“Your life is your own, rise up and live it”
I have a confession to make. I used to live someone else’s life. I would wake up in the morning and think someone else’s thoughts. I would spend all day at work trying to solve someone else’s problems. I would struggle to find a way to live someone else’s dreams.
I was living in someone else’s world.
I allowed life to lead me down a path towards chronic depression and a deep feeling of disconnection. Yet, I truly had no idea of my perilous situation. I was blind. I honestly felt this was how it was supposed to be. I felt I was supposed to be a certain way, dress a certain way, speak a certain way, live a certain way. Be. A. Certain. Way. Your way. The right way. The normal way. The way? Don’t you know the way?
On the outside I had it all. On the inside I was bankrupt. The epiphany that enabled me to realize I had actually been living someone else’s life came when I stumbled across the movie ‘The Motorcycle Diaries.’ The film chronicles the romanticized version of Che Guevara as he travels across South America relying on the kindness of strangers. In the process, Che goes against his fathers desire for him to become a doctor. This opens himself up to create a new life. His life.
The movie touched a raw nerve in my heart. It showed me that I was not alone. It showed me I wasn’t the only one struggling with pre conceived career and conformist life choices. Others were struggling too. Art was imitating life.
My heart cracked wide open and there was no turning back. I could see, for the first time in my life. I decided to leave my comfortable, high-earning job as a broker in the city of London and travel the world. Freeing myself from the constraints of living an unfulfilling life.
To me true wealth is that which we find in the connections we make with our fellow man; I have met many a penniless millionaire on my travels. And I have met many a millionaire who lives on the street. True wealth lies in our hearts not in our wallets and sometimes it takes a bold move to fully live in that truth, to fully live in that moment where we realize that we are living someone else’s life.
A few days ago, as I was discussing my journey around the world on a vintage yellow motorbike, someone asked me “Leon, are you living YOUR life?” and I could honestly say that, yes, I was. It had taken me years of false starts, rejections, humiliation and pain to reach a point where I could actually say that I was living my life.
I have now been on both sides of the fence. One side is where we live our lives in someone else’s vision, through someone else’s eyes. When we do this, we are living out of integrity, our integrity, without soaking up the deliciousness of life.
Who wants to wake up at 95 and look back and say “What was all that about? Why didn’t I follow my dreams? Why didn’t I open up that bakery? Why didn’t I travel the world? Why didn’t I treat my kids with respect?” Why indeed.
We often have real life reasons why we don’t pursue what we want to do. But then again if we are always blaming life’s circumstances for not truly living life, then what’s the point of it all? Surely, we are here to express ourselves and to use that expression to touch other people’s experiences in a positive way. To inspire people who need that little extra nudge to climb out of their conformist coma and live a little.
Here’s to living a little bolder, a little wiser, and a little grander.
To love; to live. Same thing.
I say. GO. FOR. IT.
Whatever. IT. May be.