Sometime this spring, I will be looking at houses along the Pacific Coast, an area I fell in love with in the 1990s. This is the culmination of a long-held dream. But it’s far more than that. From this new base, probably in or near Eugene or Springfield, I am going to springboard my One Big Thing.

My good friend and long-time life coach, Orvel Ray Wilson (co-author of many of the Guerrilla Sales and Marketing series from the 1980s), works with another life coach in the Southwest.

Recently, he was at a retreat to help that man write his forthcoming book Gamechangers. Orvel Ray was kind enough to share with me the elements of your One Big Thing.

Here’s what that takes:

  • It feels impossible.
  • You just don’t see how you can do it.
  • There’s no clear path to get it done.
  • You can’t do it alone (good).
  • Scares the pants right off you.
  • It serves the larger good.

It’s Never Easy

You and I don’t come to our One Big Thing easily. I had dinner recently with a man in his 60s who is crafting adventure trips for Boomers to visit rhino sanctuaries in South Africa. He is leaving his work as the CFO of a high-tech startup to do something that speaks to his soul.

None of these things is easy. Leaving my Colorado home after 50 years is tough. I’m looking into learning animal massage, because one of my One Big Things is working with huge animals. That would include camels, elephants, horses, tigers (yes, that too) and other creatures. Few things give me more joy.

Combined with my love of adventure travel, writing, and speaking, these all weave together into my One Big Thing.

It Takes Some Guts

However, to do that I also have to get out of the place which now stunts my growth. As much as I love Colorado, I no longer fit in here.

Moving to a place that feeds me with rain, green, and acreage is part of setting me up. It’s expensive and uncomfortable. But comfort is the enemy of growth. If you and I have a dream, we have to forfeit some measure of ease to realize it.

It’s a Process

The lure of the familiar and predictable can be terribly costly. You and I build skills over the course of our lives. Often, many of us don’t even begin to come into our own true calling until late in life.

That’s when, in ways we couldn’t possibly have anticipated, the competencies we crafted our first six or so decades morph into that One Big Thing. It’s a process.

Here are the steps I took toward my one big thing:

Made Up My Mind

In February of 2019, I made my decision to move to a place that stimulates growth. Immediately, I began boxing up my house.

Worked on It Consistently

For an entire year I tolerated an upside-down home. Being ex-military and compulsively neat, this was terribly stressful. However, it was by design. The mess did not allow me to relax and say I’d get around to it later. And then not. In fact, every week I boxed up and schlepped more belongings to my basement.

Researched Properties

I began researching. My net was cast from Missoula to Great Falls to Rosemead to Sequim to Boise. Realtors have been sending me properties all year. As a result, I’ve been able to narrow my focus.

Familiarized Myself with the New Surrounds

I’ve already made friends in one community. My moving file is loaded with lists of stables, tack shops, local gyms, biggest employers. In some ways I’m already there.

Ready or Not, I’m Doing It

By January 2020, my entire house was packed. At that point, all I had to do was find a mover, get the house cleaned and put it up for sale.

Meanwhile, I am going to be car camping as I explore those areas where I have the greatest interest. When the big Good Sam Club directory and the Rand McNally Atlas landed with a thump on my front porch, I nearly did a back flip. This really is happening!

Yesterday, I signed the contract with my realtor. Yup, really happening.

At 67, I am completely retooling my life. There is no reason you can’t (this depends on your circumstances, clearly). The more active and engaged you are, the more you feel that you can do just about anything.

Your overall fitness is your best friend, for that is what allows you to make some of these huge life changes. Even if you are housebound, there are still many things you can do which could add joy and meaning to your life.

In fact, one of your Big Things for 2020 might well be a brand-new fitness plan. No matter when you begin, you will reap the benefits. Once that happens and you have a sustainable regimen, you can focus on the dream you came here to do.

2020 is the year for my One Big Thing. I hope it is for you, too.

What’s your One Big Thing? Is this the year to do it? What’s stopping you and how can you work around it? Please share with our community!

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