S2Episode47 Life Is One Great Big Adventure

May 14, 2024

Good morning from New York City. What I’m thinking about this morning is how we’re affected consciously or unconsciously by anticipating other people’s reaction or how we feel by other people’s commentary or negative questioning.

Let me say more. I was at an event last week organized by MEA or the Modern Elder Academy, as I’ve mentioned many times before. It was a gathering of the greater New York area. The first part was a presentation by a New York Times author who talks about career and identity.  I think she entitled her presentation “Slashes” and what she meant by slashes was our many different identities. In my case, I could say I’m an advisor slash podcaster slash connector slash you get the idea. We have many different identities, different ways of identifying ourselves and the weight and importance of them vary depending on what’s going on in our lives, right?

Anyway, that’s not what I want to talk about. We were prompted by a question and then we chose one thing to share with the person next to us, and it was a great conversation starter. So, I ended up talking to the woman next to me and of the many things she said to me one thing stood out and it was, I don’t know what I’ll say. I don’t know what to say. Interestingly, she was talking about leaving her job and taking off, but she didn’t have a clear idea of where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do and the timing of it. I thought to myself, wow, she’s you could not have sat next to a better person than me because of course I just experienced that. And in fact, I had that same thing happen. I didn’t quite know what I was going to say to people.

From the outside looking in, you may think, well, who cares what anybody thinks, but we all care. People’s inquisitiveness and questions and commentary are such that we feel like we need to have something to say, right? It’s not just for other people. When we don’t quite know what we’re doing, we tend to grasp a way to put words to it to frame it also for ourselves. In my case, when I was on my six-month stint, I landed on saying not knowing what’s next is part of my adventure. So, I found sort of playful feelings and language around it. Anyway, interestingly when we got into a deeper conversation after the event, she does feel comfortable with leaving her job and not knowing exactly what’s next. She has experienced what I’d like to call the dance with uncertainty before and on a conscious or intellectual level, she feels good about it. And I thought it was revealing. that in her first words to me in that exercise she had said I don’t know what to say. I think there was a deeper unconscious piece there that was a glimpse into how we’re affected by anticipating, even on a subconscious level, what other people will think or say.

Anyway, as I was sitting here thinking about this this morning, another thing popped into my mind. It was a friend of mine who has come into different circumstances in her life. She was married for a very long time. The mother of children, living in the same place for most of her adult life, and her life over the last four years has taken a completely different turn. She’s lost her husband, her children are launched, and she’s in a new relationship with someone who is completely different. He lived abroad for many years. He’s very international. and this woman is having a Joie de vivre moment in her life. She is seizing the moment and traveling more.

What do you think happened? It’s rocked the boat in her circles with some of the people she’s closest to. The people that have come to rely on steady presence at the holidays, in the summer home destinations. You got the idea. This is a woman who’s been through a lot, and one would expect and hope that her friends would be happy for her. I’m not saying they aren’t, but those negative questions pop through the cracks. Things like, you’re going to Europe again. Weren’t you just there? Or I guess you won’t be here because you’ll be off on one of your exotic trips. Or I don’t know how you keep up with him.

I’m aware that I’m talking about two different examples. The first person is not quite sure what she’s doing, trying to find language for it and she’s thinking about what she’s going to say to other people, while the second person is being thrown a little bit off kilter by the response and feedback she’s getting from those around her. The through line here is that we are impacted by what other people say and think. It’s inevitable. It’s part of life, right? But here’s the thing. I’s our job to bring awareness to this piece, and while it’s inevitable that what other people think and say does indeed find its way into our consciousness, into our heart, it’s up to us to own our own stuff and to live our best lives.  It’s as simple as finding that line that makes us feel excited about what we’re doing because that commentary of I don’t know how you do it or weren’t you just there?, those type of comments reflect the fears and doubts and judgment of other people, and it’s up to us to find that word or phrase that acts as a shield and wards off that sort of energy.

A good example of this that’s coming up for me is my friend Eric. Eric lives in Italy and he told me he was going to propose to Diego, who lives in Uruguay, and my first question was is Diego going to move to Italy?, to which he replied I don’t know, we don’t need to think about that right now. We’ll figure it out. And his response, while polite, clearly signaled to me not to ask further questions. He didn’t know the answer and he felt perfectly comfortable with it. I remember thinking to myself, wow, he’s playing the game of life by his own rules. I remember being very intrigued and inspired by that.

When I decided that I wanted to try to do something new and find work, I knew people would be telling me how difficult it is and how are you going to do that? And then I came up with. I’m ready for a third act. That was the language I was using that made me feel good and courageous, and to signal to myself that, yeah, I’m a little bit scared and nervous, but this is what I’m doing.

In the case of the woman who’s having this new life, she could say something like, I’m having so much fun, it’s hard to keep up. And in the case of the woman who’s thinking about quitting her job she could say something like, I’ve decided to put on my explorer cap for a few months, or I’ve decided to take a time out to figure out what’s next. It’s funny. I remember when I started podcasting, I didn’t tell the people closest to me. My best friend Marion was one of the last people I told that I was doing it. Now, Marion is always rooting for me. She’s always got my back and yet I was reluctant to share that with her, and it was really interesting when I found out that a lot of other people in the podcasting group had the same experience.

When we step out of our comfort zone and decide to do something differently or to try something new, it is vulnerable. It is uncomfortable, and it’s inevitable that we anticipate or are concerned on some level about what other people will say or think or ask. And trust me, just as our tears give other people permission to cry, when we have the courage or the audacity to try something new or to step outside of the norm, on some level, it invites other people to think about their own lives.  At the end of the day, you only live once, and it’s up to us to decide how we want to play the game, because life in my view is one great big adventure.

I’ll leave you with that for today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

Join thousands of others

Stay in the loop on new episodes


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

read on

Book an Advisory Session

I absolutely love feedback, please your thoughts

Stay in the loop

join Thousands of others

Get instant alerts as my new episodes drop

From my heart to yours

Share Your Thoughts

book a session


Let’s get to the heart of matters
– to what matters most to you

Schedule time with me to:

“Speaking with Constance helped me to see myself  – and my experience –with fresh perspective.  I got great clarity and completely shifted gears. She totally got it. The experience fully re-energized me.”

Jim Conley – Senior Executive
ex- YouTube, Google, Twitter

Stay in the loop

join Thousands of others

Get instant alerts as my new episodes drop

From my heart to yours