We must constantly reevaluate what we do and not let habits and past wisdom blind us to new possibilities.
Apple just launched their newest operating system, OS X Lion, last week. Like any new idea, people are excited about the change, but weary of its unfamiliarity. Just like people who are fretful about the idea of switching from PC to Mac, the unknown holds an unsettling feeling for the potential of both positive and negative consequences.
But to ignore a source of innovation because of the possibility of misuse would be senseless. In Mihaly Csikszentmihaly book on the psychology of optimal experiences, Flow, he writes, “If mankind had tried to ban fire because it could be used to burn things down, we would not have grown to be very different from the great apes.”
Embracing the unknown has been civilizations igniting force continually pushing it forward. On a smaller scale, the very same ideology can be broken down on an individual level. What is common and routine now, was at one time unfamiliar and unknown.
Using what was once a part of our tactics to crawl, lead us to stand on our two miniature legs for the very first time. Entering a building full of classrooms, friends, and considerably taller, unfamiliar adults was our first experience of structured learning.
Growing up was full of firsts. And although the idea of walking could lead to the very realistic possibility of falling, it wouldn’t stop of us from taking hold of our latest ability to explore new surroundings.
Entertaining new possibilities is a visceral drive. We look back and view a child learning to walk or going to school as a natural part of growth. It is because growth is an innate drive. Breaking through to new areas of our life is a state of being and it does not end with childhood abilities.
We constantly drive to push ourselves forward. But we also establish a frame of reference and a list of habits to go with it, and so breaking into new areas becomes risky.
Fresh life ideas contain learning curves, time, consequences, and chances of failure. But does that mean we should ignore them? And even if we do, growth is our state of being. To ignore possibilities would create a dissonance as our beliefs and our actions would not align.
To act would evoke fear, while not acting would create dissatisfaction. I find we are better fear facers then dissatisfaction creators.
If life is a an array of dots, the ones behind us connected, the ones in front of us an unpredictable sequence – then we must learn to trust that the dots will connect. Our first day of school might have been our scariest challenge at one time, but now we see it as a connection to what has brought us to where we currently are.
The same can be said about the future. Although those dots may seem like leaps and bounds away right now, they will connect and make the intricate and extraordinary sequence of the life you have the potential of living.