Just by the advent of being alive, I am truly a fortunate man. The universe took a chance on me. I won the celestial lottery by being born. It must be the same for all human beings. If valid, why then do most of us refuse to take a chance on our own lives — our own worthy and excellent qualities, why not? This is because of a preconceived concept of safety. I want to live a life without any risk. I think it would be fair to say that everyone is risk-averse. None of us, consciously, wants to put ourselves in harm’s way.
That said, we often juxtapose this concept of security with the danger of inactivity when we think of developing our own life. The concomitant result, unfortunately, in many cases is an unfulfilled existence and, later, the bitterness we see associated with so, so many old people. But, this does not have to be. To prevent this consequence, one must act in one’s life and embrace and enhance the qualities that each of us commands. To access my potential, I must simply be a little bit brave.
As with any existent society, there is no true safety, neither financial nor psychological. When it comes to money, world history has shown us countless times that all our material wealth can be taken away — war, economic collapse, invasion — there are many examples in history. On the emotional side, this is also true. Our most cherished attachments may be expunged. We are deeply devoted to an individual, but he or she leaves us, finds another, or disappears. We are left with a hole that is extremely hard to fill. We are wounded.
The ultimate solution, I maintain, is to take a chance on yourself. Realize that the only true and permanent relationship is between you and God, Gaia, Jehovah, or the Cosmos — as you identify him. Accepting this truism allows you to take the thoughtful risks necessary to develop the beautiful you. Failure to do so can only lead to an unrequited life.
So then, push off into the great adventure that is your life — develop your own Monomyth. (1) We, of course, can never be foolish or naive, but great success awaits those who, figuratively, venture forth into the wilds of the unknown. And yes, there will be failure and yes, there will be pain. But from this person grows a personage never believed possible at the beginning of life — a totally different you. The great author and polemicist, Mark Twain (2) leaves us with a thought: The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
A closing thought: It is said that “life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” (3) Given the two options, I suppose we would have to go with the former as opposed to the latter. The Internet Age suggests that this is not always the case, however. Life for much of the Post-Millennial generation is extremely comfortable and virtually risk-free. History reminds us of the Edwardian Age. (4) Good times were had by all until that descent into the madness called the First World War. Life is fickle and change is inevitable. We must always be prepared for the future.
When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future …
Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful
than ten rulers in a city. (5)
To sum up: This week we spoke about taking a chance on yourself
To be noted: From Marcus Aurelius (6) — Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them
Just for fun:
This week, on your thoughtful stroll, please ask if you are taking a chance on your life.
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Don’t be a wage slave – critical thinking is great!
Quote: Be excited about your life — take a chance on you!