As I write this today I am in beautiful sunny Spain, although not on a vacation or at a speaking event as usual. I write this column this month from a hospital room where my mom has been waiting to be operated on after a bad fall.
Over the past 3 years I have spent a lot of time visiting her in a nursing home and each time I do it makes me reflect on life and how so many people waste this amazing opportunity we have to create something great.
I get to listen to some pretty amazing stories each time I visit. All these elderly souls who are now on their last chapters of life always have great wisdom, but the common message I get is always 'live life to the fullest' and have no regrets.
I consider myself fortunate because I get to travel the world, experience new cultures, work with some amazing clients and talk to people from many different backgrounds. I have always wanted to do more, take more risks, be bold and say yes to opportunities, so you don't have to tell me twice to live life to the fullest, but I thought we could all do with a little reminder this month, as it's all about living the best life we can and share stories to inspire others to get their light bulb moment.
If you feel stuck or you need a bit of extra motivation, go spend time in a nursing home and ask the residents what they regret the most. I guarantee it will help you refocus and rethink where you are right now and where you want to be.
The one common regret elderly people have is the regret of not taking more chances. It could be a chance in love, a friendship, business, travel.... they simply regret not having done more. Although most of them are content with what they accomplished in life, there is always a ' I wish I had...'
So let's be the people who don't have that in our last chapter of life. Let's be those who people look up to and say.. ' wow, they did something in life, they went for it, etc '
And let's remember, not everyone has the same goals! Some people don't want to travel, they want to stay at home and raise a family in one place... others don't want a family but they want to spend their time traveling... there are people who want to become their own boss, people who want to work somewhere different... no matter what YOU classify as success & happiness, go for it and have no regrets! Build your list and start making it happen.
Living life to the fullest does not mean you need to earn millions or have multiple houses or drive expensive cars or be reckless, living life to the fullest means living it to the best of YOUR personal definition.
For years before I knew who I truly was and I was comfortable with who I was, I would aim to please everyone else but me. It wasn’t until my path came across personal development that I realized I needed to put myself first if I was to lead a much more fulfilling journey.
One of the best ways to figure out who you truly are, what you like and what you enjoy, is by spending time on your own without people telling you what you should and shouldn't do. Most people get so caught up on what their friends and families think that they miss out on a lot of the great moments life has to offer.
Let me give you an example. If you have read my first book ‘Creating a Kick-Ass Attitude’, you will know I love love love Disney and I have gone to all the major parks in Paris, LA & Orlando. ( Insert Book photo here )
Until last year I had always gone with someone else. Then for a few months I kept saying I needed a day out in Disneyland Paris ( as that is the closest to where I'm based) but everyone was too busy! Where most people would have kept on waiting, I thought, 'I'm going on my own! ' so I did! And I had the best day out ever! I jumped on the Eurostar bright and early into Paris, got on the French metro system to Disneyland and shortly after I was walking around with the biggest smile on my face you could ever imagine.
This time I did not have to rush anywhere, compromise on the order of what rides to do, where to eat... I was able to enjoy the atmosphere in a relaxed manner and simply enjoying a day out with me and my thoughts in what I consider not only my happy place but one of the happiest places on earth.
I also take myself out to the movies or for a meal, which although to me it seems like a normal thing to do, you'll be surprised as to how many people would never dream of being seen on their own doing that! As a matter of fact I have some personal close friends of mine who are always shocked when I mention I'm going to the movies on my own!
And hey! Don't get me wrong, I love going to the movies with my buddies and going for dinner too, but the older you get the more you appreciate doing things on your own.
In my early 20's I probably had that thinking... " going to the movies alone? Nooo I can't do that, what will people think ?" As my way of thinking developed and I grew older it changed from, “what will people think” to “what do I think?”
We must always remember that the only opinion in life that should matter is ours. The person we need to please the most is ourselves and if you can't figure out on your own what makes you happy, no matter who you surround yourself with, you'll never achieve that level of peace and self awareness that we all deserve to achieve greatness in life.
Although a younger version of myself was more naive and listened to what others said before I took action, I am happy that I have always had an inquisitive mind and I quickly learned to only listen to my gut no matter what people said. If I had not done that I would not be writing this today, but that is another story that I might share in the August issue ;)
It is only when you feel a loss that I believe something inside you makes you wake up if you are not a driven person. When something bad happens to you ( which is part of life) or when you lose someone you care about, two things happens, either you wallow, throw a pity party and do nothing, or it drives you to live life to the fullest. For me it has always been the second one.
With all the challenges I have encountered in life I should probably be depressed in bed doing nothing and thinking why me, why did it happened to me... but me being me, I always say... ' go on life... what other life lessons do you have for me?!'
Everything that happens to us is either a blessing or a life lesson and we need both to appreciate what life is truly about. Life is not easy, is not full or rainbows and birds chirping. Life WILL knock you down a few times. Sometimes so hard that you'll feel helpless, depressed and wondering what you did to deserve it, but guess what... they are all life lessons that you can either choose to learn from and keep going or use as an excuse to do nothing in life.
We are all shinning stars in our own right, no matter what you believe in, be you!
Make YOU happy, become the best version of you! Some people may not like it but that is not your problem! With a few billion people around you cannot expect to get along with everyone, so surround yourself with people who lift you up, who understand where you want to go in life and who will allow you to fall and make mistakes but at the same time be there for you to catch you and help you see what the life lesson was.
One of the best pieces of wisdom someone gave to me once was this: "Elise, you are going to be dead a lot longer than you are alive! so live it up!" and boy were there spot on!, we have all heard the classic "yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come so all we have is today". Listen to that because is true!
If today was your last day on earth what would you do? It's time to take more chances in life so time to stop existing and start living! Make your mark in the world, what do you want your legacy to be? There is too much I could share about this topic but if all I did was make you think about it, then my job is done.
In essence, always keep moving forward, and if you don't have people around who can motivate you, buy a book ( hey, feel free to buy mine on amazon if needed), go on Youtube to watch videos... nowadays there is no excuse to find positive content that can lift you up 24/7.
If I was to give you one tip today on one step to start living life to the fullest it would be this:
Find your power track! And by that, I mean find that song that the minute you put it on, your heart starts racing, your blood gets pumping and it makes you get up and get moving. We all have a few of those. Music will always help you kick start any bad day you may be having and it will help you want to do something!
Living life to the fullest can be a learning curve for many, and just like a habit, the more you practice the better you get at it.
If you have a cool story you want to share with me, I am always on the lookout for fun, uplifting, inspirational people who want to share their message, so get in touch!
I look forward to inspire you with some of my own thoughts on a variety of topics from the motivational world, to film, music, the digital world and some pretty unique interviews… and hey…
Now remember, stop waiting for life to magically happen and go out there and start creating new experiences and memories.
Live, laugh, be bold, take risks & be super mega awesome
Want to get in touch or share your stories with me! : firstname.lastname@example.org