Surprise Yourself

by midlifecrisisqueen on August 7, 2013

I received a number of insights from this CBS Sunday Morning feature on the science of pleasure.

Besides those mentioned in a recent post about setting personal priorities, and various ideas about managing expectations, I learned about the importance of surprising yourself and about maximizing life’s pleasures by taking more risks.  Apparently pushing your personal envelope is good for you!

Not unlike a lot of us in the “Pepsi Generation” (launched in 1963), I was raised to seek security.  In fact, I used to believe that security would be my only path to happiness.  My mantra went something like this:

“Keep on working and saving money, and someday you will be rewarded with an overwhelming feeling of security.”

That sure didn’t happen!  It has taken me most of my life to see, we are not living the lives of our parents.  Boomer world is so different in so many ways, most of which are documented in my new book Find YOUR Reason to Be Here.  And BTW, why should it surprise us that the world has changed so much in the past 50 years?

In my own case, a complete failure of my life plan at age 49 threw me for a loop, or two or three.  All of my expectations were not coming true.  Looking back over my life I felt disappointed and cheated.  Furthermore, I couldn’t even relate to my previous plan.  Turns out I wanted something quite different.

I decided instead to surprise myself with a whole new life.  I decided I was strong enough to risk more, push my limits, embrace my fears and go after what I really wanted for a change.

The first step was admitting what I desired most to myself.  Could I have what I wanted instead of just security?  Could I have love, money and adventure?

It turns out the answer is yes!  But first I had to surprise myself with my own intelligence, courage, resourcefulness and strength of purpose.

Abundance is how we live in each moment… the choice to be open, the choice to entertain the possibility that we can have, create and attract what we truly want.

I challenge YOU to do the same!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Cassara August 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Taking well-thought-out risks does have its rewards! Kudos to you for making it happen!

midlifecrisisqueen August 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Yes Carol, I am so the cautious type that it took me a long time to start taking more risks. But after that, one thing just led to another.

Haralee August 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I like your thought and use of surprise.

Tammy August 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Laura Lee, love this post. “Chance” is my middle name. I’ve been taking them pretty much all my life. Sometimes its worked out great … sometimes, not so much. But I’d rather regret what I did than regret what I didn’t do! Great read.

Sue Shoemaker August 8, 2013 at 12:31 am

Hi Laura!

It’s interesting that it was your 49th year that provided you with a turning point! Have you ever taken the time to look back on your life in 7 year cycles? What is interesting is that 7 x 7 = 49. If each of the seven year cycles is compared to a month…then 49 is the end of July and 50 is the beginning of August…the last month in the “summer” of one’s life. So at that point you had “completed” one cycle and were ready to move on to the next.

Age 57 opens the door to September and the beginning of the autumn of life that brings with it the early “harvest”…an extremely beautiful, productive, enjoyable and colorful season of one’s life!


midlifecrisisqueen August 8, 2013 at 7:15 am

It took me a while to realize exactly how cautious I had been, and then loosen up quite a bit. I guess it was the realization that careful sure hadn’t given me what I wanted!
Now I say: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!” — Laura

midlifecrisisqueen August 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

Interesting Sue… looks like we may be spending the autumn of our lives in the land of eternal spring: Going to check out Ecuador soon!

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