It’s fair to say most of us dream of changing our lives at times. Maybe not every aspect, but when we feel stuck and unsure if we’re on the right path, a shake-up is in order. I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life; I’ve always been a bit go-with-the-flow but I’ve realised that although going with the flow can be fun (you never quite know where you’re going to end up), sometimes its nice to have some direction. Although…because of this whole not-knowing-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life thing that I’ve got going on, I don’t consciously know what direction to head towards. So at this stage I invite my subconscious to the party and I set aside twenty minutes to let it run riot.
How the hell can you change your life in twenty minutes? Here’s how…
Grab a notepad and pen, get comfy, then set a timer for twenty minutes
Write a list of things you’d love to try, skills to learn, places to visit, careers you wish you had, people you’d love to meet. Everything and anything. The key here is not to censor anything, no matter how obscure. And this is harder than it sounds. Your conscious mind will tell you its not possible for you to become a fighter pilot or a 1920’s jazz singer in New Orleans. It will tell you you’re too stupid to get a PhD in astrophysics or too unfit to climb Mount Everest. Plus you can’t afford to do any of it anyway. And that may well be the case if you were being realistic. But you’re not. Its just for fun. You’re not creating a to-do list or a bucket list or anything remotely like that. You’re tapping into the most creative part of your mind to see what’s in there. And some crazy things will come up.
Some entries from my previous lists include:
- Be a crystal therapist
- Get a goat
- Go to Japan
- Sing naked in public
- Learn to proofread
- Do some volunteer work
- Learn German
- Go on a writing retreat
- Bleach my hair
Just a small selection but you get the idea. Many were a lot more bizarre, and indeed some were very mundane.
Stop when the timer goes off, and ignore your list for a day or two. Then, have a look and pick some that speak to you, see if you can bring a piece of them into your life. Remember, you don’t have to do everything, you’re just looking for feasible ideas to make positive changes.
Instead of becoming a fighter pilot, can you take a flying lesson, or have a go in a flight simulator?
Instead of becoming a 1920’s jazz singer in New Orleans, can you take jazz singing lessons? Or buy some jazz tunes and have a themed party?
Instead of a PhD in Astrophysics, can you take a home study course, or see if your local library has any decent books on the subject?
Instead of climbing Everest, can you join a local walking group or climb a UK mountain?
Don’t have a lot of money? Get creative! It’s not about doing exactly what you’ve written, its about identifying what you want more of in your life, and making it happen. Often, its the small changes that lead to big, exciting opportunities.
As for me?
I’m doing an online course in crystal therapy and saving for a proofreading course. I’m learning German via a cheap app on my phone, and I’ve started a savings account for a Japan trip. I’m away for three days later this month to train as a volunteer trainer, and I went on a week-long writing retreat in August where I learned loads about writing and I met other writers who are now good friends. I haven’t got a goat or bleached my hair. And I definitely haven’t sang naked in public. Some things are better left in the subconscious.