Don’t Be Afraid To Take a Wrecking Ball To Your Life In Order To Redesign It

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I once knew a woman who shared the most amazing advice before she passed away. “Don’t be afraid to take a wrecking ball to your life to redesign it”. She had a lovely garden, put umbrellas in her iced tea, and traveled to Spain every year to wear full skirts and dance under a spanish moon. She believed in making dreams and fulfilling them, living life to the fullest, never being afraid to make changes in life, and if your life is just a crumbling building, to just demolish is and start over.

Her advice in a nutshell:

* Always look at the best in people.
* Know what you want, and go for it.
* Accept people as they are, don’t try to change them.
* If you are unhappy, it’s because you are neglecting yourself and your dreams, so do whatever it takes to be happy: change yourself, change your environment, change your plans, change your life, start over.
* Don’t be afraid of change, be afraid of not changing and just accepting your unhappiness.
* You only live once, you should live a life that fills you with joy when you look back on it at 100 years of age, that you can tell your grandchildren about with pride.

Her expression “Don’t be afraid to take a wrecking ball to your life in order to redesign it” came at the right time in my life. I quit a job I was unhappy at, ended relationships and friendships with people I was not proud to be associated with, and made other large changes in my life that I was afraid to make until then (afraid of the unknown? the unfamiliar? what people will say/think?).

Luckily I was more afraid of wasting more years feeling the life I wanted was just out of reach, and one day wishing I had more guts. I took risks, basically took a wrecking ball to my old life, and I am eternally grateful.

I gave up a big promotion that meant headaches for peace of mind and more free time. I married a great guy and had a beautiful child, and never would have if I didn’t change my life. Others may be passing up a dream job or chance of a lifetime for things that don’t matter as much, because they are scared of change…stop it!

mystery woman

Some of her gems:

* EnJoY LiFe- buy a kitten, take tango, go to the beach…just do what makes you happy.

* Avoid people who don’t treat you well…just float away from them. No need to explain anything. If they mistreat you or your family, don’t give them a second thought or moment.

* Don’t harp on the negative in your life. Focus on what is great. Take care of the problems, but don’t focus on them or spend hours thinking about them, or what bad things have happened, or which friends hurt you, etc…this will give you wrinkles. Focus on the positive in your life instead.

* Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, go to the gym, get the natural mood elevations of exercise and healthy eating. Make taking care of yourself and family a priority.

strawberry smoothie

* Trust that you will get what you need in life (always sounded Biblical to me- just trust in the Lord, give Him your worries). Worrying won’t change anything, but will give you wrinkles (and another thing to worry about).

* You spend a LOT of time at work, so don’t waste your life on a job you don’t enjoy. Follow your calling. Don’t be afraid to quit your job and pursue other paths in life. Opportunities don’t usually come while you are burning the midnight oil writing a presentation on something you don’t even care about, they come when you make room in your life to be filled up.

* Don’t let fear  or habit or difficulty hold you back. Do what is unusual, or out of character, or hard, if it will fulfill your life dreams. Write a novel. Hire a personal trainer and get back into shape, or take a cruise to an exotic island…how about Fiji? Learn to bake. Change careers.

Footprints in the sand
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it…just do it. There will always be people who want you just as you are so that their life is easier, and fulfill their dreams. The truth is, they will respect your more (and you will respect yourself) if you stop living as a doormat for an overbearing boss, toxic friend, or unappreciative mate.

The biggest thing to fear is living a life of mediocrity for the sake of not being a bother to others or not making waves. Remember, too, that your children see you, and will be inspired by you (or look past you) depending on how passionately you live your life.

  • Tracy

    What a beautiful tribute to Lili! She was a true gem. :)ReplyCancel

  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby

    She sounds lik someone who was wise beyond her years. You were blessed to have such a phenomenal inspiration in your life for whatever period you had her :)ReplyCancel

  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby

    She sounds lik someone who was wise beyond her years. You were blessed to have such a phenomenal inspiration in your life for whatever period you had her :)ReplyCancel

  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby

    She sounds lik someone who was wise beyond her years. You were blessed to have such a phenomenal inspiration in your life for whatever period you had her :)ReplyCancel

  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby

    She sounds lik someone who was wise beyond her years. You were blessed to have such a phenomenal inspiration in your life for whatever period you had her :)ReplyCancel

  • Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby

    She sounds lik someone who was wise beyond her years. You were blessed to have such a phenomenal inspiration in your life for whatever period you had her :)ReplyCancel

  • Yankee Girl

    You had me at the title.

    Great advice and wonderful tribute.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey@ All Things Mamma

    I loved this post. It came at the exact time I needed it.
    I'm printing it out and looking at this advice daily. Thank you!

    It's so wonderful that you had such a positive influence in your life as Lili. How great it is that you will carry on her dreams and hopes for a happy life!ReplyCancel

  • Penelope

    Tracy, she really was :) You knew her wisdom too, so we were both blessed!

    Kasey, that is how I feel too…her wisdom came at the right time in my life. I'm glad her words inspired you too!ReplyCancel

  • Adrian's Crazy Life

    What a great post. You were so blessed to have such a great friend.ReplyCancel

  • Fruitful Vine2

    Thank you so much for sharing her words of wisdom. Just reading it made me come out of a certain thought process I was holding on to.

    I've been wanting to do something but have been fearing that people are going to think that I think that I am better than them if I do it(did your head just spin reading that – mine did) :). Well, no more of that. My husband and I have spoken about it and it's something he suggested anyway so I'm going to put aside those thoughts and do it.

    Your Lili sounds like a really great woman. Thanks for sharing her with us. Even though she's gone, her words keep on making an impact – I can testify to that.ReplyCancel

  • Laura

    Penelope, it's been a long time since I've been by – love the new look to the blog – and I LOVE this post. What a blessing! What wonderful counsel! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

    Love,
    LauraReplyCancel

  • Penelope

    Adrian and Laura, thank you :) She was special.

    FV, That was how I felt, that she came at the right time, for what I needed at that point in my life…sometimes that is how things work out. We are looking for inspiration, answers, a sign, and a special person comes along who gives it to us. I'm not surprised to see her magical spirit helping even more people now :)ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline

    I couldn’t remember who said this, so I searched and found this page. I soon as I read the first “gem” I thought of Lili, and was right!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    I couldn’t agree more – what awesome advice – I’m sorry she passed away.ReplyCancel