In 2016, I had a wild and terrifying idea. I would quit my job as a marketing manager, become a yoga teacher, and travel the world. This was completely out of character for my Type-A self, yet when I imagined myself practicing yoga throughout the Amazon, on top of Machu Picchu, and on the beach in the Galapagos Islands, I knew in my heart how right it felt to begin this new journey.
Going against the status quo resulted in worried parents and incredulous looks from coworkers as I packed my desk and ended a chapter. Fear, doubt, and other limiting beliefs played a narrative in my head throughout it all, but I continued to follow my inner guidance as it led my closer to my proverbial mountain.
At the precipice of transformation we have two choices: turn back or keep moving. Ben Nemtin, star of MTV’s “The Buried Life” and New York Times bestselling author of What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?, knows this turning point well. Over the past 10 years, Ben has publicly displayed and shared how he combats fear or doubt and checks things off his famous bucket list to live a regret-free life.
Step One: Treat Your Goals As Projects
It is a necessity to change the narrative around personal goals. How often do you set personal goals for yourself with deadlines? The relaxed attitude for personal goals plays into the epidemic of pushing them off entirely. Instead, we focus on professional goals, paying our bills, and other external deadlines.
“At the end of life, most people regret the things they didn’t do, not the things they did,” says Ben. Referring to his goals as projects takes the seriousness up a notch so Ben can hold himself accountable and begin with actionable steps to accomplishing each goal.
To begin, write your goals down and turn your idea into something tangible you can hold. This will serve as your roadmap as you continue working towards your mountain.
Step Two: Acknowledge the Fear
Ben shares that there are two types of fear that stop most people from pursuing their passions and goals: fear of failure, and fear of what other people think. When you begin a goal or project, the first step is to identify what fear is coming up for you. It’s important to recognize that, as Ben says, people care much less about what you are doing than you think they do and they are also much more forgiving than we believe.
“The worst thing that can happen is failure. You can fail from never trying at all, but you won’t learn anything. Or, you can fail from trying and gain all the knowledge in the world,” says Ben. The truth is, the fear never goes away. We simply become more equipped to handle it.
Most people believe it is external forces that cause failure, but in reality, it is usually because we give up. The next time fear comes up for you, pause and listen to the deeper wisdom within that is guiding you into discomfort and leap.
Step Three: Speak Your Goals Into Existence
Our personal goals usually are kept zipped up tight as an intimate secret we only know, but Ben suggests that this is actually preventing us from accomplishing them. “If you don’t talk about your goals, no one can help you,” says Ben.
You never know who is listening and how they can help you. By speaking your goals into existence, you have created an opportunity for connection, growth, and belonging to the community around you. As the famous proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Step Four: Remember the Ripple Effect
“By doing what you love you inspire other people to do what they love,” says Ben. Each day when we wake up, we have infinite opportunity to move closer to our mountain and in doing so, we create a ripple effect that reaches lives far past what our brains can imagine.
When we share on social media or serve as a light of positivity at our jobs, we embody inspiration that impacts those around us. While you may not receive messages and people reaching out about how you’ve inspired them, know that so much is happening behind the scenes so keep shining your bright light.
Step Five: Take Moon Shots
When “The Buried Life” crew’s book had hit the New York Times Bestseller List, they made a pact to send their book into space. With no idea how to make it happen, they persisted on to achieve the unthinkable. A literal moonshot, Ben and his buddies sent their book into space and checked off item #112 on their bucket list.
You don’t need to send a book into space to take a moon shot, but you do need to buy into your big dreams. Tim Ferriss shares that 99 percent of the world is convinced that they can’t do great things so they shoot for mediocre goals. As Ben says, “Taking moon shots is that big dream that motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning.” With that knowledge, we’re ready to shoot for the stars.
Start Living Regret-free Today
Ben holds sturdy to the belief that if more people did what they loved, the world would be a better place. Whether your moon shot is to travel the world practicing yoga or become a New York Times bestselling author, Ben’s work has us inspired to choose transformation over fear and continue pursuing our true north.
Ava Johanna Pendl is a wellness writer and teacher based out of Southern California. Between teaching meditation, yoga, and breathwork at events across the globe, Ava focuses on providing readers with online mindfulness practices via her blog and her podcast, The Alchemized Life. Check out her website, Instagram, and podcast.