Adventure is all around us, but the courage to go out on them is not.
New adventures means willing to look like a fool and having people make fun of us, because we’re doing things for the first time and voluntarily introducing stress into our lives. Who would want any of that?
Yet, adventure is the very thing we crave when we become accustomed to the monotonous repetition of our daily lives. On the other hand, those of us who live a life of frequent stimulation and movement fantasize about having a simple, predictable life that can be more easily managed and anticipated; because eventually, we become tired of searching for that next new thing, relationship or place.
The world is only as vast as our mind can envision. If we are prisoners of the past and future, we will seldom be allowed to exist in the present. We will always search to recreate nostalgia, or we will continue to move our anxieties into a future where we imagine a “better tomorrow.”
The real courage is to be here and now, to not compare ourselves to others; that way, we can achieve a level of freedom that others only dream about. To achieve that freedom, we must be willing to be misunderstood by the people we love who are prisoners to the opinions of others.
Their limitations are their own, we can only inspire others by achieving our own freedom.
Whenever we revisit the past, we must make sure to enjoy the good moments as much as we scrutinize our bad moments. It’s easy to spend time scrutinizing every mistake you’ve ever made – who else besides us knows every mistake we’ve ever made? But for some reason, it’s so easy to forget the things we do correctly: the good decisions. The decisions where present-day you would be proud of younger you for making that choice. Most of us (when invited) would easily celebrate the victory of a good friend or someone else we care about, but why do we forget to celebrate our victories as greatly as we scrutinize our pain? Perhaps we’ve contlditioned to look for the faults in others, instead of improving ourselves, because the former is much easier than the latter – judging others is easy, yet changing ourselves requires a lot of failure, pain and introspection. Is there a painless way to learn? No. Pain is an integral part of the human experience. Suffering however is optional. What we choose to do with the pain is what ultimately transforms us into the person we want to become. We’ve learned to become who we are from the pain of our mistakes. Pain is guaranteed, but suffering is optional.
One of the things that many of us have in common is a past we cannot change. We’ve often heard many life coaches and motivational speakers talk about continuing to work on the present and moving forward, that we should keep the past behind us. As appealing as this advice may be, I feel that ignoring an important part of ourselves isn’t really complete advice. Ultimately at the end of the day when we are by ourselves and we become introspective, where does our mind go? Often to the past.
Since the past isn’t something we can change, it’s important that we look at it from different perspectives. Just like with people and situations in our lives, if we can’t change them, it’s important to change our perspective. As I sit here, I think about all of failures I’ve had in the past. For some, reflecting on things that’ve gone wrong might be debilitating and discouraging. But with the right perspective, it can be liberating. Each time we’ve failed at something, it means we’ve displayed courage and took a risk. And most importantly that we’ve survived.
We fell down seven times, but something made us stand up an eighth time. What was your reason for continuing to keep trying? And can we cultivate that into a passion that keeps us interested in life?