When we play everything safely, are we lengthening mediocre existence? Is adding days to our lives what is important? Should we be taking some chances and adding life to our days?
I suppose just by asking that question; I am exposing my bias. I believe we should step over the imaginary line every chance that we get. I am not suggesting skydiving but not ruling it out.
Every day, I am presented with opportunities, most of them free, that challenge my public circle of comfort. I meet new people who are trying new things when I go to places that aren’t my regular haunts. My views are stretched by reading authors and magazines that don’t fit my usual library. If I have the opportunity to walk alongside someone who I disagree with and ask lots of clarifying questions, I get to see the world from a different viewpoint.
On days that I don’t feel like riding my bike, I try to ride it 5 km further to see what is on the other side of my destination. If I am feeling rushed, I try to slow down and breathe more deeply. When I am anxious, I make space to step away rather than instinctively charge ahead.
I swing on swings and slide down slides whenever the opportunity appears. I play with children and ask questions of older strangers. I present ridiculously impossible queries to friends and colleagues and attempt to leave my preconditioned bias outside the discussion.
On frigid days or muggy summer afternoons, I agnostically spend time in the elements appreciating whatever is presented rather than surrendering to the inertia of excuses to stay inside.
Taking risks is about embracing a small unknown nugget and accepting what follows. When we do anything for the first time, we receive a little prospect of unexpected. I always feel something when my boundaries are poked. I am better for new experiences even when they don’t seem favorable.
Convenience and comfort are poor metrics for a life lived well. Limiting what we hear, say, do and who we live life with reduces the quality of our existence.
Disclaimer “Don’t ever, even as a joke, put your head in a lion’s mouth” but when you are presented with the prospect of seeing a lion, I recommend spending some time watching her behavior. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned.