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Have the courage to listen to yourself

by Jack Phillips

Have you ever encouraged friends or family to ‘follow their dreams’? Are you the one always offering advice? Stop and listen to your own advice – start pursuing your passion in 2015! Start the year off with a bang – here’s how.

We all have those plans or dreams that keep getting put to the bottom of the list. There’s always a reason to put them off until another day… often referred to as ‘someday’.

‘It’s too late’, ‘it’s too early’, ‘I don’t have enough money’ are excuses we tell ourselves on a daily basis to put off making a change. As a new year kicks off, perhaps it’s time to consider taking a proactive approach to making your life better.

In short, now is the time to listen to yourself.

Have you long been hiding a secret desire to do something? Answering this question involves cutting right to the heart of your insecurities. Remember that flaws are a part of everybody and everything.  If you try to hide them, you don’t give the people in your life a chance to truly know you.

Have you ever been told you can’t do something? There is nothing that scuppers creativity more than naysayers. Ignore any negative influences and focus on generating ideas and taking chances. Experimentation will allow you to grow and discover, so try to limit the people around you that are not supportive of your future goals.

Chances are you already know you want to make a change, perhaps all you need is a little courage to make that first step. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking everything is OK as it is.

If you have a nagging voice at the back of your mind that is straining to be heard, it is important to listen to it. Opportunities arise when we are not deceiving our subconscious into thinking we can make do.

The light bulb moment


The light bulb moment, put literally, is that precise flash of recognition that could change your life forever.  Many people spend their entire lives waiting for their own moment of revelation in the hope they can do something different or forge an entirely new path altogether.

From Archimedes’ legendary “Eureka!” moment to the apple falling on Newton’s head, history is peppered with stories of discovery, with some of the most famed breakthroughs emerging from seemingly everyday events.

Reaching a light bulb moment takes time, we will often go through several options and ideas before we are struck by the solution we were looking for.

We cannot sit around waiting for our ‘big idea’ to come to us.  In fact, we need to point our brains in the right direction in order to give ourselves the best chance of making our own discovery – sometimes just good old kick into action is all that’s needed.

Listen to yourself

We are the masters of our own destiny. That said, there are a few questions you should ask yourself as we head towards a new year.

1. Where do I want to be in five years?

Forget where you are now and think about where you want to be. What does that place look like? Where is it? What are you doing to achieve it? Write yourself a list of things you would like to be able to do five years from now, perhaps the salary you would like to attain or the environment you wish to find yourself in.

2. What do I want to spend more or less time doing?

Most of us spend way too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.  In other words, productivity is not just about getting things done, but also about prioritising the things that are really important to you and allocating a reasonable amount of time to them. This fine-tuning is essential to streamlining your life, giving you more room for the ‘big idea’ to drop.

3. What do I really love?


Often we have deep-seated passions, which we fail to follow. Now is the time to really think about what you love to do and how that can become a larger part of your life. Whether it is an early run on the beach or learning a skill to help you address another of these questions – it is important to pursue your passions. Above all, believe in yourself – it’s half the battle to achieving your goals.

4. What is still holding me back?

Has past rejection held you back from going after what you want? Failing is an important part of moving forward so don’t let anything prevent you from making a positive change. You should act on new ideas and give them your best go. There is no harm in seeing if something can work rather than assuming it will fail. You should never be afraid to start again.

5. What positive change can I make right now?

You have more power right now than you realise. At the click of a button, a wealth of information is open to you to help you make a change right now. Buy a book, ask a question, enrol in a new course or even just get up and go for a ‘thought walk’.

Seek the courage


Perhaps your light bulb moment is just realising that you can actually have one.

At any given moment, life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek these answers out that continues to give our lives meaning.

Whether it is making that change you have been long putting off or investing in yourself; self-evaluation is key in giving yourself the best chance of making next year one to remember.

Thomas Edison’s light bulb moment was not when he succeeded in making a little glass ball glow. His true revelation was realising that he wanted to make one in the first place – no matter how hard it seemed or how many people thought him mad.

Take the next step

Have you recently experienced your own light bulb moment? If you feel that 2015 could be the year you finally make a change in your life, consider the questions above carefully, find your passion and take the first steps to following your dreams.

photos by bleuet / Anne-Marie and Scott Laidlaw

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