There’s nothing predictable about our journey here, and we’re not well-served living with anything less than our complete passion and intensity. I believe a true journey is an adventure defined by the lack of a clear destination. Or not knowing exactly where you are going or how to get there. Or that your success is not guaranteed. A potential outcome is that you won’t ever come back. In short, embarking on a journey is to embark on an adventure where you have nothing to lose, so you might as well play all out.
When you have nothing to lose, you’ll take more risks.
During the Cold War, people lived knowing that just a few nuclear bomb detonations could start a nuclear winter. This would effectively end society as we know it. During this time, people took more risks. Anyone who is familiar with the year 1969 can attest—a lot of crazy shit happened then.
Faced with uncompromising options, people had the confidence to tackle their fears head on and make a stand for what they believed in. They took chances because the risk it wouldn’t work out was more acceptable than living a life in fear and bondage.
Today is not much different than our recent past. As most historians will affirm, humanity moves in cycles. We repeat old patterns and make mistakes in new, slightly more interesting ways (in the most optimistic sense). We also find new philosophies to live by and to express our wondrous, creative, human potential.
This is really the breakthrough of modern society. Not all our technological advances, not all our forays into new, more dangerous ‘final’ frontiers, both physically and subjectively. Our breakthrough is that we’re still living in a universe filled with incredible beauty and abominable pain—two vastly different experiences, a paradox not to be resolved.
“After all, perhaps the greatness of art lies in the perpetual tension between beauty and pain, the love of men and the madness of creation, unbearable solitude and the exhausting crowd, rejection and consent.” ~ Albert Camus
Art is an expression of what we’re experiencing emotionally and helps us to convey our inner world. What Camus is identifying in the above quote via art is what also he identifies in humanity.
So, you’re probably asking, what am I to do with this, Matt? Well, I’m encouraging you to take more risks. Find more beauty. Discover the tension between your beauty and your pain. Take time off to feel, to be. Discover what you’d do with no screens in front of you for a few hours. What are you passionate about when you don’t have life breathing down your neck? Who ARE you anyway? And I don’t mean, what do you DO, for work, or even in life. What turns you ON?
So let fear go. Taking one afternoon to do life completely differently isn’t going to make or break you, but the possibility of what you discover just might.