“Life can only be lived dangerously – there is no other way to live. It is only through danger that life attains to maturity, growth. One needs to be an adventurer, always ready to risk the known for the unknown.” Osho
I remember this day like it was yesterday, even though it was more than fifty five years ago. I told the photographer the light was bad, the sailor suit was cliché, and that we should ditch the teddy bear. But he just told me to shut up and sit still.
Looking back I can’t help but wonder if this was really me. I mean, I no longer have blond hair and I’m considerably taller. Is any of this person who I am now? Does this happy looking kid still exist in me somewhere? Basically, who the hell am I now at 59?
Sadhguru and many others have said that I am not the body or even the mind, which would make it very hard to choose clothes that fit. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, author of I Am That says that I am not the person I think I am.
But I think E. E. Cummings said it best: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Dammit.
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real but fear is a choice.” Cypher Raige
“Fish,” he said, “I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” Santiago, The Old Man and the Sea
Note: This man is not really old relatively speaking, and the sea is actually the Susquehanna River, but he seemed pretty determined to go fishing in such a dense fog. No guts no fish to gut I guess.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” Vincent van Gogh
“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.” Og Mandino
“One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world will be better for this.” Miguel de Cervantes
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated.
And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” Ted Hughes
Bhikkhu Bodhi, an American Theravada Buddhist monk wrote an article called The Search for Security on a website called Access to Insight. This is from the first paragraph:
“We only feel at ease when we are sealed off from manifest danger, comfortably at home with ourselves and with our world, snugly tucked into familiar territory where everything seems friendly and dependable.”
Probably the best perspective on this, as well as one of the most intelligent things anyone has ever said is by Helen Keller:
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
You cannot win, if you do not play.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “tomorrow is promised to no one,” quoted by many people including Clint Eastwood. I know it, you know it, and the Priest, the Rabbi, and the tiny pianist in the bar know it. But knowing and believing are two different things.
Simply put, there is a very limited amount of time to do the things that you really want to do, to take advantage of all the opportunities you get. Robin Sharma, a Canadian writer best known for The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari wrote:
“Each day, life will send you little windows of opportunity. Your destiny will ultimately be defined by how you respond to these windows of opportunity. Shrink from them and your life will be small, feel the fear and run to them anyway, and you life will be big. Life’s just too short to play little.”
So you gotta ask yourself one question, and its not do I feel lucky. The question is; do you have the balls to go for it, knowing that in reality there is really nothing to lose? Well, do ya, punk? Do I?