Ep #192: The No Regrets Impossible Game

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | The No Regrets Impossible Game

Diamonds, when you’re looking at the second half of your life, what do you want to devote your time to? What do you want your legacy to be? When you’re 98, sitting in a rocking chair and looking back at your life, what will you regret not doing?

I recently had a conversation with my daughter about pursuing something that seemed impossible to her. She was hesitant to try something stressful, and I reminded her that the worst outcome would leave her no worse off, while success could make a dream of hers come true. This advice applies to you too, Diamonds, as you take on impossible goals in the second half of your life.

Tune in this week to learn about setting and pursuing your impossible goals, and living a no-regrets life. We’ll talk about strategies for overcoming self-doubt, dealing with societal expectations, and the importance of persistence. Whether it’s a career aspiration, a personal dream, or something else entirely, this episode is about finding the courage to take the plunge and commit fully.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • How to shift your mindset to embrace a ‘no regrets’ approach to life and goals.
  • The importance of focusing on the process and the journey rather than the outcome.
  • Practical strategies for researching and committing to new aspirations, even when they seem daunting.
  • How to take bold actions towards your dreams, regardless of what point you’re at in your life.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright, episode 192.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds. It’s Dr. Sonia here. It’s you and me and early in the morning and life in general, my favorite, favorite time to talk to you. And I decided I was going to take a break from the arcana and from the tarot cards to talk to you about a concept that I really love.

I have been reading a book that I read years and years ago, and it has definitely influenced my life. It’s called The Last Word on Power by Tracy Goss. It’s this book written back in the 1990s, but it’s a really interesting book. Some people hate it and some people love it. For me, I tend to love it. And it talks a lot about creating your impossible life, winning at your impossible goal. She calls it an impossible game.

And as I’ve been reading this and going through just the trials and tribulations of being a parent, I was talking to my daughter just a couple of days ago. And there’s something that she really, really, really wanted to do, but then she decided that she was going to chicken out because it was a little stressful and she was scared. And we were having a discussion about this.

And I was talking to her about my concept of a no regrets life and what’s the worst that can happen if you try something and you fail? You’ll probably be no worse off than you are right now. But if you try something and succeed, that’s where dreams come true. That’s where anything that’s worth doing has this element where you’re going to be afraid to do it at a certain point. And if you choose to do it and it works out, that is fantastic.

And if you choose to try to do it and it doesn’t necessarily work out, then you kind of may feel one kind of way about it. But at the same time what you don’t have is this feeling of regret, I should have tried to do that, I should have tried, I wonder what life would have been. That takes up more of your brain space than just I tried, it didn’t work out, was not for me. Boom. You tried something, it either worked or it didn’t work but you have an answer. You’re not left with this question where you’re wondering constantly should I have done this? Would this have been better for me? That type of thing.

So, I was talking about it. Ultimately, she decided that she wasn’t going to do that. But at the same time, there’s been other times in her life where she has taken a step and we were talking about that as well. And she came to me last year and she told me her dream was to be a cheerleader but at 11 years, she thought it was too late for her.

And I did some research, some Google research, and found out there’s lots of people that started in their teen years to be cheerleaders. So, we found a program near us. It was a half year program and we enrolled her in it. And she didn’t have any other tumbling moves but she is so committed. She is locked in. And she is focused and that’s what she wants to do, basically for the rest of her life. She’ll probably do some other things too, but you could see her passion.

If you have a passion, Diamonds, then you get to do this. You get to figure out what you want to do, what is your impossible goal or impossible game and you get to go for it. So going back to Tracy Goss and The Last Word on Power, I wanted to talk to you a little bit today. Today, maybe a little bit more about your life in general and less about sex but everything I talk about applies in the bedroom. So, if you’re going to go for your impossible goal out in the world, go for your impossible goal in the bedroom as well.

But the goal is to have, as far as I’m concerned, a no regrets life. It’s not necessarily to have succeeded at everything, because that usually doesn’t happen, and that may not be the best path for you. But at least to have tried, to have put your foot out there, Brené Brown says, to get in the arena, to get in there and do something. That’s, I think, the most important thing.

So, Diamonds, this morning I’m asking you, what is it, something that you’ve wanted to do, wanted to have, wanted to be, but you’re not all in? That you’re standing outside the arena looking down, wondering what it would be like to get in there. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be wonderful all the time. I’m putting a disclaimer out there right now. It may not be wonderful all the time. There’s plenty of angst and worry and anxiety and all sorts of things that goes into doing something that’s kind of an impossible game or impossible goal, but it’s still worth doing.

So, I wrote down some notes from The Last Word on Power about the game itself. So basically, what you do is you decide there’s something that you would love to do that seems impossible and you go for it anyway. And so, she calls it the impossible game. And these are some notes that I wrote down about the game. It’s a game that compels you to enter a realm that you currently think is impossible or something that’s not possible. And I’m going to talk about the game.

