Clap your hands and start believing in fairies again…

If society tells us to take one path, and our heart is telling us to take another, then follow your heart. Stop being so wise. It’s time to be joyful and silly. Stop being so grownup.

Clap your hands and start believing in fairies again.

I believe that most of us do truly know what we want and what makes us happy.

It’s just that everyday, in a multitude of ways, we get so many messages telling us to do something else, to look in other directions.

We’re told that it’s foolish to backpack the world when we leave school. Instead, we should go straight to college and get that accounting degree. Take the sensible choice! Make the wise decision!

Instead of saving to make that parachute jump we always dreamed of, we should renovate our bathroom or buy a new car. A much better use of our money! Such a great investment!

But when I look back on my life and all the goodness I can suck from it, like marrow from a bone – all those incredible memories that make my life so rich and full – it isn’t the wise decisions that thrill me.

It’s those joyful, unwise choices that gave me purposeless, endless pleasure that I have relived over and over again. They’re what have made my life such an amazing adventure through time, not the wise decisions.

Some of my best moments…

The time I ran laughing into ice cold water at the beach with my best friend, only to find wild dolphins swimming there.


And the time I went paragliding in Queenstown, and leaped off a cliff, with only the wind and a few strings and light fabric to hold me up in the sky.

The time I went drinking grappa in Bologna, Italy, with my ex and a friend at a bar, and couldn’t find our way back to our hotel afterwards, we were so tipsy.

The time I first lifted more than 100 kgs (220 lbs) in deadlift.

And the moment I first held my newborn son in my arms.

None of these choices were wise or sensible. None of them made me wealthier. Some made me considerably poorer. But all of them gave my life wholeness and completion and fulfillment.

They made me happy. And I’d do them again in a heartbeat.

Life is meant to be silly, and unwise, and fun, and foolish, and unbalanced, and scary. We’re supposed to make the decisions that our hearts want us to make. We’re supposed to believe in fairies and search for that second star to the right.

So take the plunge. Go running into the ice cold water. Leap off that cliff. Don’t be that old, sad person on a death bed with a heart full of regrets.

Instead, let your heart overflow with joy, and share it with those around you.



  1. You are on a roll! It’s been almost a post a day recently. You have really found the groove of this theme and I love your look onto multiple angles of simplify/minimize/play.
    I have written on this topic as well but haven’t for a while becsuse we are immersed in the process of finishing up projects and getting rid of stuff so we can put our lovely house on the market come spring. We fully intend to not do the appropriate thing which, of course, is to stay here, Find a corporate job that pays better and demands long hours so we can have the stuff but not the time for our families. No, we are paring down and moving back to the Northwest corner of the US into a small rental so we can have the flexibility to play and be outside and afford to put our kids through college. It may not be the proper American Dream (or Kiwi Dream for that matter) but it’s right and good for us.
    Keep writing! I love your posts.

    – Matthew

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Matthew – I think we’re all just way too serious in our lives, and it’s causing misery and stress. We’re all told to get ahead and make something of ourselves – but what for, if it makes us unhappy? Life is short. Happiness is everything.

    I guess I’m having a real sea-change. I’m old enough to look back on my life, and look at the lives of those around me, and I’m starting to think that maybe I don’t want to follow in my parents’ footsteps. I don’t want to play the suburban game. It won’t make me happy, and I know this.

    Thanks for the positive feedback 🙂 Just keep doing what is right for you!


    1. My youngest child will be graduating from high school in three years. Her brother has just one year left before he goes off to college. I think my wife and I
      have a similar perspective to yours in that we have really started to look closely at our lives so far and wonder how we got so caught up in the “suburban game.”
      We do take life too seriously. I believe that is, in part, because we ask too much of ourselves as a society. Not just the stuff but the whole package. I fear it takes over and doesn’t allow us to actually live our lives. We are too busy preparing for the next step and minding the everyday needs to look around us and realize that we only have this one go at it. Why are we wasting it?!?
      This is a sea-change for many of us. I think that’s exciting. Especially now that I feel like we are actually doing something rather than just dream about it.


      1. I got caught up in “the suburban game” too. Somehow I ended up with a farm that takes way too much time to manage (because I wanted to live sustainably and simply), a commute that takes way too much petrol (because farms are in the country), and the life of a stay at home mum (because all of that life need someone at home to do it).

        None of it was what I envisaged for myself – while it might have suited someone else very well, it didn’t make me happy. It made me feel overwhelmed, lonely, stressed and miserable.

        Sea-changes are what we all need sometimes. In my case, moving back into the city, but a much smaller town than I grew up in (moving from the country outside Dunedin to the town proper) is the right thing for me. Having a smaller, manageable home feels like the right next step. Simply having less is the right path forward.

        Good luck with your next step forward. We can do it! 🙂


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