Day 519: Risk taking

I watched an interesting documentary about a couple of mountaineers that climbed giant peak called Lhotse in the Himalayas and then skied down starting at about 8 500 meters above sea level. According to me, insane, however, the climbers enjoyed the venture.

Here is the documentary for anyone interested:

Seen from a bigger perspective, I see these type of pastimes as a form of mindless adventures, done without consideration for the bigger problems that we have in the world at the moment, and the effort we will have to put in in order to correct the situation. However, as with all things, nothing is black and white. And in this documentary one of the climbers shared her motivation to pursue these challenges – and that was interesting.

She said that she enjoyed, or wanted, to take risks because that was how she was able to expand herself. If she never took risks, but only stuck to what she knew and already mastered, she would not be able move herself, she would remain stuck. And so, she strove, and pushed herself to take risks, to do things of which she wasn’t certain of the outcome, to be an example to her children, and to show them a person that did not stop at a comfortable and easy life, but that went for greatness.

I found her definition of risk taking and expansion supportive and insightful – and I have also viewed risks in similar fashion throughout my life. However, it is easy to accept and allow fears to start making decisions. The worst company when aiming for self-expansion is fear of failure and fear of making mistakes, complacency, and being too comfortable with life and yourself. All growth encompasses various degrees of pain and certain failure – as well as a healthy dose of mistakes. That is how we grow. And so, in this sense we are similar to plants, they are nourished by shit, and so are we. The plants take that shit and repurpose it into growth. We can do the same. We take the shit in ourselves and in our lives, we take our worst moments, and we repurpose them into insight, wisdom and expansion.

And so, here comes an important lesson when it comes to decision making. When we have done our research, when we have looked at the possible outcomes, and we still are not sure, then the next to do is to simply do something. At some point we have to throw ourselves into the unknown, throw our chips, and see where they land. And if we make the wrong decision, we will have learned something about ourselves that we can take with us. Compare this to not making any decision ever, and always keeping to what is safe, what is secure, what is known – always keeping to that which we know. That is no way to live and definitely no way to grow and expand as a person.

As is the case with most things in life, it is not so much a matter of what we get, it is about what we do with what we get. It is about what we do with the opportunities that we do have and with the life we have been given. I will take with me the words from this rock climber and see how I can apply them in my life, because I strongly feel, that unless I am somehow pushing and moving myself in life, in someway venturing out into the unknown and baring my throat, I become stagnant and lose my passion and fire for life.

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