And then I’m going to reflect on some of the things that have happened in my life that made me realize, at the time I thought they were impossible when I first started thinking about it but now they’re possible. And I think as we go through this, that each one of you will think of something that you thought was impossible, but you’re actually doing right at this moment.

So, she also goes on to say it’s something that’s fun to play, something that’s fun to do. So, something that you think that’s impossible to accomplish but still fun to do. It’s something that you choose to do because it is intrinsically enjoyable. It’s something that you’re willing to devote hours of practice and strategy, so you’re going to have to work hard at. Is there something that you want to do so badly that you’re willing to devote hours to doing this? Not necessarily to thinking about it, but to actually taking action and doing something.

And it’s something that you choose to do for pleasure and the thrill and the excitement of just doing it. So, we don’t focus as much on the outcome of the game, but it’s the game, the process. And here’s some other questions that she has. What game or what is worth doing where it could be the focus of your life? So, something that’s worth doing that you want to make the focus of your life. What would you like to devote hours of your day to whether you win or lose at it? So, these are the questions to ask yourself.

And some of the things that I decided that I wanted, when I chose to do them, and sometimes I didn’t even choose because I put the first thing on the list. And so, I asked myself, how many impossible games have you won so far in your life? That’s interesting because I said one as opposed to have you attempted, because there’ll probably be even more that I attempted. But I was just listing out the things, what is it that you have set an impossible goal or decided on an impossible process or outcome, but still chose to do anyway? And sometimes I didn’t even choose it.

The first thing I put on my list was the game of life and being born. I mean right there, millions, billions of odds to make you, for your mom’s egg and your dad’s sperm to come together and make you. That is pretty amazing. So right there, the most impossible game of all has already been won just by you being born into this world, so congratulations. I mean that one I think has the highest odds and you made it. So right now, just because you’re breathing, you’re winning and you won an impossible goal. You did something or your parents did something that was pretty amazing and created you.

So, this one is kind of interesting, but I wanted the game of not believing and sometimes I’m still working on it. But overall, not believing what society may have said about being a woman in this world and what you can and cannot accomplish. Being a person of color in this world and what you can and cannot accomplish. Being a person with learning differences and what you can and cannot accomplish in this world. So, there’s definitely been a lot of messages that I have received.

Even the fact that I’m not even five foot. There’s so many messages that I have received in my life that I’m not necessarily valuable or as valuable as somebody else, or I’m not worth investing time and effort in. And yet here I am, here I am on a podcast talking to you because I did the work and decided that it’s something that I was going to do, even if other people didn’t necessarily believe in me. And sometimes I didn’t necessarily believe in myself.

So, Diamonds as you think about that, recognize that you’re winning at the game, the majority of my Diamonds do identify as female. So right there, there’s gender inequality. I’m not certain how many of my Diamonds are people of color and how many of my Diamonds have had to deal with, I mean, just socioeconomically. That’s another area where we’re given messages, if we grow up poor that we can’t necessarily amount to much.

So, all of you listening to this podcast have already won that game in some way. I’m not quite sure, there’s different things that I haven’t even mentioned that you’ve had to overcome. We’ve all had pain in our lives and yet here we are today, we’re winning at that game as well.

Also, I listed down the impossible game that I won of getting a full scholarship to Stanford University. Now, I grew up in a really small town in Massachusetts. And I mean, how does this girl from this working class town, pretty poor off in Massachusetts, end up going to California to Stanford University? That was one of those impossible goals. And yet something in me had to say at 17 years of age, I’m going to apply. What’s the worst that can happen?

And that game was won because I started in my freshman and sophomore year of high school, looking at every book on how to apply to college because nobody actually helped me apply to college. I basically every weekend, any chance that I could, I was in a bookstore. There used to be a bookstore at the Natick Mall, I grew up in Massachusetts, called Crown Books. And I used to be in the back of that bookstore on one of those little step up stools reading about how to get into college hour after hour after hour, trying to figure that out.

For me as a poor Black immigrant kid, that was an amazing game to play and it played out over three years. I didn’t even know what the SATs were. I didn’t really study for them. I didn’t know that you were supposed to study for them. I didn’t have really any idea. But all these things lined up and that game happened and I ended up going to Stanford University. And I remember the first day being in the car.

We couldn’t even really afford the taxi ride from the airport to Stanford University. I remember that was $30 or something. It was an outrageous amount of money that we really couldn’t afford. But if we paid for that, we weren’t going to be eating that much. But we made it. We figured it out. Thank you, mom, I appreciate that. But yeah, it happened. And that was an amazing game. That was one that I never would have thought would happen. And thank you, Stanford University, for giving me an opportunity, but I also created that opportunity.

