Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Uncharted Waters

Today's Meditation:

I often use how I think I may feel in ten years as a guide. If I have an opportunity to do something new and different, will I regret not having done it? Will I regret having played it safe and not having taken a risk? And on my deathbed (assuming there will be such a thing) will I regret not having done the new and exciting and different and having settled for the safe and convenient?

A few years ago I weighed thirty pounds more than I do now. When I thought of how I would feel twenty years later, I realized that I would be facing many more health problems due to being overweight than I would if I weren't overweight, so I lost the extra pounds. It took about eighteen months to get where I wanted, but now that I'm there, I stay there. I would have been very disappointed in the future if I hadn't lost that weight, and now I won't face that disappointment in the years to come.

We had a friend in New England who wants desperately to move to a warmer climate, but who isn't willing to take the chance. . . . yet. We hope she will someday. But because she won't take that chance, she'll never know what she's missing by not living out her dream, by playing it safe in her comfortable job in her comfortable home. I have nothing against comfort, but it sure can hold us back and hold us down when we fear losing it.

I don't want to face disappointment later in life because I was afraid to take a chance and sail into uncharted waters. As I sail into those waters, I can add much more learning to my life, many more experiences that wouldn't be there otherwise. And those experiences can help me grow into a new person, one who is able to deal effectively with many more situations than the old one.

Questions to consider:

Are you willing to take chances, or do you keep your ship in port?

What kinds of disappointments might you face in twenty years? What can you do now to avoid them?

What kinds of decisions are you facing now that may mean that you'll have to take some risks?
For further thought:

A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.

I guess that I have always made the choice to sail into uncharted waters. many of the decisions that I have made, in my life, have have come across as unusual, risky and sometimes cavalier. Like the meditation states I have added SO much more to my lifetime learning by not being the "safe boat in the harbor".

Yes, there were many, many times when I was afraid of facing disappointment, but I knew deep within that if I chose the safe route then I might not grow and learn. It always feels comfortable to take the safe route. We are always more comfortable sticking to the same ground that we have always covered. It is always much nicer to not have to map out new roads, but those same old trails can often become stale and quite boring. I also feel like you stop growing when you follow those same well trod paths.

When I stop and think of all the people that I have met because of the diverging paths that I have taken...well, it makes me smile. Had I never taken a chance or risked anything I might have a very safe, but very mediocre life. Not the kind of life seems worth living.

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