“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T.S. Eliot
Everyone reaches a point in life where they achieve a certain amount of comfort with their existence. Surroundings are familiar. The people we interact with are trusted confidants, or at the very least known variables. Everything is as it should be. However, too much comfort is a dangerous thing. We become complacent. Unwilling to try new things or attempt risky maneuvers (like listing lazily to the left ). It is with this mind, I embark upon a journey into the uncomfortable. My own personal risk experiment, if you will. Over the next month I will intentionally push myself out of the nice comfort bubble I currently reside in. In honor of this epic endeavor, I feel it is only fitting to discuss why stepping outside of the security of complacency is important to our development as human beings.
Too much routine is boring. Doing the same thing day in and day out gets old after a while. Don’t believe me. Ask anyone who has recently ended a serious relationship one of the reasons things did not work out and you are likely to hear something along the lines of “we fell into a rut.” The things about forever playing it safe, is if you stick to familiar habits, over time they lose their luster. Its why songs go from super catchy to super annoying. Why companies like Apple continue to release new versions of their products. Constant consistency leads to boredom and boredom leads to an overall dissatisfaction with life.
We learn nothing by avoiding risk. If we limit ourselves to what we are good at or feel safe doing we are unlikely to try new thing. If we do not try new things we are unlikely to expose ourselves to experiences that challenge our common held beliefs and ideas of what can be accomplished in life. Take Luke Skywalker for example, had he followed through with his refusal to follow Obi Wan Kenobi to Alderaan, he never would have recognized his potential to destroy the empire and restore balance to the force. Simply put, we have to step outside of our routine in order to recognize what we are truly capable of.
Life will leave us behind if we refuse to live it. One can survive by avoiding the unknown. It is possible to eke out a fairly content life by doing what is easy. However, life is too short to settle for the bare minimum. As we get older time continues its fast march to an ultimate conclusion. In order, to combat this unavoidable sense we are rushing down a river with no control over where we end up, it is vital we take a leap into the deep end. We can get to the end of the road wishing things had gone differently, or knowing that life was a crazy ride with no regrets. The choice is ours.
As I embark on my proverbial quest to Mordor, I think its important to recognize why such a journey is necessary in everyone’s life from time to time. Letting the fear of the unknown prevent us from experiencing the full passion of life is simply unacceptable. We must not languish in ignorance merely because it lies upon an effortless path. Lest we wake up one day wondering why we never traveled down the rabbit hole and the adventure it promised. With that it mind, let the grand experiment begin.