Can You Actually Do What You Want?

That’s a wordy title, isn’t it? But last week, after feeling a bit cornered and down, it’s the exact question I asked myself one night while falling asleep. I was feeling exhausted from a day of overworking myself (because old habits die hard) and wondered why, when I have the ability to choose how I live each and every single day, this tiresome occurrence was continuing to happen.


Please note: This post was originally published in the Rowan Made newsletter on January 12th, 2017. If you like what you see, you can join us every week right here. There are no opt-in promises or fancy worksheets on the other side. Just me, being honest with you.

The ironic thing, though, was that when I started making a mental list, the first thing that came to mind was the idea of raising my prices. I could have thought of ANYTHING, but of course, I went straight to work. After realizing this, I literally laughed out loud, because ... is raising my prices really what I want to do with my one wild and precious life? I mean, yes, but it’s by no means the most important thing.

So I started fresh, with a more honest mindset. And that’s when everything started to flow. I want to …

— Read more books
— Attend a yoga retreat (abroad!?)
— Live somewhere else for one month out of the year
— Go to a movie by myself
— Play the piano more often
— Stop grocery shopping (because I hate it)
— Invest in continued education
— Write more, write better
— Make new friends
— Go on a road trip
— Host dinners at our house
— Dance more
— Get better at gardening
— Explore new recipes
— Attend a philanthropy based trip

And do you know what? I have the ability to make any of the above things happen right now, or in the near future. Sure, some of them may be out of my comfort zone or would require more time and money (which would also require planning), but the simple truth is … I could do it. And that, my friends, was a game changer.

In fact, I woke up the next morning and instead of rushing to work, played the piano (something I used to do all the time growing up) for 20 minutes. And it felt amazing.

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I was listening to Erin Lochner on The Lively Show a few weeks back and loved the story she shared from a poster at Jimmy Johns. I’ve seen it so many times, but never actually read it because it’s a long one and WHO HAS TIME. But I promise, it’s worth it. You can read the full thing right here, or just skip ahead to my summary below:

The story is a conversation between an investment banker and a fisherman. The investment banker notes the quality of the fisherman’s fish, and wonders why he doesn’t stay out longer to catch even more.

The fisherman states that it’s enough to support his family, and that he fills the rest of his day with other things that make him happy, like sleeping late, spending time with his wife + kids, strolling into the village, sipping on wine, and playing the guitar with his friends.

The investment banker hears this, but pushes further and suggests that the fisherman should stay out longer so that he can make more money and eventually buy a bigger boat, hire staff, run an enterprise, make millions, and then retire.

The fisherman soaks all of this in and replies “then what,” to which the investment bankers lists out the exact same things the fisherman is already doing with his spare time.

It’s such a beautifully simple story, one that resonates with me deeply. In a world that’s driven by the idea of more more more, it’s easy to forget that sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that make all the difference. And you probably don't need millions of dollars to make it happen.

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So, my friends, I encourage you to make your own list ... and maybe even keep work out of it for a change. Because why not? We only have so much time on this wonderfully mysterious earth. We may as well enjoy ourselves. ♡