t have to be by bike or cover enormous distances. They just have to provide enough of a challenge to jolt you from the now. To create a shift of perspective that allows you to see your world through new eyes.
I believe there is just one common requirement in whatever it is that you decide to do. It must take you out of your comfort zone because only then will it bring about that change. But there are as many ways to stretch yourself as there are individuals contemplating the idea so let your imagination fly.
As so many have said before; at the end of your life you won’t be worrying about what you did do, but rather, what you didn’t do.