I’ve always admired those people. You know the ones I mean. These are the people that can say, I will do <insert seemingly impossible thing here> and then actually make steps towards achieving that goal. It doesn’t even have to be a particularly grand goal, like becoming an international renowned popstar or bringing peace to the Middle East. It could be a goal as ordinary as, losing weight or owning a business.
I’m one of those other types of people. The type that talks a big game, but rarely follows through. I’ll say, this year I’m going to run a 5K or finally finish my novel. Sometimes it seems like I take a special pleasure in making resolutions…in crafting the person that I want to be in the future…and that’s where it ends.
One day last year, though, I became indignant. Why can’t I be one of those people? Am I doomed to spend year after year slouched over in my cubicle wishing I could do something I actually enjoyed for a living? Wishing I could lose weight? Wishing that I could live my life in the flesh, instead of only in my dreams? I made a decision then and there that I was going to complete one goal on my lengthy resolution list before the end of 2013. I wanted that goal to be fun and exciting, though. I wanted it to inspire me to complete more of my goals in the future. So, I decided to go to Paris.
Yes, to Paris.
It was an incredible experience. I joined a photography workshop given by a company called Better Travel Photos. They took excellent care of my small class of 3 photographers. We toured the city together and our workshop guide, Manon, gave us invaluable tips on how to capture our gorgeous surroundings as well as how to navigate the metro. We had plenty time to explore the city on our own, too.
Here is a very brief sample of the hundreds of photos that I took while I was there.
One of the most important things that I learned from that trip was how to recognize the stories I tell to myself about why I can’t achieve my goals. There I was in Paris, thousands of miles away from home, doing things that I had only imagined. It was incontrovertible proof that I was full of bullspit. Yes, there are things in this world that are beyond my control. I can’t guarantee that I’ll fall in love with man of my dreams, or that I’ll be rich and famous someday. I can control whether I’m happy, whether I’m productive, whether I’m kind, whether I’m giving. Time after time, I see ordinary people just like me go on to achieve amazing things. What’s stopping me? What’s stopping you?