Jan 312012

49.365 - This is a Brand New Day


Paul and I will be flying back home in 3 days time after 18 months of travelling around the world. We decided to spend our last week in an Ashram, something both of us had never experienced before. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to rest and reflect over the past 18 months, and also look at how I felt about going back home to London.

When we get back home, Paul and I have promised ourselves not to get a job, and instead find ways of making our own money, through doing things we love. It’s a big promise and it’s also quite scary not to have the security of a well paid job to go to. Especially since that’s what I’ve been used to for the past 15 years.

But back to the Ashram. Our first day’s meditations brought up a huge feeling of fear in me. My mind was literally freaking out at the thought of not getting a job. The recurring thought that went over and over in my mind was ‘how the hell will we pay our rent??!!!’

The next day, Samaya (the guy who owns the Ashram) was talking to the whole group and said the perfect words I needed to hear. ‘In life we need to take risks. That is the only way we can feel alive, experience the real juice of life. If you don’t take risks in life, you’ll never lose any money, you’ll never get hurt, you’ll rarely make mistakes. But you’ll also not truly live’.

20 years ago when he decided to sell his business in Maui, Hawaii and buy a 100 acres of land in Australia his family thought he was crazy. ‘What will you do when you’re 80 years old and you’re alone in the middle of nowhere with a 100 acres of land no one wants to buy?’ Well he’s 82 now, although he looks about 60 and he’s surrounded by a group of young people who love and care for him and also look to him for advice. In his words ‘they keep me alive’.

His words and his story took me from fearing the future to celebrating the fact that Paul and I have chosen to do it our way. True we don’t have any guarantees that we’ll be able to pay the rent, and who knows we may even have to sleep on our friends’ floors in the near future, but will that be such a big disaster?

I think the real disaster would have been for us to throw away the sense of freedom and the joy we’ve felt over the past 18 months and get a nice secure job that didn’t exactly fulfil us just so we could make sure to pay our rent.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure there are many people out there who have jobs they love and that fulfil them. Equally there are many of us out there who feel just the opposite.

So if you’re living a life that doesn’t excite you, or bring you much joy, if you’re living for the weekend, keep in mind that, THAT is the price you are paying for your security, for not taking a risk.

It’s a high price to pay.

Are you willing to pay it?

With love


P.S. I’d love to hear what risks you would take to create a more fulfilling life, or if you’ve taken a huge risk that’s brought great returns. Leave your comments below or email me at Karen@the1bigthing.com



  4 Responses to “Take a risk”

  1. Im in a job that I hate……..but unlike you, I am responsible for two small children who I can’t afford to take risks with. Whilst I like your ideas, sometimes you have to put your dreams on hold for the sake of others. I would love to say “to hell with the 9-5 job” but my kids depend on me to pay for a roof over their heads and an education. Just think….had your parents taken the risks you talk about…..you probably wouldn’t have been in the position to travel the world like you have…………..

    • Hello

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this blog. I’m sure other people with kids also share your sentiments so it’s great that you wrote them here.

      You’re right, having kids and saying ‘to hell with the 9-5 job’ without any other plans or forms of income is downright irresponsible. And it’s not something I would recommend.

      I also believe that there’s hundreds of other options that lie somewhere in between not changing your situation and quitting your job tomorrow. And the risk to take is to try and find that option that works for you and your family. What would happen if you started from a position of ‘I can’ rather than ‘I can’t’?

      I’d like to invite you to a little challenge – this week find a parent who’s responsible for 2 kids who’s managed to create or find work they love (both online or offline). And the risk…connect with them, see how they did it.

      A person who’s close to me has 3 kids aged 4 to 13. His dream was to open a recording studio. Not only is a studio incredibly expensive to set up, it’s also a very hard business to break into. So it was quite a big dream to aim for.

      Last year he decided to go for it and took a HUGE risk. He leased a small space which he’s now equipped with some incredible recording equipment. He also worked full time at other jobs to make sure he could still support his family until his studio started earning a regular income. He still has a second job, and he works long hours to juggle the two. Even though it’s very hard work, I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way.

      It’s a great achievement for him and a big inspiration to those around him, especially his kids.

      My wish for you, is that you do decide to change your job, and you do find work you love, whilst still supporting your family.

      With love

  2. My dear…it’s amazing how after so many years, through this incredible technological invention which is Facebook, we managed to get into contact again, and I am blessed because of that. How would I have known otherwise that you, like me, were setting off for an amazing lifetime adventure.

    Through your blog I have re-lived with you my own experiences, the thrills of the unknown, the beauty of our world and the amazing feeling freedom gives you. I am getting emotional writing this but it’s a beautiful sensation, because I feel at peace when I recall all that I have gone through and am so glad to know you have experienced the same emotions I did back them, as they are not comparable to anything else.

    Just like you, I felt the same kind of fear when we had to go back, broke, no job and no house…just hope, hope that together we could go through everything, convinced that after having gone through what we did we could conquer everything…and so it was.

    The hardest struggle was to accept and understand that we were not THERE any more…sometimes looking back it feels like we lived another life which is still so real inside our hearts.

    Yakof managed to find a job immediately and for me it was pretty quick too…just after two weeks. My only fear was to having to go back to my profession, accountancy, which did not inspire me anymore after what I had been through. Lucky for me I found a job as a Facility Manager in a Home for the Elderly were I could fulfill my wish…helping somehow people around me with my job.

    Travelling changed me to the core…made me a much better person and I realised that EVEYTHING is possible and all dreams can be realised, it is just a matter of wanting it. In fact I managed to fulfill a huge dream I had last year, that of publishing a book :) and there are so many others on the list!

    I am sure you will do great in whatever you do as I am sure we will both continue travelling our whole lives. I hope one day we will manage to meet so that we can go through our respective stories…in the meantime take care my friend….always be positive and keep that amazing smile :)

    Peace and Love

    • Janet

      Thank you so much for the lovely words. I couldn’t agree more, travel has an incredible way of opening up our hearts and our minds. This trip has by far the best thing I’ve ever done in my life and this is why I set up the1bigthing.

      I am so passionate about inspiring people to follow their dreams because I know that this is the way to leading an extraordinary life.

      Big hugs

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