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Sunday, March 30, 2014


Michelle: Times have changed. Instead of midlife crisis, we now hear of a quarter life crisis. Many want to change their image, reinvent themselves and move forward. It’s not surprising. There’s a mass movement of people who are refusing to go quietly into middle age. After all, this is the generation that dares to dream big. So now, instead of sinking into what used to be called a midlife crisis, we channel the yearnings, dissatisfactions, and the deep questions into a powerful call
to action.

DJ: Of course. There were once the post-World War II baby boomers, the MTV Generation called Gen X where we belong, then the millennials called Generation Y. Time flies. Things and people change. It is almost certain that Generation Y will eventually turn Generation Y-not. We will all age. What’s key is we seize each moment and live it to the fullest. It sounds cliché but it’s true. Play sports while you’re still fit, go out and travel while you still can move around independently, build awesome relationships with family and friends while you still can, while they still can. The trouble is, we
sometimes almost never get to the “living” part because, ironically, we are too busy with the business of living.

M: I read an article on the Internet that really struck me. I want to share it because there might be someone out there who is stuck in a rut. The author, Susan Crandell wrote that to those who want to transform their lives, it is important to believe that size doesn’t matter. This look-small, feel-big phenomenon means you may not get the affirmation you crave from other people. Whatever the dimensions of the change, consider that by acting on a dream, you are becoming a role model to yourself and you don’t need the world’s applause. Focus on that; then when apprehension strikes, you can let it just wash through you.

DJ: Each person is unique, just like everyone else. But seriously, we each have a purpose to fulfi ll. Trying to be like another person will make us, at most, only the second best no matter how hard we try. We are special with our strengths along with our weaknesses. We are lovable and loving. We all have our chance at success. Don’t be distracted by criticisms because at times, the only taste of happiness some people have is when they take a bite out of you. Believe in yourself. Believe that you can. It is okay not to be always part of the herd. We’re not cows anyway.

M: The author also shared the power of letting go. The fear of leaving our comfort zone is precisely what makes so many of us shy away from changing our lives. We concentrate on the things we’re going to have to give up, rather than imagining the satisfactions and pleasures that could lie ahead. Amazing things happen when we open ourselves up to an unknown future. When times get tough, picture how effortlessly chimps move through the trees. As they swing one arm forward, they let go with the other; they know they’ll be able to grab the next branch. In your heart of hearts, so do you. And if chimps can do it, why can’t humans?!

DJ: Wow, since I somehow resemble a chimp, all I need to do is to swing through the trees, be natural and I’ll get by. Sounds fun! Well, it is unfortunate how we’re sometimes afraid to part from what we’re familiar with. Even if it’s at the expense of growing wiser, stronger and better. It’s been said a ship in a harbor is always safe. But that’s not why ships are for. I have met people who are talented but they never take the step to make the most out of what they’ve got because of fear of rejection, the fear of possibly failing, or even the fear to be different. I also have my frights. But among the lessons life is teaching me is that we are enabled where our purpose is. We just need to have faith, to trust the Giver of Gifts, work hard and smart and persevere. All things are possible to those who believe. And that includes believing in yourself.

M: That is so true. Crandell fi gured that reinvention is like bungee jumping: you stand out on the edge of the platform, and you either do it or you don’t. Do something a little hard, somewhat scary, and when you succeed you’ll be better equipped to attempt the next intimidating thing. Break a reinvention down into digestible bites. If you’re dying to go back to school, enroll in a course. If you want to start a business, ask for a leave of absence rather than quitting your job. If you dream of climbing Mount Everest, try Mt. Apo first. The author also observed that the least successful reinventers were the ones who had fi gured everything down to the last decimal point and therefore were closed to new methods, new ideas.

DJ: That totally make sense. We need the right platform to paint the picture of your new life. And if the platform is just two feet high, we’re never going to paint a 15-foot mural. Planning is important. Point taken. But we should not worry needlessly about knowing every square millimeter of the painting before we roll the brush. Same as with life. Yes, it pays to design a future and increase the likelihood of success, but not too much that we’re paralyzed from doing anything at all. And if we are to make that change in
our selves or in our life, it is because of a well-chosen pursuit and not merely to be like someone else or to be liked by someone. No need to join the rat race. I already said that we’re not cows. Now I will have to say we’re also not rats. Yes, time fl ies. So seize each moment, be uniquely you, take the needed steps, and experience the magic unfold.

(ssinglestalk@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 30, 2014.

Lifestyle

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