A Year of 50 Fun Things - What I Learned (2018, La Dolce Vita)
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
When I created my 50 Fun Things™ List for 2018, I never could have expected this...
Some of the things I had written on my 50 Fun Things™ List were "Travel at least once a quarter" and "Cool work gigs in warm, delightful places." It was scary to write it down; it still felt too out-of-reach. After all, I had rarely vacationed since my kids were born and it had been 20 years since I had the chance to work in a warm, delightful destination. I worried about embarrassing myself if I publicly declared these seemingly far-fetched desires and didn't reach them. But truly, who would notice other than myself if I didn't realize these dreams - and, at the very least, it was fun to think about!
Oftentimes, sticking with the status quo feels safer than really putting ourselves out there and owning our big dreams - they don't call it a "comfort zone" for nothing! But as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty famously said, "Growth and comfort do not coexist." If you want something, the first step is to admit it to yourself and set the intention, which is really what 50 Fun Things™ is all about.
Fast-forward a few months from when I created my 2018 50 Fun Things™ List: I was approached by Jane Reeves of Radiant Jane Retreats after a 50 Fun Things™ Workshop. She remarked on how powerful the workshop was and invited me to facilitate it for her Tuscany fall retreat participants. Participating in a life-changing retreat in an inspiring setting was something I had previously only dreamed of, not thinking it would actually be possible. But owning my dreams, setting and voicing the intention put me in a position where I could confidently say "yes" when the opportunity was offered! That September, I was waking up in Tuscany, among ancient buildings, olive trees, and vineyards. I was struck by just how profoundly I had been affected by shifting my mindset towards "thinking bigger" and naming my deeper desires.
In future blog posts, I will share some of the lessons I learned during my first year developing 50 Fun Things™ and doing the items on my own list - in this case, thinking bigger, accepting more, and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.
Allow “even better” over “really good” experiences. Sometimes the way things turn out are different than we expected (and often way better than we could have imagined). For example, I enjoy sharing how I originally thought I just wanted to "ride in someone's Audi TT Coupe" But life had something much better when I was invited to ride in and drive a variety of Tesla models, had a fleet of them showcased at a 15th Anniversary event I had been organizing and invitations to fun Tesla owner gatherings where I made new friends.
Knowing what you really want helps you to be bold in asking for it, and finding a way to make it happen. (I am tickled by this story from a workshop alum... Joseph saw that his favorite band was coming to town. He reached out to offer his staging services for their show. To his surprise, they took him up on his offer and he was invited backstage to hang out with the band after the show. He attributed his boldness to participating in the 50 Fun Things workshop and realizing the worst that could happen would be for them to ignore his offer.)
Open yourself up for adventure.
Stretch your comfort zones by trying new things.
Karaoke can help you to find and get comfortable sharing your voice. (Thanks to Dr Kyra Mesich for the encouragement!)
Trying a fun new activity or class builds skills and knowledge, and helps you grow.
Creativity blossoms when you try something new.
Try new foods. For me, it was opening myself up eat seafood more often and trying fruits I'd never seen or heard of before.
Fun is often spontaneous and can help you ditch some of the boring routines and habits that aren't serving you.
Life has definitely become more fun, spontaneous and never boring now that I've opened myself up to thing bigger and beyond what I had thought possible. Give yourself a chance to voice a big dream you have -- if nothing else, you can let yourself enjoy the moment thinking about what it feel like to experience it!
Stay tuned as I share more lessons learned from last year and past participants!
Toss a coin and take a step toward your best life!