O.P.E.’s are killing your dreams

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Remember when you were little and everything seemed possible? You knew you’d be the first to find a real life unicorn. Or that you’d be a ballerina, mountain biker or someone who plays all day with dolphins. What happened?

When did you stop believing that everything was possible? When did everything become impossible?

I think it’s when you caught a case of O.P.E.’s.

Live Your Dreams: An Adult Coloring Book with Fun Inspirational Quotes, Adorable Kawaii Doodles, and Positive Affirmations for Relaxation

The good news

O.P.E.’s are totally ignorable. There’s no reason to give them any thought because that’s what got you here in the first place. Once you stop worrying about this condition and just see it for what it is, you can move forward with what you once saw as impossible because of O.P.E.’s.

The bad news

If you don’t ignore O.P.E.’s they’ll take over your very soul. They’ll cause you to doubt your intuition, creativity and talents. Focusing on them will alter your life in ways you’d most likely not want to acknowledge publicly.

6 Lessons Learned During My Year of Me

What are O.P.E.’s?

They are the energies that will:

  • Compel a child to say they want to be a doctor, when they really want to be a unicorn
  • Cause a teenager to study pre-law in college when they want to study anthropology
  • Drive an adult to take a job because it pays more, when what they want is a more altruistic position that pays a lot less
  • Create a version of a person you don’t recognize in your own mirror
  • Kill creativity
  • Stifle authenticity
  • Strangle passion
  • Dull your senses

O.P.E.’s are to be noticed then ignored if you want to live a deeply personal and fulfilled life.

O.P.E.'s are killing your dreams | Sedruola Maruska

O.P.E.’s are “Other People’s Expectations” and they’re toxic. Allowing yourself to let them take hold is a death sentence to your vision for your life.

Let’s chat for 20 minutes about your lifestyle & business goals

How to counter O.P.E.’s

It’s not easy to ignore other people’s expectations of you, but it can become easier to wade through them. Not everyone’s expectations are important. So, here’s a list of ways to overcome this condition so you can move toward your dreams.

  1. Figure out what’s truly important to YOU
  2. Share yourself only with those who will encourage your efforts, dreams & hopes
  3. Decide how you want to move toward your vision and start on your way
  4. When faced with opposing O.P.E.’s, go back to #1

You get to live your life the way you want. Other people’s expectations come from their life experiences, their limitation and their fears. Their expectations have nothing to do with you.

Go live your dreams!


The answer is yes

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

I’m currently an Uber driver for some very awesome reasons. It gives me the opportunity to meet different people and that’s so much fun (to me)!

The other day I picked up a young lady going to the airport. We got into a conversation about where she was going, and what she did for a living.

When she mentioned that she’d graduated from an art college and that she worked as an illustrator for a publishing company I asked a very simple question.

Me: Are you good at drawing?
Her: Well. . . I feel like if I say yes it would seem conceited.
Me: Uh. . .the answer is yes! Because it was a yes or no question.
Her: Yes.

So, I went home and in the course of conversation with my daughter I asked her a few questions.

My worst mother / daughter conversation to date

Me: Sia, are you pretty?
Sia: Yes.
Me: Are you smart?
Sia: Yes.
Me: Are you a good reader?
Sia: Yes.

Whew! After I registered my relief to her answers I explained how happy I was about her answers. I explained that I’m happy she knows her strengths and that she acknowledges them. So I’m sharing that message with you. If you know your strengths, acknowledge them.

When I was Sia’s age (8) or even the same age as the young lady in my car I’m not sure I was as forthright as I am now. I’m pretty sure I would have answered “I think so” rather than “yes”.

Where do we learn that? Boys don’t seem to learn that same lesson. They tend to be more on the “yes” track, even when it’s not true.

The answer is yes. When a yes or no question is asked it’s not meant to stump us, it’s meant to be answered yes or no. Where we get stuck is in wondering what the question asker will think of us when we answer in full confidence.

Hard questions to answer

Some of the questions many of us (ladies) have a hard time answering:

Are you
– Sure?
– Pretty?
– Good at ______?
– Smart?

If you’re sure, pretty, good at or smart, the answer is yes. It’s always yes. When you know the answer is yes and you pretend to be unsure of yourself, others become unsure of you too.

You set the tone. Don’t worry about what others think about your answer. If you’re putting it forth with grace your part is done.

Practice. Ask yourself hard questions that you know the answer to, then answer them confidently. That way, the next time someone asks you a hard yes or no question you can confidently say yes.


A Personal Eulogy To Live By

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

John Singleton died yesterday at the age of 51. I’ll be 51 in 5 months. So, it got me thinking about my personal eulogy.

Merriam-Webster defines a eulogy as two things:

  1. a commendatory oration or writing especially in honor of one deceased
  2. high praise

When someone dies we take time to think about their lives, we’ll go out of our way to attend their funeral and we send flowers as a show of love. We’ll always celebrate someone when they’re gone. Reflecting on their lives, their contributions to society and how they’ve personally touched our lives.

Sometimes, we forget to give them accolades while they live, only to regret it once they’ve passed.

What if…

We spent time in “high praise” of special people in our lives while they lived.

We wrote a personal eulogy as a blueprint for living.

Celebrating life milestones was more of a priority than getting to a funeral.

I’ve heard beautiful and very personal eulogy deliveries in my time, but it always gives me pause. Did we give this high praise the person while they were alive and had the chance to enjoy it?

What if we loved ourselves more?

Did we send them flowers while they were around to smell them?

Two things…

So I’ve decided two things:

  • I’m writing my own personal eulogy. What I’d like for those left behind to say about me when I’m gone. Giving me a blueprint for how I want to live and what I want to contribute;
  • I’m sending flowers (acts of kindness) at random to people in my life to say “I see you, I love you, I’m thinking of you” because I want them to know now…

While they can still smell the flowers.