We wear many masks and fluff ourselves up with many props, but how’s that working for us? Nikki Giovanni notices:
A lot of people refuse to do things because they don’t want to go naked, don’t want to go without a guarantee. But that’s what’s got to happen. You go naked until you die.
What guarantees do we have in this life anyway? To health, to wealth, to job security, to happiness? Not so much. There really aren’t any guarantees to anything we do, and we delude ourselves to think otherwise. When we ‘go naked’ we engage from a place of authenticity, without the masks and props. We, our actual selves, enter into this thing called life.
J.K. Rowling notes:
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all– in which case, you fail by default.
This is it, our one shot, our one life, and we owe it to ourselves to go into it as ourselves and with gusto.
Have you ever used a pro-con list to make a major decision? On one side you list all the benefits of something; on the other, everything negative. We can do one on the advantages of following a well-trodden path:
- You will get to the destination where the path leads.
- You will be dealing with less wild and unpredictable terrain.
- Lots of people have taken this path.
- You are less likely to encounter surprises.
- See Pros listed above. They are also the Cons.
There are definite advantages to staying on a proven path. But what if taming the unpredictable terrain and charting your own path is what you are after? What if you don’t want to do things like everybody else? What if you’re not sure of your destination, but you’ll know it when you get there? What if you want to make your own way, mistakes and all?
There are times when following a well-trodden path is unwise, and, in fact, detrimental to your mental health. If you felt a tug in your heart considering the questions in the last paragraph, now may be one of those times. After all, someone had to start one of the paths in the beginning. Maybe now is the time to start a new path of your own.
How risk adverse are you? It’s only natural to want to protect ourselves from failure or danger, but should we? Isn’t pushing those boundaries where innovation happens, where new discoveries are made, where new friendships are forged?
Isn’t it in the picking ourselves up from failure and trying again, where we build strength and resilience?