I was six years old and riding in the front seat of my dad’s 1972 red Dodge Charger—there were no airbags then, so kids rode in the front seat all the time. Since I was so small, I wasn’t tall enough to see straight out the side window. But I could look up and see the tops of the trees and telephone wires streaming by as my dad drove us through our neighborhood. The sky was clear and blue on a summer evening. I had a slight stomach ache although I don’t remember what caused it.
“Someday I’m going to write about this exact moment,” I told myself silently, “including the stomach ache. I’m going to write a book, too. Someday…”
I’m a different person than I was at age six—over thirty years of living will change a person. But what I wanted then never wavered, despite all the curve balls life through my way. Thirty-five years after that particular evening I independently published my first book, The Carpenter & the Queen. And today, I’ve fulfilled the other part of my promise—I’ve publicly recorded the exact moment I promised myself I was going to be a writer.
It feels good to know I didn’t let that little girl down…even though it took me a while to keep my word.
Perhaps you made a promise to yourself a long time ago about something you wanted to accomplish…something you still long for, even though you might feel like it’s silly, childish, or pointless. It’s easy to diminish those childhood dreams in the face of work obligations, and empty checkbook, or endless mental recordings of all the people who have told you that you “can’t.”
But whether five months or fifty years have passed since you made that promise, don’t you owe it to yourself to try? Would anything bad really happen if you did one small thing today to make that promise come true?
Today can be the day you finally…
…pull out the paintbrushes…
…dance to the radio when no one is looking…
…write the first sentence of the story you’ve always meant to write down.
You can do one small thing to fulfill that promise to yourself. One small thing every day becomes 365 small thing, that eventually become a big thing…a dream come true. No one is going to do it for you. This is all up to you.
Don’t waste another minute. Do it now. Your childhood self deserves it.