So that’s what the impossible game is. So, already I know a lot of you have won at that impossible game. I also wrote down that I went back to England and I lived in England for about a year. I was born in England, but my family immigrated to Canada and then the States and so I was pretty young when I left. And I was wondering, what would life be like if I had lived in England? So, I went back a bazillion years ago, back in the 90s and I lived there for over a year and I loved it there but I decided that I would come home to the United States because I had lived most of my life in the United States.

It’s basically when you have an impossible dream or a goal, there is this tiny, tiny little seed of a thought that happens and then it grows. And when that seed is planted it just seems so impossible, that there’s no way that this could ever happen at all to you or anybody else. And we keep getting these seeds. It’s not like we have seeds when we’re young and we never have seeds again, I’m going to jump ahead. There’s others in between, but actually getting into medical school at 32, this was back in 1998 when at 32, I was the second oldest medical student, now it’s different.

But at that time, I was the second oldest medical student in my class of about 150, I think there were of us. And I mean, it was a big gap between me and the next person. There was one person that was older than me. Hey, Linda, shout out to you, I love you. And she is amazing. And she started at 40. She’s really an amazing woman. But starting at 38 in medical school, 10 years after the average student. There’s so many people that told me it could not be done. And still I had that little seed that I planted and I watered and I kept doing the things.

And it answers the question, what’s worth doing even if you don’t succeed at it? I might not have succeeded at it. I might not have gotten into medical school, but at least I would have had an answer. I just didn’t want to question and wonder for the majority of my life. And I just remember thinking, well, I’ll graduate if I do this process. I made this decision in 1994, four years before I actually entered medical school.

And I remember thinking, this is crazy to do. I’ll be just about close to 40 when I’m finished with medical school. And I remember thinking I could be 40 with an MD degree or I could just be 40. Either way, I’m going to be 40, so go for it. Diamonds, what is it that’s in your heart that you want to do? Do you want to switch careers? You get to have dreams in midlife. We don’t stop having dreams.

So, we’re in my 30s at this point in time. And I originally went into medical school to be a family practice doctor. And while I was in medical school, I fell in love with radiology. At that time, and most of the time, radiology is one of the very top things to get into in terms of a residency and it’s very hard to get into it. And at that time, I was 38 years old. And once again people told me, “You’re 38.” And I also had a child by this time. And they said, “You’re 38 and you have a baby. You’re not going to get accepted into a radiology program. It’s the top program in the country to get accepted into.”

And I remember thinking, I don’t want regrets. I’m fine if I don’t get in, I will sort it out but if I never tried and this is what I really love doing. I did eventually get, I think, 11 interviews. I applied across the country and I got 11 interviews. And I remember going to one interview and at the top of the form they had written 38, it was upside down, but it’s facing them. And they had circled it, this woman is 38 years old. How does she think she’s going to get into a residency program? But once again I just went 100% in and I focused and I did what I needed to do.

And I matched at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and that was a fabulous experience. I don’t think I could have gotten better training anywhere else. So, shout out to Mayo, thank you so much. But once again, a lot of people told me, in fact, I remember my advisor at the time telling me not even to apply to the medical school that I had gone to or just go ahead and apply, but the odds are I would not get in for the residency program. So definitely I got some advice, hey, you’re a great person, but this is not going to happen to you, and yet it still happened.

And if I was rejected, I appealed, I went all in. When you decide to do something, decide to go all in. I had my first child at 32. After I finished residency, I realized I still wanted another child. I went through infertility treatment for almost three years, and I actually did get pregnant. I lost that baby, unfortunately. But that was another impossible goal that people told me it was not possible and yet still it was possible.

And I decided that I had always wanted to adopt a child, so I decided that I would fill out my paperwork while I was in the process of grieving the loss. And they also told me that the odds were that it’s going to take longer for me to match. And the amazing thing was, I finished all my paperwork and the house evaluation and everything that needs to happen. And a week later I got a call that a baby had just been born and would I consider the baby? I was like, “Are you kidding me?” And I saw one picture of her and my heart melted and I knew that this was the baby I was supposed to have all the way along.

So sometimes your impossible goal, the dreams, it doesn’t work out how you think it’s going to work. You have plans and then the game goes the way the game is going to go. But every day, I know that this child is the child I was meant to have, so many blessings. So, when you do this game, understand that the game may change. The goal might change, but the important aspect is that it be worth doing and that it’s something that you want to devote your life to.

I want to devote my life to being a parent. And I’m so blessed because I’m actually a parent to four children. And when I was in a place where I was a parent to just one and wanting another, I never would have thought that three more were coming my way. So sometimes the amazing game is so amazing and you have no idea what life is going to bring you. So, Diamonds, what is your amazing game? What is it that you would like to devote your life to that’s worth doing whether or not it happens?

