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  • Writer's pictureAnne McCormick

What do you want to be remembered for?

Is this too deep for a travel blog? I don’t think so. I first heard about the concept of “The Life Resume” from Jesse Itzler, and I’ve come to see how travel is deeply part of building a life you truly love.

The idea of a life resume is to set aside all the things you would normally put on a job resume– degrees, certificates, accolades, work experience– and focus instead on all the things you would love to say you’ve done, skills you’ve learned, new things you’ve tried, people you’ve met, and adventures you’ve had. Our society places so much importance on making money, paying bills, getting promoted, getting tangible work experience, giving to others (this is especially true for women), and saving for retirement, that we let it determine our whole life. The life resume changes your mindset by bringing your focus back to what really matters… instead of asking, “What should I do?” ask, “What do I want to do? What kind of person do I want to be?”

The whole goal is to learn how to stretch yourself and finally do all those things you’ve been meaning to do for the last two or three decades, but have been putting off until you have enough money, until your kids move out, until you quit your job, or other distant future events have come to pass.

If you’re like me, you can easily get stuck in the comfortable routine of things just being ok. When I’m in this state, I don’t really feel like doing anything new. At some point in life, we decide we’re too old to do all those things we intended. Jesse Itzler made me realize an important truth– that as long as I’m learning, growing, laughing, and taking some chances, my spirit will not grow old.

Your comfort zone is the bubble that can prevent you from building your life resume. However, the walls of your comfort zone are actually quite flexible. As soon as push against your comfort zone, it expands. The walls stretch to accommodate bigger and bigger things. Your spirit expands as well, and you begin to seek things that bring you wonder, joy, and exhilaration, even on a daily basis. You start to say yes to more experiences, take little side adventures to try new things in your own city… new experiences stop feeling like obstacles and begin to fit naturally into your life.

Your comfort zone can also contract and harden. The more insular you become, the smaller it gets, and the smaller you become with it. What does this look like? It looks like not really feeling like leaving your house, or talking to a lot of people. It looks like being invited out to fun things, and saying no almost every time. It looks like waiting for someone else to make your plans, because you feel incapable of thinking of anything interesting to do, or not even knowing what you prefer. It feels like being out of sync with the outside world, even fearful of it.

I find that the size of people's comfort zones becomes obvious when they tell stories. Your eyes might light up when you reminisce about striking off on your own adventures, that wild time you signed up for secret dance classes in a church basement with some girlfriends, or that time you rode your bike to the next town just to see what it looked like.

The best thing about the life resume is its impact on the people around you. We women often have a deeply ingrained belief that to do something for ourselves means we're selfish. This is so, so wrong. Think about women who inspire you. Inspiring women know themselves. They take care of themselves, seek joy, and are willing to bring anyone who is interested along for the ride. They radiate their joy into the world and have a tangible effect on people who meet them, inspiring more joy, courage, and laughter. What about this is selfish? More importantly, what if this woman was you?

Who inspires you the most? Tell me about them below!

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