There’s nothing unusual at all about contemplating a life swap. It isn’t much of a stretch to believe that this is the primary reason why so many people follow actors and musicians and other public figures. Their lives appear glamorous and exciting in light of the typical hum drum of our own lives. When we get down on ourselves we quickly and easily find a sort of comfort in wishing we could be someone else.
This subject actually comes up after encountering an app that is designed to do just this sort of thing. People can use the app to assume the daily routine of a total stranger, to get into their shoes, go where they go and experience their life as a sort of distraction from our own. It’s all virtual and anonymous of course, but the idea set me on a thought path I had to explore a bit more for myself.
First off, I want to ask, “are our lives so boring that we need to get in someone else’s shoes to rejuvenate the excitement of living?” Sure, it sounds like fun, on a virtual level. However, after some pondering, I’ve come to my own conclusion that, while it sounds appealing, I’m not interested.
To be honest, it would be nice to have someone’s job and/or paycheck; an actor, writer, athlete or politician. But I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to swap lives. The television series, “Wife Swap” is another example of this inner desire to switch things up. Not to forget Mike Rowe in “Dirty Jobs”; when the host takes on various jobs where he spends the day working with everyday people doing what they do for a living. Reality TV has gone a long way to explore this idea of swapping lives.
What I would have to ask next is, “what makes your life so bad?” For me, I sure would like to make more money, maybe hang with celebrity friends and jet-set around the world at my leisure. Yeah, those things would be pretty neat. But let me tell you now that the only real difference is that we choose to dream rather than to live.
I’m an odd sort of fellow in some ways (more than even I know if you ask my kin). I look back on my life and see times when I could have grabbed onto a celebrity life as a musician, an actor, a writer. In retrospect, I’m really glad I didn’t. I would have lived so hard in those roles it might have killed me; literally. After all, in most cases what we want to swap isn’t the hard work and persistent determination to be one of these people, but rather to have all the perks they have.
That said, I’m perfectly happy being who I am. But I do know I’d like to be a better me. So when it’s all said and done the true reality is that I can have and be and do all these things that may be someone else’s life. I just have to adjust my life to achieve those things.
As children, many of us have heard our parents tell us, “You can be anything you want to be.” Did they make that up because it sounds nice or makes us feel better? I don’t think so. Isn’t that what the “American Dream” is all about? I tell this to my kids, and I genuinely mean it. Problem is, like me, they fail to grasp the reality of this promise.
Starting right now, no matter what your social status, no matter where you live, what your health condition is or your level of education, experience or even your age, you can still be anything you want to be. The only thing stopping you from this is you.
All day long we can read stories of people who have changed their lives, found inspiration and determination to become someone new and transform their dreams into reality. We can change our stars. But it comes down to those simple terms; inspiration and determination.
So, while we sit and lick our wounds, having our own pity party, feeling sorry for ourselves, our shortcomings and our mistakes, we are wasting time dreaming about swapping lives with a stranger. Life is what we make it.
Rather than dream about these things we need to dig down in ourselves and realize that we have the power to overcome, the power to learn, the power to change our stars. Don’t expect anyone to do it for you or hand it to you in the form of some app. Get up, set your mind and your heart and seize the day.
We can’t necessarily swap lives, but we can transform our own life by setting our mind and heart to reach for those stars. In the end, as it has been said, “it is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all.” I’ll go a step further and say, if there’s something you want, go out and get it, make it happen. Don’t waste time and energy dreaming about it, do it.