Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

The older I get, the more this quote resonates with me. I look around at all I have and all I have done and wonder. I wonder if I am doing the things I should be doing. I wonder if the life I have found is the one I truly want. I wonder if the path I am following is the right path or if I should take one of the many branches along the way.

I have done many different things in my life. While I haven't always let fear hold me back, I know there are times I have. I have moved back and forth from the Midwest to the East Coast a number of times; I have quit soul-numbing jobs without having a real plan and landed on my feet; I have spent some time in law school; I have spent time combining some passions with work. But, I still feel I should have done and should be doing more.

When we look back on our lives, will we be satisfied with what we have accomplished and the things we own. Will we be happy we spent so much time working jobs to pay the mortgage, to buy the things we think we want, to live the life others think we should live? Or, will we be disappointed we didn't do more learning or traveling or relaxing or conversing or helping others? What can we change today to help drive us towards throwing off the bowlines?

Many of us confuse being stable with being happy. For some people, these are one in the same. In my world, stability is a good thing, but it doesn't set my soul on fire. It doesn't drive my passions and it doesn't allow exploration, dreaming or discovering. Is it possible to have both? Maybe, but I don't think so. To really explore, dream and discover, you have to take risks. You have to push boundaries, constantly search and question. You have to leave the safety of stability, get out of your comfort zones and see where the winds take you. Do something new. Take a chance. Figure it out as you go.      

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