When I stepped into a new role I felt scared.
After 10 years of doing something that I’ve become comfortable with, changing the status quo was far from my plan. I had to find excuses and talk myself out of an opportunity that was presented to me. But who was I fooling? It wasn’t a case of no-escaping-it kind of a deal. I could just say no but the fact of the matter was, I didn’t have anything better to do.
Getting old has certainly made me feel less courageous. I wanted things to be more steady, predictable, and convenient. Getting cozy with a routine felt like snacking on chips and a bottle of coca-cola on a lazy afternoon. Worry and stress-free. Who wouldn’t want that kind of life?
But alas, the world is changing at a speed faster than a decade ago. We are seeing the dawn of the fourth generation of the industrial revolution, the age of the digital revolution. If we don’t evolve along with it, we will become like dinosaurs on the verge of extinction.
I believe there would still be human characteristics that cannot be replaced by robotics and artificial intelligence. Think about compassion, empathy, creativity, and human touch for instance. But it doesn’t change the fact that as humans, we need to be continuously learning to catch up and remain useful in the future.
A casual conversation with friends over breakfast brought things into perspective.
We all prefer an easy life.
But who would survive without a little bit of struggle? We weren’t given bread but a seed to plant on the soil. We need some difficulties in life to thrive and grow.
We ought to use our hands, our feet, our brain, our heart (even), and flex those muscles. You know what I mean. Moving and growing is what it means to be truly alive.
Then there is fear.
Almost everybody on planet earth is experiencing fear in some way. Some of us are just better at handling it. My favorite mentor would always say these two statements:
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”.
“Fake it until you BE it”.
But it’s easier said than done.
What scares us are things that we don’t know.
We are scared of trying a new job, moving to a new city, getting that degree, saying yes to marriage, having kids, speaking in front of other people, the list goes on and on.
We are terrified about what other people would think if we failed, or say the wrong thing, or mess things up. Unfortunately, it’s only when we fail that we get to know better and do better.
Lastly, we quit before we even start.
As we grew older, we forgot how exciting it feels to dream and to chase a dream.
We forgot how freeing it can be to embrace life, to get wet in the rain, to play, and get our hands dirty. We forgot how it is to laugh our hearts out, to have fun, and not take ourselves seriously. Painful but, we got old, insecure, and boring.
We have to nip it in the bud and awareness is a good place to start.
God-willing I want to stay on planet earth much longer and still find ways to contribute. I don’t have superpowers to save the world but at least I’d like to put myself to good use. After all, I believe our lives have a purpose. If we are allowed to participate in this life, why don’t we? I encourage all of us not to count what we’ve already done but what we can still do. We are alive right now, aren’t we? If that’s a yes, let’s start acting like it.