“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skin in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
— Hunter S. Thompson
I fear coming to the end of my life disappointed by the risks I haven’t taken. This can't be unique to me. I would probably have to search really hard to find someone who hasn’t had this fear at some point in life. However, interestingly, I’m just as fearful of making the wrong decisions as I am of not taking risks. When they both go to battle, I usually end up doing nothing and sticking to the status quo. I stumbled across Hunter S. Thompson’s quote several weeks ago. After laughing at the imagery, I realized that he was pretty damn spot on with his assessment of life.
Life is about taking risks. I advise that those risks are calculated though. You can’t take Drake’s advice of “YOLO” (You only live once) and act the fool without realizing that for every action there is a reaction. To succeed in life is to understand that to get what you really want you have to step outside your comfort zone. Then, it is about knowing that stepping outside of your comfort zone may leave you lost, disoriented and with a figuratively broken leg. It is about creating an action plan to treat the possible broken leg and leaving trails of rice around so that find your way back to your path. It is definitely knowing that sometimes the possible consequences of stepping outside your comfort zone is to be preferred to failing to try. It sounds trite but what is the one thing you’d do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Are you taking steps to making that thing a reality or have you for some reason (perhaps the thought of failure) put it on the backburner.
I find that we (myself at the top of the list) spend so much time trying to be in control of life and to protect ourselves from disappointment that we forget that life is THE greatest adventure we will ever take part in. Hell, life is the ONLY adventure we get. It is a race with an unknown finish line. So… I dare you to embrace it as such. I want you to always believe in the magick of tomorrow even when things seem bleak. Take chances. Chase your dreams. Be wrong. Be right. Be indecisive sometimes. Be stubborn once you make up your mind. Then, as quickly as a dashing comet, change your mind again. I dare you to fall in love with someone totally unsuitable and lust after someone who will never love you back. Fall in love with someone amazing. Fall out of love. Cry long. Cry hard. Then, fall in love again. Drink too much. Drink too little. Discover Prosecco. Overdose on coffee. Kiss recklessly. Cuddle dangerously. Spread infectious optimism. SMILE. Breathe. Sing out of tune. Sing loudly. Dance to your own beat. For three minutes per day lock yourself in a room and be nothing but a mass of limbs and movement and happiness. Tell a stranger that they are “damn beautiful.” When you ask someone, “How are you doing?” mean it … actually listen to their response. Put yourself in another’s shoes… walk around, make yourself comfortable and then appreciate the shoes you already wear.
I dare you to skinny dip in the rain! Drink wine from the bottle with friends. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Make mistakes again for good measure. Laugh the type of laugh that erupts from your mouth like a volcano of bliss. Look at yourself in the mirror and recite your best pick up line. Go on, you’re worth it. Just LIVE. Live – wholly and breathlessly with the eagerness of a child untouched by the cynicism of Life. Rock on!