Life lived looking up…

“We’re all so focused upon looking down to make sure that we don’t step on some ice and slip that we miss what’s going on around us.” – heard on a newscast recently.

Even those who are totally focused upon the task of not slipping will occasionally hit a patch of ice that was hidden and slip anyway.  Do you go through life constantly
dispairlooking down to avoid the danger of slipping and falling? Many people focus too much on trying not to slip or fail, so they miss what’s going on around them.

It is all too easy I life to get completely focused upon not slipping – not making mistakes. When that happens we take no chances, because those chances represent the danger that we will slip and fall. We no longer think about getting back up if that happens, we are consumed by making sure that it doesn’t happen. We are essentially paralyzed by the fear of falling (the fear of failure).

It is important, therefore; that we do not let ourselves become so risk averse that we
turtle stop living life and just end up existing in a safe, boring cocoon. Each risk not taken represents a potential reward not earned, a new friend not made, a promotion or raise not awarded a new feeling of accomplishment not realized. There is safety in not taking rises, but there is a boring sameness to live lived in that manner, too.

So, raise you head and look around. See the opportunities and the risks that are all about. Maybe you need to start with something that only has a small risk, something that may not hurt you all that much, should you slip and fall. Maybe that is just proudintroducing yourself to someone new, in hopes that you might forge a new friendship. Maybe it’s taking on new tasks at work or a new project as leader, in the hope that a good outcome will bring some recognition or rewards. Perhaps it is taking the risk to go serve food in a soup kitchen in a part of town that you would normally avoid. You know that this will make you feel better and it really isn’t likely to get you harmed.

Almost every time that I have forced myself outside of my normal comfort zone to do things like mentioned above, I have ended up enjoying it and asking myself why I didn’t do it earlier. As I looked back at the fears that had kept me focused upon my feet I realized just how unfounded and stupid they were or how selfish and self-centered the resistance to trying those things had been.  I realized, too, how often had I ended up doing nothing; because I was afraid that I would miss something even more fun to do. It’s funny how many weekend nights were spent waiting for those “fun things to dreamsdo” calls that never came.

The bottom line in life is that you will slip and fall from time to time. The important thing is to get back up when you fall, dust yourself off and go on living. Don’t become so afraid of falling (failures) that you spend your life starting at your own feet, trying to avoid the slick spots, instead of looking around you for new adventure and new people to meet.  Raise your head and enjoy life!

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