“Today’s world needs change, alteration, renewal, and corrections of errors. It needs new ideas, new approaches, methods, plans, procedures, and new ways of doing things. Maybe you should think of going — literally or symbolically — to a circus today, where you’ll see stunts you never dreamed possible. The novelty and originality there may stimulate what you need more of in this life. Have the daring to take a flight for the idea you believe in!” – Wilferd A. Peterson
So much of what we do in our lives, we do by rote. We choose much of what we do because it’s “tradition” or because it seems safe and risk-free, or simply because that’s the way we’ve always done things. This way of approaching our lives is fine if we live in a cage and have no options, but for free people who are trying to forge their individual ways through life, it’s no way to live.
Life is about risk and trying new things. So many new things get pushed our way all the time that there’s never any real reason for us to continue to do things over and over again in the same ways. When we get caught in ruts, we stagnate and we don’t allow ourselves to learn. This year’s flowers are much different than last year’s were, no matter how much alike they seem, and this year’s life for us is full of new opportunities and potential, if only we take the time to look at what we have available to us in new ways so that we can discover the exciting possibilities that are there for us.
I used to have a friend in college who impressed me with the way he looked at the world. The only way that I could explain it was that he didn’t just look at things and situations head-on; rather, he walked around them, under them, through them–looking at them from many different ways. And his view of them always differed from the standard view, the one that most other people shared.
I want to be like that. I want to learn about things by seeing the possibilities in them. I want to make my life rich by trying new and different things without having preconceived notions of what outcomes should be. I want to be daring enough that at the end of my life, I’ll be able to say to myself “No matter how it turned out, I feel good about my life because I was always willing to take chances and to learn more about life than I would have if I had done the same things over and over again.” If I’m able to take my leave of this planet with that idea as part of who I am, then I know that I will have contributed also to the lives of others.
Questions to consider:
What new approaches and new ideas have you come up with recently? What did you do with them? Where did you take them?
What kinds of things stimulate your curiosity and creativity? How often do you engage in those things?
Why do most of us tend to get caught up in our ruts?
For further thought:
“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible… what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!” – S’ren Kierkegaard