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Life Isn't Safe

We all die. We all get hurt, make mistakes, and experience pain that seems impossible to overcome. Life isn’t safe, but a life spent trying to avoid all risk and discomfort is the best way to avoid living at all.

It’s true that some risks are not worth taking, but most risks will mean the difference between living a life on repeat and creating a life forged in sweat, on the steps to a breathtaking summit.

So believe in something impossible. Dream. Search for meaning in your actions. Apologize and forgive. Find harmony in moving forward. Risk. Take action. Do something worthy of your own admiration. But most of all, love, and embrace who you are.

Life is short, and it’s fragile, but it’s worth it.

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  1. It’s interesting to me: We know intrinsically that what you wrote is true, yet it seems to elude many of us unless it’s brought to the conscious. That might mean powering through a fear, forcing a change in behavior rooted in “bad” habits, and deliberately taking a different path — just for kicks. As a guy who in his younger years took such “bravery” in stride, I find that as I get older (I’m now 50), those fears that one didn’t conquer as a younger man seem to be magnified. It’s perhaps the wherewithal to break the habits and power through them that is, at least for me, the toughest part.

    • I read somewhere in the past year that we should do all the crazy stuff when we’re young because the older we get the more afraid of taking risks we will become. I’m still young, but having turned 30 this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about that point.

      Up until now, it seems the older I’ve gotten the less afraid I’ve become. However, I do feel my sense of adventure — my need to ‘see’ and ‘do’ — ever so slowly fading. Will I really be less likely to take risks the older I get?

      I do wonder if it has less to do with breaking habits and more to do with an appreciation for life itself, or if it has to do with acceptance and hard-headedness. If we maintain a childlike sense of curiosity and an open mind, doesn’t our age just become a source of experience, a well of wisdom from which we can take action?

      For me at least, maintaining a constant awareness of my physical mortality has given me the strength and motivation to continue not taking things for granted and to maintain the motivation necessary to continue releasing the ever-increasing weight of closed mindedness.

  2. Through Tao we’ve come to understand that the softest triumphs over the hardest. That’s why, may be, the frailty of our momentary existence reminds us of our true being, connects us to the impermanence of life.

    And risk is part of that softness. We’re soft that’s why it’s risky to touch, connect, extend hands, sweat out for tilling the soil and to create. And it’s risky too, not to do anything and let our life slip away into the grave with the music still in us.

    But the riskiest I think is living our life and not risking our existence to stoop down and lift the human race a little bit higher.

    Thanks for your write-up. I am fascinated!

    with gratitude,
    Sayantan

    • …the frailty of our momentary existence reminds us of our true being…

      Fascinating and deep thought, Sayantan.

      I believe that the riskiest of all is not risking living, not risking exploring our existence. That’s why I’m such an advocate for believing in your dreams, in working towards goals that you know in your heart you need to work towards. No matter how challenging, they’re worth it. That doesn’t mean that our dreams and goals will not change — they very well might. But unless we start walking, unless we begin the journey, the journey will never begin.

  3. I just came across this site. And I will definitely keep coming back!

    Over the last few months, I have changed my life completely. I left a job which had the potential to enable me to have earned enough money by age 30 to live well for the rest of my life. I left a country that I had become used to for 7 years – a country I went to for my undergraduate studies. I have moved from the field I spent 7 years studying to get into. And moved to a culture which is so different to the one I had become so used to.

    To many, these are all massive risks. In fact, my immediate family thought I was crazy when I decided to to take the plunge. Although I have just started on this new path, I have realized something very important. A risk only remains a risk until you actually take it – once you jump, something inside of you will ensure that you stay afloat, and if you persevere, you will swim to the most beautiful places and experience things you didn’t think you would in your wildest dreams.

    Keep risking and never settle,
    Ryan

    • Ryan,

      Thanks so much for adding your thoughts and your story here.

      What you said about risk only remaining a risk until you actually take it is so true. We all have a natural instinct to survive, to adapt to whatever circumstances we’re faced with. But unless we actually put ourselves in the position that requires adaptation, we will never adapt. To discover those fresh pastures, new fields, and hidden paradises, we need to push ourselves into the unknown.

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