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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


You expire on…

Sedruola Maruska | Leisure Life Coach

Every time we go food shopping we look at the “you expire on” date for our own safety, right? We find those dates helpful because they let us know the potential harm date of the food item.

About a year before my Dad retired his colleague retired. This man had plans to travel and spend time with family. But, about a month (I believe) after retiring, he had a heart attack and died.

I don’t know much more about him, but I do wonder: Did he take time to enjoy the journey?; If he knew he’d expire so soon after retirement, would he have enjoyed the journey more?

What if you knew the exact date you would, well, “you expire on….” What would you do differently? Why?

We all have expiration dates

We take this journey called life lightly. We live every day as if we’ll be here forever. Putting things off until “tomorrow”. Failing to do things we want to do now. Hoping tomorrow will be better. . . etc.

But we all have a “you expire on….” date. So, if you knew that date, what would you do differently? Why? Not why would you do it differently, but why aren’t you doing it now?

Why aren’t you:

  • planning that trip to your dream locale?
  • getting that degree?
  • opening up that practice?

I’m not immune. At 50 I’m finally waking up to the fact that I haven’t done many of the things I want to do. I could blame it on life itself. You know, bills, kids, jobs, taxes etc. But at the end of the day, I only have myself to blame.

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We know we’re going to expire, so why not maximize the days we have now? Find or create our dream careers. Travel. Rest. Be happy. Make a difference.

If we knew the “you expire on…” dates we had I think we’d all live differently. We’d value our time more. We’d spend our time more wisely. We might even have a greater impact in the world.

Maybe there’s something to living as if today were your last day. If you did, what would you let go? What would you focus on? What would you fight to have, give or do?

Just because you don’t know your expiration date doesn’t mean you don’t have one. You do. You expire on. . . what will you do before that date?