Voyage from Safety to Sanity

We all know someone who has taken major risks. We applaud them when they achieve what they’d envisioned. But what about the others? What happens to the people who take chances, exposing themselves to ridicule or failure and end up being laughed at and feeling like they’ve failed? They succeed too. Only without the praise.

The average person wants to feel safe and comfortable. After all, being uncomfortable is, well, uncomfortable! But it’s required when taking risks. If you want to see a big change in your life, expect to feel uneasy. People may think you’re odd or even crazy to bring that on yourself. Being “sane” is to think and behave in a normal manner; to do what most people do. Stepping away from that must be insane!

Risk-takers, then, must be a little crazy. If you’re willing to suppress the urge to be comfortable, you could be a crazy risk-taker too. What would happen if you woke up one day and decided not to do that thing you “have to do”? Allowing yourself to even contemplate this option is extraordinary in of itself. If you don’t know where to start, look around. Often the people around you act as catalysts.

When I was getting a divorce after 27 years, many people were shocked. Others were sad. But some, much to their own surprise, ended up filing for divorce. When I remarried years later, friends told me the sudden and joyful event prompted radical changes in their own relationships. Why does this happen? Because everything you do in life affects everything and everyone around you in some way. Being unconventional encourages others to evaluate their own tendency to embrace status quo. So even if you don’t accomplish what you’d hoped for, you can help others shift in positive ways.

This brings us to one last question: Is playing it safe okay? Sometimes, but not always. Crazy, colorful, out-of-the-ordinary days are invigorating. Maybe they can create a kind of new normal. Try it. Plan a voyage from safety to sanity. It will be uncomfortable and you won’t always end up where you expected, but you can find solace in knowing that there will always be someone catching a ride on your wake.

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