Recently I came across a very interesting TED Talk given by Ricardo Semler, Semco Partners CEO and radical innovator. In the speech, he talked about his so-called ‘terminal days’, a name he gave to the days of the week where he did all the things he would do if he was told he only had a few months to live. Now as crazy as that sounds, this idea came to him following a history of tumour cases within his family, which led him to believe that his time might be nearer than expected. Influenced by the unfortunate past, he had a realisation: why wait until you’re about to die to do the things you could be doing now?
Oftentimes, life gets the most of us and work and responsibility make us feel like we don’t have enough time to do the things we love or that we have always wanted to try out. We live in a bubble of fear, where time is a precious amenity that we cannot waste in any futile activity. So we work, work and work some more, convinced that this is our ultimate goal in life so that we can get to a venerable age feeling like we have achieved something. That our life has been successful and that we have managed to get there all intact. Plans get sidetracked by other priorities and days go by whilst our bucket list of wishes stands still, whilst we eagerly dream of the day we’ll have done enough to allow us to sit down and collect our harvest in peace. Yet is this really what we want?
I have talked in the past about how much travelling opens your mind and the level of internal change it can bring. How many times have we read the stories of a 90-year-old grandma who, after a lifetime of stillness, decided she wanted to travel the world by herself? Although I strongly admire people like that, I also think that waiting that long cannot do you any good, and that travel experiences can have an incredibly strong impact on your view of life, the world and how you relate to others. This doesn’t mean that you need to drop everything right away and travel indeterminately, however I do believe that saving up some time to visit those places you have always wanted to see is a wise choice when compared to the prospect of having to wait a lifetime to do so, only to wake up 50 years later in a rush to complete the list.
Travelling is not simply about relaxing: it is a means to change your perspective, twist your normal routine for something radically new. Experiencing different ways of living and become more aware of the beautiful, spectacular world that surrounds you and ultimately making you feel part of a bigger community, rather than a passive spectator of news from remote lands. I cannot begin to tell you how much travelling has changed me as a person and how many lessons it has taught me, and whilst it is true that we learn in the most uncommon places, travelling has the power of turning your world upside down and confront you with situations you would never encounter in your normal daily life.
My point today is, go out there and explore NOW. Don’t wait for the day when you’ll have ‘enough time’ to do that, because life gets complicated and that day may never even come. My mum’s favourite saying is, ‘whoever’s got time, shouldn’t wait for time’ and I completely stand by it. Why wait to do the things you could do now? Even a day or a simple weekend trip can radically change your perspective, so much so that looking back you’ll be wondering why you never did it sooner. Instead of looking up in awe to people doing the things you wish you could do, take matters in your hands and DARE to go out and do it yourself!
If you have similar stories that you’d like to share or pieces of advice on the matter, feel free to drop a thought in the comments section. And for anyone interested, here is the TED talk I referred to:
I hope you’re having a lovely Tuesday and that work isn’t taking up too much of your time. Until next time,