Thoughts are funny things. We all have thoughts every minute of every day, most being basic topics such as ‘what shall I have for lunch, I’m cold, what’s the time, I’m tired, what should I do today?’ And so on. Then other thoughts venture a little further to opinions such as ‘My God that woman should not be wearing such a revealing dress or this queue is long, should I complain?’ But what about those bigger thoughts, those life changing ones and those ones that are produced but are then put to the back of your mind? What if we all stopped when a new big thought hit us and we actually contemplated it?
A big thought could turn into a big idea which could lead to a career change or you fulfilling a lifelong dream. How often do you stop and say to yourself ‘yeah, why not?!’ The answer is you probably don’t all that often. Real life takes over, the reality of dashing here and there to get jobs done, to make money, complete daily chores and maintain routine sticks with the majority of us and what could be a fab idea gets locked away in that tiny area in our brains, sometimes to be forever lingering, not quite lost, and eventually transforming into a regret.
This whole concept got me thinking – proving that it’s something I cannot stop doing! ̶ and I began to wonder what the world would be like if more of us jotted those ideas down or ran them past a friend or just took a leap of faith (faith in yourself that is!) But then is that why more of us don’t listen to these thoughts? Is it our self-confidence and self-faith barriers holding us back?
I once worked for a well-known shoe retailer who once employed the most inspirational man I have ever met. He could turn negatives attitudes towards selling into positives, he could break down barriers, he would come up with the most interesting and interactive training courses and every time I came away from a meeting with him I would be smiling. He left the company (not a young man) as he had decided to take his leap into a brand new career. His parting words were:
‘Do one thing every day that scares you’
I think his one career change was years’ worth of every day scares and it finally got to the point where he knew he had to have more faith in himself and make that important change. He could not look back on his life with regret of having never fulfilled his dream. I always think of this saying; it just stuck with me. Having always been a little under confident about putting myself ‘out there’ in certain situations, such as talking in front of a meeting (even though I always had ideas), performing on stage (even though I would LOVE it!) or going to a new group ̶ meeting or baby group ̶ (even though I like to talk). That quote pings into my brain and can often help kick start my self-belief. I have managed to bring myself to speak in meetings and led training days, even still with my heart racing but at least I did it. I left retail to follow my dream of training or teaching others and found myself enrolling in an online course to train as a teaching assistant. Which in turn led to a new job ̶ I mean, why not give a new career a go? Yes, money may get in the way, but if you take that one thought, develop it, nurture it, plan for it and see it through, it may turn out to be the best thing you have ever done.
As for new groups, this issue came up once I had my son. I knew I had to get out and about and find new ‘Mummy friends’. As I picked up the telephone to enrol in a baby massage class I was actually shaking with nerves! Then that great quote popped into my head ̶ ‘do one thing every day that scares you’. Ok, so signing up to a baby class isn’t that scary it turns out, and it may not be as big a thought as a new career, but it was still a thought that turned into something. It led me to be more confident and join other groups which has since led to me making three very good friends.
One thought just seems to lead to another, especially when you have friends to chat to about them. I had, had one thought since I was very young and had watched ‘Dirty Dancing’ for the first time. I HAVE to learn to Salsa. At this point I was 32 years old and this thought had never left my mind, it just sat in it’s tiny room, popping up every now and then, but was pushed back in each time due to me being too nervous to try. Just think, if I had fulfilled this idea sooner I could have freed up space in my brain for more thoughts and ideas! As it turned out when I mentioned this idea to a new friend, she felt the same. So with hearts pounding we both signed up simultaneously online for a 6 week course. The feeling after was amazing ̶ a mixture of excitement, nervousness and buzzing ̶ just one idea put into action had made me feel so alive! A year on and we both still love dancing and have both progressed through the classes.
It got me to thinking (yes, even more!) about all my other thoughts, ideas and possible dreams.
Of course most of us dream about travelling, but with a mortgage, husband, toddler, dog and cat, that will be a dream fulfilled (hopefully) when we are retired. This, however, is always there in the pipeline so isn’t a thought I shut away, it’s one that stays with me and can spur me on.
One thought that came to me recently was actually placed there by somebody else. My son has suffered with teething from a very young age which led me to research the development, talk to a doctor and dentist and also other parents. I soon found myself answering my new friends’ questions about teething and finding I could do it confidently and with ease. One friend was so surprised by my knowledge that she said ‘you could write a book with everything you know!’ I agreed and laughed it off (writing a book is for people with English degrees isn’t it?)… but the comment just stuck. A few months later I was talking to a neighbour about my sleepless nights and how I had learnt a lot about the teething process. I joked that my friend had said I could write a book and my neighbour very bluntly said ‘well why not go and do it? You could write whilst he naps. What have you got to lose?’ I love straight talking, I’m one for often speaking my mind ̶ not everyone gets it or gets me and it can often lead to issues, but I respond well to it. I walked back into my house, picked up a pen and pad, along with the laptop and I began to write (and never stopped!)
Yes, it has been hard work, there has been even more to research and it’s been juggled around having a toddler to look after but I never gave up. I have overcome a few bumps in the road, have had to change areas in the book (for a few legal reasons when talking about products), but it is done, it is almost completed (the cover just needs some tweaks) and fingers-crossed it will be self-published this week. So that was one thought a friend had, that was implanted into my mind, which was spurred on by a neighbour and now could potentially turn into something very successful and possibly the start of a new career.
I am so glad I listened to this thought and took it further. Even if the book flops, I can still feel satisfied and proud that I took my idea and tried.
What if today you picked one thought. You wrote that one thought down in a pad. You started to plan and develop that thought, transforming it into a new idea to change your life.
Let’s not live with what if’s, let’s live with why not’s?!!
‘Every thought we think is creating our future’