Living Audaciously: A Life That You Choose
Updated: Apr 27, 2022
This is something that I think about all the time but it is only recently that I have found the words to describe it. Some will call it ambition. Others will call it entitlement. Some may even call it ‘reaching for the stars’. But it is all the same.
A friend said:
“Life is not about what you CAN do. When you are intelligent and capable, there are many things you can do. Do the things you CHOOSE to do”
Living audaciously doesn’t have to be groundbreaking …it just has to be your choice.
It is important to start with a few simple questions:
What brings me joy?
What is important to me?
Who do I want to be?
This is how I started planning my goals this year. In that order too. My priority is to do things that bring me joy. At no point in my life should I do A (which I hate) because I believe that it will allow me to do B (that brings me joy). Everything I do should be the source of my joy. If it doesn’t bring me joy, then I shouldn’t be doing it at all or in that way.
Here is a quote I really like:
“You shouldn’t have to go on holiday to enjoy your life”
We shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that easy and joyful are always synonymous. We can have things in our lives that we find extremely difficult but bring us joy. I used to think that I hated revision season but it was only because I left everything until the last minute. When I had time I found a lot of joy in learning information that allows me to help others, as well as completing a degree that I have wanted since I was knee-high. COVID has taught us many things but one of the most important things I have learned is: life is too short to be doing things that don’t bring us joy.
We also have to remember that the things that bring us joy need nuanced thought. For me, joy comes from being able to solve complex problems and create solutions. Immersing myself in new cultures and environments. Sunshine and warmth. For others in a different context or in a different phase of their life, their idea of joy may be completely different.
This brings me nicely onto the second point: what is important to me?
As I enter into a new phase of my life, this list has changed quite a bit. The most important thing for me currently is to be able to show up for the people I love when they need me. I want to know that if a friend or family member was sick, I would have the freedom to be there for them. This only became this important to me recently and it has skyrocketed to number 1. It’s important to rank the things that are important to you because 1) not all things are equally important and 2) when you need to make an important decision, it’ll be a lot easier.
The last point is the most fun for me. It allows me to tap into my child-like ambition and creativity. Create a persona of the person you want to be. The qualities. The lifestyle. The priorities. But stay away from things like job roles, age-related goals and material possessions. Those unconsciously put constraints on you.
There is no limit to who you can be and that should be reflected in the description of who you want to be. I no longer want to be a firefighting astronaut doctor (this was a genuine career aspiration at one point – albeit a fleeting one). I want to be someone that builds sustainable solutions for those who need it the most. I want all parts of my life to reflect each other. I want to have meaningful, expressively loving and safe relationships with everyone I care about.
These 3 questions act as a great skeleton to then delve into specific parts of my life and create plans that will help me accomplish the goals I have for myself. Having these 3 questions in mind will help you to create goals that make better sense for you and your needs. Creating goals and plans may be a continuous iterative process. Your goals are only as good as the information you have. As your information changes, your goals may also change.
We are already 4 weeks into the New Year but you’re worth the effort, so it’s not too late to start thinking about these things.