Now that I have time to look at the world around me, instead of madly rushing from one point to the next as I used to, I’ve realized that most people – I include myself in saying “most”–, tend to live their lives in a box, rarely venturing outside its confines to see what the rest of the world holds. We often have many explanations for why, but they can usually be boiled down to one reason: we find a space where we feel comfortable and develop a routine around the things and people within it. Then, before you know it, the trip we always wanted to take to the place we always wanted to explore is never taken, the hobby we thought might be fun to learn is never learned; or any number of things we dreamed about trying are never tried.
Whether it’s because we are shy, or in some extreme cases have social anxiety, or we doubt our abilities, or we find ourselves in unexpected circumstances, our dreams tend to be the things we let go by the wayside first. We decide that we need to put them aside because the things we ‘have to do’ must take priority over the things we ‘want to do’. Sometimes that is a necessary sacrifice, especially if it’s the job we need to pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads. However, I wonder, what would happen if once in a while we decide to do the thing we ‘want to do’ to see where it leads us?
What if we invested a few hours a week into the hobby – say knitting – we’ve always been interested in learning? What if it turned out that we were great knitters? What if people around us recognized our knitting talent and asked us to knit them something? What if more people saw the thing we knitted and decided they wanted one? And what if over time even greater numbers of people saw our creations and wanted them too? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we could all become millionaire entrepreneur knitters because no one outside our immediate circle of friends and family might ever want anything we make, but we might surprisingly find out that we really are good knitters and we enjoy doing it.
Imagine if we tried. We could find more things that bring joy to our lives. Imagine if the one time we choose to do the thing we ‘want to do’ instead of the thing we ‘have to do’ – the thing that keeps us stuck in our box – becomes the moment we realize we can always make room in our lives for our dreams.