I can jump to the year I decided that I was going to do life coaching because I wanted to make a difference in physicians’ lives. We have a lot of physicians that were struggling with burnout and with actually suicide and substance abuse. And we didn’t have a lot of places to turn where there wouldn’t be a lot of records in our professional charts and things like that. And so, as a life coach, I’m able to do that work as a physician life coach, which is something I still do to this day.

I love doing my sex coaching but also, I am a physician life coach. And most of my private clients fall under this area. Yeah, that’s something I decided to do, that I wanted to make a difference. And as I was sitting there with so many other physicians burning out, I was like, “We need to make a difference. We need to start this earlier.”

And I was mentoring a number of pre-med and med students and I was like, “What can I do? What skills could I give them so that they are not 10 or 15 years from now burnt out and miserable.” Because I don’t want to kill off somebody’s dream and tell them not to go into medicine. But I need to help them by giving them the skills that they need to get through this process. So that was a game that I’m still playing, but I started it back in 2016. And I continue to get training as a life coach.

I’m a Master Certified life coach at this point in time, and it’s enriched my life in so many ways, and has helped me with just my thought process and just going for things. And then my life is so enriched because of the work I do as a life coach and the way I am as a living embodiment of the life coach work that I do, which doesn’t mean my life is perfect by any means. But it does mean that I’ve devoted to something that I think is important, to make a difference in my life and in other people’s lives.

So, then I added on the sexual counseling to the life coaching. And that’s an impossible game that I’m still working on as a midlife sex coach for women because the thought of women out there either having pain or not enjoying themselves or just wishing that it would get over and be done. That breaks my heart whenever I think that or whenever I hear one of my Diamonds tell me that that’s what they’re experiencing or they have guilt or shame around sex and sexuality.

That’s why I continue with this impossible goal, to improve the sex lives or positively impact the sex lives of over 100 million women because it’s worth doing. Will I do that in my lifetime? Who knows, but maybe there’ll be some time capsule somewhere. And the podcast from The Midlife Sex Coach for women will be found 100 years from now. And maybe people will listen again and maybe it’ll make a big difference. I just don’t know what the future holds and still it’s worth doing.

So, this is it, so many amazing things happen in life and all you need is a seed of faith and hope and belief and a willingness to try. That’s all you need, a willingness to be willing to devote your life to doing something, whatever that is. If it’s devoting your life to baking and making this world a better place by giving your baking treats to people. If it’s going and smiling to somebody in the shopping market every day and just adding a little joy, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Is it worth doing? That’s really the question. Is it worth something that you want to devote your life?

And I’ve asked you this question before, but I want you to go ahead to the point where you’re 98 years old and you might be sitting in a rocking chair, you might not be, but you might be sitting in a rocking chair. What is it, when you reflect on your life that you do not want to regret because you never tried? What is it that you want your life to mean? We’re in that second half of our life. What is it that you want your life to be about?

I want my life to be about being an amazing woman and mother and breaking any generational trauma stuff that’s out there. That is one of my top things, is to be there for my children and to give them as much love as I possibly can. So that I know that one day when I’m gone, the generations that follow, they will be loved by their children and their children and their children. And they may not know where that seed was planted but the fact that they’re living and they’re growing up without too much trauma in this world, those are kind of important things. And that’s what is worth me devoting my life to.

And that’s why being a parent is one of my top priorities and that’s why I took the sabbatical last year because I adopted a new child and we had to integrate her into our household, which she’s fabulous and amazing. And that was also an amazing outcome of that impossible goal when I adopted my first daughter because she’s the biological sister of my first daughter that I adopted. So, you don’t even know where this impossible game, this incredible goal is going to lead you, it’s the process, it’s not the outcome.

And I know that you’ve heard this again and again and again, we don’t necessarily control the outcome. When I started this process of fertility treatments back in, oh, goodness 2000 and something. What year was it? 2009, how would I have known that it would lead to the adoption of two children? I would not have. My concept of what I thought it was going to lead to and what it actually led to were two different things. So, it’s not necessarily about the outcome, it’s about the process.

So, Diamonds, I ask you again, when we’re looking at the second half of our lives, what is it that you want to devote your life to? What is it that you want to be your legacy? What is it that you’re willing to shoot your shot whether you make that basket or not? What is it that you’re willing to do because it’s worth doing intrinsically? And of course, I always say, have fun with it.

And as I sit here as a midlife sex coach for women, I am having a lot of fun with this. The women that I meet and I help, they are changing their lives. And if I can help them in some way, that’s what this is all about. And so, Diamonds, you get to choose that for yourself as well. Shoot your shot, go for it. Live a no regrets life. Go for it and play that amazing game. And if you so choose, read The Last Word on Power. That is a fun book. Alright, Diamonds, Dr. Sonia out. I love you all so much. Go for it.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast. If you enjoy Dr. Sonia’s fun and caring approach to sexual intimacy, head to soniawrightmd.com to learn more.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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