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Going To The Moon

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It was a dark night, with a cool summer breeze wrapping me gently as I stood on top of a mountain looking into the sky.

In the company of close friends, I felt comforted by an inner warmth, as we smiled and laughed, standing together under one of the darkest skies in all of Europe.

‘Come here’, the guide Fred said to me softly, gesturing me to move towards where he was standing. I walked over.

‘Look here and tell me what you see’.

I bent over slightly and put my right eye up to the eyepiece of the telescope.

I could see the moon. I could see the craters on the moon. I could see the texture of the surface of the moon. I could see the Earth shine, the dark part of the moon not easily visible to the naked eye.

Feeling a rush of energy, I took a step back from the telescope, stood tall and looked at the moon in the dark sky. It was shiny but small.

Then I took a step back towards the telescope to have a closer look, again. I couldn’t believe it. The details. The colour. The size. The glow. The magnificence of this moment.

Then, an innocent thought spontaneously appeared. Will I go to the moon in my lifetime?

Seeing the moon up close last night for the first time was special. I felt special. I felt inspired.

The conversation with my close friends continued to be about the moon, literally.

The conversation with myself though was about my moon, figuratively.

Earlier in the day, a few of us were in discussion about why we don’t follow our dreams.

I shared with the group something I had read in the introduction of Paulo Cohelo’s

The Alchemist, over ten years ago, and vaguely remembered as four reasons I don't pursue my dream.

The first is that I am scared of failure and don’t believe I can actually do it.

The second is that I am told that I cannot do it and won’t succeed.

The third is that I’m afraid of leaving my loved ones behind as I go on my journey.

And the fourth is that I’m fearful of being successful and what it means.

I share these four reasons in first-person, as I have experienced all of them at different moments in my life. And probably will continue to experience them, which inspires me to learn how to recognize the fear and work through it.

On the fear of failure, this has shown up often over the past decade in my romantic life. A fear of rejection has held me back from expressing my desire to connect with a woman I may find interesting.

On being told I won’t succeed, this shows up often in business. When attempting to innovate, which involves doing something that has not been done before, I have received a lot of ‘no’ from my teams, my clients and my investors over the years.

On the fear of leaving loved ones behind, this shows up often with having to make trade-offs of how I invest my time. Choosing to not only live in Portugal but to prioritize my social connections on this side of the pond versus North America has not always felt easy.

And on being afraid of success, deep down I have felt this the most during the recent past. In certain parts of my life, I have played small and convinced myself to not really go for it. And I realize now it has been from this place of fear of the implications of chasing my new dreams.

In all of the reasons shared why I might not pursue my dreams, the alternative is to hide in my fear. It sounds cowardly because it is.

It is also safe. And if I stay hidden in my fear for too long, then I convince myself that I am satisfied with where I am and start to believe that this is it for me here on Hotel Earth.

Seeing the moon up close last night sparked something inside of me. It was a reminder to shoot for the moon. Permission to dream.

Many dreams and desires have been filling my mind since that moment I felt the spark inside, including ones that have been hiding behind the protection that fear often provides.

I don’t know if I will ever make it to my moon, however I want to know that I tried.

This is what my experience here is all about. The journey to discover and explore myself and this beautiful universe filled with mystery and possibility.

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