because I don’t want to ever wonder if I could have done something knowing I had the choice to actually do it. What a waste and a shame that would be.
We are rich in the sense that most of us do have a choice…we are physically and mentally capable to do meaningful things for ourselves. And in the course of doing these things we can also inspire others to do the same…to exercise the freedom of choice and as a result to experience a more meaningful life. Knowing I have this freedom, this opportunity, how could I choose not to? How I could I choose apathy...being poor…when I could be rich? Many people do. Many people squander the opportunity, mistaking momentary comfort for fulfillment. I feel obliged to do what I can to make sure they don’t.
But why then choose the extremes…in anything we do? Why choose so much discomfort, both physically and mentally? Because doing something uncomfortable helps you manage fear…specifically the fear of being uncomfortable. In other words, by experiencing it, you train yourself to handle it. And as a result you are less uncomfortable...less fearful of that place. After running your first marathon you’re no longer fearful of the unknown of what it’s going to be like. Same for getting the first chemotherapy treatment or falling off of your bicycle. Pushing yourself towards the uncomfortable is the only way to manage it…to overcome it.
But how do you get there? By first choosing to go. By nature we are explorers, wonderers and pioneers…we are curious. Can I do it? What will it be like? Is it really that hard? Is it really that easy? Will it bring me joy? Will I achieve my goals? Will I feel fulfilled? This innate curiosity is what makes the journey of life so interesting. And it often leads you to the unexpected…both good and bad. Of course, often the seemingly bad ends up being good…in the long-run. The point is to start the journey and to surprise yourself by choosing uncharted waters. Then you’ll see what you’re capable of.
The journey, the richness of doing all these things, and of being able to do all of these things, and to see people affected by my actions brings me joy. Inaction then is not an option.
If you had the chance to teach a kid to ride a bike, build a fort, solve a math problem or to believe in themselves how could you not? Choose to do so and you’ll know the joy I’m talking about.