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What’s your passion?

It’s almost February and typically we are thinking about Valentine’s Day: showing affection and showering those we love with cards, gifts or chocolate.  But I want to address a different kind of love this month… personal passion: aspirations, desires, dreams, yearnings.

You may have seen some recent articles talking about the regrets of people when they get older and have a chance to reflect on their lives. From worrying too much to working too hard, the list of regrets can be very long.  The one that struck me the most was from BuzzFeed: 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old.  What’s the #1 regret on this list?  Not traveling when you had the chance.

I have always loved a great adventure and traveling to new places. But I realized that lately, our travel plans have become a bit pale in comparison to the early, carefree times in our lives.  Then we saw the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

There are few films that inspire me to take action in my personal life, but this one really struck a chord.  Yes, we get the National Geographic magazines… we see all the breathtaking places around the world on Pinterest and Facebook.  But, this movie had one simple premise that jolted us into action: you can do anything you set your mind to! Set this principle against a breathtaking backdrop of exotic locations and I’m drawn in like a moth to a flame.

Our family came home and pulled out a little box of cards I had: “50 Places to Visit Before You Die.” We put the cards in a hat and did several rounds of selecting our favorites.  We ended up with either the Galapagos Islands or the Floating Garden Islands of Palau.

Of course, there is a fine balance between what you’d love to do and what you can afford. So, we settled on a nice pre-packaged plan to visit Cancun. Not quite as exotic as Palau, but at least we need passports!

The great thing about this exercise is that we started talking in concrete terms about the future… such as, how about an African Safari or a visit to The Great Wall of China for our 20th anniversary? Plenty of time to research and save up.

As our fictional friend, Walter Mitty, learned through his adventure:
Seize every opportunity… Explore new territory… Live your dreams

So, during this month, I invite you to really ponder your passion. Love to travel? Love to sing? Love to dance? Make a plan to do it. Small steps are perfectly fine… and the reward will be so great!

Also, to further solidify my love of the Walter Mitty movie, I discovered that a marketing director was asked to create a promo video for it. He took the $25,000 and traveled to the Philipines and used every penny for disaster relief following Typhoon Haiyan. This 6 minute video is just about as inspiring as the whole movie! Enjoy.