Give yourself permission to do something different
For as long as I can remember, I was always dreaming of what I would do the next day.
Or day after.
Or day after that.
Sometimes, I would dream about where I would be in a year’s time, putting off any change or resolutions for the new year.
Most of the time, I would live in a fantasy future.
As a result, I often ignored my current reality and ploded on along with life hoping that one day, by the forces of impossibility, my reality would change.
Back in high school, my science teacher had an overly enthusiastic love of Newton. Back then, the 16 year old me didn’t appreciate the revolutionary 3 laws of motions as I should have.
Yet, every now and then I find myself revisiting the third law.
I would look at the lives of others — their travels, their stories, their tales of adventures, mistakes, fears, happiness, career advances and everything else in between — and felt like I was missing out on something.
The more time passed, the more I began to feel lethargic towards life and stuck in its endless monotony.
I drove the same route to work every day. Spoke to the same people. Ate at the same places. Everything I did was the same but somehow I expected something different.
When I turned 24, I became acutely aware of how little variation there is in my life. I came to the conclusion that if I kept doing what I was doing, I would continue to get what I was currently receiving.
A part of me was afraid of change. I resisted it. I was afraid of what the outcomes may be. So I refused to give myself permission to do things differently.
I wanted adventure but did not go out seeking it. I wanted mobility and sense of freedom but continued to work my 9–5. In fact, I wanted a great deal of many things but did nothing to try and obtain them.
The way I lived my life was as good as expecting to win first prize in the lottery without actually putting up the money to buy the ticket.
It wasn’t what I wanted and so I decided on a whim to do something different every day.
It started small — like the brand of toothpaste I used to the modes of transport I would use to get around. I went out of my way to find new people to talk to, find new places and spaces to explore until I eventually ended up in a cross island quarter marathon, all because I decided to do something a little differently each time.
I said yes to the things I would usually say no to and my world started to change. My different actions caused the world to give me different reactions. It was then that I started to feel re-energized from the monotony of sameness.
My reality shifted and continues to shift as I make a different choice for the day.
As a 16, 17, 18, 19 and up until 24 year old, I meandered through life. I did ordinary things but expected the extraordinary to happen. When I started to change the way I lived, the actions and interactions, the world also began to change for me.
I met new people, I went to places I’ve never been and experienced emotions I didn’t know existed in me — all because I gave myself the permission to do something differently and acted on it.