This morning on my way to work, the radio guys were going on, as they always do, about various things.
One subject that came up was graduation presents. They told a story of a well known billionair buying his daughter an 18 million dollar horse farm as a graduation present.
You might be thinking that they were critical and resentful. They weren’t. They didn’t criticize the family for having money or for giving such a crazy cool gift. They didn’t insist the money should have been donated or given away. I found that refreshing. Honestly, I think it’s a great gift. If you have that kind of cash and can afford it. Why not? Who wouldn’t want an 18 million dollar horse farm after all? I mean, “Hey. Yoo Hoo, over here.” I wouldn’t say no!
So what’s my problem here?
My problem is the direction the conversation turned. I enjoy this particular morning show quite a bit. Most of the time it isn’t too serious. It’s entertainment, and they often go down some strange trajectories. It’s all in fun, and often they have me chuckling and wondering what idiocy they’re going to talk about next.
This time, though, they had me shaking my head, shaking my head in disappointment. Now understand, I wasn’t disappointed with the hosts or the show itself. My disappointment came from the clear and unintended example of how our thinking and expectation all too often sets our lives in limiting or negative ways.
And to us it’s normal. That’s just the way it is. We don’t think twice about it. We don’t think about it at all. We don’t try to change it. We don’t try to change it because it never even occurs to us that we can.
You see in the discussion of the 18 million dollar horse farm, they started in on wealthy lifestyles. The main conversation consisted of this idea of what it would be like to date someone in a social circle where such extravagant gifts are the norm. Both hosts are married and not interested in dating, but they were having a fun exchange of “What if?” and “How would you even relate to that?” What kind of things would you do? What would you see as normal?
They ran with it for awhile. After a lot of nonsense, and chuckles, and speculation, the female host said something like “You have to put such ideas out of your head. You know it ain’t ever going to happen. You don’t date these types of people.” Then she dropped the bomb.
She said “You have to stay in your lane.”
“You have to stay in your lane.”
Photo credit Anita Wisecup My Road My Story.
Say what? This is where I lost it. I gestured at the radio and shouted “Stop! Hold up! No! No you don’t!” “Stay in your lane? What? No!”
This is social conditioning, and she doesn’t even know it. She meant what she said in the most sincere way. “Stay in your lane.” And now she’s reinforcing to all those faithful listeners out there that the big life, the big dream, ain’t for us. We have to stay in our lanes.
How many people nodded in agreement? I don’t know. How many didn’t even notice? How many rebelled like me? I don’t know.
But the message is a sad and scary one.
Stay in your lane and everything will be safe. Stay in your lane where you belong. Stay in your lane and don’t get full of big ideas. Stay in your lane because that life ain’t for you. Stay in your lane and don’t disrupt the status quo. Stay in your lane and you won’t be disappointed. Stay in your lane where everything will be in the proper order. Accept your social status. Give up your dream because you can’t have it.
Except she’s wrong!
Stay in your lane and never be any of those things you ever imagined you could be. Stay in your lane and live a life of quiet desperation. This is what is. Stay in your lane and don’t take any risks. Stay in your lane and don’t be foolish. Stay in your lane and conform.
Stay in your lane and always wonder “What if?” “Is there more?”
I’m here to say, switch lanes. If you’re unhappy in your lane, switch lanes. Reach for the sky, the stars, the moon, or maybe just the door. Have the dream. Live your life your way. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It only matters what you think.
Sure, things might not go as you planned. It might all fall to shit. Maybe you won’t find all the gold at the end of the rainbow. You may not achieve those big dreams, but maybe you will. You sure won’t if you stay in your lane.
If you stay in your lane, nothing changes.
Which path will you take?
How will you know if you don’t try? Take a risk. Look stupid. Does it matter how you look?
How do you learn and grow? How do you advance? How do you stretch yourself if you stay in your lane? How can you have the most amazing experiences, the most amazing life, if you just drive blindly forward in your lane?
Do you let all your big dreams die? Do you leave them on the side of the road as you wistfully drive by?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “One form of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
If you don’t like the result you’re getting, do something different. Change lanes.
Frankly if Meghan Markle had stayed in her lane, she wouldn’t have married Prince Harry. She married a prince. It can happen.
What if Oprah had stayed in her lane? Think about that. All the odds said she should be poor and desperate. Her lane went straight to poverty and misery, to desperation and fear. As of June 2nd, 2018, her net worth was 2.9 billion. Billion.
She changed lanes.
So can you.
Now it’s not necessarily all about the money or the fame or the royalty. I’m talking about the thing that sets your heart afire, or at least makes you go “Hmmm.”
What blows your hair back? Whatever it is, if it isn’t in your lane, change lanes!
It doesn’t have to be princes and billions. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be grand. It might be something simple, something small. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it has meaning for you.
But if it is big and involves princes and billions, or billions and princes, or just billions or just princes, that’s great too. It’s your dream.
And if you don’t want to change lanes just yet, or ever, that’s up to you too.
Maybe you love your lane. Maybe you’re in the right lane. Maybe you’re going in the direction you’re meant to go. If you’re happy with your lane, stay there!
This isn’t about saying you must change. It’s about knowing you can change, if change is what you need, if you want to, if your desire is strong enough.
No one says you have to. You don’t have to do anything.
But you can.
Never let anyone tell you you can’t.
Never let anyone tell you you can’t change lanes. Never let anyone tell you you have to change lanes.
It’s your lane, your road, your life. You drive it where YOU need it to go, straight, winding, up and down, in circles, all over the place, back and forth, it doesn’t matter as long as you are the one behind the wheel.
What fires up your soul?
Ask yourself this question, then make a shift. What fires up your soul?
It doesn’t have to be big. One small step at a time is all that is necessary. Small steps, one at a time, can take you on great journeys, or just down the road or around the corner.
If you want change in your life, you will have to move out of your lane. Raise the lid off your box and have a peek. Maybe something good is out there.
Expand your comfort zone. The only way to grow is to get uncomfortable once in awhile.
Widen your circle. The people around you affect your attitude, your belief, your experience. Look for positive people.
Grow. If you’re not growing, you’re not expanding the life force.
Learn. Knowledge is something you take with you wherever you go.
Do. Try something different.
At the very least, open the window, stick your head out and take a deep breath. Fresh air is good for you. Fill your lungs; fill your being with possibility.
Fill your being with the energy flowing through the Universe. Believe.
Or continue driving in your lane with blinders on while your soul silently cries.