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Life Advice: Just Do It!

The best life advice is to just do it. A great realization from personal coach and speaker Donna Bailey.

All of us have dreams. Things we want to do before we pass on. For some, it’s traveling in an RV across the country and some want to live “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Getting a hole-in-one, learning to tango, writing a book, and picking up a violin again. Dreams are the things that touch our souls and create a longing that never goes away. Like a petulant child tapping on our shoulder dreams are relentless, asking “When? When? When?”

I was talking with a friend today who is longing to leave a job he’s been doing for 30 years. He is weary of it. You see he wants to put the time and energy, and a little piece of his heart into a new endeavor that will help people better understand and prepare for life after 55, what caring for aging parents really means. He wanted to know how to find time for his lifelong dream when there are “better things to do”(things you HAVE to do).

He asked me what gets in the way? What lies between the longing and the doing? I didn’t have to think about it long because I know what is getting in my way. Fear and those obnoxious but very convincing monkeys that must have by now grayed and aged just like me. The fear seems obvious: “What if it doesn’t work?” “What if nobody reads it?” “What if I make a fool of myself?” However, it’s the monkeys on my back that have been with me for so long that have become my best friends.

Their messages are more insidious: “You aren’t really a writer. Just look at Anne Lamont. Now SHE’s a writer.” “You need to be thinking about more important things.” “Who do you think YOU are?” Ahhhhh, yes indeed. Hard as hell to shake those.

How do we finally get to the place where we say “to hell with it” and get beyond just thinking about it, making a plan, reading more books about someone else who’s lived our dream and done it well? I told my friend the monkeys were never leaving. That we had to get angry enough, tired enough of pushing the dreams away, and see the truth. We’ve no time left to waste. Who wants to be on a deathbed asking, “Why didn’t I do it?” When we finally realize the truth, we’ll find the courage that was always there and we’ll grab a new vine, letting go of the one we’ve stubbornly held on to out of fear. Whooping it up, we’ll swing out over that scary ravine toward what matters most in our sweet short life…our dreams.

So today, I urge you to stop thinking about your dreams. Instead, take hold of that vine and swing-out!!! One day when you are old and perhaps at the end of this life, you’ll have a peaceful smile on your face and no regrets. What a way to go!!

Donna Bailey, MS is a personal coach, speaker and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Donna gently guides her clients through major life transitions and she is currently writing a book on Finding Love After 55. You can connect with her at