When I first stepped foot in our soon-to-be Fort Greene apartment, I knew Adam was going to flip. It was a special space – a unique space. It had energy and possibility. It felt larger than life… better than what I was even imagining for us. Of course, Adam stepped through the door and was immediately sold. I, on the other hand, was more cautious. There were no real rooms…it’s more of a loft space… plus it’s up a large flight of stairs. That’s not exactly practical. Yes it was awesome and exciting, but it was more than we wanted to spend and I was anxious about the money. But I wanted him to have it. I wanted us to have it. I was just afraid.
Later that night while we were laying in bed Adam said something along the lines of… “pretend it’s thirty years from now and you’re looking back at this moment… would you take the apartment?” I immediately said YES! Yes I would take the apartment because it’s such a special place and it’s an adventure! And almost without fail… every time I say YES to an adventure, I come through the other side happier, stronger and totally grateful for the experience.
Right after our conversation I went back to my book The Happiness Project and read these “true rules” – rules the author’s friends had come up with for their lives:
- always say hello
- down with boredom
- change is good
- choose the bigger life
- things have a way of turning out for the best
“Choose the bigger life”. I especially liked this one. That is exactly what this apartment thing is all about. We are choosing the bigger life with this apartment. We are opting for ass kickery! We are stretching ourselves a little bit because we have confidence that we will grow as much as we need to grow to make it all work out for the best. And things have a way of turning out for the best – right? Plus – it didn’t hurt that my parents came to see it the next day and said we’d be crazy not to take it! That gave me even more confidence that we were making the right decision.
So from now on, I’m going to carry that rule around with me and give it some thought whenever I’m faced with a decision. “Choose the bigger life”. It’s about being brave and going for it… setting high expectations for yourself and for your life.
Which brings me to yet another quote I stumbled upon in last week’s The Week magazine – along the same lines:
“The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” – Thomas Merton