This is a serous question to comtemplate…so let me ask it again:
Do you Operate out of Love or out of Fear?
Most of the laws that are created are from the fear of something happening. For example, if you drive too fast, you are more likely to get into an accident and of course be more likely to be injured or killed. So, the seatbelt laws and the speed limits are set at 75mph on the freeways. This is the thought process for most laws and regulations, they operate on the premise of fear. And that is fine, for certain things. But if you operate in the same fashion, you are likely doing yourself a disservice.
Think about it, if you are always afraid of what might happen and operating in this mindset, you are limiting your beliefs, your opportunities and your life in general. If you are standing at the top of a waterslide and thinking how many different ways you might get hurt, you are not going to enjoy the ride to the bottom. I am a big believer in what you think about most will come to fruition. This means that is you dwell on the negative, you will get negative and of course if you dwell on the positive things, you will get more positive interactions. Are you someone who sits around worrying about what might happen? About every scenario that could come to fruition? If so, you are creating a downward spiral of negative energy, and in fact may be bringing things into reality.
I am a firm believer that you get what you focus on. If you are always as positive as possible, see the good within tough situations, and/or can look back and see for yourself that some of the “bad” things that happened that ended up becoming good things, then you are well on your way to achieving things that you wish for. If I would have focused on the possible negative things on a recent ten day fishing trip, I never would have gone. Things like the mileage on my vehicle, the weather not going perfect the whole time, a twelve hour drive on either end of the trip and many other less than desirable outcomes, I would have talked myself into staying home.
Instead, I looked forward to the time away, the time on the water, and most importantly time with my Dad, my cousin who I don’t see very often, and one of my best friends. If that turns out to be one of the last major trips my Dad ever gets to do, it will have turned out to have been a great way to close that chapter of his life. Because I went on this trip, I have banked memories and experiences that are priceless and irreplaceable. Yes, we got a flat tire at one point, and had to unload a bunch of stuff to get to the spare tire and jack. But it was 40 minutes total out of our trip. Yes, there were times when deer or elk were crossing the road, but I saw them in time and avoided any crashes. We did miss some time on the rivers due to rain (and lightning), but we got in a lot of time anyway. It was an amazing trip, and I am so glad I did it.
I struggle with worry at times, I get it from my Mom who got it from her mother. My grandmother used to call me after every racquetball tournament and fishing trip to make sure I made it home ok. I miss those calls, and I miss her a lot too. I have trepidation when it comes to doing things outside my comfort zone. I was horribly uncomfortable when my wife and I went on our honeymoon to Costa Rica. I don’t speak Spanish, we were staying with some people who I didn’t know, and we were headed into the tropical rainforest for a three day stay at a resort by a river. We did some (what turned out to be) very mild white water rafting to get there. I can swim, I had a life jacket on, and we had trained river guides with us and even so it was hard for me to relax and enjoy the moment. Eventually I did settle in, and it was a great trip downriver to the resort.
Once there, we had the best suite on the property all to ourselves and it was amazing. But I also discovered that I am more afraid of heights now than I was aware. At one point we had joined a group of about a dozen people to go ziplining, and the best way I could manage the fear I was experiencing was to look around at some of the others and tell myself “if they can do it, so can I.” The zipline part wasn’t so bad, it was being on the platform at each tree that we ziplined to that was freaking me out. The platform would vibrate and shake every time someone would arrive there, and it made me very nervous. On the first few platforms, we were probably one hundred feet above the ground, and I was highly uncomfortable. Despite being connected to lines on the tree itself, I was constantly worried I was going to fall to my death, or at least “Plinko” my way to Earth.
The river trip out did have some more rapids that were a little more intense, but I handled them okay. I saw a video of the river in peak run off season, and I would have been scared out of my mind to have my first ever river rafting trip start at such an intense level. But that wasn’t the case, and I did enjoy much of the downriver rafting we did. This portion of our trip was overall the best; we had a great time with each thing we did, but my favorite memories are from those three days. So imagine if I had given into my fears, sat on the sidelines and watched others have fun, my story would be quite different. I took the proverbial plunge, and I did things that were relatively safe and in controlled environments, but that stretched my comfort zone. And I am a better person for it, have great memories because of it and my wife doesn’t think I am a complete wuss for not joining her in those activities.
What I am saying is, sometimes you gotta just grab your junk and jump. As long as you are not in real, eminent danger, go for it. Stretch your comfort zone, don’t give into your insecurities and fears. This is where growth occurs. I am not signing up to go skydiving anytime soon, but I would go white water rafting in a heartbeat, and ziplining is definitely on the list of things I’d do again too. I am far more inclined to go to a foreign country now than before. It is still not a priority for me, but given the chance to experience something new in a far away land, I am in.
Break free of the mental prisons we all build for ourselves. Don’t stay stuck on the sidelines and miss out on great things because of what you think might happen. Be smart, of course, but be brave as well. Your heart, mind and soul will thank you later. Go out and grow…