“The plain fact is that human beings are happy only when they are striving for something worthwhile.” – Anonymous
Take a second to think back about the last time you did something that you were super nervous for. Was it a presentation you gave? Did you plan a big event? Did you have something special (or scary) to tell someone you cared about?
Now think about how you felt after you did this task. Pretty relieving? Even…shall I say, pleasant? My guess is that although the work up to this event was mentally painful and nerve-racking, after the fact was one of the best feelings ever.
That’s what life is for!
Quick personal story. Yesterday my fiancé and I had the opportunity to go skydiving for the first time. We have had these gift certificates to go from my mom since last Christmas, booked the jump two weeks ago and then the morning of the jump it was canceled due to weather. (Really?!?) We called them up and rescheduled for the soonest time, two weeks later. Fast forward to yesterday at about 5:45 pm and we were standing there on the plane field waiting to suit up and hurl ourselves out of a plane at 12,000 feet.
The ride up to 12,000 feet was pleasant, surprisingly we weren’t very nervous and the view was amazing. That is until the door opened and I was the first one to jump. Hanging my feet over the side of the plane looking down at this ant farm we would soon be on. That’s when my nerves kicked in. Next thing I knew we were in the air with absolutely nothing to grab onto and no way to go back. My first thought was very confusing. Something like “oh this is fun” mixed with a little “I think I’m going to implode.” It was the strangest feeling. But after about the first 5 seconds of free fall we hit 180 mph and I realized there was nothing I could do. Just sit (arch) back and take it all in. This is what life is made for and when you’re on the ground you’ll be happy you did it. Sure enough, when I confirmed that my fiancé and I were safely on the ground we were elated. We wanted to jump on the next plane up.
So I have to sky dive to enjoy life??
Absolutely not. But think about those times where you’ve either pushed yourself or been forced to do something you didn’t initially want to do. It’s scary, probably before and during the act but the feeling afterwards I’m sure was great. Maybe even great enough to make you want to do it again?
Life is about experiencing new things, feeling as if you’ve achieved something. The feeling of accomplishment is weird. You can do something once or twice and feel great about it, but as you continue to do it more and more it becomes routine and no longer do you feel that same sense of accomplishment. Life gets – boring. Without pushing yourself to the limits sometimes it’s easy for you to feel like you haven’t achieved much which of course, over time, leads to unhappiness. Living a life in comfort is comfortable for a while but quickly leads to discomfort.
The easiest way to pick something to try is to look into the past a bit. What is it you’ve done before that you were scared out of your mind to do at first, but you felt great afterwards? Do it again. As you continue to do it more and more you become better at it. Pretty soon, what used to scare the crap out of you is now something you do with ease. But remember, when that time comes, pick something else. Always try new things that scare you. Always continue to grow, take on new tasks, and learn new skills. If you do this, you’ll have a list of things you’ve done stacked so high there’s no way you can be unhappy.
On a side note – I realized yesterday that I get more afraid of getting up in front of a group and speaking than I do falling 12,000 feet from a plane. And that is actually what I want to do as a profession. It’s going to be a tough goal, but hey – that’s what life’s for right?