There’s an entry on ted.com/talks (big nod to ‘Drongo’) which emphasises the importance of WHY before HOW or WHAT. It’s very simple but incredibly powerful! The notion of always taking a second to think about why you’re doing something before you do it can be life-changing.
I thought I would focus on the WHY for a minute here. Because there have been times in the last 18 months when I’ve doubted my plans, wondered whether I really need to change my life so much by going travelling (alone!), whether I really want to give up my comfortable, familiar, safe, ‘easy’ lifestyle. But the strong pull has always been the principle behind why I’m going. I think if I didn’t have that unswerving belief then I wouldn’t be able to do it, simple as that. Whenever I’ve had one of those doubt moments, I happen to read something about why travelling is always a good idea, or why happiness is important to the economy (nod to Richard Branson notes on LinkedIn, Gross National Happiness in Bhutan). Or I’ve got excited reading about a place I’m going to visit and had one of those ‘flutter’ moments!
I want to visit places where many people are far less well off than in the UK, to be able to better appreciate what I have and in a tiny tiny way, share the wealth! I want to broaden my perspective to increase my tolerance and understanding of people and situations. I want to get out of my comfort zone, because each time I do I’m glad that I did! I want to see some awe-inspiring places and meet a diverse variety of people, who in the end have the same basic needs as me and you.
I also want to get back in touch with environmental issues. In school I had a teacher called Mr Jacobs who, when he got the chance, would spend lessons telling us about whaling or deforestation or climate change, and humanitarian issues like Tibet. It had a huge influence on me and I want to pay more attention to that stuff again. I know, I know, I’m not exactly helping by taking 7 flights around the world! I probably can’t atone for that, but awareness is the first driver for change.
In particular, with so much of my soul laid bare! I want to share the fact that this is what my experiences with my brain have been, because I want to help other people to see that they shouldn’t let the internal critical monologue control them, but recognise it for what it is; put it in its place and do plenty to challenge and distract yourself instead. I want to make these thoughts public not private because that helps to eliminate the shame and the blame. If someone reading this lets their dark thoughts hold them back, I want to inspire them to challenge that! With the right tools to draw on, you can do whatever you choose to put your mind to!
The Why is the thing that will get me across the line and onto the plane. I won’t really be thinking about the How or the What!