I apologize for not writing a post in quite a while, but the last weeks/months of my life were very turbulent. I took about two days of “vacation” after finishing my MA thesis before I got bored and jumped head first into the job and apartment search. For some, not doing the safe thing (moving back home) and instead starting my own independent life right here and now is both too risky and too difficult. But let me tell you, it wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as some would like me to believe. There are a number of reasons why my level of fear seems to be “inapproriately low” for a recently graduated person such as myself, but I will only mention one. Destiny. That sense of purpose we derive from instinctively believing in and following our dreams without actually losing sight of reality in the process. Why are so many of us increasingly cynical when it comes to creating (and trusting in) our own destiny?
Well, as Paulo Coelho once uncannily observed, there seems to be a peculiar relationship between believing in our dreams and … growing up. It’s as if we go from the conviction that anything (yes, including Santa) is possible to the detriment of “knowing our limits”. Now, don’t get me wrong. We obviously have limits. I’m never going to be an engineer or an astrophysicist. Also, I fear neither the Easterbunny nor Santa will ever knock on my door and say “guess what, we exist!”. And yet, I think human beings are creators. They may never be able to defy gravity or communicate telepathically (but hey, maybe Google Glass will take care of that one, who knows), but it’s still mind-blowing what people can do if only they’d put their minds to it. If they make it their destiny. Yes, we have limits. But we also have incredible power. Isn’t it sad that children are much more aware of this than most adults?
What makes us so fearful of trying out new things? Why do so many of us nearly die at the thought of taking risks, of spending a bit of time in absolute uncertainty? I’m sure it’s only a small part of the explanation, but still, sometimes I think it’s because we focus on our defeats rather than on our possibilites. Instead of using our imagination to push us forward, we get lost in our stockpile of bad experiences. We remember somebody telling us we’re not particularly fun or talented or driven, and instead of proving them wrong, some of us go “oh well, I guess if you think that, it must be true”. Eurm, no?! That’s one person’s opinion. In life, there’s two ways to respond to the fear of failure: by letting it define you, or by overcoming it.
Actually, there’s this psychologist who’s been treating people with phobias (think snakes and spiders) in (so he says) less than a day, and he found that, if the phobia was cured, these people reported being much less fearful and inhibited in their lives overall. I feel a bit embarrassed for not remembering the man’s name, but really, it doesn’t matter all that much. Because the message here is simple: you become what you think. The more fear gets to your mind, the more it defines the entirety of your actions. Focus instead on your dreams and you might just be able to achieve them (granted, you must retain a certain sense of realism in all of this). I said it before, and I’ll say it again: past experiences shouldn’t kill your future dreams. In no way should they be capable of robbing you of that childhood certainty that you have a destiny.
Destiny isn’t something written in the stars. It’s knowing something’s right for you and not stopping, until you get it. Destiny is self-creation and self-recreation. But, there’s only one way to do that: by having faith in who you are, the negative included. Because you’d be amazed to what positive uses you can put your perceived negative qualities once you stop thinking about yourself in black-and-white terms. Be courageous. You want it? Get it. Defy the odds. Take a leap of faith (in yourself) and jump head first into the unknown. Realize that you are in eternal transformation. And since you and everything around you will never stop changing, you might as well assume an active role instead of passively watching where life takes you next. And whenever you’re about to hold yourself back by believing you’re not good enough for your very own destiny, think of Paulo Coelho and remember this one simple truth:
You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen – Paulo Coelho