Conceived in an Irish pub in Berlin, on a trip I was almost too scared to make, the daydream project is a commitment to do everything I’ve always secretly wanted to do, but initially dismissed as not for “people like me”.
I had come to Germany for the inaugural Alive in Berlin conference: a gathering of visionaries and change makers interested in exploring the common threads that connect us and make us come alive.
It was honestly one of the best weekends of my life, and yet I almost didn’t go. I read a lot of blogs and made a lot of plans. But my desire to live differently, to exercise my creativity and to authentically be myself was something I was actually a little embarrassed about. I never followed through on plans, didn’t talk to my friends about my ideas, and although when I fist stumbled upon the Alive in Berlin website I thought it looked great, I didn’t for a moment consider that I might be one of the visionaries it talked about.
But you know what? The fact that I was interested in it was enough. Because we can do anything we want to do, and be anything we want to be. We don’t have to let the people we know, the society we live in or our own limiting beliefs tell us otherwise.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that going changed my life. I met so many amazing people (you know who you are), heard so many inspiring presentations and had so many incredible conversations. But the biggest revelation? Yes, everybody there was inspiring. But they were also friendly, approachable and not all that different from me. In fact, they saw me as one of them. So I thought: if these people are doing such amazing things, why can’t I?
During one of the sessions we were challenged to answer the question: what would you want to do, be and have if you had twenty years left to live? Then, what if you had only ten years left to live? What if you only had two? What if you only had nine months?
I found this exercise really powerful. I had so much on my list, even the nine month one. I want to achieve and experience so much. But I’m not doing any of it. I procrastinate because I feel like I have all the time in the world. But I don’t. I have no idea how long I have left, and so it’s up to me to make every moment count.
After a finding out that his body is rejecting a kidney transplant, nine months is the reality facing Greg Hartle, who shared his amazing story with us. He’s already achieved so much, and yet he’s still committed to making every moment count.
He concluded his presentation with a request. “I genuinely hope that you will make my words worth something,” he said. “Please. Show the world what you’ve got.”
So I’m compiling a list of everything I daydream about doing, and I’m striking them off one by one. Some of them are trivial, some are ambitious, but all of them are out of my comfort zone.
Attend Alive in Berlin.
Get a tattoo.
Break my sugar addiction.
4. Run a half marathon.
5. Run a marathon.
6. Write a book.
7. Learn a foreign language.
8. Wear lipstick.
Have my nails done.
10. Cook for other people.
11. Go to a trapeze yoga class.
12. Be paid to write a blog post or article.
13. Learn to give massages.
14. Learn to swim.
15. Sew my own clothes.
16. Be able to do handstands.
17. Take dance classes.
18. Get to the bottom of my headaches (and then have less of them).
19. Live in a different country.
20. Have a minimalist wardrobe (maybe take part in Project 333).
21. Sell some things that I make.
This isn’t a finite list, I’ll keep adding to it as long as I keep dreaming.