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Posts Tagged ‘language’

Let’s face it. The longer you’ve been around the faster time seems to race by. None of us are really that young anymore. At least not the kind of young where you have no fiscal, social or familial obligation that keeps your rear in a desk five, sometimes six, days out of the week. The kind of young where you stay up all night talking on the phone with a crush or laugh so hard milk comes out of your nose.

When we reach the ends of our individual roads will we look behind us and see a wondrous landscape of palatial mountains and deep lakes or will there be a vast wasteland of sand and brittle vegetation?

It’s time to stop wasting your time and start living your life. Pick five things you’re going to do in the next year to start filling up your personal history with monuments of significance.

5  Get rid of some stuff

Life is full of anchors that root you firmly in place on the most granular of levels.  Not only are you confined within your country, state and city… you’re confined to your 1200sq. ft. apartment and every piece of stuff in it.  You spend most of your day dredging through work scrounging for enough pennies to keep paying for stuff.   Then we all go home at night to roll in the stuff and feel happy that we have some – even though we don’t ever really use it.

Life does not equal stuff.  Life equals relationships and experiences. It is an opportunity to leave the world a better place than you found it.  And no the other half of the day you spend on your computer does not count as a “relationship”.

Feel real freedom by cutting loose some anchors that hold you back from experiencing life.  Get rid of some stuff.

(Check out Dave Bruno’s 100 Thing Challenge for more info on how to get started.)

4 – Write a letter/short story/blog/novel/screenplay/comic

Learn something about yourself by writing. Every day we consume copious amounts of raw data. Sights, sounds and moments are crammed into our heads that we never have time to go back to appreciate. Or worse, if there is time the memory has already fled to deeper recesses of the mind.

Don’t insult yourself by forgetting your life as it happens. That’s just being lazy.

Writing is raw and untainted. The words you put to paper are a piece of you. These words cannot be unwritten and no movie studio can change what you’ve crafted, at least not until they offer you lots of dollars. You summoned them from deep within and they are solely of your creation – unless they’re not in which case you should be ashamed of yourself.

Writing can also be extremely cathartic after a long day. It can also be quite motivating as you continuously scribe your dreams and aspirations into document form, contractually binding you to do all the things you write about wanting to do…[looks at rest of post]

Grab a pen and a notepad, eyeliner and cocktail napkin, chisel and stone tablet, and don’t let your life just pass you by.

3 – Make a new friend

What’s a life unshared with others? The memories you create are going to be a lot less meaningful if you’re alone in most of them. Meet people. Enter social engagements where you communicate about topics deeper than the weather. Learn something about somebody else, because it might be a valuable lesson for you too. Give them something worthwhile in return.

These interactions turn into friendships that could last you the rest of your lives. Relationships to rival those you remember from grade school when you trusted blindly, as if you’d never been hurt, and laughed unabashedly, as if you’d never heard anything so funny.

Of course this won’t be easy for some of us. You will need to actually work at opening yourself up to others and appreciating what they have to share when they decide to do the same. There is a tremendous amount of trust you have to hand out for a bond to grow strong. But as always with practice, the more you give the easier it gets.

These people will do more to enrich your life with love and laughter than anything you could possibly buy.

Just steer clear of the tweakers.  They’ll steal from you.

2 – Learn to speak another language

Communication is one of the single strongest mechanisms that binds us to on another. Through words we share hopes, dreams, fears and top five lists. Through words we forge relationships. By learning another language you’ve now unlocked an entire civilization to help in task #3.

You’ve also taken the time to respect the intricacies of another culture. This proves that you are patient and willing to put in the time to appreciate the history of a community. This gives you instant wanderer street cred.

Granted you may need more than a year to master a new dialect. I figure that if I can hold a riveting conversation with a ten year old by the end of a year, I’d be in a pretty good spot.

1 – Travel to a distant land

Goes hand in hand with number two, doesn’t it? I call this multi-tasking.

From what I understand, if you’re a traveler then you already know what immersing yourself in another culture can do for your perspective on life. And if you’re not road worn yet, like myself, then you’ll finally see what life can be like outside of the snugly fitting borders we’ve huddled behind all of our lives. Things are different on the outside. Very different.

Just lost your job? Go on a long vacation.

Hate your job? Quit and go on an even longer vacation.

Have a family? Take them with you – it will be the best learning experience of their lives.

For the price of a plane ticket and a little footwork you’ll learn more than you can remember about the world. But more importantly you’ll learn about yourself.

See you in Barcelona. I’ll be the timid American butchering Spanish.

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