A few weekends ago Conor and I drove out to Rancho Loma. It is a cute little ranch out in west Texas. We have been talking a lot lately about simplifying our lives, homesteading, building a home, getting animals…etc. It’s our dream – one that we are fighting tooth and nail to make a reality someday… and sometimes it really does feel like we are fighting tooth and nail. It was really great to go stay on a ranch in the middle of nowhere for a couple of days and plan out how we are going to make that life a reality. But the truth is the conversations weren’t that easy. Giving up certain things you love now so you can eventually have something better later is hard.
Articulating what it is that you truly want, deep down inside of yourself is not an easy task. Henry tells me what he wants out of life all of the time, “I’m going to go to space. I’m going to take all of the bad guys to jail. I am going to have lot’s of animals and roller skate everyday.” It’s easier for him to spout off a million things in 5 minutes that he dreams of doing than it is for me to say 1 thing in 2 days. As adults we are so out of practice. We wonder if what we are dreaming of is too big… or maybe not big enough? Or maybe too selfish, or maybe too self sacrificing? and then we say things like, “YOLO!” and then we question what YOLO even really means anyway?! Then we start to think about what others will say if we fail. What will they say? What will we say to ourselves? How are we ever going to know what to do?
Here’s the trick I’ve been using for a while to help myself work through these hard decisions. I often use this when working with clients who are in the middle of making hard decisions about their businesses. Ask yourself this one question; “What kind of person do you really want to be?” When making big decisions about life, when trying to decide between 2 good things, ask yourself, “What kind of person do I really want to be?” This question makes those hard choices a little easier and those tough conversations about what we want out of life more clear. Do we want to risk it all or do we want to play it safe? Both are good. No one ever said playing it safe wasn’t smart or that risking everything never paid off. Do you want to live in California on the beach or do you want to live in Texas on a ranch? Or do you want a ranch in California? How can you make that happen? What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of person do you need to be in order to get where you want to go? Are they the same? If not, which person wins? Do you need to change? Or do you need to change your dream?
PS We have been asking ourselves this question for the past year. It’s been one long hard conversation after another. But I think it’s worth having over and over again as you slowly work toward your ultimate goal. And here is a link to the TED talk that inspired me to ask this question. If you are having a hard time making a really hard choice WATCH IT!