In Greatest Year Ever – 2019, I wrapped up the class by reading some quotes that were guiding me to step up and into the next-best version of myself.
I linked to the Dropbox Paper document I created to share the gems.
But the potent wisdom encapsulated in those gems is so good that I think we should just go ahead and bundle them all into a nice little +1. And… Here we are.
One of the primary themes of that GYE-19 class was “To Dare or Not to Dare.”
Whenever I think of “daring” I immediately think of the Danish theologian, Søren Kierkegaard who shared this E P I C piece of wisdom on the subject:
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
(That quote found a primary spot on my white board as I contemplated things…)
Then, the way my mind works, I immediately think of Seneca. Here’s how he puts it:
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that things are difficult.
OK. Thank you, gentlemen.
Then, when I imagine a big, bold, audacious, ambitious vision that I feel called to bring into the world, I think of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
He has a lot to say on the subject. Including this:
There’s nothing capricious in nature, and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.
Our desires presage the capacities within us; they are harbingers of what we shall be able to accomplish. What we can do and want to do is projected in our imagination, quite outside ourselves, and into the future. We are attracted to what is already ours in secret. Thus passionate anticipation transforms what is indeed possible into dreamt-for reality.
Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.
Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do.
Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.
And, finally, this:
God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.
Thank you, dear Ralph.
Carrying on, whenever I think of transforming my identity and embarking on a new hero’s journey, I think of my Spiritual Grandpa (on my mother’s side, of course), Joseph Campbell.
Here’s how HE puts it:
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
If you want resurrection, you must have crucifixion.
The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.
The hoarder, the one in us that wants to keep, to hold on, must be killed.
You can’t make an omelet without breaking the eggs.
Whatever the hell happens, say, ‘This is what I need.’
Sri Ramakrishna said, ‘Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.’
Follow your bliss. The heroic life is living the individual adventure.
To refuse the call means stagnation. What you don’t experience positively you will experience negatively.
A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: ‘As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It’s not as wide as you think.’
There is no security in following the call to adventure.
* rubs eyes *
Thank you, Grandpa Joe.
Finally, when it’s time for true commitment, it’s time to invite legendary mountaineer W.H Murray to the party.
He tells us:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!’
That’s Today’s +1.
To Dare or Not to Dare.
Whaddya say… Shall we?
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