They say variety is the spice of life, although for a long time I thought it was cinnamon. How lucky we are to live in cultures that have so many opportunities to enrich ourselves with new experiences. Almost limitless travel possibilities. Cloud-high stacks of great books to read, outstanding movies and TV shows to watch, endless new recipes and flavours to tickle the tastebuds. We have the fathomless depths of the internet with its inspiring TED talks and free courses, entertaining blogs and limitless potential for connection. If they ever start putting sex online, we’ll never get anything done..
With all this vast potential, it’s interesting how we fall so easily into fixed patterns and end up doing the same old same old, day in and day out. We become creatures of habit, automatons, driven by subconscious forces, craving the new, while clinging stubbornly to the familiar. By middle age, most of us probably have fairly settled lives, opinions and tastes. We become comfortable and perhaps a bit set in our ways. Perhaps that’s why we find stories of rebels and mavericks so irresistible. The press is full of tales of people creating world-changing software, building off-grid micro-homes up a mountain, or starting a radical bee-keeping collective in Bolivia. We may yearn for a bit of adventure and tell ourselves that deep down, we too have a little free spirit in us, a wild side to walk on. But the sofa is very comfy, there’s a great new pizza delivery service and the latest season of Game of Thrones is online, so the adventures will have to wait for a while.
So do we choose a life of comfort or one of challenge? Do we really have what it takes to make our wildest dreams come true? (Maybe not the one with the kinky aliens, whipped cream and an inflatable unicorn called Daisy) They say it is better to regret the things you’ve done, than regret all those you didn’t do. So why do we let the demons of fear, doubt and procrastination hold us back? I think many of us would like to try out other possible selves, experience different lives and attack bold new challenges with gusto. Sometimes we just need the right push, a spark to ignite our fires. I recently found these wise words from Joseph Campbell: ‘The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek’. I think there is much truth in that. Find your dream, go explore your cave! But if it has Netflix and pizza, maybe it’s the wrong cave.
Copyright J.Lennick 2015 All rights reserved.